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Turn your DS into a fantastic emulation machine!

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Going to dig out my old DS and a flashcart because I had no idea how much homebrew there is! I'll update this post with my experiences, but in the mean time, here's MVG with his opinion.

 

 

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It's a lot better than I imagined it would be.  MVG's video pretty much sums it up.  There's no hacking involved, you just run the homebrew from a flashcard.  Lots of cool music apps.  It won't be something I stick with, but it was fun looking.  The Switch has blown me away with its Mame and console emulation and so the DS was a curio since I had one in the loft.  Impressed at thow well it did the Snes, considering the base hardware.

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If anyone really does feel like dusting off an old DS flashcart to check out some worthwhile homebrew it might be of interest to note that:

 

- Handheld emulation of Game Boy / GBC arguably peaked with the DS version of Gameyob (its more accurate than any 3DS port / Retroarch core)

- The DS Lemmings port is arguably - to this day - the best way of playing the original game in its complete form

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Isn’t the DS screen resolution exactly the same as the output resolution of a ZX Spectrum? Apart from the gameboy emulation, every other console suffers from not enough pixels so is a bit shit.

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3 hours ago, BBBBBB said:

Isn’t the DS screen resolution exactly the same as the output resolution of a ZX Spectrum? Apart from the gameboy emulation, every other console suffers from not enough pixels so is a bit shit.

 

Spectrum looks amazing on the DS for precisely the reason you say.

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The DS is great at emulating a few systems (as mentioned, the Spectrum because of resolution and the touchscreen keyboard, the Gameboy/Color, the Game Gear and some of the other 8 bit systems like the Master System).

 

But, in my opinion, where the DS really stands out isn't emulation, it's Retro Gaming overall. What do I mean by that? Ok... let me split it into a few categories to help me out!

 

Retro Gaming Collections

 

The DS was home to some great collections of Retro games -

 

Atari Greatest Hits Vol 1 has loads of Atari 2600 games and a few Arcade games like Battlezone, Asteroids, Tempest. Vol 2 expands on those games further with more 2600 and Arcade games

Game and Watch Collection 1 and 2 has a few... Game and Watch games..

Konami Classics has got great early to mid 80s Konami Arcade games like Green Beret, Gradius, Scramble, Time Pilot, Twin Bee, Yie Ar Kung Fu

Namco Museum has got a few early to mid 80s Arcade games like Galaga, Galaxian, Pac Man and has Pac Man Vs if you've got multiple DS's

 

Then there's Sonic Collection and Mega Man Collection

 

Retro Game Updates/Reimaginings

 

This is where it gets really interesting and I'll probably expand on this later, but the DS was home to some great updates/reimaginings of retro games. Some well known stuff like Bubble Bobble, Arkanoid, Contra 4, Dig Dug but also games like Impossible Mission, Populous, Legend of Kage 2, Lode Runner and one of my favourites, Gauntlet DS (which was never officially released).

 

Home-brew Retro Games

 

There was a really active Home Brew scene on the DS and as a result some retro games received either a total rewrite for the DS, or used customised emulators to give you a single game. Again, I need to expand on this a bit more, but you've got New Super Mario Bros 3, essentially a ROM hack of New Super Mario Bros but with all of the Levels from Super Mario Bros 3. Likewise there's a hack giving New Super Mario Bros 2 (both Doki Doki Panic and the Lost Levels), a brilliant version of Chaos, Manic Miner Lost Levels, International Karate, Rick Dangerous 2, Cannon Fodder, Maziacs (a brilliant update that keeps the graphics of the original but adds new sounds and has a handy map on the bottom screen). The only problem with some of the Home-brew stuff is that it's not quite reliable in loading on some flash carts. 

 

Another game that isn't retro but definitely a mention is Orcs and Elves. If you liked Dungeon Master type games, you'll love this. It's originally a mobile phone game developed by John Carmack of Doom fame.  

 

So while it might not be as good as the PSP or Switch when it comes to emulation, there's loads of retro goodies on the DS.

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A 2DS/ 3DS XL *new*  Is great for retro stuff. I must admit i only really use it for SNES and Megadrive games at the moment but it's kinda brought new life back to the system for me.

 

Plus it really isn't that difficult to hack. 

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On 03/04/2019 at 09:33, Darhkwing said:

A 2DS/ 3DS XL *new*  Is great for retro stuff. I must admit i only really use it for SNES and Megadrive games at the moment but it's kinda brought new life back to the system for me.

 

Plus it really isn't that difficult to hack. 

 

Any tips?  I was looking at a reddit thread and its really long winded!  Im after a way to play 3ds roms.

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Was easy enough as you said @Darhkwing, kids happy as they can play the same game.  I had bought them all Minecraft digitally so that was £80.

 

I dont feel too guilty as the 3ds is pretty much end of life now anyway, are we likely to see any new games on it?

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Digging around for some bits and found an old DS and R4 Card (one of the very early ones I think). Is it still possible to find firmware for these things? 

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6 hours ago, bradigor said:

Digging around for some bits and found an old DS and R4 Card (one of the very early ones I think). Is it still possible to find firmware for these things? 

Not sure, i remember there were as many knock off cartridges as originals and they had specific firmware so it was vital you used the right one. No chance you still have the cd or anything?

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It seems the DS can't read it anyway. Tempted to pick another one up from eBay or something. Do the 3DS compatible ones also work with the DSL? They seem to say they do, but unsure. 

 

Got two DS Lites, one that is battered and works, another that is in good condition, but fails to turn on. So gonna try and recase the working one. 

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