GENPlusDroid, A Sega Genesis Emulator Review

GENPlusDroid Emulator Review
Another classic gaming console emulator for the android, GENPlusDroid v1.9.2 by Halsafar is a different kind of animal. GENPlusDroid provides unparalleled accuracy at the cost of higher requirements of the device, while Gensoid by yongzh (or DroidEmu by David Wu) offers higher speeds and efficiency of power but doesn’t often work correctly.

If your android device is powerful enough to play this app at full speed, it will play the games exactly as they would be played on an actual Sega Genesis machine.

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Overall Rating: 4/5, Supreme except for the few drawbacks

Installation and use of Genesis emulators on android is a breeze, especially with GENPlusDroid which is available for free from the Market (aka Google Play.) One of the nice things about emulating a Sega Genesis is that there’s usually no need to separately download a BIOS file; it’s all included in the emulator app’s package. This is especially great for beginners in the emulation game.

Another nice thing about GENPlusDroid in particular is that it doesn’t mind it if the game’s ROM file was compressed using the typical .zip format or even using the 7-Zip format [.7z instead of .zip] when you downloaded it, it’s simply ready to play. You can quickly install the app from the market, download a rom file of a Genesis game you’d like to play, and everything is ready to go!

Ratings Breakdown:
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3/5 for Performance: Other emulators can play faster on lesser devices
5/5 for ROM Compatibility: Are your ROM files all hacked-up? No Problem!
5/5 for Device Compatibility: Excellent and improving
5/5 for Features: Would you like to try some of the video filters?
4/5 for Interface: Simple and easy, very nice but with flaws

This one was the first Genesis emulator I’d tried and I was happy to be able to play games like the original Sonic series on my Motorola Droid, even in slow-motion! I’d also spent some time playing a strategy game called Master of Monsters, but ultimately I felt defeated by my seemingly out-dated device’s running of it so slowly, so I opted to finish that game using an emulator on my PC instead.

PERFORMANCE: GENPlusDroid emulates with more accuracy than the competition, but it requires a stronger CPU in the device and will drain a battery faster.
To illustrate, here’s an example: on a device like my D1 there’s no chance of playing Genesis games at full speed using GENPlusDroid, in fact it’s so slow that I wonder if the speaker will blow because of all the clipping noises! On a more powerful device like a Droid 3 it all plays flawlessly, but don’t try plugging in an HDMI cable to play it on your widescreen TV or it will look and sound like you’re playing on my D1 again.
In contrast, if we’re playing the game using the DroidEmu emulator instead (Gensoid is almost as fast,) not only can my D1 play it at full speed but the D3 can play it on the big-screen TV too, without breaking a sweat. That seems like a pretty big difference to me. Just don’t expect Gensoid/DroidEmu to play the game without some bugs, if it’s playable at all.

ROM COMPATIBILITY, DEVICE COMPATIBILITY, and FEATURES: GENPlusDroid wins. “Flawless victory, Fatality,” as they say.
It’s not truly flawless, I’ve seen reports of device incompatibility, but the developer is still actively improving it and says that right now it’s expected to run on any pre-ICS android system (or basicallly any 2.X or 3.X, but not necessarily all 4.X devices.) Some features are being planned for the next release, and are not yet implemented, but I feel I must give credit for a 5-star rating in all three of these categories, espeically when compared to the alternatives.

INTERFACE: There’s one bug I’ve noticed in recent versions. If you’ve disabled the sound (whether it was because it was annoying, slowing down the game, or making you fear speaker damage) then the next time you try to load a rom and play a game, it might fail miserably and make you wonder what happened to your phone. In this case, after starting GENPlusDroid you must immediately go into the settings and re-enable the sound before you try to start a game.
Another problem I’ve read of is that because there can be ads in the menu screens (but not during game-play, thankfully) the placement of the ad can actually interfere with the menus and such! While it’s pretty good, it’s not perfect, so 4 stars is probably fair.

For me personally, this app will probably be getting a lot more use when I get a newer phone, or if future updates successfully make it run more smoothly on weaker devices. If you have a more powerful android phone or tablet than I do, and if you’re into Genesis games or simply new to emulation, this could be the right Sega emulator for you. Check it out!

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