So I just got my Dingoo yesterday, and after checking out a few games, videos, and music on it I thought I’ll write up a review. Overall, I’m impressed with this portable gaming system, though it has a few software flaws which hopefully will be improved or corrected.
First the emulators, I’ll rate each emulator in graphics, sound, control and fun factor, from 1-10, (1 = poor, 10 = perfect)
A Note in controls for all emulators: For some reason you can’t press the Y button and B at the same time, for example in mario if you pick up a shell and jump mario will drop the shell once you jump, this can be resolved by reassigning the buttons but I hope the devs fix this in a firmware update.
Gameboy Advance emulator
Graphics 10/10 Perfect – No complaints here. It looks exactly like it would on my gba. No noticeable frameskip or graphical glitches in any of the games I tested: Sonic Advance, Metroid Fusion, Legend of Zelda the minish cap, Super Mario Advance 2, Advance wars, Final fantasy 6 advance.
Sound 10/10 Perfect – No skip on music or sound effects
Control 10/10 No problems here, besides the Y button problem present in all emulators. Shoulder buttons worked along with 2 face buttons.
Fun Factor 10/10 No complaints. I can’t think of anything wrong with this one.
Note: Nothing else to say. Perfect emulation as far as I can tell.
Nintendo Entertainment System emulator
Graphics 10/10 Perfect – games tested: Ducktales, Super Mario Brothers, Super Mario Brothers 3, Tiny Toons 2, Ninja Gaiden
Sound 10/10 Perfect – No skip on music or sound effects
Control 10/10 No problems here, besides the Y button problem present in all emulators.
Fun Factor 10/10 No complaints. I can’t think of anything wrong with this emulator either.
Note: Nothing else to say.
Super Nintendo emulator
Graphics 7/10 – The games do not run at full normal speed. Some run too slow, others too fast. Playing around with the frameskip settings did not resolve the problem to a satisfactory level. While decent and playable, the warped speed on some games combined with sound problems (see below) greatly affected the fun factor. Games tested: Diddy’s Kong Quest, Chrono Trigger, Castlevania 5, Mega Man X, Tetris Attack, Turtles in Time.
Sound: 4/10 – Due to frameskip, the music on most games tested was off, skipping, and just a pain to listen to. Sound effects were fine, but seeing as how the snes has some of the best video game music ever, sound for this emu was a big disappointment.
Control 8/10 – There seems to be a problem with some games inputting all 6 buttons. Not all games utilize 6 buttons for snes, but many do. Y button problem here too.
Fun Factor 7/10 – Decent. Some games are more enjoyable with the sound off. The skipping and distorted music was just too distracting for me.
Note: Hopefully the speed (and sound quality) of this emulator can and will be improved to the level of the nes and gba emus so that we can all enjoy the amazing music of Chrono Trigger, Diddy’s Kong Quest, and Final Fantasy anytime, anywhere. Setting frameskip to 2 makes many games more playable with sound.
Sega Genesis (Mega Drive) emulator
Graphics 1/10 Yikes! The worst graphics emulation. Graphics have scanlines on moving objects (and since in most games the whole screens moving, the entire screen is distorted and blurred. Made all games unplayable for me. Frameskip is also very noticeable. It seems there’s more scan lines when there’s more action on screen, and less when there’s less going on. Games tested: Adventures of Batman and Robin, Ecco, Gunstar Heroes, Sonic and Knuckles, Vectorman, Mortal Kombat 2, Shinobi 3.
Sound 7/10 Sound effects were fine, if a little loud. Though music wasn’t playing exactly normal speed, it was good for most games.
Control 8/10 -Though there was an option to configure the keys for a 6 button controller, they didn’t work for 6 button games (Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3)
and the Y button problem present in all emulators.
Fun Factor 1/10 – The scanline graphics and frameskip combined with slight and major sound distortion on games made all sega genesis games unplayable.
Note: If the Dingoo can emulate arcade games so well, there has to be a way to make genesis games run better than they are now.
Are there even any good games for CPS1? Didn’t download any so couldn’t test.
Graphics 6/10 – Fighting games were slow and unplayable. Beatem ups run well. Games tested: Street Fighter Alpha 3, Marvel Super Heroes, X-men Children of the Atom, Alien Vs Predator, Gigawing.
Sound 10/10 – After I deleted the games that didn’t run well, the remaining ones had perfect sound.
Control – 7/10 dpad not built for fighting games. After deleting games that didn’t run well, controls for beatemups and puzzle games worked well.
Fun Factor – 9/10 Alien Vs Predator and Gigawing work perfect. Wasn’t intending on playing fighting games on the Dingoo anyway.
Note: While there is room for improvement, seeing as how the dpad is unfit for fighting games, and other games run perfect or very good, I’d say for the devs to give low priority for fixing this emulator and focus on the megadrive and snes ones.
Neo Geo emulator
Graphics 8/10 – Neo geo games look very impressive on the small screen, very sharp and clear. Frameskip noticeable when theres alot of action. Metal Slug looks amazing, though imperfect with slowdown. Games tested: Metal Slug 3, X, Blazing Star, Sonic Wing 2, Last Blade.
Sound 7/10 – Due to frameskip, music is slightly off, usually slower than normal.
Control – 10/10 – No problems playing shootem ups with the controls.
Fun Factor – 8/10 most games worked well. Setting frameskip to 6 for metal slug seems to make it more stable.
Note: I’d like it if these games could run closer to normal speed, especially for Metal Slug. As with CPS2 games, its hit or miss. Some games work perfect, others don’t, or are unplayable.
Emulators I’m happy with; Perfect: Gameboy Advance, Nintendo
Good/decent Emulators: Neo Geo, CPS2
Emulators in need of improvement: Megadrive, Super Nintendo
General Dingoo Notes:
– 3D games: I bought the Dingoo for emulation, though upon checking out 3D games saw that 7 days has good graphics and seems interesting.
– Videos play well, saved a bunch of old cartoons to watch when I’m bored. The play list organizes videos by size (I’m guessing) and not by name, so files named Batman 1, Batman 2, Batman 3, will show and play in the order of Batman 3, Batman 1, Batman 2. Any way to fix this?
– Radio works well, though it took a while for me to figure out how to set and save stations. Still didn’t figure out how to turn radio off before going back into main menu. (Turned background play off completely)
– Recorder is cool. I wonder if I’ll ever use it.
– Picture viewer crisp. Library ebook reader untested. I thought it takes pdf files, only takes txt. It displays text against the menu background image, which if isn’t white, can be hard on the eyes.
– TV out untested, others seem to think it’s good.
Other Emulation Notes:
– Running some games will crash the Dingoo. Don’t panic like I did. Lolz. The screen will be stuck on black and you won’t be able to power off or exit out of the emu. All you have to do is use a pin or tootpick to press reset on the left side, next to the dpad.
– Setting frameskip yourself (instead of auto) makes some games run better.
– It seems turning the sound off makes some games run smoother.
My overall conclusion of the Dingoo a320 is that I’m happy with the system. As it is, it plays music and videos well, as well as gameboy advance, Nintendo, and some CPS2 and Neo Geo games.
That being said, the Megadrive emulation is very disappointing. The snes emulation could be better and some arcade games I was looking forward to playing failed to run at all.
I’m hoping the devs will come out with better versions of these emulators as well as fix the control issues soon.
Overall score: (Not an average)