Counter Factor is a bad hack because people embraced it.

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Counter Factor is a bad hack because people embraced it.

Post by Ambient_Malice » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:44 am

It goes without saying that any hack which screws with timings is going to cause problems somewhere along the line. But the Counter Factor hack is extremely bad because it became perceived as some sort of secret sauce which would magically make N64 games run better. Unwitting people took already shaky emulation and flushed the last shreds of accuracy down the toilet in their quest for smoother framerates.

Case in point - Perfect Dark. Perfect Dark will run at 40-60ish FPS with CF1. Since the FPS genre is very framerate-oriented, this was seen as a huge blessing. The glaring problem is that Perfect Dark doesn't like CF1. At all. Some games handle CF1 with no issues. Some games run best on CF1. The fact N64 emulators are built around a timing hack is arguably not a great idea, but in some cases, there are no real side effects.

Not with Perfect Dark. CF1 causes effects such as music failing to play, all the slow motion effects failing to work, and the game's overall speed feeling "off" sometimes. Yet people are widely oblivious. (This WAS a game that had broken lighting, coronas, and framebuffer effects on Jabo, though. After years of broken emulation, people forget how a game is supposed to look.)

In retrospect, angrylion's RDP for normal N64 emulators is a blessing because it allows us to check how N64 games are meant to look while testing Cen64. Otherwise we'd have no guideline other than using actual N64s and comparing pictures. But that's a bit of a tangent.

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