Virtual Jaguar

There was a time when it was pretty difficult to get emulators to run on anything but the most hi-spec of rigs, but these days most mobile phones can run emulators of even the most powerful retro gaming systems - just look at Reicast, it's a Dreamcast emulator that will run on pretty much any modern Android device. With desktops and laptops being as powerful as they are today, emulating consoles that you simply cannot afford to own in their original guise is pretty straight forward - just download the software and some roms and you're away. Of course, you're meant to own the original games and store 'backup' roms on your computer/phone/whatever...but in some cases owning the original software would be just as expensive as trying to source the original hardware too...especially if you're into Jaguar stuff, like me. I do have a pretty decent catalogue of games now and I've also just got a Jaguar CD unit too (a full review will be done as soon as it arrives!), but some Jag software is just too damn rare or expensive for me to actually own. Enter Virtual Jaguar, a rather excellent Jaguar emulator that runs on both PC and Mac (I use a Mac, so this is pretty important!).

Virtual Jaguar is a really impressive emulator and features the ability to also run Jaguar CD iso files. The interface is clear and intuitive and you can store rom files in a sort of cartridge library and then 'plug' them into the virtual system via the little cartridge icon in the dialogue box. There's a graphics filter which smoothes out the pixelated look of some games, and there are various screen-size modes, a PAL/NTSC switch and also a pause function. A nice little touch is that the Jaguar CD bios is present, so if you activate CD mode without an iso loaded (by clicking on the handy CD icon in the toolbar), the screen is filled with the Jag CD 'no disc' attract mode. A nice touch. Another nice touch is the way you get a 'red screen of death' if there's a problem with a rom you are trying to load.

I initially downloaded Virtual Jaguar to try out the superb Downfall homebrew game which was created by Reboot, but I also downloaded a few roms of games I just know I'll never own - things like Iron Soldier 2 (cart), Zero 5, Sky Hammer and Phase Zero. Overall, the emulator works great. There are a few issues with some games not loading for whatever reason, or issues with framerate, sound or graphical glitches but more often than not, most Jag roms work just fine.

Here are a few screens of Virtual Jaguar v2.1.0 running on my MacBook Pro (OSX Mavericks):










If you're interested in giving Virtual Jaguar a whirl, you can download it from the Virtual Jaguar website. Roms, as ever, are down to you to find but you can download the excellent Downfall for free from Reboot here.

6 comments:

  1. Hang on, did you just say Downfall is excellent? :O

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  2. I think the term I used was 'superb'...and as a homebrew game you could do worse I guess!

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  3. I am struggling to think of a worse homebrew on the Jaguar!

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  4. is anyone around still? I'm trying to figure out how to get unstuck, stuck in full screen mode....

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