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Old April 7th, 2011, 04:33 PM
Aksurtep's Avatar
Aksurtep
Sinful Disciple of Despair
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: In a place far, far away...
Age: 22
Gender: Male
Nature: Quirky
After careful consideration I decided to write an entire review of both aforementioned emulators, as well as rate them with a number (including decimals) between 0 and 5.

~~~Desmume 0.9.7:~~~

The lastest version runs all of the DS generation 4 & 5 Pokemon games on my laptop with no issues whatsoever. This is not their stable release yet, but it is still much better than it used to be. With my system specs (at the end of this post) it runs the game at a minimal speed of 97% unless I open at least 3 desmume windows at once, at which point it begins to slow down quite a bit.

Pros:
~Runs all of the Pokemon games on the DS with no glitches (unless caused by a missing file or an error), and even bypasses the anti-piracy measures on some without a patch or fix to the roms (In the cases of Heart Gold, Soul Silver and Platinum)
~Runs every final fantasy game for the DS without glitches, no questions asked.
~Fully emulates or at least runs every game made for the DS thus far.
~This emulator has save states, meaning, that you can save at any time during game play.
~Has a clean and crisp graphical appearance for an emulator that even can compare to the real system in many cases.
~The sound system is good enough that you could not tell the difference between this and an actual Nintendo DSi even with Acoustic Noise Cancelling Over-ear headphones from Bose (I tested this myself by plugging my Bose headphones into my DSi and listening, and then plugging into my computer. There is no obvious difference, and even if there are, they are too slight and the best of headphones won't even reveal them.)
~The cheat interface is intelligent enough to tell the difference between a RAW format Action Replay code and a normal one, unlike No$Gba which requires you to check a box to tell it whether or not the code is in RAW format.

Cons:
~Will not run at normal speeds on slower machines. Period. (unless you somehow modify it and/or use external memory, such as a flash drive) The only reason I can run games so well on it is because I spent over 1200 dollars on a new laptop for college (and of course gaming) see my specs in the last section.
~No wifi support as of yet...

Conclusion: This is a very good emulator, and even though it seems less stable at first, if you can run it at normal speeds you will find it to be very stable and reliable, as well as clean in appearances and musical capability.

My Rating: 4.7 out of 5.0 points

Explanation for my rating:
All of the pros are certainly and indisputably good, and although the only real con is that it lacks wifi support, that is what deducted 0.3 points from the rating. Some games for the DS are so reliant on wifi, that some require you to use it just to beat the games. This can be a hassle, but it's not worth throwing this emulator out for, because No$Gba doesn't support wifi either, and since their team is pretty inactive, i doubt they will ever complete it. On the other hand, Desmume's team has still been making somewhat-frequent releases and the staff members have been around occasionally in their forums recently, and judging by their history as a steadily-working team, I believe that they'll eventually solve this problem. When that happens, I'll give them another review.

~~~No$Gba 0.2.6a:~~~

Pros:
~You can adjust the emulation speed.
~You can rotate the screens. (It really helps a lot, with a game that would normally be more annoying than anything else - Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword)
~You can use cheat engine to mess around and make cheat codes in just about every game because the emulator makes most of the values that can be turned into cheat codes into lines of hexadecimal code, after being translated from the game's native programming language, in order to emulate games and give the emulator the ability to use cheat codes.

Cons:
~Just about every game that has anti-piracy measures will not work on this emulator unless you patch or fix the rom itself. (after all, the anti-piracy measures were made specifically to at LEAST stop no$gba from freely running DS games. Nintendo isn't that stupid, guys.)
~Some games have very limited functionality because of playability issues with this emulator's touch screen, which is due to the inability to resize the given window however you want to. So in other words playing The Legend of Zelda - Phantom Hourglass on the no$gba... is a royal pain in the butt.
~3D Graphical support is very primitive even in terms of an emulator, causing a lot of games to be choppy, sloppy or even nearly unplayable.
~The sound capabilities of this emulator are very primitive, and no matter what game you play it will never sound nearly as good as on the real thing, or even as on a decent released version of Desmume.
~It requires you to find your own NDS Bios files and plugins, which are not readily included with the emulator. Note that Desmume does not include them either, but they found a way to bypass the need for these files, which makes me wonder if the No$Gba team is even skilled enough to do a bit of hex-editing when they can't even fix something the Desmume team so easily did...

Conclusion:
Being the first fully-functional DS emulator, it has quite a long history. But as with real life history, all things come to pass their time of greatness. This emulator is simply past its time, and other emulators with teams that are still active are taking the lead roles. Nonetheless, it still runs most games, and the anti-piracy issues with certain ones are not that difficult to fix or compensate for. But it's a sinking ship with many holes in its bough and it won't be long before most of the new upcoming games won't be playable on it, because of compatibility issues still present and the fact that Nintendo is growing smarter as a company.

My Rating: 1.3 out of 5.0 points

Explanation for my rating:
It is true that No$Gba has many variations as a program for improved functionality and compatibility, and it is also true that the emulation speed can be tampered with, which are the best features of this emulator, but these are the only two reasons that it sustained a rating above 0 points. There are simply too many difficulties, annoyances, compatibility issues, and complicated programming faults that create hindrances for this emulator. If anyone still thinks this is not a sinking ship I am sure that the inactive team that was supposed to be running this project would not mind if you made improvements to their latest version, which was released nearly a year ago, if I'm not mistaken (or longer than that if I'm wrong). If anyone could save this sinking ship, someone already would have, correct?

Wrong. That is because even if you save the ship (the emulator) all of the passengers (in this case, the people that run the project, their fans, and any form or law enforcement authority) will be enraged by the release and will do everything in their power to steal from you, discredit you, or plain and simply make you pay for building up using what they started with. In other words, it doesn't work if someone takes the work of a team that is out of contact and inactive and improves it, because then even if some people approve it, everyone who supported the original team will be against it and will do their best to hinder it.

As for my next review of this emulator... don't expect one. I don't take pleasure in looking at individual cadavers more than once in my life.

~~~My System Specs~~~

Model: HP Pavilion dv6z Select Edition
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium
Processor: AMD Phenom II Quad Core Processor at 2.0 GHz per core, with an 8MB L3 cache
Memory: 6 GB of DDRAM system memory
Graphics Card: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 Series with 1GB of graphical memory
Sound Card: Integrated Sound Card
Speakers(built-in): DOLBY Advanced Audio - ALTEC Lansing Hi-Definition Stereo Speakers

~~~Closing Statement~~~

With this review I have officially made my first productive post! Even though this is my second post, the first was simply my introductory statement and therefore I do not view it as either productive or counter-productive. I hope to hear more opinions, suggestions and reviews from the rest of you, my fellow forum members.

Thank you very much, and farewell for now!

~ Aksurtep

Last edited by Aksurtep; April 7th, 2011 at 04:37 PM. Reason: I forgot to add my closing statement with the post
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