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RetroArch Vs. RocketLAuncher - Pros and Cons?


cleverest

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I only have some experience with Rocketlauncher, thinking about switching to RetroArch due to using Launchbox and many people in those forums recommend it...

Wondering if anyone has good experience with both and can give me PROS and CONS of each so I can decide which one with Launchbox would be ideal?

Thanks.

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I guess RetroArch is a front end sorta. 

I've used both and used retroarch with rocketlauncher as an emulator.
What I can say is this, Rocket Launcher is great but completely unnecessary when using Launchbox. 

I personally only use RocketLauncher with Hyperspin, RetroFE, and Attract Mode.
Rocket Launcher adds organization to front ends that lack it.

With Launchbox, this is completely unneccessary. And instead, Launchbox uses retroarch at the command level as a shortcut to launch RetroArch's library of cores which are frequently upgraded. The biggest advantage here is not having to setup many emulators but one, which will remember your preferences. I personally use RetroArch with almost every supported system it has just  so I can use CRT Scanline filters.

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Love the answer thanks, I'll work on loving this set over to Retroarch...no interest in those particular scanline filters...I wonder at people who like those? Doesn't it degrade the quality, or is it fixing something I'm not aware of? Just a visual preference thing?

Thanks again!

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Scanlines are a personal tastes thing. For those of use who grew up with old CRT Monitors, scanlines were natural. Going back and playing 240p games on a high definition 1080p upscaled screen only serves to flaunt the inadequacies in game art or hardware. And a few believe that artist back then used professional video monitors with very noticeable scanlines when developing art so that playing without them isnt seeing what the designers intended. I tend to disagree with that idea. However, having grown up with arcades and giant crt tvs,  I find my nostalgia aches for the scanlines of yore.

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On 12/28/2016 at 1:50 AM, DMJohn0X said:

I guess RetroArch is a front end sorta. 

I've used both and used retroarch with rocketlauncher as an emulator.
What I can say is this, Rocket Launcher is great but completely unnecessary when using Launchbox. 

I personally only use RocketLauncher with Hyperspin, RetroFE, and Attract Mode.
Rocket Launcher adds organization to front ends that lack it.

With Launchbox, this is completely unneccessary. And instead, Launchbox uses retroarch at the command level as a shortcut to launch RetroArch's library of cores which are frequently upgraded. The biggest advantage here is not having to setup many emulators but one, which will remember your preferences. I personally use RetroArch with almost every supported system it has just  so I can use CRT Scanline filters.

You are right.  Retroarch is the default reference front end for libretro.  This link explains all about it.  https://www.libretro.com/index.php/api/

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On 28/12/2016 at 6:46 PM, cleverest said:

Love the answer thanks, I'll work on loving this set over to Retroarch...no interest in those particular scanline filters...I wonder at people who like those? Doesn't it degrade the quality, or is it fixing something I'm not aware of? Just a visual preference thing?

Thanks again!

By applying filters you get a more true result to the original image than without shaders and scanlines. Can be seen as a way to get as close as possible to the use of a real CRT monitor.

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  • 1 month later...

I've played around with scan-lines a bit and they make a big difference in the image. Modern HDTV's and HD monitors show so much more detail than the CRT's most of us played these games on. Mario just doesn't look the same jumping around on a 60" HDTV since it was developed for screens with much lower resolution. Adding the proper scan-lines helps make it look more similar to what I remember playing as a child.

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  • 2 months later...

I really do like the overall look of RetroArch, it very closely resembles the PS3/PSP XMB, shame they kind of killed it with the PS4

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  • 1 month later...

Hmmmm huge discussion you opened...

A few thoughts (in no special order):

- They are not comparable things (and they are not really what you say they are).

(a) RetroArch is not a front-end. It is a whole system that takes over the emulator's I/O and "assimilates" emulators as "cores" (you can't just run latest MAME from mamedev.org for example, you have to wait for someone to compile it as libretro core). This also makes emulators way more portable (some emulators became available to Android or other platforms only because they became libretro cores). Interesting concept. Was a fun. But if you ask me, I would prefer a less intrusive system. For example a common I/O library that is open for emulator developers to use. When they use it, they become part of the "excosystem". Not the other way round as libretro enforces. Still, a very interesting project.

(b) RocketLauncher was born as middle-ware to make HyperSpin more "friendly" taking over some input manipulation and organization of metadata. Then they saw the potential and expanded it to be more universal. Again interesting concept, but still primarily middle-ware (which by definition means "one more thing to mess up"). I prefer less layers.

- The existence of both shows something common that was missing from Emulation: Uniformity. People have to know 50 different emulators, 20 different ROM sources (and different collections too), 10 different metadata sources (and still not able to automatically handle different ROM sources/naming/formats etc.), different control configurations, different display settings etc.

BOTH didn't solve this. LaunchBox and other modern (real) front-ends haven't either. Someone still has to step in and manage to unify all these (or SHOW them unified to the end user) transparently. THIS is what is still missing.

BTW, scanlines are great retro feature - and all the analog effects. You don't have to have a heavy hand when applying those, even a little, gives back much of the retro feeling AND still keeps the clarity of 21st century displays.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Anyone got any good recomendations on Scanline Filters for RetroArch? I also prefer scanlines, it was how the games were designed for at the time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I suggest Aperture, Easymode-Halation or Kurozumi-Royale. Those are the 3 best to me and I often swap between them depending on my mood.

Kurozumi can be heavier on the GPU and requires you have integer scaling on to prevent spacing weirdness.

Aperture is very light on the GPU but looks very good and is a thicker scanline.

Easymode-Halation is somewhere in the middle in performance but looks a bit more natural to a TV than a PVM like the other 2 are. Easymode-Halation also doesn't darken the image as much.

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Does anyone have a list of systems and shaders to use per system to achieve near perfect replication? I've always wanted to use them but there's too many options and it's just going to add one more aspect to my system that could potentially be started and never finished. This project is already hard enough. A compiled list would help a lot of people.

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