Over the last few months we’ve take a look at nesDS and Lameboy for excellent ways of playing NES and Gameboy games on our DS, but NeoDS has also arrived so we can play a number of impressive Neo-Geo games on our portable as well.
Special thanks to Ivo in writing the installation tutorial
Neo Geo Emulation Off To A Great Start
So far there, there is only one Neo-Geo emulator for the Nintendo DS, but it is quite impressive for such an early release. Compatibility can be a bit hit-or-miss at this point (download the compatibility list for details), but it plays many games (including some newer titles) quite well. In fact, I think the quality of the emulation will impress a lot of people. Feel free to read this developer interview at GameSetWatch for more interesting details.
The NeoDS installation isn’t quite as easy as nesDS or Lameboy, but it’s not too bad if you follow the directions below. The main things to remember are that everything needs to be in the root folder, ROMs need to be converted with the included utility, and you need the Neo Geo bios file included.
- Download the emulator package at official NeoDS Google Group
- Extract the compressed file contents into a folder using zip utiliy of your choice.
- You will need to use a couple of files from the uncompressed folder – “NeoDS.nds” is the emulator itself, and there is also a tool “NeoDSConvert.exe” which you will need to use. There are detailed instructions in a “readme.txt” file (although if you follow these steps you probably won’t need to read it).
- Get the Neo-Geo ROM files you want to use, in .zip format (this is similar to MAME). The system ROM is usually named “neogeo.zip” and is necessary to run the emulator, and any games that you want to play on the emulator (for example, Metal Slug is usually “mslug.zip”).
- Convert ROMs to NeoDS’s special format. You will need to use the supplied tool “NeoDSConvert.exe”. Copy or move all the ROMs you want to use into a folder (including the system ROM). Then place “NeoDSConvert.exe” (copy or move it) to the same folder, like this:
- Execute “NeoDsConvert” (double click it). After a brief showing of the process through the command line, you will have a .neo file for each .zip you started with:
- If you system ROM is not named “neogeo.neo”, you will need to rename it.
- Copy or move “NeoDS.nds”, “neogeo.neo” and any other converted ROMs (in .neo format) to the root of the flash cart (it must be placed in the root).
- Then turn your DS, run the emulator, load any ROM (don’t bother running neogeo.neo though).
Video Tour of NeoDS
To get a better feel for how NeoDS handles, I’ve recorded a quick video that walks through some of the menus and shows a few games in action.
NeoDS’s Best Features
- Decent compatibility, but runs a number of heavy duty-games quite well
- Full speed for many games
- Support for large games such as Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves and KOF 2003
- M68000 cpu (cyclone), Z80 cpu (DrZ80), All forms of NeoGeo protection/encryption, Graphics, ADPCM audio, and PSG audio are all emulated
- Ability to customize button mapping
- Decent screen scalling
- Closing the DS pauses and puts into sleep mode.
- Able to switch between games easily
- Ability to lower CPU speed (actually speeds some games up)
Complaints & Limitations
- Some games just don’t run well right now — check compatibility list for details
- No save states yet
- FM audio, Raster effects, Memory Card, and Multiplayer are not yet emulated, but dev team is working on them
- Dev team also admits that some timings are not accurate