App Review: Drastic DS Emulator

by Roger He
BHS News

With over 1,170,000 apps on the Google Play Market, it can seem like a daunting task to decide what apps are worthy of wasting precious study block minutes on. If you liked playing games on the Nintendo DS, then Drastic DS Emulator by Exophase is the app for you. Although the price tag is rather steep, $5.99, in my opinion it is well worth the investment.

App Review

Like all emulators, it allows you to play games meant for the Nintendo DS to be played on a different platform which is your phone in this case. Compared to running the game on a regular Nintendo DS, Drastic functions smoothly without huge drops in fps (frames per second), and can run all titles for the Nintendo DS. As for the controls, you are given a d-pad on the bottom left side of the touch screen and ABXY buttons on the bottom right hand corner which functions properly. The app also allows you to use the touchscreen of your phone in place of the bottom screen.

Drastic also has features that are not found in the original DS. In additional to playing the game on normal speed, you can choose to play it on fast forward mode which doubles the frame rate and audio sound. While the DS had two separate screens, most phones only have one. As such the app lets you choose how you orient your screen. There are five possible options to orient your screen; it lets you play in landscape or portrait mode and change the size of the two screens. Unlike the original DS, Drastic allows you to save the game at any point and not just predetermined locations. This means if you did not get the stats you wanted for your character, you can reload from an earlier save point rather than restart the game from the intro to reroll stats. Finally if a game proves to be too difficult instead of quitting, you may have to do the impossible: cheat. Although I would never condone such a dishonest method of gaming, there are programs written that allow for such behavior.

As with all things in life there are limitations to the app. The most glaring fault is its inability to use Wi-Fi; that means no trading Pokémon with friends, or battling other trainers from around the world. Other times the app crashes, making you lose all your progress since your last save. At times your save file may get corrupted and make you have to resume from an earlier save point. Despite these rare occurrences, most games are fully operational.

As a side note emulator themselves are not illegal, but obtaining ROMs (game files) from certain sources is an infringement on copyright laws. Most home-brewed games can usually be legally downloaded, or games that have never been copyrighted before sale; however, most commercial games are illegally distributed on the internet. Much like laws on illegally downloaded music, these laws are rarely enforced.

Relive your awkward middle school years with the games that got you past the self-discovery phase with Drastic.

(Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with this app, or internet piracy)

Roger He is a student in Advanced Placement English Language and Composition