Free-to-download would be better, but thanks for letting me know about study hall. I might order in place of the test ROM then, and see if Tapedump can substitute for a Kazzoo dumper.Doesn't Study Hall use the self-flashable configuration? Or do you specifically mean free-to-download NES software supporting self-flashable mapper 30?
In my opinion, yes. But it varies greatly depending on how much you are pushing the system. And arguably emulators are very advanced now and suffice for most uses. I mostly use them myself now, whereas ten years ago I would be primarily using the real system.The free test option is emulators. (Is relying on a PowerPak or Everdrive emulation of flash ROM behaviour really any better than an emulator?
And yes, Powerpak/Everdrive have the main weakness of being an imperfect clone of the particular mapper you're using. But mapper behaviour is less likely to be a critical part of your game design than PPU/APU quirks.
But there is also something special about seeing your game actually run on the real system - even knowing it should match emulation, it's only when you see it running on the real thing that I truly get the "yeah, this really does run on my childhood fav console!"-feeling". It's a motivational boost that is more about emotion than logic. But your mileage may vary here, of course.