Monday, February 25, 2008


DeSmuME isn't a game, it's a Nintendo DS emulator. So analysis of plot and storyline and what-have-you is kinda irrelevant. It's also kinda problematic from a use standpoint - while the emulator is free, it's useless without games to play, and the vast majority of games available for play are ripped roms of DS cartridges. Which are illegal, n' all*.

Doesn't really matter, though, as it's useless even with the roms, mostly. To try it out, I obtained a copy of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. It seems like every time I look at Game|Life, some sort of Phoenix Wright related news pops up, and I was curious as to how close the actual game was to that Flash-demo that they released for the newest one.

Admittedly, my machine is not the fastest on the market. It wasn't even the fastest on the market when I built it a few yews ago. It's an Athlon 2000+ XP with uhmm... 1.5 GB of RAM, and a 512MB nVidia AGP card. But it crawled on my machine. With nothing else open, it was playable, jumping between 14 and 20 FPS, and usually around the 14 mark. At first.

By the time I was halfway through the first chapter of the game, I couldn't get a framerate higher than 12 fps, was often as low as 8, and had to click the mouse a couple of times to make sure it registered with the simulated touch-screen. With a browser window open - not active, just open - I'm currently averaging 7 fps.

This game is already kinda slow - I'm a fast reader, and any kind of wait-time annoys me - but pauses that are probably dramatic on the original hardware are turned into excruciatingly long lulls in DeSmuME. Your mileage may vary; maybe it's a better experience on a dual-core processor. But as far as I'm concerned, this emulator is just not ready for regular use. I can't imagine how frustratingly lame any sort of action game would be.

Sound and graphics were mostly 100% - there was one spot where the graphics got glitchy, and occasionally the sound got slow - but the whole thing just trickled like molasses. DeSmuME is not yet ripe.

*Yes, I know they are legal in certain circumstances, but those circumstances almost never exist in reality, and have never (as far as I know) been tested in an actual court room anyways.

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