Monthly Archives: February 2022

Daytona USA

Sega’s hit racing game and part of the new generation of 3D arcade titles. Here we are introduced to texture mapped polygons, an upgrade from the flat shaded graphics from Virtua Racing. Daytona would be in prime competition with Ridge Racer, which was released by Namco.


Beginner: A simple track but has 40 opponent cars, this track can get crowded in places. The only track on the game that begins with a rolling start and features a pit in area. There are 8 laps to race in total, but this can be extended to 20 or 40 with the Grand prix or endurance modes.

Advanced: A regaular track but has a couple of sharp turns. ‘Lets Go Away’ is the song that plays for this track, which a portion also plays during the games attract mode. Theres a few hidden messages in this track that appears in the grass during the race.

Expert: The hardest track with frequent sharp turns and a couple of obstickles in the track, Thankfully these don’t affect your cars speed and are mostly for visual effect. Powersldiing is reccomended to get the best lap times.

The tracks would be renamed in later releases after further tracks would be added.


These can be set in the options menu (Test mode on the arcade release)

Standard: The default option with 8 laps for the beginner track, 4 for the advanced and two for expert

Grand Prix: Addidtional laps are added which expands the game’s length, with 20 laps for the beginner, 10 for advanced and 5 for the expert. With these laps you will want to use the pit stop to replace the cars tyers.

Endurance: 80 laps for beginner mode, 40 for advanced and 20 for expert mode.

There is also a time attack mode which can be accessed by holding down the 1P Start button on the arcade version whilst choosing transmission.



Where it all started, running on Sega’s Model 2 hardware. This was initially released in 1993, and a updated version came out in 1994 to promote the Sega Saturn version. This version also amended the HUD elements slightly. 3 tracks are present in this version and lcoal multiplayer is avalible by linking the arcade machines together. This version of the game runs at a constant 57fps and a higher resolutiob compared to the Saturn, but lower then the PC version.

Can be emulated using the Nebula Model 2 emulator, or recently MAME. However the Model 2 core is still under development and there has been some improvements to the MAME core.

Daytona USA Arcade had three releases, all of which run on the original Model 2

  • 1993 release that was exclusive to Japan
  • 1994 release that was worldwide that amended the on screen counter display
  • Sega Saturn update that added adverts for the console, for before and after the consoles release (Changeable in the games test mode the Model 2 had no RTC clock)
  • There were a couple of unofficial modifications that were done by a few third party programmers that added RPG like elements to the game, known as GTX edition and To the Maxx

The game was only compatible with the original Model 2 board.

Sega Saturn

The first version that was ported for the home market, this was a rushed port due to wanting to be a Saturn launch title and the difficultly of the Saturn’s hardware for the developers. Also, its no secret that 3D wasn’t the Saturn’s strong point, being built primarily as a 2D sprite scaling system, and Daytona USA being designed for the 3D model 2 arcade board. The music is altered in this version, taking advantage of the red-book CD audio.

There are two game modes, an arcade mode which plays the same as the arcade original, and a Saturn mode which gives the option of selecting a car. Mirror tracks are also selectable for all tracks in the game and a 60 lap endurance mode. This version has no support for multiplayer.

Sega would later release a revised version for the Sega Saturn that corrected a couple of issues that the original port recieved.


Very similar to the Saturn version, the game is designed to run on Windows 95 but features little graphics acceleration, rending entirely in software mode (on the CPU). The game uses DirectX 2 which limits it to Windows 95, although it will work on later Windows 9x releases, things start to break on more modern systems.

This release is not recommended since a better version was released a few years later, and the limited resolution and graphics settings this game offers. There’s also black bars at the top and bottom which makes it feel like I’m playing an ported PAL game, either that or they thought Daytona PC needed to be cinematic?


Arcade version is running in the Nebula Model 2 emulator with default settings, Saturn is running the NTSC build in Retroarch Beetle Saturn, Windows is running in a PCem virtual machine running Windows Me.




The home versions remain very faithful to the arcade original when it comes to the menu layout

Car transmission selection

Saturn version has the worst draw distance, to the extent that some background elements don’t appear fully and look like they are floating

Only major difference being the lap time dispay, with other HUD elements remaining consistant.


Daytona USA would go on to become very popular in the arcades thanks to the pioneering 3D graphics technology, despite the high price of the Model 2 hardware. The home ports were not greatly recieved, with the Saturn port having a negative reception in comparision to Ridge Racer, which was also ported from the arcade to the Playstation and was considered a bettrer adaption.

Sega would later release newer home versions of Daytona USA, being the Champtionship edition which helps fix the issues of the initil Saturn port and was ported to the PC shortly after. It was released again for the Sega Dreamcast in 2001 with slightly remastered graphics.

In the arcades, Sega would follow up with Daytona USA 2, being a showcase for the Model 3 platform.

Nvidia Shield

The unknown fourth player in the console market

Android TV Home

Nvidia Shield has been out for a while now and has become a attractive device for Android based emulation due to is relatively powerful SoC and the application support of the Android TV platform.


The Shield series of devices started out with the original Nvidia Shield, which was a portable Android powered device which was capable of streaming games from a desktop PC that had an Nvidia graphics card. Very similar to Sony’s remote Play for the PS3 and PSP, and later PS4 and the underrated Vita. They later evolved into the Shield tablet, and the Shield TV which is a Android TV powered streaming set top box, like the Amazon Fire TV.


The Shield and the Nintendo Switch share the same processor, the Tegra X1, and X1+ in later revisions which is a die shrink of the original processor. The processor is quite powerful, compared to other Android which rock the Cortex A53 (An in order CPU) the X1 has both the A57 and the A53 with the former being used to run common applications. Together with its Maxwell based GPU makes the Shield an attractive device to run emulators on. There are also Android TV games that are distributed on the Google Play store which will run on the Shield.

Play Store has plenty of emulators


By default the Shield Pro does not come with the Shield controller (Previous versions did) but can be purchased separately and paired. The controller itself seems to be inspired by the PlayStation Dualshock design with its symmetrical dual analogue sticks, and the face/shoulder button design. The controller also features the regular android navigation buttons to call up the home screen or the app switcher. There is also a microphone and a Nvidia button which calls the Google assistant. Vibration is also present, but I have yet to use this with emulators, it seems Nvidia are using a custom controller API which makes vibration support difficult. Remember this is an Android based device, and features like Xinput are unsupported with out third party applications.
Also shipping with the SHIELD is the remote control, which is shaped like a Toblerone, and is quite comfortable to hold. Here you can navigate Android streaming apps and adjust the volume of the TV or AV receiver if you have one. Soundbars are also supported. A nice feature is it come with a backlight that activated when motion is detected.



This was the first thing I installed on the Shield, and whilst I’m familiar with how Retroarch, and Libretro in general, there are a couple of issues.
The way it detects the controller is an issue, since Retroarch will detect the Shield remote and assumes it is some sort of controller and assigns it as controller 1, whilst the Shield Controller is detected as controller 2, which prevents you from navigating the retroarch interface. Also sometimes retroarch will not detect a controller at all, the fix for this was to press the home button which would return you to the Android home screen, then open Retroarch again with the controller, which Retroarch should detect as player 1.
Retroarch can be difficult to set up, I’m not sure if this is an issue with the Android / Play Store version since I can use the PC version without these issues. There’s also an issue where retrarch does not apply changes will often resert some setting back to the default, like the BIOS location or the game save directory.


It’s a shame because Retroarch does have a good list of emulators that can be used and its user interface is one of the best, but the complicated set up on config file issues make it a huge turnoff.

Duckstation (PlayStation)

Sideload launcher

The best PlayStation emulator imo, but there is one huge issue here. Duckstation does not support Android TV officially, it will still run if you sideload the apk but the app runs like its running on a smartphone, and there are issues when navigating the interface using the controller as the emulator is expecting the touchscreen. Its perfectly usable with some compromises having to be made. Sideload launcher will need to be installed to access Duckstation.

  • When scanning for roms, Duckstation will open the Android file browser for you to select a directly to locate your roms, but this app does not support input from a controller. The workaround? Use a USB or Bluetooth mouse, which allows you to control using the mouse cursor. Thankfully you only need to do this one since one you have told Duckstation where your roms are located, it will keep updating the rom browser when you add new files to that directory.
  • On screen buttons, thankfully there is an option to disable this.
  • Memory Card file management, I have yet to find a way to change the directory where Duckstation saves the memory card files, I could do this on the Xbox One version and have all my game saved stored on the external hard disk, but are inaccessible since there is no way to change the directory from what I can see.
  • Lastly just to recap what was mentioned at the start, because its not built for Android TV you have to use sideload launcher in order to open Duckstation, and you have to use the platform tools in order to sideload, along with enabling developer mode.

But this emulator has its merits, since it is able to offer enhancement in a simple menu structure. There are two types of settings, global/default applies the settings for all ROMS you load through Duckstation but you can also specific induvial settings for specific games that override the global settings. useful if a specific game has issues with say, enabling PXGP, you can disable that settings and that will only apply to that game only.

Grid list of roms, cover art can be set but is a manual process
  • PXGP support – Helps reduce or completely remove the polygon warping effects, can also help with the texture popping
  • Upscaling – handled in multiples depending on the games resolution, the Shield can handle 720p, with 1080p for some titles. I should mention that some games like Wipeout 3 run in a high resolution mode (around/near 640×480 compared to 320×240 for most games)
    • I should also mention the Shield being advertised with 4K upscaling capability , but this only applied to video content and not games or any app that generates its own graphics. I’m also not sure if the Shield reserves a few CUDA cores for the upscaling, as even though I have tried disabling the AI upscaling option there is little different with the graphics performance when upscaling, 720p seems to be a limit for most titles.
  • CD-ROM Speed – A faster read speed can be used to reduce loading times which was the main issue with CD-ROM based games, but can cause some games to malfunction since they may be hardcoded around the PlayStations CD drive limitations.
  • Memory Card Management: Each game can be set to have its own memory card and the emulator will create a file for that game. This fixes one of the main issues with the PlayStation, as each memory card is limited to 15 blocks per card with some games consuming multiple blocks. You no longer need to create and swap virtual memory cards as Duckstation will do this for you.
    • But you can set memory card slot 2 to be shared, and you can set certain games to use a specific memory card instead by amending which save file it uses. This is useful for PlayStation games that make use of another titles save file.
  • Overclocking – Another nice performance feature, but can break games if they were hardcoded to run at a specific speed. A must for certain games like Driver, The Shield can overclock the PSX CPU at up to 1.5x the original clock speed without suffering from frame drops. Some titles may be able to go further, depending on how they run in the emulator.

Overall Duckstation is perfectly usable, And I would recommend it over retroarch despite the issues outlined above. A lot of these can be fixed by incorporating a few of the Android TV API’s

ePSXe (PlayStation)

On Android its kind of been left to rot, since the interface isn’t very polished and there are a few emulation issues that crop up here compared to the other emulators. Overall it will work and its on the play store, so you can launch it from the Android TV interface directly, but I don’t recommend it.

M64Plus FZ Emulator (Nintendo 64)

A nice emulator for Nintendo 64 titles, has support for upscaling and has a prebuilt set of plugins that can be tailored to performance or accuracy. The Shield can handle the accuracy settings rather well if your happy with 720p rendering, otherwise higher resolutions can be used if you choose the performance profile. Some of the later N64 games that used their own microcode can have considerable slowdown (Perfect Dark) so you may need to tailor the performace settings to compensate.

There is also a similar emulator known as Mupen64+AE which is an older version of the Mupen emulator, and lacks Android TV support.

Yaba Sanshiro 2 (Sega Saturn)

Named after the mascot of the Sega Saturn, this is an Ok emulator but what lets it down is its limited compatability with certain games. Many Sega exclusives will work fine, with a few thrid party games failing to boot or suffering from issues. Thankfully these games have PlayStation/PC/3DO ports which arguably run better on those platforms, at least for 3D titles.

The user interface is noice and tegrate with the android tv launcher, showing previous played games, and will sort the games in alphabetical order which allows you to navigate and find titles more easily.

MAME4droid (Acade)

This is an Android adaption of MAME 0.139, and uses its romsets. As MAME 0.139 was relased mid 2010, it misses out on any improvements to the different machines that MAME emulates and as a result it struggles to emulate machines from the early 90s onwards, espically 3D arcade boards.

Namco System 11 games are playable but the sound emulation is poor, System 12 games struggle to run at full speed. Forget System 22 or Sega Model 2 or above, as the Shield lacks the CPU power to emulate these in the way that MAME does.

Sixth Generation

Emulators for sixth generation consoles are available like Dolphin and Redream, but due to the Shields aging hardware it is unable to reach full speed in these emulators for the majority of games. I wouldn’t recommend using the Shield for Gamecube titles, rather look to the Wii/Wii U instead which features native comparability. Dreamcast you can sort of get away with if you avoid the problematic titles, but for PS2/NGC/DC i would adisve to get an Intel NUC running either Linux or Windows with a living room friendly frontend. Retroarch can be configured to run at startup if you wish to use that.

External Hard Disks

Internally the Shield has 16Gb of flash storage, of which half is reserved for the operating system and the preinstallerd apps. The Shield Pro come with two USB3 ports for expandable storage for use with an external hard drive.

There are two ways to provision external storage on the Shield:
External storage which mounts the drive for use, as long as its formatted using a compatable file system. NTFS, FAT32 and exFAT are supported. As the name suggests, you can transfter files and access them, providing you give the application the correct permissions to do so. And you can connect and mount the drive to another computer or Android device whilst keeping the file system intact.
Device Storage formats the device using it’s own filesystem, which allows for additional Android applications to be installed to the external hard drive. This pairs the hard drive to the console itself, so you cannot use it as removable storage for use of another Android or any other device without reformatting.

However the Shield implemtation is not perfect and there are a few issues when it comes to pwer management. Android itself has no ability to spin down the hard drive without the use of additional software, unless the drives firmware has support to do this.
The Shield does have the option to power down the USB port when it enters sleep mode, however I found this to be rather abrupt since it will shut off the power to the drive without spinning it down first, which means it has the same effect as unplugging the drive whilst it is still spinning. This may have an affect on the life and health of the drive, since hard disks need to be spun down before they are powered off.
I did look into using the hard drive utilities to spin the drive down after a certain amount of time. I downloaded Seagate Tools to see what was offered but found this only allows control of the drives LED lights. Nothing in regard to the hard drives power management or sleep time.
The only other thing I can think of is if an app is keeping the drive alive by accessing it. I did hear that the photos app will routinely check any external drive for new content, and will check every 20 mins or so. I disabled these to check but found it made no difference, The drive still spins.


Amazon Fire TV: Fire TV set top boxes are based on the Android operating system , and Amazon sold game controllers that were compatible with the Fire TV but these have since been discontinued. Note this isn’t regarding the Fire TV stick which are quite underpowered and are designed for boomers to connect their 10 year old Bush/Alba TVs
Later Fire TV devices use the Cortex A53 which can cause issues with more demanding emulators due to the lack of performance, the second generation Fire TV cube or box are recommended.
Nexus Player: Considered to be the predecessor to the Shield, although now underpowered for most apps and emulators.
Razer Forge TV: A good alternative but sadly discontinued. The Shields is more powerful than the Forge TV and runs a later versions of android.

Atari VCS: Recently released in the US, although there is no confirmed Europe release date. Runs a customized Linux disto similar to Ubuntu which should allow for compatibility with Retroarch and Linux emualtors.
Apple TV: Not much experience with Apple gear, but jail braking is a possibility (Check software version before use) and game controllers can be used. However the software restrictions make this a huge turnoff.
Intel NUC: This is more of a DIY solution, but the form factor of the NUC devices makes them suited for set top box use. Windows would be the first option to install, but SteamOS would make more sense sine it has a TV based user interface as the default, and Debian based Linux distributions typically have good hardware and software emulator support. You would have to use your own controller, or use the Steam controller instead if you go with SteamOS.

Xbox One / Series: Can be a good alternative, they are easily the most powerful but install but setup can be longwinded. Two methods are avaliable, the dev mode or the whitelist. The dev mode route requires you to have a developer account with Microsoft, if you have used MSDN or Dreamspark (Or any Microsoft Higher education program) previously you may already be registered. This will allow you to sideload emulators onto the Xbox itself, but requires you to reboot into developer mode each time. Alternativly you can go the whitelist method, which will allow you to run these emulators in retail / regular mode, but the Xbox must be online and connected to Microsoft whenever those applications are used, and may be removed at any time. You must register with the developer who will have to approve your account in order to download and install the emulator. There are also some file system limitations with both methods, having everything stored on an external drive is reccomended, espeically for roms and game saves.

Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines

Set in one of the World Wars, here you are the commander who is responsible for the lives of up to six men, and possibly the rest of Europe.

The games uses an isometric view, similar to the Sims but without the rotatable camera. Locations start off in Europe, but also range to Africa. The game is played using an isometric 2D view from only one angle, similar to The Sims. There are a couple of FMV sequences with footage from the time period itself which is related to the mission, this makes the game a good history lesson. Unfortunately in order to run on 1998 era hardware the footage ha to be heavily compressed to fit on a CD-ROM.
The games cover art is rendered in 3D, and there are some renders of the main character themselves. Sadly this is never used in game but would be ideal if the game was to be remade.

Installing the game

The game is mainly played in single player, but a multiplayer mode using LAN is supported. Here one player runs a server which will allow the clients to connect, and missions can be played cooperatively.

The game itself


There are six character in the game, each has their own voice and skills depending on their branch in the military. Each character will have a different loadout depending on the mission, and some missions require a certain character to be above in order to complete the objective, otherwise its game over.

Green Beret: The badass from Ireland, defiantly the man you want on your side during the World War. He is one of the more common characters you will command, being present in nearly every mission. Typical load-out consists of a pistol, a decoy radio to distract enemies, a knife to stab enemies in close contact. The green beret can also climb certain surfaces without the use of a ladder and can move barrels and corpses to hide from the enemy which prevents the alarm from being set off. In certain missions he can also bury himself in the terrain (typically snow). The green beret will be the most used character in the game, so its worth keeping him alive.
The Sapper: Expert in explosives and demolitions of which there are two types of bombs that he carried, a timed explosive which is deployed and explodes after a short amount of time, and a trigger explosive which is triggered by using a switch. Grenades are also equipped which can be used to destroy a group of enemies, but the loud noise will cause the alarm to sound. The explosives are only used towards the end of the mission.
The Driver: An American soldier., Is mainly present in missions where a truck or a vehicle is being used. He also functions as the medic and can heal other commandos if they lose any health. He also carries a machine gun if things get a little heated.
The Sniper: A well mannered Sniper with a deadly weapon, also services as the teams medic if the Driver is not present on the mission
The Marine: An Australian who is able to go underwater. Ideal for maps that contain a lot of water or a river, which may be needed to navigate to certain areas. The marine carries a diving suit that allows him to swim underwater, and will sometimes have a inflatable raft that can carry up to two other commandos.
The Spy: A French former soldier who can wear the Nazi uniform as a disguise, although this only fools regular Nazi soldiers and has no effect on commanders, who will see through the disguise. Carries a syringe loaded with leather poison to silently take out enemies making I’m sort of like an assassin.
• There are two over controllable characters that appear in some missions, the Pilot which is used to escape at the end in a plane (Level 10), and the prisoner who your commando will have to rescue as part of the mission (Level 12)


First few levels are set in Norway, and feature green terrain with some parts of snow on the ground. Be mindful of this as enemies can see your footprint in the snow and will investigate. Level 5 is completely covered in snow and takes a while for them to disappear.

Waka Waka Its time for Africa

Levels 8 – 12 onwards are set in North Africa, and you will notice the new terrain as well as the new outfits your commands will be wearing. In these levels oil canister’s can be used to set building and vehicles alight, with the game considering this as an explosion and trigging an alarm. You can place multiple barriers nearby to create a chain reaction explosion.

Level 13 – 15 and onwards are set in Normandy and features a varied terrain.

Finally levels 16 – 20 are set in Germany.

There are also a few tutorial levels available to learn the game mechanics.


Guards – these will be populated throughout the map and are your main enemy. Some of these will be stationary but will others will follow a preset patrol route. There can also be a group of guards, typically 3 but sometimes up to 8 following a preset route. You will need to study their route and make sure your commando does not fall into their field of view. If the tertian contains snow, make sure they don’t catch your footprints.

Enemies can also be stationed in machine guns or armed vehicles, and may also be hiding in various building indicated by the Nazi flag.

A patrol

Alarm – If a group of soldiers notice any dead fellow officers (They shout something along the lines of uncle Lester), or hear any gunfire or explosive, an alarm will sound which will cause more enemies to appear on the map, and will often patrol more quicker. This makes it harder to complete the objects since guards will be on higher alert, and you will have to be more stealthy from then on.
Sometimes soldiers will should Alarm, but one will not sound as they are too far from base. You can use this to your advantage by studying the map to see where the nearest bunker is.
In some levels, sounding the alarm is an instant mission fail.

Game settings

Submissive to enemy halt, if your commando gets caught by the enemy, this option determines if they halt their existing command, or if they will continue as normal.

Laconic commands refers to the acknowledgment your commando will make when you issue a command, if this gets annoying you can disable it and will mute your commandos.

The third option I would assume refers to background noise, but I wasn’t able to change this option.


There are two ways to player a multiplayer game, either locally using IPX, or over the internet using TCP/IP. Both options are difficult to do since IPX support has been deprecated in modern versions of Windows (XP onwards) and the MPlayer service, which the game relied on for its central server is longer online. Trying to connect results in the above error message.

However it may be possible if you use two Windows 98 machines, and dedicate one as the server, since the server application is simply a console/MS-DOS program that runs in background.

Bust A Groove

A dancing/rhythm based game for the original PlayStation, released in Europe, US and Japan with each having some minor changed being made across the different regions. A very niche game and one that could only exist an a console.


The game is played by monitoring the beats within rhythm, there are four beats. You press the directional buttons and on the fourth beat you press either the Circle or Square button to execute your character dance move. Whilst this seems easy a lot of the timing is based on the current song being played, and on some songs this can be difficult (Like Kelly’s stage, which is at a slower BPM than the other songs) Timing is crucial and on some emulators its hard to play the game because the delay in response makes it near impossible to play. This is something to consider when playing on a system that has wireless controllers. You can look at the two faces icons at the top left or right of the screen for an idea of which beat you are on. The green bar that shows the buttons to enter also flash to indicate the beat.

There is only one round per level, and score is determined by the complexity of the dance moves performed. The commands to enter are displaced on screen, and after completing the first two combos, you have two possible combinations to enter which alter the dance moves your character does, some being more complex.

Its possible for your enemy player to attack interrupt and break your combo for a maximum of two chances per round. If your quick to respond, you can jump and avoid the attack by pressing triangle. You cannot attack or be attacked during a solo. Otherwise if your hit you will lose whatever combo you were building and will have to start again.

A normal play-through features 12 levels, each getting harder as you progress. Capoeira serves as the mid boss, whilst Robo-Z serves as the final boss. Completing the main game mode unlocks that character for Dance View use, which is where you can select that character and crate your own sequence using the different dance moves that character has.

A Jammer in action, this interrupts your rivals dance move

Fever Time: If you score high enough, your character will enter what is called fever time at the end of the game, this is a bonus dance moves that your character does and does not require any additional input from you, the player.


Each charicters has their own dance moveset, along with a unique stage and music. Except for Columbo and Burger Dog, which reuse Shorty’s and Hamm’s music and stage respectivly.

  • Heat: The poster character of the game, basically the Kazaya of Bust A Groove (For those who are familiar with Tekken). Supposedly got indo a race-car accident and is now able to expel flames from his body. Dances to the break-dance style.
  • Frida: A Hippie/Beech chick who lives on a beech shack and is a keen graphic artist.When you attain a high score a tropical storm blows her shack to bits, leaving her homeless.
  • Pinky: A Dancer, looks like RuPaul
  • Hamm: A hiphop rapper who loves burgers, sounds like Kermit the Frog. Despite his size he is able to pull off some moves
  • Strike: A gangster rapper, inspired by Snopp Dogg and Coolio. Drinks from a flash in the Japaneese version which is missing in the US/Europe versions.
  • Shorty: A 12 year old girl who deiced to enter a dance competition, has a pet mouse
  • Kelly: Blonde woman who has a fetish for milkshake and baby items, her level can potentially cause a seizure if you’re doing well.
  • Gas-O: Wears a gas suit, some sort of scientist?
  • Hiro: Disco dancer, also has a hairy chest. The official description of him shows hes is shy and works with his computer each night (On the disco Reddit?)
  • Kitty N:Might be A Furry? Has a catchy theme music
  • Capoeria: Two aliens (Lala and Kiki) who serve as the mid-boss. You can guess what their dance style is. Unlocked when you complete the game on normal.They have supposedly come to earth to collect enough billboard to construct a giant fan (To combat global warming?)
  • Robo-Z: A vogue dancing robot, and the final boss of the game. Unlocked when you beat the game on hard.
  • Columbo: Unlocked when you beat the game with Shortly, her pet mouse/ferret.
  • BurgerDog: You can see him in Ham’s stage behind the counter. Can be unlocked by playing with Hamm once you have unlocked Robo-Z, uses Hamms move set.

Screenshots are captured from the Mednafen emulator running on elementaryOS, using the Mednaffle fronted, up scaled to 2x the resolution

You can choose from the default soundtrack which features vocals, or just the instrumental versions. You can also hear the various samples and sound-effects.


There are references to an arcade version of the game that was released in Japan only, most likely running on Namco System 10 or Sony ZN hardware which was PlayStation based. There isn’t much footage of this available online and there are no MAME roms that exist so I would assume this game was never fully released, or was only produced in small numbers.

The Sims Bustin Out

The first exclusive console release of The Sims, and sequel to the original console port. The Sims Bustin Out reuses a lot of assets from the original game with many objects returning along with their animations, however a revised user interface for both Live and the Build/Buy modes. Sims themselves have been redesigned along with new hairstyles, customizations and clothes styles.

The game builds from the previous console instalment and a lot of objects looks familiar. An improvement is the lighting engine, sunrise and sunsets are gradual and look more natural comparted to the previous title, which would blank the screen whilst it switch to day or night mode. The lots themselves are more details with various background elements that set the environment, like moms house being set on a barn, Clubb Rubb being set in a city downtown, Shiny Things Labs being set in a waste plant and Casa Caliente set on a beach.

Bustin Out Mode

The main game mode that is similar to Get A life mode from the first release. You start off at Mom’s house and then progress onto different lots, gaining several job promotions along the way. As you gain promotions and unlock goals you will unlock new objects and social interactions, many of which were exclusive to The Sims Bustin out.


Like the previous game, Most levels had a few common goals that most be completed in order to unlock new locations, social interactions and objects

Parties can be started by using the Throw Party option on the telephone, which is available from 8am to 11pm. Once started, a random collection of sims will arrive to your house (Just like the MySpace bulletin parties back in the day). To throw a good parties you have to keep your guests needs satisfied. Complete this by serving a few meals (Pizza, BBQ burgers or a meal from the fridge), have plenty of toilets of which you may want to build more outside the house since some lots only have one bathroom. A large table with plenty of room, a few free counters and a dishwasher are also highly recommended. A hot tub is a must, although its quite expensive to buy. Lastly have some music in the background and some entertainment objects. Either a good TV, the unlockable game console,

Its worth noting that if your guests motives fall low, your guests will leave automatically. You can call sims individually if you require a specific guest, which is needed for a few goals. A little cheat you can do is using the Aromaster, and choose the Juniper and Rosemary setting in increate your sims energy in that room.

Upgrade or make improvements: Just spend a certain amount of cash on new objects, or sell and buy new objects to replace the old ones.

Get to know (Sim) Better: Make friends with the named sim, this normally unlocks a new social interaction or a item of clothing.


Dream Club: The opening dream sequence where you are in a nightclub. You have to kiss your admirer, who turns out to be Candy/Peter from Free Street. This lot is very similar to 3 Free Street in Free play mode judging by the environment surrounding the lot. Sadly this lot does not appear again, the closest to it would be Club Rubb.

Mom’s House: the starting level, House is like a cottage barn. No bus will arrive here for work but is a great place to upgrade your skills, and if your money goes under 200 you will receive a phone call will a reward as a way to earn money. The only annoying bit is Mom like to turn the jukebox/radio on at night.

Mimi’s House: Unlocked after you get a job, some careers will branch here. It’s a decent lot with two bedrooms so there’s plenty of space. Mimi herself is annoying and will constantly make meals and try to interact with out, often standing in the way. The house on the other hard is pretty much complete with little to no improvements needed, its just a bit too .. pink? Probably just purchase a computer or a skill building item, and change the carpet to a more masculine colour.

Dudley’s Trailer: Also unlocked after you get a job, this lot is used for certain careers and is set on a desert trailer park.  Like Mimi, Dudley will also try to interact with you and will cook food constantly. As for the lot itself it’s a bit shit, but not the worst the game has to offer, you will have to clean up the entire lot since there’s a lot of trash. You will want to improve the kitchen area, and replace the couch for a more comfortable one. Also build or expand the bathroom, since sims tend to get stuck in there due to how cramped it is, maybe create an outhouse keeping with the trailer park theme.

Goth Manor: Remember the Goth family from the first Sims game? They reappear here albeit without Cassandra. This might mean the game was set before Cassandra was born, or they just abandoned her. Bella and Mortimer are present, along with a large synthesizer that they love to play at 2am of the morning, thankfully this is in a separate room and won’t wake your sim which is surprising considering how loud it is. You can only control your sim and Mortimer (or Bella if your sim is female) so one if them is guaranteed to be playing the synth. Also if you invite guests round, they start playing the synth too.

Like other Goth households in the sims, this one is haunted and has a chance of ghosts appearing at night. There is even a mission goal for communicating and convincing the ghosts to leave by using the crystal ball.

Studio 8: This is supposed to be an art gallery although I found it a pain to live in since half the lot is dedicated for the gallery. Not much fun items here so you will need to buy a TV or have your sim paint on the easel to increate their fun, which wont be possible if they are in a bad mood. Just don’t sell the art items, since they tend to increase in value over time.

Toane’s Gym: Another crap lot to live in since this is supposed to be a gym but you only have one back room for all sims on a lot to sleep in. It would make sense it this game supported two-story buildings so you could at least have an apartment on the second floor instead of having a couple of rooms squished at the back.

At this point its worth mentioning some of these levels from this point forward have goals relating to marriage, you only have to get married once and it will unlock on every lot you move in. Same applies for the children goal.

Casa Caliente: Some sort of beach shack, set on a tropical beach. You will need to purchase two beds since Malcom will take the existing (unlockable) bed. Overall this is a nice lot to play on since its set on a beech and you have background noise of the waves to listen to.

Club Rubb: A nightclub, this is similar but not the same as the club in the dream sequence when you first started the game. Sadly Malcom takes the dance floor and the laser thing. There are also no bedrooms, and there is some hut at the back of the lot with a recliner and a toaster oven. There are also no bathrooms or showers.

Shiny Things Labs: My favorite lot, this is themed after a desert laboratory, like the Curious family from The Sims 2, Strangetown neighborhood. Its also well equipped with beds, proper bathrooms. Only thing its missing is a living area but there’s plenty of items to increase your sims fun rating.

This maid is fearless

Tinsel Bluffs: looks like a Hollywood themed house, with a garden that overlooks the city. Plenty of well equipped items on this lot although Malcom does take the high end TV.

Pixel Acres: A nudist colony, bet you’d never thought you would see this on The Sims. Thankfully the sim themselves are censored. A gripe with this levels is there’s near to no fucking rooms! That means if you purchase a TV or a stereo , ensure it is turned off otherwise it will wake your sim, since it and the sims beds are in the same room (Outside, which the game considered to be one large room). Also make sure you hire a maid, or ensure you clean up after your sim since dirty plates will cause the room score to plummet. Honestly this is one of the worst levels of the game since there are little rooms built. I ended up building a small hut just for my sim and partner. Chase and Ying were left outside however, if they choose to live like that that’s their choice.

The Octagon: This is a military themed lot, similar to the Grunt family in The Sims 2, you might want to upgrade some of the objects here since the beds are quite basic. Everything else seems to be Ok.

Malcom’s Mansion: The final level of the game, and it’s a nice one being set in a typical mansion. Still only one floor though. The good news is Malcom gets kicked out of the house, allowing for your sim to move in freely.

Free Play Mode

This is the sandbox mode of the Sims game and is quite a downgrade compared to the previous release. You only have three lots to play with on this game, compared to the six on the previous console instalment. And you have a different set of careers in this mode which we will talk about later.

The game save for this mode is intertwined with the bustin out mode which means sims from that mode will appear once your sim progresses to a certain point. The intention is that your player sim can marry and have one of those free play sims move in with your sim, rather than being stuck with your premade sim.

Up to 8 save games can be made, when you take into account the three lots per sim you have up to 24 different sims that can be saved. However only three can be interacted with at a time, its not possible for sims from one save file to appear in another save. Also each save games will have its objects locked again, unless you unlock them again in Bustin Out Mode.

Honestly this mode seems to restrictive and feels like it was tacked on at the last minute. For open ended gameplay you are best of sticking with the PC version of the Sims, or if you prefer playing on s console or like 3D graphics, the original Sims release for consoles.


Tutti: A sausage party consisting of four males, intended to be married by a female sim in Bustin Out mode. If you have played the previous console instalment you will recognise some of the names

Frutti: All female version of the Tutti family


There are seen new careers in Bustin Out mode and five new careers in Free Play mode. These careers remain exclusive to the game and do not appear in the PC counterpart. I’m not sure why the careers are separated by the game mode, as it would have been fun to play this in both Bustin Out and Free Play mode.

Bustin Out Mode:

Paramilitary, Movie Star, Mad Scientist, Jock, Gangster, Fashion Victim and Counter Culture.

Free Play Mode:

Slacker, Swindler, Rock Star, Computer Geek and Artist.


A few unique objects that are exclusive to the game, many of these are related to skill building

Tumultech Sim-Phony Synthesizer

Like the piano it increases the sims creative skill. The tune that it plays depends on your sims creative level. Bella and Mortimer love to play this at 2am of the morning

Crystal Ball

Can be used to tell your sims fortune and to communicate with the dead, required to complete a goal at Goth manor.

Gene Genie Incubator

Use this to create your sims logic skill and to create a mutant plant which will eat your sims trash. Unlocked after being promoted to virus breeder in the Scientist career.

Sham-Shag Polar Rug

A carpet for your sims to relax on, required to complete a goal as Casa Caliente

Diving board

Sims can perform a single, double or a triple flip, which is required for a later goal. Sims can die if they perform tricks if their needs are low.

Tappan Yakki

Great for parties since it can serve 5 people at a time and is very satisfying for hunger. This can also be used for an outdoor table

Ping pong table

Another fun group activity that raises fun and social with other sims.


Multiple sims can play with this. Unlocked by promotion to Love Guru in the Counter Culture Career Path

Drink’s bar

Also good for parties, sims can make and serve drinks for other sims and builds the cooking skill

Floyd Co. laser Light Show

Emits laser effects and can boost your sims mood. Unlocked at Fingernail Painter in the Fashion Victim Career path.

Kraftking Potters Wheel

Like the artist block, finished pots can be sold. Higher the creative skill, the more valuable the pots will be.

Miss Gyrotic

A programmable robot, similar to the Servo object in The Sims Livin Large. Can be set to clean, socialize and guard. Unlocked after being promoted to Robotician in the Scientist career.

Gyrosport Abdominator

Looks similar to the one in The Sims 2, builds the body skill the fastest. Unlocked by completing the “Seek and Destroy Bioweapons” goal

Hellagraphix 1024 Diamond Edition

A holograph powered game console, does not require a TV and good for playing with multiple sims. Service NPCs can also play with this in a group session. Unlocked following promotion to Boot Polisher in the Paramilitary career.

Sonic Shower

Also in the first console game but not the PC release. Supposedly vibrates all the dirt of your sim with sound, ideal for sims with low neat personality since it does not flood.

Nostalgico Microphone

Fastest way to build the charisma skill, unlocked after getting promoted to Sex Symbol in the Movie Star Career Path.

Information Overload by Bu Butubu

A TV with 9 screens and a snack dispenser, unlocked after reaching Head Coach in the Jock Career Path

Console Specific Features

PlayStation 2 – Online Weekend: Exclusive to the PS2 version, this was an online mode that used the PS2 network adaptor to connect online. This has since ben shut down, but has been resurrected using the same netcode as the Sims Online ran on.

Strangely the Xbox version lacks any sort of online play, which is an odd decision by EA since every Xbox has an ethernet port and was designed for online play, whilst older PS2 units require a network adaptor to go online (The PS2 slim wasn’t a thing when this game was released) Therefore the install base for online play would have been smaller for the PS2 compared to the Xbox, despite the PS2 selling much more consoles.

Xbox – High Definition: The Xbox version is capable of running in high definition with the use of a component cable for the NTSC version of the console. PAL/Europe consoles have this feature disabled since HD wasn’t a standard until the launch of the Xbox 360, but can be enabled by softmodding the console and changing the consoles EEPROM to NTSC and using the component cable. The only issues is the UI does not scale very well with the opening FMV being centered in a pilliarbox, but the 3D environment itself does and is a noticeable improvement with the higher resolution.

(How does this compare to emulated Gamecube/PS2 versions? that are upscaled)

Gamecube – Gameboy Link: The Gamecube version can link with the GameBoy advance version to exchange minigames.

Screenshots from the Gamecube version, captured on the Nintendo Wii using DIOS MIOS. Textures are slightly downgraded, but is hardly noticeable compared to the Xbox version.

Common Annoyances

Lights – They keep breaking. Literally after a few days of your sim being on a lot all the light will be out, with the interaction ‘Replace Bulb’ needed to fix the light. This is common amongst all three console versions and require your sim to constantly repair the lights otherwise the lot will be in darkness. Hiring a handyman will help, but they will soon break, one by one. I even had one break a couple of seconds after it was fixed.

Gossip – This social interaction is a huge pain. First is every sim loves to do it, it’s the most used autonomous social interaction so your sims will often be doing it. The second issue is the time it takes to perform the interaction, sims will often gossip 3-4 times per interaction. Lastly its hard to cancel, literally nothing can stop this interaction once it starts. I’ve had sims miss work because they were stuck gossiping with a sim

Dialogue Boxes – Affects Bustin out mode. NPC sims will often try to tell to you directly though the game, usually by telling you a certain hints on how to complete certain goals or general game mechanics like taking care of your needs. Usually this is fine if there was a way to disable them, but you can’t.

Object Limiter: See the bar on the left when you’re in buy mode? That’s the object limiter since these console has a restriction on the amount of objects that could be placed because of the limited Ram these console had. It’s the same throughout despite the console having varying amounts of RAM (PS2 had 32MB, Xbox 64MB)