Dingoo a320 review and suggestions

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.

CPS1 emulator

Untested!
Are there even any good games for CPS1? Didn’t download any so couldn’t test.

CPS2 emulator

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)
8.5/10



33 comments on “Dingoo a320 review and suggestions
  1. dingoo-digital.com says:

    I have plugged in the device via USB, but my computer does not recognize or even list the device. The first time it was connected an error occured during the driver download. Since then, I have attempted to disconnect and reconnect the device, reset the device, and returned it to its default factory settings. Nothing has worked. If anyone can help it will be much appreciated. I jumped the gun and downloaded dozens of ROM’s!

  2. dingoo-digital.com says:

    WILL SOMEONE HELP ME FIGURE THIS OUT PLZ!!!—I just bought a micro game station o dingoo or watever its called and i dont know how to get the roms on there. i plugged it in and clicked my computer an dragged an dropped the roms onto the usb thing under the game file but when i unplug my dingoo it says updated but when i go to games it says no files? but when i click browse all files it shows the roms tht i put on there but it only gives me the options of copying an pasting. do i hav to download emulators on to it or something. what file types can this thing play. i hope i didnt waste a hundred bucks on it for nothing. i can put pics an music and videos but i cant figure out how to get the games on it. its fuken hurting. will sum1 help me out pleaze?

  3. dingoo-digital.com says:

    It’s not difficult, just unzip them into for an example snes folder. Go to the menu emulators and select your folder snes then your ROM.

  4. dingoo-digital.com says:

    i was just wondering, how is the gameboy color/ gameboy emulation and roms? is the music slow or the frameskip rate slow or too fast? thats all, my cousin is going to buy it for me as an early christmas present and for being in this movie me, him, my cousin, and my other cousin. I think it will be cool and a lot of fun!

  5. dingoo-digital.com says:

    Hello, you tried Sfa3 and you made it work? Pls let me know how you did it, cause i tried like hundreds of romsets with no luck… Thanks a lot!!!!

  6. dingoo-digital.com says:

    I just received my Dingoo a few days ago, and I am already in love with it, lol.
    I just can’t put it down, it is completely addicting.
    I haven’t found any bad problems with it yet,
    BUT: the shoulder buttons could be bigger ( L & R )
    : It is hard to find MiniSD cards in stores ( at least here in Louisiana, USA). I can easily find MicroSD and SD cards. So if I can get an adapter, I’ll be fine.

  7. dingoo-digital.com says:

    I have a hard time getting them too, but there’s a store here called microCenter that sells the adapter with some cards. I’m using this: http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0313670. The best part is when you need more cards, you can just buy regular microSD sd cards and put them in the adapter.

  8. dingoo-digital.com says:

    After having some more time with the Dingoo, I’m changing my review scores

    Nintendo Entertainment System 10/10
    Top games: Ninja Gaiden, Super Mario Brothers 3, Ducktales

    GameBoy Advance 10/10
    Top games: Metroid Fusion, Legend of Zelda, Harvest Moon, Final Fantasy 6

    SNES 8/10
    Top games: Chrono Trigger, Castlevania 4, Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble, Mega Man X, Prince of Persia, Super Mario All Stars, Teenage Mutant Turtles 4

    Sega Genesis 1/10

    Neo Geo 9/10
    Top games: The Last Blade, Metal Slug, Blazing Star

    CPS2 9/10
    Top games: X-men Children of the Atom, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Marvel Super Heroes, Giga Wing

    Overall 9/10

  9. dingoo-digital.com says:

    and i bought this for the genesis haha. am i screwed?

  10. dingoo-digital.com says:

    ah, just donwload the updated version in the emulators section matey, works fine as long as your not bothered about sound all that much

  11. dingoo-digital.com says:

    Dont play Golden Sun lol it will make you think twice about the GBA emulator. the game has major slowdown durring the world map, Beginning, and Battles, otherwise you can hear there is frameskip but its not that bad unless you want to hear the music.

    Also some games fail to work with it (Boktai 1 =( yet Boktai 2 works)

  12. dingoo-digital.com says:

    Hi Omars,

    Thanks for posting this review, it is actually the most useful review to understand the potential of the machine.

    Would it be possible to update this review by

    1. Giving frameskip numbers per game so that to list which games can run without frameskip for example or have a better understanding of the smoothness of the games

    2. Using a maximum overclocked frequency

    3. Do the same with a couple of games on Mame?

  13. dingoo-digital.com says:

    excellent work!
    inspires me to bring some additional info:
    – the TV out is great! try playing GBA on tv. something i’d never imagine, an awesome graphic even after zoom.
    – the video player lacks subtitles (that’s the worst part for me). it would be painful to merge subtitles and reencode all my tv series’ episodes. i have no idea of how complex could be implementing it though.
    – the battery lasts forever (or almost ;p). testing its durability with earphones and having good results (i finished metroid fusion around 4 hrs, and it’s still around its 20%.
    – on the second day of use, my minisd was not being held anymore. i had to open it and insert a small piece of a rubber to tighten the coil that locks the card.
    – the Y/B problem is annoying. there were so many years using this configuration, and i hope it will be fixed soon.
    i’m very satisfied at all.
    thanks y’all and sorry for my bad english!

  14. dingoo-digital.com says:

    after having had more time with the dingoo, I have to give it a 9/10. Most games run well, (by tweaking frameskip) and are very playable.
    If they can just fix the sega genesis emulator and make it at least as good as the snes emulation, it’ll be perfect in my eyes.

  15. dingoo-digital.com says:

    Im glad you gave the SNES emulator more time. I had heard before I recieved my dingoo that snes emulation was pretty bad. But after testing it I realized it actually is very good. Even with slight frameskip and text issues on some of my favorite games im still having a really enjoyable time playing Secret of Evermore despite its sound fx issues and SD3 despite is text issues. At the same time, I feel spoiled since my last attempt at SNES emulation was the DS, which was downright absolutely horrible. If only there was a way to play Terranigma, and fix the sound issue with Live A Live, this thing would be perfect in my eyes.

  16. dingoo-digital.com says:

    Man I wish someone would just redo the font for SD3. I want to play this game so bad and really want to play in on here and not my computer.

  17. dingoo-digital.com says:

    Have you had problems with any other fan-translated games?? I play a lot of them so it’s something to take into consideration before investing in one of these.

  18. dingoo-digital.com says:

    So far I have only tried SD3 since that is the only one I have really wanted to play. Are there other good games with fan translations I should try? All the other games so far have displayed fine.

  19. dingoo-digital.com says:

    There are TONS of amazing games with fan translations. Have you played Mother 3 for the GBA? That game needs to played by anyone who claims to like games. Even in the slightest. At least play through Chapter 1 (which takes MAYBE an hour) you’ll be hooked after that. I suggest looking up information on the games “Rhythm Battle System” though since the game never really formally explains it… Imagine a battle system that mixes timed button presses with turn-based RPG goodness to let you combo hits on enemies. Seriously, it may have overtaken Final Fantasy III/VI as my favorite RPG ever.

    For the SNES, some great translated games are…

    Alcahest (A pretty good Squaresoft action-RPG)
    Bahamut Lagoon (An amazing Squaresoft game)
    Dragon Quest 1&2 (The first two entries in the first RPG series ever. Remade for the SNES)
    Dragon Quest 3 (Another remake and a very recent translation… Man this game is awesome)
    Dragon Quest 5 (The best game in the series… Hands down… This game is up there with the best RPGs on the console and was recently remade for the DS.)
    Dragon Quest 6 (Another great game. This series has been very consistent on the quality of it’s games. It’s the most popular franchise in Japan for a reason.)
    Duel Orb 2 (Haven’t played this game much, but it’s supposed to be great.)
    Emerald Dragon (Same story as Duel Orb 2.)
    Final Fantasy V (It’s Final Fantasy… Come on.)
    Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu (the translation has a bit of a ways to go, but all of the important text for battling and story is tanslated. If you’ve never played a Fire Emblem game, there are also two for the GBA and they’re all awesome.)
    Fire Emblem: Thraki 776 (Same story as before)
    Fire Emblem: Version 1.0 (This is a remake of the first two games in the series, which were on the NES.)
    Front Mission (An awesome Tactical RPG from Squaresoft… ABOUT GIANT ROBOTS! It’s an absolutely huge game.)
    Gunmans Proof (This game is weird, but very fun and has a good sense of humor.)
    King of Demons (A sweet action game with a cool story.)
    Lennus II (A very… Unique game… But it’s still good. The first one isn’t worth playing though)
    Live A Live (Another Squaresoft game, like so many on this list. It focuses on several different characters, each with unique stories as opposed to one long story.)
    Monstania (It’s an RPG? It’s isometric… Kind of… It’s weird, but it’s pretty good.)
    Romancing SaGa 3 (The third entry in one of Squaresoft’s main series, almost as big as the Final Fantasy or Mana series. The SNES entries never made it to U.S. shores though… It’s a shame because they are some of the best games on the system.)
    Star Ocean (Good God. Play this game. Please. PLEASE. It’s one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever seen and it’s probably the best looking game on the SNES.)
    Tales of Phantasia (Another must play for everyone. This game… Oh man… If it means anything, the Tales series is the second most popular game series in Japan and this is the one that started them all.)
    Terranigma (A VERY good action-RPG from Enix. It’s the sequel to Illusion of Gaia if you ever played that. This one is a must-play as well.)
    Treasure Hunter G (Another high-production values game from Squaresoft. It’s an RPG and it’s pretty good. It has a unique graphical style too. Kind of like Super Mario RPG… Kind of…)
    Treasure of Rudras (A very dark game from Squaresoft. I don’t have much experience with it, but I hear it’s a must-play.)

    *phew* That ought to keep you busy for a while! Hahaha, I didn’t mean to get that far into it though!

  20. dingoo-digital.com says:

    Thats a nice list of game going to have to try some of those. Mother 3 looks awesome thanks for telling me about it !!

  21. dingoo-digital.com says:

    There are some SNES games with special chip compressions that are unplayable with Dingoo… I’m guessing that Star Ocean has the SDD-1 compression chip that Dingoo can’t play it, instead it displays a black screen. I hope in future Firmware revisions more features, bug fixes etc. and improvements with emulation would be implemented, especially with button glitches

  22. dingoo-digital.com says:

    Don’t forget Radical Dreamers! Short successor to Chrono Cross, but oh-so-sweet and unique.

  23. dingoo-digital.com says:

    I have to agree pretty much on everything here. In the NES emu I remapped the keys to make it much easier to play. Haven’t even looked at mapping anything else yet. Oh CPS1 works pretty flawless with only a few exceptions of Ghoul’s n Ghosts doesn’t display right and Nemo has a slight farerate problem but I haven’t adjusted the skipping yet.

  24. dingoo-digital.com says:

    I would agree with most of that but GBA emulation is not perfect. Try playing Mario Golf and you will find you get bad framerates.

  25. dingoo-digital.com says:

    Mario Golf played fine for me with A600s overclock hack, set at 430. Some of the gba games are now run too fast.

  26. dingoo-digital.com says:

    Does the overclock hack help with the Genesis/SNES emulation at all??

  27. dingoo-digital.com says:

    Just runs them faster so you dont have to use as much frameskip.

  28. dingoo-digital.com says:

    Cool! I looked at the SNES Emulation Frameskip Settings and they seemed reasonable, are they even better when overclocked?

  29. dingoo-digital.com says:

    Indeed, I have most of my games on Frameskip 1 or 0

  30. dingoo-digital.com says:

    Awesome! Thank you very much! I guess this means that I’m buying one! Haha.

  31. dingoo-digital.com says:

    who plays golf anyway 😛
    I’m playing Chrono Trigger mostly, runs great at frameskip 3

  32. dingoo-digital.com says:

    people wo like golf maybe?

  33. dingoo-digital.com says:

    mario golf is a golf rpg and it is a great game

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