Review: NesterDC – Play NES Game ROMs on Your Dreamcast

 The Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console is bringing classic Nintendo emulation to the masses, but with the high download prices, it can be frustrating for people that already own the original cartridges to have to shell out more money.

Fortunately for us retro gamers that aren’t able to find and/or purchase a Wii and purchase Virtual Console titles, the Dreamcast offers a very impressive alternative.

NesterDC is simply the best NES emulator for the Dreamcast and benefits from the following features:

  • Emulates games from the Nintendo Entertainment System
  • 100% Full speed without frame-skip on most games
  • 2 Players
  • Near-Perfect compatibility
  • Great Save-State capabilities
  • One of the most intuitive and attractive emulator interfaces ever

I have been using NesterDC for many years now and find it to be the best reason to own a Dreamcast other than playing Dreamcast games.

Graphics Quality/Speed: 9
The NES is one of the easiest and most popular consoles to emulate, so it is no surprise that NesterDC is near perfection. The only complaint I have is on some quick-scrolling games like Super Mario Bros. 3 have some minor issues in redrawing the very right bottom corner fast enough. It isn’t enough to distract from the gameplay, but old-school purists would complain about it.

Sound Quality: 10
From what I can tell, everything in the sound arena is just as good as an NES. I’m not an NES expert, but I’m quite happy with the results.

Control: 9
Much like the sound, just about everything is perfect. The only way the control would get a 10 rating is if there were an NES controller for the Dreamcast.

Presentation: 10
The interface for NesterDC is definitely the best emulator interface I’ve seem on the Dreamcast. It is very easy to set up a NesterDC disk with various skins. With the right skin, you can make NesterDC take on a professional retro-modern Nintendo style.

Everything from the menus to the games loads up extremely fast and it is drop-dead simple and fast to switch between games without resetting the system. There are many extra features such as multiple save states, button configuration, and emulation options to round out this impressive package. NesterDC is simply the standard that all Dreamcast emulators should strive for.

Overall: 10
NesterDC is definitely one of the best homebrew efforts on the Dreamcast and, in my opinion, has one of the best emulator interfaces ever. Everything works so well, I will usually recommend people pick up a Dreamcast and NesterDC over an actual NES or one of the NES Clones. Unless you really demand the maximum nostalgia and the true feel of the NES controller, the Dreamcast is the best solution.

Once you experience the ease of changing games and not having to worry about blowing into your NES cartridges, you rarely will want to go back.

There is also an version of NesterDC known as “SE”. Some people like it because it allows the ability to have screenshots in your navigation and other cool features. Personally, I think it isn’t as easy to navigate, but it’s up to you. Both versions can be found below.

NesterDC self-booting disc w/ ROMs
NesterDC SE self-booting disc w/ ROMs
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Dan says:

Does anyone know where I can by a pre-moded nes conversion for the Dreamcast??? I will pay…Thanks, Dan

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