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Turning to the dark side, playing console games with RetroArch
or how RetroArch is awesome!

Date: 2024-06-02

Topic: playing console games as PC gamer is so funny, and sometimes fun! ;)

I am a guy, admittedly, who cannot finish games. This year I finished like 3, which is more than in most year or decade before, probably. I have a long backlog of games I want to play.

I am a PC gamer for all of my life, but I had the chance to play some console games as well. I was always clumsy with the controller, much more comfortable with the keyboard. And I also admit, I blame the console platforms popularity for the simplified and mainstreamed games. Yes, I am PCMR all the way through.

Yesterday I watched Under the Mayo's video about the Silent Hill remake and movie news, because I like the guy. He has good critical eye, and he knows the survival horror genre.

Somehow I caught the Silent Hill bug. I like the genre, but I missed out on a lot, since I think it was more prominent on console than on PC. I played the og Alone in the Dark 1-2 mainly, some of the Resident Evil stuff (2nd game is my favorite, still not finished), Amnesia: The Dark Descent (and SOMA) is my favorite, alongside Alien: Isolation.

Here comes RetroArch

Luckily when there is an old, but popular series, you have tons of help from the fans and I found a guide how to play the og Silent Hill with RetroArch. The guide is using RetroArch via Steam, but I am not going to do that.

Unfortunately I had to work on RetroArch a little, because on Void there is not libretro package, and I had to make sure the Online Updater of RA works. For that, I made sure everything I download lands in my ~/.config/retroarch/<target> directory, and now everything works. I still don't have fancy UI, but the basic one, with different colors are more than enough for me.

RetroArch also doesn't have a fresh package on Void, so I am using the officially supplied AppImage.

When I started I had no menu icons, just black squares. In order to fix that (and probably it fixes many other problems), you have to go to Settings -> Directory and choose the right directory for each thing. In my case it was /usr/share/retroarch, but for some reason the program couldn't write there, so I changed it to my home directory:


You can put those whatever place you want, as long as your user has writing permission for that directory.

Following the guide wasn't hard, looking for ROMs was much harder.

Playing Silent Hill

I didn't fix the 4:3, I was grow up with it, doesn't bother me that I have black space on the side. I am using the US version of the game, and after playing it for a while, it works great. I have no crashes or anything.

My biggest enemy is of course the controller. I use it as it was intended, moving with the d-pad, but you can make the analogue joystick work as well.

I really like the atmosphere of this game. I previously saw gameplay, but as most of the time, I forgot it. I am this way, if I am not playing, I usually forgot stuff. But when I play, the good memories staying with me.

So yeah, Silent Hill is definitely stays on my "playlist". But then another childhood memory popped up…

Gran Turismo 2

This is such a classic game, I saw people playing it all the time. And because I am an idiot I am doing GT mode, because why not. Even nearly an hour later, I still only have bronze rated license. This game is so much fun! There are so many cars to choose from, even from the start (which is 10k in money), that I went with a Trueno.


Never saw it, but heard many good things about it, and I love stealth games. Failed the training first time, has some weird controls, but I will definitely return to it.

What else?

I will look for other games to try and play with RetroArch. I already made a shortcut for it, because I know I will use it frequently, whenever I have the itch to go for some dark side gaming. I definitely try and go RE 2, as I didn't like the remake much.

In the meantime, All hail PCMR!


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