I am a huge MAME fan for a really long time. I love the idea of having MAME games available to play on my regular TV via a console that's always plugged in. Playing the latest and most CPU-demanding MAME games on the PC is great fun, but nothing beats sitting on the couch with the kids and playing some classic arcade games.
I am currently making my own compatibility list, just to be thorough. Starting with the latest complete build of MAME roms, I am using ROMLister to make category-specific groups of roms (sorted by type - platform, fighting, racing, etc - this is what ROMLister does very well). I do not include any clones in these gropus (I relalize that some unique games will get overlooked this way, like Hanglyman, for example, but I can always go back and get them individually if I like.)
Then I drop the category-specific roms onto the HDD, and play them one ata time, seing which ones play, which ones crash, and which ones need additional files. I make a note of every rom, by rom name, whether it is working or not. When I am done with the group (takes several hours at least, usually over a couple of days), I attach the HDD to the PC, delete the games that don't work, copy/archive the games that do work off of the WII USB drive, and load up the next group of roms, and repeat the process.
I'm about halfway done, and have collected about 200 roms that work guaranteed. When I'm all done, I'll obviously have to choose which games I want to put onthe system, since there is a 150 game limit. I also take personal notes about which games are lame, soso, great, etc. This will help in building a complete set of enjoyable, playable roms!
One thing I think is very important to know about playing MAME games on the Wii is, it seems that the Wii's memory gets clogged occasionally (sometimes frequently), and so a game that is reported as being unplayable, wil play, if you refresh the Wii's memory. So,m ,I have gotten into the habit of exiting back to the Wii main menu every two or three games I play, just to be safe. Then I load up the HBC and start MAME again. It takes a little while longer, but it is worth it to know that the games are playing or failing for sure. And, it beats having to get up and hard-boot the Wii because it hard crashed!
I haven't done a close comparison with my own compatibility results and the games listed at the beginning of this thread, but I will say that the list there is so exhaustive, it's a little overwhelming. I personally think there's no real need to know that every clone of a certain game works - as long as the parent works, you probably won't be wasting precious rom space loading up thre or four variants of the same exact game! But like I said, there are some exceptions - another great clone that is much more of its own unique game is Monkey Kong, a clone of Donkey Kong.
Anyway, I just wanted to add my two cents to this thread, and give feed back to all those retro game lovers like myself.
I also wanted to as if anyone has had trouble with v 1.o of Wii MAME - I haven't been able to get it to work, I consistently get a "cannot find roms" message. So I have stuck with v .6, which seems to be working well enough. Any feedback on this issue as well would be appreciated.
Thanks, and good luck to everyone with their MAMEing.