DS in monstro-vision:
Sure, there are PC emulators for this thing bangin’ around, but it’s not nearly as fun as current-gen, hot, Nintendo on Nintendo action–now all they need to do is take this and run it on Dolphin, the Wii emulator for PC, and reality should swiftly fold up on itself like a, well, like a DS, actually.
(And before someone cries “old!” I’m fairly certain this is the first example of the emulator running with touch screen support.)
I’m a lot less interested in the sudden sharpness/clarity-boost that an emulator can provide, than I am in the fact that it now appears to be running at 60fps, which always drove me nuts about Shadow of the Colossus on PS2–I always felt like I was moving in slow-motion and/or through molasses which really kinda ruined the game for me:
Guess I might have to dig out my SoTC disc and give this a go.
Oh, and there’s ICO, too:
Unicorn in the wild
I have to imagine the market for this device is pretty slim, but I’m willing to bet one Arch Nerd would be most interested indeed:
It has been almost 4 years since Neo Flash announced their 9th project: the Neo SNES Myth Cart. Many have been long awaiting its arrival and it is finally here.
This is no ordinary type of flash cartridge. It comes in two pieces that need to be combined together with an additional original SNES cartridge when running backup ROM images in the SNES console. The larger piece contains the logic chip, RAM, USB port, SNES cartridge slot, and GBA cartridge slot. A smaller cartridge containing the flash RAM chip is inserted into the GBA cartridge slot for storing and playing games.
There are a few differences between this and SNES backup solutions we have seen come about in the early til mid 1990s. The device is much more compact and almost the size of a typical SNES cartridge. It also does not have a plug for a separate power supply which means that you will need to use it in a deck that supplies enough power to run the cartridge on its own. On the top you will find a USB port to program the device. Most old copiers used a floppy drive and some had a parallel port built in or an external parallel attachment to program their built in RAM. Onboard, you will not find a handful of RAM chips or a microprocessor like in old copiers. There is one memory chip that you load the games to and a programmable logic chip that controls the device’s functions as well.
What it boils down to is this is a giant flash cart for your SNES that allows you to take ROMs and play them on said SNES rather than on an emulator. (I’m sure at least 80% of the people are now thinking ‘what’s the point, then?’, but it’s for the purists who want to play the games running 100% as-intended, since emulation is just that: an emulation, i.e. an approximation of the real thing, and not the actual, well, real thing.)
Anyway, the actual review is LONG but (extremely) informative if you’re in the market for one of these doodads. (Naturally, I’d guess Nintendo wouldn’t be a big fan of such a unit but in a world of rampant emulation, this is probably not going to give the Big N many sleepless nights.)
One important caveat should you fail to read this in its entirety: virtually1 none of the games that use special, on-board, co-processors, work, e.g. the various FX/C4/Etc. chips (StarFox, Megaman X 2, etc.) will not, as yet, function, so caveat emptor. ()
1 The DSP1 games like Super Mario Kart, Pilotwings, etc. do work.
Breakin’ up is hard to do
Mr. Neko mentioned this a week or so ago and, wouldn’t you know, there’s an update to it today:
• New EGA 640x350x16 and VGA 640x480x16 graphics modes.
• The NDS shoulder buttons scroll the zoomed screen left/right (as before) when not already at the edge, and up/down after that.
• Fixed Master of Orion SB digital audio problems.
• Changed EGA text output to use INT43 vector (fixes text problems in Space Quest I, etc).
• Fixed EGA Read Mode 1 handling (DOUBOLO).
• Improved EGA palette handling (ZOOL).
• Fixed WC2 savegame handling, which was broken by the DUNE2 savegame handling fix. They call the same DOS function, but expect it to behave differently. Argh!
• Added support for INT03 (see previous blog post) and INTO (overflow interrupt).
• Implemented Mode-X VGA offset handling (Alien Breed, Traffic Department 2192).
• Implemented diskette motor counter handling to INT8 (should fix Civilization hang problem).
• Added about a dozen new EGA graphics opcodes.
• Added about a dozen new Mode-X graphics opcodes.
• Added support for several new DOS and Mouse interrupts.
• Added support for several new I/O ports.
• Added most of the previously missing characters to the 6×8 text mode font.
• Attempt to avoid writing duplicate entries to the debug log.
• Ignore SB Direct DAC output for now, pending proper implementation.
Oh, what is it? It’s DSx86: an x86 (i.e. DOS) emulator for the DS, allowing you to play such fondly-remembered classics as most of Sierra’s library, some non-SCUMM Lucas games (Night Shift rules!1) and, literally, thousands of others–you can grab the latest build here.
1 Pointless Night Shift Trivia: I was once at the Lucasfilm ranch in Marin, CA, and they have a roomful of the games that LucasArts has produced and wouldn’t you know, ATD’s classic, Night Shift, wasn’t actually in the room. It was, literally, the only one any of us there couldn’t find. (It didn’t help that the only person that had ever apparently played it was me, but there you go: a game so obscure even its publisher didn’t have a copy in its trophy case.
Eat your heart out Megaman 9 & 10!
“His Dark Majesty” is a story-driven turn-based strategy game that takes the core elements of Advance Wars and The Battle for Wesnoth. The game is free to download.
*Single player campaign with interesting story in 23 chapters.
*Challenging and fast artifical intelligence.
*26 different units with unique features and abilities, including flying units, water units, mages and beasts.
*10 characters that help you or challenge you during the game.
*Graphics, music and sound effects by the best 8bit artists.
*Intro and outro scenes.
*Intuitive user interface.
*In-game hint system that teaches you how to play.
*Works on a 8-bit Atari computer which has 64KB of memory and 1.77 MHz CPU!
I’ll take their word for it running on an actual Atari computer, but it certainly was inspired by some good games, though I’d say Wesnoth1 was inspired by Master of Monsters2 and, thus, so was this game to make it a bit more
1 Solid game but not as good as those that inspired it.
1 Master of Monsters (on Genesis) is still a good game, even today–go play it! (And when you’re done w/ that, grab Dark Wizard on SegaCD.)
The RX for what ails your DS
There’s an update to the virtually-unknown PC Engine/TurboGrafx emulator for DS:
Finally added CD-ROM audio through the use of .bin/.cue files, make sure to read the CDROM_readme.txt file for how to rip your CD games correctly.
*Added support for CD-ROM images in .bin/.cue format.
*Added support CD audio playing.
I’ve tried the previous versions and, surprisingly, it’s pretty damn fast/accurate, so if you love the PCE (and, really, who doesn’t), grab it and give it a go:
You can get the new rev here.
So, yeah, it’s ‘running’ but it kinda has a ways to go yet before we hear everyone’s favorite Italian stereotype pipe up “It’s a-me, Mario!” (Right now it’s more like: “…”.)