After what seems like forever, I am happy to announce that I have completed the first version of ShmupArch for the Raspberry Pi 4. In the past, I have tried to use ShmupArch on the Raspberry Pi 3, and while it certainly functioned, I was not satisfied with the performance. In case you guys are not aware, the performance leap between the Rasp 3 and 4 is significant, and it is just enough to (almost) perfectly deliver the true ShmupArch experience.
In earlier articles, I have discussed what the ShmupArch project is and what performance advantages it offers over the shmup scene’s eternal favorite emulator MAME/Shmupmame. However, in the time since I first started working on ShmupArch, alot has developed and changed, I’ve also learned a great deal more about working with emulators and some of the underpinning concerns involved.
The whole long-winded story should be saved for another article, but I do want to hit on some qualities, about ShmupArch/RetroArch that seem to be greatly misunderstood or intentionally misrepresented. So hopefully this can be educational for people who aren’t as familiar with the politics of emulation and all that.
First off, since the very beginning of the ShmupArch project, I have stated consistently that I am not trying to take credit for all the amazing work that has been done RetroArch and Final Burn Neo teams, obviously it is their hard work that makes this amazing quality of emulation possible, not me. So I am going to state this again, I am not the heavy hitter who is making all the advances and creating the basis of what makes ShmupArch even possible, that credit goes to the RetroArch and Final Burn Neo teams. With that being said, I also do feel the desire to defend myself a little bit. When I first introduced ShmupArch 1, despite writing an entire article saying what I just wrote above, I still got salty dudes saying that I’m just throwing config files together and trying to make a name for myself or something.
Well here’s the irony of the situation, since working on ShmupArch, the project has definitely brought on more outrage and indifference than praise. If I was in this shmup game to get popular, I wouldn’t be pushing a controversial configuration of an already controversial emulator front-end using a controversial emulation core. Nothing about ShmupArch + RetroArch + Final Burn Neo is lovingly represented among shmup players. In contrast, if I wanted a popular opinion, I’d just go around saying how “original hardware” is the end all be all and how perfectly great MAME is. The thing is, I created the ShmupArch project because I use ShmupArch, it is defintely my prefered way to experience the genre. So, for that reason, despite all the backlash the project has received, I’ll continue to work on it as long as I use it and I sincerely encourage you all to give it a chance.
I know the shmup community loves the idea of “authenticity,” that it is critically important that the way we play the genre in 2019 is