higan (formerly known as bsnes), is an emulator of multiple Nintendo video consoles.
The video consoles of the Japanese company Nintendo, are perhaps the most well-known worldwide. This is due to its long track record in the industry, and to the great quality of for their video games and their consoles. Since its first video game console, the Famicom, or NES, launched in the year 1983 to the more modern Wii U, Nintendo has launched a dozen of game consoles and thousands of video games to the market. For those nostalgic who want to recover the classic Nintendo video games there are systems of emulation.
higan is an emulator for Nintendo classic game consoles, with which we will be able to revive the experience of playing the games of the following consoles:
- NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) or Famicom (Family Computer): this was the first video game console launched by Nintendo in the year 1983. It was the console that launched Mario Bros to stardom, and where there were and are some of the best franchises in video game history such as: Legend of Zelda saga, Castlevania, Mega Man, Metroid, Ninja Gaiden, Kirby, etc.
- SNES (Super Nintendo or Super Famicom): this was the 16-bit console launched in 1990 by Nintendo, and it improved significantly in all aspects of its predecessor. Highlighted many titles of high-quality: Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Chrono Trigger, Kirby's Dream Land, etc.
- Super Game Boy: this was a device that was introduced into the slot on the Super Nintendo and allowed to play video games for the Game Boy on the Super Nintendo. Improving the quality of the sound and in some cases including colors, which originally could not be seen in Game Boy.
- BS-X Satellaview: this was a system that only came out in Japan and that allowed to connect the console by satellite and download some exclusive games such as: BS Zelda No Densetsu.
- Sufami Turbo: this was another peripheral only came out in Japan, and allowed to play games that were developed for this system, such as: Gegege No Kitarou.
- Game Boy: portable console Nintendo launched in 1989.
- Game Boy Color: portable console, which was launched in 1998 and which allowed to play games with color.
- Game Boy Advance: portable console launched on the market in 2001, and who had the power of a Super Nintendo.
- Nintendo DS: portable launched in 2004 and consisted of two screens. Similar style of the old Game & Watch.
This emulator is notable for the fidelity to emulate Super Nintendo. This is a feature that many users do not like, because it requires a more powerful computer that other emulators, and many others love to, since the emulation is almost perfect, getting an experience as close as possible to play with the original console.
The good news is that the emulator comes with 3 modes of execution:
- Balanced: This is the mode that is typically used to play, because it is the most balanced of the three. Allowing us to play on any modern PC, with a system of emulation very faithful to the original.
- Precision: This mode is the most accurate of all, it emulates the 100% capacity of a Super Nintendo, getting the emulation most faithful of all. We require a very powerful machine to be able to run the games.
- Performance: This mode is ideal for those low-power PCs, because this mode not makes a perfect console emulation, and therefore it give us a better performance.
This emulator is the continuation of the emulator bsnes. It is the same emulator but with a new name. The latest version of bsnes was the v091, and the first of higan is the v092, so we can see the continuity of the old emulator. The author of the program decided to change the name because it believed that bsnes did not reflect exactly the evolution of the project, as currently emulates more systems in addition to the Super Nintendo.
The use of the emulator is simple, although in the current version (v094) there is the drawback that we will only be able to add a ROM every time. Which is a drawback if we have a huge ROMs library. In future emulator versions, it will include the option of importing multiple ROMs at once.
In the program's settings menu we can select Video rendering system (OpenGL, Direct3D, DirectDraw, GDI), and sound system (XAudio2, DirectSound).
We can configure the keys that we will use in each of the systems (NES, SNES, etc.), both for player 1 and player 2. We can of course use a USB Joystick or PC 's keyboard. We can also define a series of keyboard shortcuts where we can configure the reset of the console, pause emulation or save the state of the game.
Without doubt higan is a great emulator that stands out above all by the quality of the emulation of Super Nintendo video game console.