This video shows just how accurate each Mega Drive emulator really is

Is this video still relevant today? All it seems is like proof that BlastEm is the best emulator out of all of them.


PicoDrive is tremendously improved in the 3 years since what you see in the video. Read below for a detailed description of the improvements, and remaining issues.

Sure, it’s still relevant, but there’s a lot more to consider than just which emu handles a test ROM (or even ‘many test ROMs’) the best.

It’s like saying Steph Curry is the best basketball player ever because he has the highest free-throw percentage. Sure, it’s one stat by which you can measure, and you could make a case that it’s the single most important measure, but that single measure alone does not provide a holistic picture.

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I just tried them all myself.

  • Genesis Plus GX hasn’t changed all that much.

  • BlastEm is still as good as ever.

  • PicoDrive is the biggest improvement of them all.

I mean seriously, now it can run like 85-95% of it without any issues. There’s the occasional tiny graphical bug, and the sound still isn’t completely accurate, and close to the end the sound cuts off because of an “inaccurate cycle timing issue”. But still, that’s progress.

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Yeah, Picodrive is quite decent these days. Many of the games that used to break on it but not on GPGX work just fine now. The biggest changes for GPGX recently have been the ‘wide’ fork and MD+ support. And yeah, blastem is still great :smiley:


Not sure what to think of this. The video is 3 years old, i don’t know how good Picodrive is now but there is no chance in hell it was better than GX 3 years ago (as a Genesis emulator in general, not this particular test rom).

I also remember reading articles in reddit about these test roms and how some authors would fine tune their emulator to specifically run that as good as possible with them, without actually improving it’s compatibility/accuracy with all other games.

I rate the performance/quality of an emulator by it’s real world usage. That’s all the games it can run as good as possible. And GX was always better than Picodrive. Also, Blastem couldn’t run Virtua Racing (not sure about nowadays though).

Anyway, the only thing i care about in Picodrive is it’s accuracy/compatibility with 32X games since that’s the only way to play them in RetroArch. For Genesis/MegaDrive GX has me covered.

  1. I just literally tried “Overdrive 2” today, and I can confirm with 100% certainty that it’s better on PicoDrive.

  2. I’ll believe it when a “Genesis Plus GX-A” gets released (the A stands for accuracy).

  3. It’s just as you said: It was better. If you prefer playability over accuracy, that’s fine. I can also confirm that Virtua Racing still can’t run on BlastEm, but it can run on the Pico and GX. It’s still a W.I.P. issue, as confirmed by the author himself:

  4. Alright… You do you… I just prefer PicoDrive because it’s improved by a massive margin in those 3 years since this video was posted. But that’s simply my opinion/stance on it.


As of January 2022 BlastEm shows full normal playback of this demo, Genesis Plus GX shows squares instead of rain at the beginning, and PicoDrive loses sound at the end. That is, nothing has changed. At first glance, the difference between these cores is that PicoDrive normalizes (amplifies) the sound - some may like it, but some may not (like me). Secondly, BlastEm has the smallest core size (dll file). It is followed by PicoDrive and Genesis Plus GX. All in all, BlastEm is probably the best core for an emulator (RetroArch). But it would be nice to see the behavior of these cores in some other difficult place in another game.

I believe PicoDrive is the only core though that supports second instance run-ahead without glitches. GX glitches out very often. BlastEm doesn’t support it at all (just hangs if you enable it.)

The biggest issue with BlastEm is that it doesn’t support Enhancement Chip games. Not to mention CD and 32X. On top of that, no mobile support.

It’s important to determine the disadvantages of a particular program first before any improvements can be made. In this case, it’s been stagnant for almost 3 Years now, with barely any sign of improving, or new features.

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It’s not a product. Like 99% of all emulators, it’s a hobby project.

Pardon my mix up. I meant to say program.

The game is not worth the candle!

Really? For me it’s the opposite - PicoDrive is one of the few cores that just doesn’t work for me with Run-Ahead. It instantly disables it because it “failed to load state”. I never had this problem with Genesis Plus GX (and didn’t notice any glitches with it). I only use PicoDrive for 32X though - maybe that’s the issue?

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Wanted to bring the attention back to this thread since it’s been a while, and that’s ample time to see if anything’s changed.

Same. If anyone with experience with the current versions of the multiple emulators can speak to their effectiveness nowadays, I would be interested in hearing it