Yesterday with joyous glee we reported that Sega Forever had launched on smart devices, and we touched on some comments from Sega Networks' chief marketing officer Mike Evans about the possibilities of bringing the collection of games to Switch as they are built using Unity.
However, it seems that the wheels have already come off the Sega Forever train in a fashion not entirely dissimilar what we experienced with Capcom's woeful efforts with Mega Man Mobile earlier this year. In a nutshell, the emulation is really subpar. Don't just take our word for it though, Digital Foundry's John Linneman is a trusted authority on such matters:
Expanding on this, Linneman says:
The games are designed to run at 60 frames per second. This emulator tries to do that but drops frames resulting in something that looks more like ~45 fps or so. There are loads of dropped frames, hitches and skips, 30fps is bad, but an even, stable 30fps would have been better than this. The issue here is that it skips and stutters during gameplay. And when a notification occurs, it gets much worse. So it never plays smoothly.
At this point you might be asking yourself how Sega managed to screw all this up so badly. Surely it should be able to emulate a Mega Drive game on a smartphone in 2017? It seems part of the answer to this is in the hasty decision to use Unity for the project, rather than RetroArch which would have been a much better fit.
Here's what the RetroArch dev's had to say:
This feels kinda like watching a trainwreck unfold. Sorry to all the people that are experiencing subpar performance with this Unity thing; they could have been using RetroArch right now if they hadn't been so stubbornly insistent on demanding we relicense our entire program to something that would strip us of all our rights, on top of some other unreasonable things like not showing any branding, etc. Hell, they could have had this running on the desktop right now on top of consoles and maybe some netplay as well. Oh well...
It appears that Sega did initially reach out to RetroArch for assistance with getting Sega Forever off the ground, however there were numerous reasons why the two parties could not come to terms on this. It's a crying shame as we initially felt quite positive about the whole idea of Sega Forever, but even starting with the emulation of 16-bit classics, the execution has been truly woeful.
Have you tried out any of the Sega Forever games for yourself yet? Let us know your thoughts on this whole debacle with a comment below.