Big Blue

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Big Blue Screenshot
Big Blue Vertical Screenshot

Big Blue is both a frontend and a game for Microsoft Windows that attempts to let you easily play games on an arcade cabinet while recreating the aesthetics and feel of 16-bit arcade games. One of the goals of Big Blue is to be completely emulator-independent. Big Blue is a generic program launcher, so it can launch any program you can launch from the command line.

Big Blue is resolution and refresh rate independent, so it can run at 320x240@60hz on a 15khz arcade monitor, 2560x1440@144hz on a 144hz LCD monitor, and at 3840x2160@60hz on a 4k LCD monitor. It works equally well on both horizontally and vertically mounted screens, and it always displays at the correct aspect ratio. When you run Big Blue on a vertically oriented monitor, even the preview snapshots are adjusted for 3:4 aspect ratio so that you can display snapshots of vertical games properly. Great care was taken to avoid distorting images.

Big Blue is very unique in that it not only looks and feels like a 16-bit arcade game, but it is also a game itself. In Big Blue, Player 1 and 2 can fight each other to determine who gets to select the game.

Even though Big Blue has only a single theme, the frontend has a very intricate theme with many features: it has multiple layers of parallax scrolling, its appearance changes depending on the time of day, most of the screen is animated to reproduce visuals from Street Fighter 2, Rampage, Final Fight, and R-Type, and it even has an elaborate shutdown sequence when you exit the frontend or shut down your arcade cabinet.

The home page for Big Blue is

 Visit the Front-End index.