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Thread: Classic Game Emulation on Google Android (G1)

  1. #1
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    Default Classic Game Emulation on Google Android (G1)

    As Apple teeters on the brink of bringing their iPhone platform to other mobile carriers, I've been wholly enjoying my HTC G1 phone with the Google Android operating system.

    In recent months the emulation scene has exploded on the marketplace, and as it usually does with emulation on any platform it started with a great NES emulator.


    "Nesoid" is an NES emulator on the Android market by a dev who goes by Yongzh.

    The emu runs NES roms (zipped or unzipped) up to full speed (60FPS) and has mappable buttons for an 8 way pad, A,B, A w/turbo, B w/turbo select and start.

    The keyboard on the Android makes for a pretty great controller for these types of games and is far more responsive than virtual touch-screen gamepads that I've used on iPhones.

    The audio and frame rate can chug a bit in spots, but it doesn't terribly affect gameplay, and the audio can be disabled.

    Most roms work perfectly, including Castlevania III, but as with all good emu a few hit some compatibility issues that haven't yet been overcome in any software updates (notably Punch Out).

    Here's a cool video from Crunch Gear of Nesoid in action.



    A few weeks after Nesoid hit the market, Yongzh hit the scene again with Gensoid a Sega Genesis emulator. And to my shock and surprise the app runs with all the same features and strikingly similar quality in terms of full-speed operation and minimal audio stutter (perhaps a BIT more than the Nesroid, but still not enough to kill the experience). Gensoid has all the same features in-tact in terms of button mapping to keyboard and has a pretty healthy compatibility list (I haven't tried as many titles as I did on Nesoid, but not much that I have in terms of Genesis roms wouldn't play).

    Again, the gang at Cruch Gear have a great video on YouTube showing the software in action:



    While NES and Genesis are impressive in their own right ... I thought it was a bit of a pipe dream to expect SNES emulation so soon after .... but I suppose once the flood gate is opened, this is what happens.

    I can only say the same about SNesoid as I have of the above emus. Gob-smacking frame rates/speed considering that it's emulated, music that lags and stutters a bit, but not enough to make you want to rip your hair out, and recently improved functionality to include the multi layers of transparency that most SNES titles utilized.

    Super Mario World runs great and my personal Favorite Saturday Night Slam Masters plays like a dream (all things considered).

    No video for Snesoid yet, but I'll be happy to post one as soon as it hits.

    Yongzh does charge for these emulators, but only a few dollars each, which considering the quality of the product and the cost of the Android Dev/Marketplace License, I don't mind the price of admission.



    Another Notable addition to the Android market library is a killer port of ScummVM to the Android platform with both KEYBOARD, TRACKBALL AND TOUCH-SCREEN functionality.

    The software recently went under a revision which trimmed the file size down from over 10MB to 3.7MB which is a welcome thing on a phone with such little on-board memory.

    The dev of this port Angus Lee did wonders in optimizing the memory allocation, as even games like Sam & Max run fast and smooth like you're playing them on a pentium with Dos Box. Apparently the little Android has a lot of power under it's hood to harness if you know how to.

    Here's a vid which highlights some of the functionality of the port. I wish the reviewer had Sam & Max or Day of the Tentacle running just to show of the speed/power of the device, but I suppose you'll have to take my word for it when I say that they run perfectly.

    ScummVM is free to download on the Android market and has support from the official Scumm dev community.



    And last on my list of mentions for quality emulators is Doom for Android ported initially by Dev A. Silva, and then fully optimized by Scheff's Blend.

    A few weeks after a dev posted a very wonky, nearly un-playable conversion of the PC milestone to the platform, a popular Android Dev "Scheff's Blend" stepped in and optimized the game (leading to a lot of web bitching by the original dev) to utilize more of the phone's memory, better keyboard and trackball support, WAD file support and very very cool touch-screen only play if you want to leave the keyboard closed.

    The only videos out there are for early versions of the software ... and those might be a disservice to the quality that the game currently exudes. You can look for them yourself but be warned that the game runs MUCH smoother and has FAR more functionality than what you'll find if you go looking.

    This app is also free on the market and will auto-download the shareware version of the game once you install.

    A great mobile version of Doom that takes advantage of all of capabilities and hardware that the Android has to offer.
    Last edited by Frankie_Says_Relax; 06-14-2009 at 11:31 AM.
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    Does anyone know of a controller that would work on an android powered phone? Simple plugnplay usb controller?

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