Newest Review: ... machine. However, this is merely a formality, and is widely ignored by most MAME users. In addition to all of the old arcade games, M... more
Avoid missing MAME for hi score.
Member Name: SqueakyG
Date: 02/04/01, updated on 02/04/01 (634 review reads)
Advantages: Free, perfect arcade emulator, tons of fun.
Disadvantages: You need a powerful PC and lots of RAM for the bigger hungrier games.
Not just retro, but authentically retro...
Most of us have probably wanted to play all those old games, the FOUNDING games, at one point or another. We hear of how important Space Invaders, Asteroids and Pac-Man were to videogaming, and we try to find them. Some adults might even be old enough to remember playing them in the arcade twenty years ago. No doubt most of you have played copies and clones that only hold your interest for five minutes.
MAME is the real thing. It is a way to play the genuine arcade games on your PC, and most of the classics are supported.
There are many versions of MAME and DOS is supported well. However, I think most people will want to use MAME32 for Windows. The program is fairly small and efficient, considering how much it does. There are no ROMs supplied with the MAME download, because it is technically illegal to own ROMS. You can download all the supported ROMS on a "sister" website, www.mame.dk.
The latest version of MAME supports over 4000 ROMS, though a lot of these are clones and variations of games, so perhaps the list is more like 2500. All the old classics and important games are supported, and for some reason they are much more enjoyable when you know they are the GENUINE versions. You might think Space Invaders gets boring after five minutes... extend that to thirty or forty minutes when you play the real version here. You might find yourself playing all the old games like Asteroids and Frogger for a lot longer than you thought possible. It's still just a diversion for a few hours, but that's great value when it's free.
Most people think MAME is only for these very old games, but it also supports a lot of arcade games from the 80's and early 90's. Games like Out Run, Golden Axe, Strider and The Simpsons make you feel like you're standing in an early 90's arcade. Be warned though, the newer the game, the more RAM and processing power you need.
An older PC can't handle them.
MAME32 does lots of cool things. You can record avi files of your games during play, you can re-assign all the buttons, you can play around with the graphics, and you can take snapshots. The interface takes a while to get used to because of the way it sorts all your ROMS into lists. Conveniently, MAME uses the ROMs zip files, so you don't even need to unzip them.
Dooyoo opinions are supposed to balance positive and negative points, but I'm sorry, MAME is almost impossible to fault. If you have a fairly good PC and an urge to re-live the glory days of gaming, MAME is excellent.