Just because we have a DS doesn’t mean we don’t want to play some older portable Nintendo games. While we could play the original Gameboy cartridges on our Gameboy Advances, the Nintendo DS doesn’t afford us that luxury. However, with a little emulation power, we can resolve that issue and make your portable gaming life even better.
What Is The Best Gameboy/Gameboy Color Emulator?
While GNUboy DS (aka DS_GBC / DSBoy) was the first Gameboy emulator for the DS that had sound support (there was also the GBA-based Gooba Color), Lameboy quickly rose to victory as the superior emulator for the classic Nintendo portables. Lameboy is constantly being updated (last update as of this writing was just a few months ago) and has excellent compatibility, sound emulation, and save state support that its competition can not boast of. There is still some slight room for improvement, but I think you will be pleased by how polished Lameboy actually is. Along with nesDS, it is on the top of the Nintendo DS Emulation family.
After some of my frustrating experiences getting some of my GP2X emulators to run, I was very happy with the simplicity of the Lameboy installation. Assuming your homebrew cart doesn’t require patching, all you do is download the executable file and put it in a folder with some Gameboy ROMs. (Actually, you don’t need folders, and your ROMs can be elsewhere, but folders usually help keep things organized)
For my CycloDS Evolution cartridge, I just copied over a folder (named “GB”) that had the executable and my ROMs on to MicroSD card, popped it in my DS Lite, and I was good to go. No configuration is required to get things up and running. If you have an older homebrew solution, you may need to patch the executable before use.
Video Tour of Lameboy
To get a better feel for how Lameboy handles, I’ve recorded a quick video that walks through some of the menus and shows a few games in action.
Lameboy’s Best Features
- High compatibility
- Full speed for most games
- Support for large games greater than 2 MB in size
- Zipped ROM support for games smaller than 2 MB
- “Fast Mode” with L-trigger
- Auto save on exit to menu
- Pseudo bilinear upscaling mode
- Super Game Boy borders and coloring support
- Rumble emulation with slot 2 devices with rumble
- Green color scheme option emulating original Game Boy color palette (green to very light green)
- Configurable X/Y Keys
- Save states
Complaints & Limitations
- I can’t seem to exit out of Lameboy and go back to my CycloDS menu (like I can with regular games)
- Some games like Shantae have some minor audio processing issues (see video above for Shantae example)
- Would be cool to have a rewind feature like nesds
Note: Special thanks to Ivo for helping me explore all of the emulators for the DS — you should see more of these posts from us in the future.