Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
17 December 2005
New Dreamcast Emulator: NesterDC SE
If you own a Dreamcast that will boot CD-Rs and are interested in a NES emulator, then I want to recommend the new NesterDC SE with some caveats.

The positive:
  • Easy-to-use disc builder - You just point it at your ROMs directory and it builds everything.
  • Burning is easy - Note that I own and use Nero Burning Rom 5, which has traditionally been good for making Dreamcast discs. If you don't own Nero 5, then your mileage may vary.
  • Good emulator interface - Attractive and understandable.
  • Reasonable compatibility - NesterDC was already pretty good. This isn't any worse. Paperboy and Track & Field now work correctly, whereas they were troublesome in NesterDC 7.1.
  • Nice video features - Scaling and image filtering are options.
The negative:
  • Dependent on web - If the main site goes down or you don't have network access, it isn't clear you can build images with it.
  • Incompatibilities - Examples: Elite (corrupted graphics, unplayable), Gauntlet 2 (minor graphic glitch, playable), Gyruss (serious graphics corruptions, somewhat playable), Marble Madness (minor graphics corruption, playable), NES Play Action Football (corrupted graphics, unplayable).
  • Downloads copyrighted material - The default behavior of the disc builder is to download screenshots, manual scans, FAQs, Game Genie codes, and NSF (music tracks) for the games found in your ROMs directory.
Most people won't care about that last point, but I think it should be pointed out. The screenshots and codes seem pretty innocuous. The FAQs at first seem murky, but I suppose are fine. It is certainly true that all of the FAQs are all on GameFAQs and can be downloaded individually by the user and this just streamlines that process.

But the manual scans are bothersome. If I own a real physical copy of a manual, I don't see a big deal with having a digital copy available inside the emulator. But if I don't, then I don't feel entitled to a digital copy of copyrighted material that I don't own in any other form. And while this NesterDC SE disc builder obviously tries to sidestep the issue of people downloading ROMs illegally, it is facilitating the infringement of copyrighted manuals. Why pretend to abide by the law in one case and flout it in the other?

But, like I said, most people won't care.
--Matt Matthews at 23:53
Comment [ 3 ]

Comments on this post:

It's nice to see that someone finally fixed up NesterDC 7's compatibility downgrade over NesterDC 6.

By Blogger JohnH, at 18 December, 2005 19:40  

DC NES emulation? Time to stop wasting your time and get a modded xbox.

By Blogger Joe Valenzuela, at 19 December, 2005 22:45  

Yeah, because it only costs a large amount of cash!

Sheesh joe. The appeal of emulation on Dreamcast is that the console doesn't need to be modded; you just burn a CD-R and away you go. The Dreamcast is more than capable of running NES games at full speed with sound, the disk image creation software has gotten to the point where many of the steps are automated for you, and the system is a hell of a lot more portable than an X-box.

But you know, thanks for the dismissive attitude.

By Blogger JohnH, at 20 December, 2005 20:44  

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