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Reicast Is A Promising Dreamcast Emulator For Android [Review] Share
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Reicast is a Dreamcast emulator for Android following the precedent of PSSP emulator for iOS & Android, GBA4iOS for iOS, and EmiGens for Windows Phone 8, but Reicast is more than just an emulator; it is part of a legacy. Some of you may or may not know that SEGA was once a powerful contender in the console market. It was the first 128-bit console, and also the first to feature online connectivity. Eventually, it was shut down, along with Sega’s console manufacturing business. However, its fans refuse to let it die. With such strong interest, Reicast is an opportunity for long-time fans to carry their favourite Dreamcast titles with them on their Android devices.

Reicast-Android-Dreamcast-emulator

Disclaimer: You should legally own the games and the console to create your own ROMs and BIOS for this emulator. Alternatively, you can purchase the original games and previously owned console from certain online stores. Addictivetips neither condones nor takes any responsibility for the use of pirated software.

The emulator does not ship with a Dreamcast BIOS, so you will need to dump one for it (that you legally own). The BIOS file should be named dc_boot.bin, and the flash file should be called dc_flash.bin. Save both files to your ‘sdcard/DC/data’ folder, and that should cover it. The developers suggest that you use at least a Cortex-A9 dual core 1GhZ processor or better in order to run the emulator.

Reicast-Dreamcast-Screen

Interface

Given that Reicast is an Alpha build, the interface is visually similar to most file managers. The entire App has haptic feedback on, which is an impediment to the experience. There is nothing to configure yet, though the developers have promised to add some options in future builds.

Reicast-Main-MenuReicast-Settings

The virtual controller’s buttons are semi-transparent and hover over the screen. They try not to get in the way, but these games were not designed for touch screens, therefore some game elements end up hidden under your hands while you’re playing. There is a virtual analog control, and every other button is located on-screen roughly where it would be on the original controller. The trigger buttons cannot be used with other buttons using the same hand, which is extremely inconvenient. We don’t know if there is support for an external controller yet, but it should be part of the long-term strategy for future builds. Considering these buttons are virtual, custom placing would not go amiss. In one of the tested games – a shooter, aiming with the virtual analog control was very difficult, as it only responded at the edges, making the view end up looking at the ceiling or the floor alternatively.

Reicast-Controls-Black-Screen

Reicast-Controls-White-Screen

Graphics

In this build, the effort clearly went into perfecting graphics performance. There wasn’t a lag in sight; everything looked picture perfect. It even adjusted the game to a higher resolution for my device that made it look even more crisp, and that’s quite an accomplishment. Had the controls been helping, it would have created a very enthralling experience.

Sound

The sound is quite good, except that the opening FMV in one of the tested games was lagging, but the sound normalized as soon as the actual gameplay started. From there on, there was no lag or delay, and if it weren’t for the phone’s small speaker, it would have been great to hear throughout.

Gameplay

We decided to take the emulator on a spin with a couple of our favorite titles, and here’s how our experience went.

MDK 2

Upside: Looks better than it did when it originally came out.
Downside: Takes an age to center the camera; trigger buttons are hard to manage.

Reicast-MDK2-Main-Menu

Reicast-MDK-Loading

Reicast-MDK2-Game

Legacy of Kain – Soul Reaver

Upside: Amazing game; camera not a major factor, making it fun to progress in the game.
Downside: Sound lag in opening sequence; trigger buttons hard to manage.

ReicastLoKSRMainMenu

ReicastLokSROpeningSequence

Reicast-LoK-SR-Checkpoint

Conclusion

That vibration is, as the phrase goes, “a buzzkill”; it breaks concentration, and the battery drops rather quickly. As far as the actual emulator is concerned, if this is just the Alpha stage, then Reicast has a bright future ahead. If they can also manage to create a platform offering original Dreamcast games for legal purchase, they might have a whole new ecosystem on their hands. If you are a Dreamcast fan, you should definitely give it a shot; just seeing the emulation run will take you back. Though even if you haven’t played the original, you’ll recognize that the emulator boasts better graphics than even most modern games available on the Play Store. If you do try it out, don’t forget to let us know how your experience went by dropping a comment below.

Install Reicast from Play Store

Read Reicast Is A Promising Dreamcast Emulator For Android [Review] by Adi Abdurab on AddictiveTips - Tech tips to make you smarter

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