DraStic - DS Emulator for Android Devices Review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by Jaspiter, Aug 9, 2013.

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How do you like DraStic so far?

  1. Runs perfectly on my device. Barely any hiccups if at all.

    64.4%
  2. Runs at a reasonable speed. Could be faster.

    10.9%
  3. Pretty choppy, but still playable.

    3.0%
  4. Abysmal speed. No reason to use this.

    2.0%
  5. I don't need a DS Emulator; I already have a DS Lite/R4/i

    19.8%
  1. Jaspiter
    OP

    Jaspiter Member

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    Inside the Great Deku Tree
    [​IMG]
    After running around like a headless chicken for quite a while during my 'emulator-buzz' (don't worry, we all get it), I came across an emulator known as nds4droid. It was hands down the worst emulator I had ever used, even worse than Daedalus Revision 747, that couldn't even run Super Mario 64 at reasonable speeds. Being a big NDS fan, having an R4i Gold for my 3DS, you can imagine my excitement when a new Nintendo DS emulator was announced. Well, as of August 8th, 2013, DraStic is now available to the public, and I was quick to get my hands dirty with it.​
    What we care about most! - SPEEEEEEEEED
    The greatest thing that DraStic has to offer is speed. This emulator rivals FPSe by being the fastest 3d gaming emulator I've come across so far. The games I chose to test the emu came out of my own collection, and I wanted to test out how the emulator would handle things that are heavy in those games. For instance, I chose Phantom Hourglass to test touch responsiveness and latency, and Naruto for particle effects. Though, I admit I could have picked better games if I had them :P
    Hardware: LG-E739 / LG Mytouch 4G
    Clock Speed (Native): 1024 Mhz / Cyanogenmod 7 with CM9 Kernel 2.6.35.7 by Kali
    Clock Speed (Overclocked): 1520 Mhz - PERFORMANCE governor
    - Using JIT
    - VM Heap Size of 48m
    Games Tested:
    - New! Super Mario Bros. - Was choppy until adjusting the Filter to 'None'. After that it ran perfectly fine, but the 3D graphics took a noticeable hit in quality. After turning on Multi-Threaded 3D Rendering, I could set the game on Linear and it ran perfectly fine, while setting the filter to None made it choppy. Maybe an error in my testing.
    - Phantom Hourglass - Keeping the Filter on 'Linear', the game ran perfectly! Feels like I'm playing it using an actual DS. No performance hits - Great job, Exophase!
    - Naruto: Ninja Destiny - Same as Phantom Hourglass
    - Mario Kart DS - During the stage fly-bys, the graphics get really choppy and alot of the textures flicker, along with graphical bugs in many areas. During races, no graphical bugs were found, and the performance was on par with Phantom Hourglass
    Overall: Great speed! Like I previously stated, this emulator is definitely up there with FPSe!
    Settings:
    Frame Skip - Auto / 3
    MultiThreaded 3D Rendering: On
    Filter: Linear (None looks horrible and only boosts certain games, causing choppiness in others)
    Audio: Enabled - High Latency
    Show FPS: On​
    All games ran at above 90%, usually between 96 - 100. Mario Kart fly-bys went to 103% tops, could have something to do with the graphical glitches.​
    Features!!
    DraStic sports similar features found in practically all Android emulators.
    - Real-Time Saves
    - Screen Layout selector
    - Turbo emulation (can you believe that, on an Android device!)
    - External controllers
    Along with this, the app sports cloud-saving to your Google Drive account, and also has built-in cheats for every game.
    Cons :(
    There really aren't any. The app is perfect fit for those looking to have their DS games in their pocket at practically any point in time. The only problem I could find was that the default screen layout is a bit small, and after setting the layout to the Top/Bottom configuration, it was hard touching items on the touch screen without accidentally hitting one of the command buttons.
    The workaround to this problem, though, is fixed by selecting whichever screen layout fits the game you are playing. For instance, with Phantom Hourglass, the 2nd layout works, but only after you use the 'swap screen' setting with it. Still, this has problems with games like The World Ends With You, where it is pivotal to see the action on both screens. This is a VERY minor problem and it shouldn't deter anyone from getting this app.
    In Conclusion...
    Do I really need a conclusion? This app is THE BOMB! I wish I had waited for this rather than buying the R4i. - Kidding, the app still could use some work, but for now, it is fine as-is
    Rating: Perfect - Recommended to All
    [​IMG]
    This is the second layout I mentioned. Courtesy of Google Play services.
    Converting from .SAV to .DSV
    If you own an Acekard/R4 or any other card that saves games in .SAV format, import the save in the Desmume and save your game in the emulator, it will generate a .DSV file which is just your old .sav in dsv format. Put that in sdcard/Android/data//com.dsemu.drastic/files/backup on your Android phone/tablet.

    For a quicker solution, use http://filetrip.net/nds-downloads/u...save-file-type-converter-26-alpha-f26025.html, however, keep in mind that some titles will not convert using this software. If that is the case, go with the above option.​
     
    Darkyose, HaloEffect17 and Satangel like this.
  2. T-hug

    T-hug Always like this.

    pip Chief Editor
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    I didn't know about this emu just tried Dawn of Sorrow and Pokemon on my Galaxy Tab 2 and it's amazingly good!
    Will give it a try on my SIII too and looking forward to trying the FC30 with it!
     
  3. ken28

    ken28 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    it runs that fast because, unlike the other ds emus for android, it was programmed from scratch with the arm architectur in mind.
    most if not all other ds emu usally use lagre chunks source code ds emualtors for windows.
     
  4. Asphalter

    Asphalter Member

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    playing 999 on this, works perfect on a dual core cortex a9
     
  5. kirbymaster101

    kirbymaster101 GBAtemp Maniac

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    Works perfeclty on my S III as well. Might even replace my actual NDS
     
  6. sentinel5000

    sentinel5000 GBAtemp Fan

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    Can you turn off the on screen controls on this emulator? I find them EXTREMELY annoying when playing stylus only games like zeldas. Also they are not needed if you have a wireless controller...
     
  7. kirbymaster101

    kirbymaster101 GBAtemp Maniac

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    yes just clikc the stylus button. Theres 3 options, stylus on with onscreen controls, stylus on without onscreen controls and just stylus off.
    Also the 2nd screen layout is genius. Small window for touchscreen for Pokemon Platinum and Big window for main screen. The only thing I wish is the fps overlay to not have the black border around. Want it transparent.
     
  8. brianx

    brianx Advanced Member

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    when will they implement Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Netplay to this Emulator?
     
    yuyuyup likes this.
  9. Jaspiter
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    Jaspiter Member

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    Not in the foreseeable future. There aren't any emulators on Android with netplay actually.
     
  10. darksonic3

    darksonic3 Newbie

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    [​IMG]

    What game is this? :O
     
  11. ilman

    ilman Gbatemp's Official Noise Eraser

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    Add another poll option and con for Tegra 2 users. I can't even run the damn thing and it kills me inside. :cry:
     
  12. AlanJohn

    AlanJohn くたばれ

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    Now if only I had a FC30...
     
  13. GameWinner

    GameWinner Take your heart

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    I got my Galaxy S4 yesterday and fell in love with this app. Now if only PPSSPP can run as good as this (not saying it's bad or anything).
    One thing I dislike is that it uses .dsv instead of .sav. Now I can't transfer from saves from my Acekard. :sad:
     
  14. Zaide

    Zaide GBAtemp Regular

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    There are programs that convert saves from one format to another.
     
  15. TehSkull

    TehSkull Living the life

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    Question: Does it have microphone support? I want to shout "OBJECTION" into my phone at random times throughout the day. (plus there actually is a part of the first game that REQUIRES a mic.)
     
  16. Jaspiter
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    Jaspiter Member

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    I'll try to get to Astrid's chamber in Phantom Hourglass and check, but according to Exophase it does have mic support.
     
  17. bobmcjr

    bobmcjr GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    The mic works if your phone/tablet has a mic.
     
  18. bobmcjr

    bobmcjr GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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  19. Jaspiter
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    Jaspiter Member

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    I'll put up a method of transferring your saves from .sav to .dsv right away
     
  20. GameWinner

    GameWinner Take your heart

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    It doesn't matter now since I used the DeSmuME method to convert them but it would be nice anyway for newcomers. :P
     
  21. Jaspiter
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    Jaspiter Member

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    Yeah it kinda sucks. No clue why it doesn't work, probably something to do with the memory channel, but yeah, don't use this if you have Tegra 2, or you will be out monicoins.