CycloDS iEvolution Review

Discussion in 'Official GBAtemp Reviews' started by Another World, Feb 21, 2011.

Feb 21, 2011
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    <font color="red">GBAtemp.net review of the...</font>

    <font size="5"><font color="#000080"><b>CycloDS iEvolution</b></font></font><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/00_gemei_mps_a330_review_spacer.png" border="0" class="linked-image" /><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/00_cyclods_ievo_review_header.png" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Manufactured by: Cyclops
    Also Known As: iEVO, iEvo, CycloDSi
    Review by Another World - completed 2/20/2011

    <b>Review Contents & Index:</b><ul><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#a">Review Introduction</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#a1">- Official Features List</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#a2">- DSi-Mode</a></li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#b">Contents and Packaging</a></li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#c">Kit Design and Impressions</a></li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#d">Set-up and Usage</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#d1">- Bootstrap Flashing</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#d2">- Software Set-up</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#d3">- Accessing DS-Mode and DSi-Mode</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#d4">- Main-menu</a></li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#e">Flash Kit Features</a></li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#f">Performance</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#f1">- NDS Homebrew Compatibility</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#f2">- NDS ROM Compatibility</a></li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g">Conclusion</a></li></ul><div class="reviewbreak"><a name="a"></a>Review Introduction</div>
    The CycloDS iEvolution is the first publically released Flash Kit offering support for DSi-Mode. Cyclops has accomplished what was once considered a near impossible task by expanding upon <a href="https://github.com/WinterMute/CookHack" target="_blank">WinterMute’s Cookhack</a>, a save game exploit for <a href="http://gbatemp.net/?showtopic=165221" target="_blank">My Cooking Coach</a>. DSi-Mode has the ability to run ROMs and Homebrew at 2x the CPU speed of DS-Mode with 16MB of accessible RAM. Additionally, running properly dumped DSi enhanced (DSi-hybrid) games in DSi-Mode offers access to the built in camera and WPA wireless encryption. Cyclops has incorporated a “compatibility layer”, which is described as software allowing DS-Mode Homebrew and ROMs access to the increased speed benefits and additional RAM when executed in DSi-Mode.

    The CycloDS iEvolution is a “legal” DSi compatible Flash Kit as it ships without a bootloader. The end-user is responsible for obtaining two specific NDS ROMs (region dependent) and then building a proper flashable bootloader file with officially released PC compatible tools. This is an interesting “circumvention” of international import laws which vary greatly across the world. The argument could continue to be made that the device is intended for piracy, yet the device ships in a useless state that shows up with a blank icon in the firmware of each DS system.

    Users are most interested in the benefits of DSi mode and the “compatibility layer”, specifically the speed increase in regards to Homebrew emulation and problem DS ROMs. This review will test a variety of files to discover where the problems are, however, each file used will need to be tested in both DS-Mode and DSi-Mode (compatibility layer enabled, disabled, and set to auto), more than doubling the amount of required testing. As a result, the number of files tested for this review will be greatly decreased.

    The review unit is a pre-release unit shipped out early, directly from Team Cyclops, to reviewers and Homebrew developers. Cyclops has assured me that the final product will only differ slightly from the pre-release review sample. Apparently the first batch of units (approximately 50) was built with a slightly off-center microSD slot, these units are fully functional, and it is one of these units which has been used for all review testing. The packaging, design, included tools, shell, logo, and color choice, will remain the same when the CycloDS iEvolution begins its final production run.

    This review will not compare or contrast features with other “next generation” Flash Kits which may offer similar speed increases through on-board CPU enhancements. This review will not compare or contrast features or support history with other Flash Kit firmware or development teams. As I do not own a CycloDS Evolution this review will not compare or contrast the DSi-Mode Flash Kit against Cyclops’ DS-Mode Flash kit. Users who desire to seek out such answers are advised to conduct research using GBATemp and the Cyclops forums.

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    <a name="a1"></a><b>Official Features List:</b><ul><li>The first and only device to operate in DSi-Mode, unlocking various DSi specific features such as dual cameras, faster CPU speed, additional RAM, improved WIFI support and more </li><li>Advanced DSi-Mode compatibility layer, allowing both standard NDS titles and older "DSi unaware" Homebrew software to operate in DSi-Mode while enjoying the inherent performance advantages </li><li>User friendly, skinnable, feature rich user interface supporting advanced features such as bookmarks, cheat codes and file management </li><li>100% game compatibility, supports clean ROM's </li><li>Real Time Save, allowing you to save and restore the state of gameplay at any time</li><li>Stealth Mode which enables the use of anti-tamper protected games </li><li>In-game text reader, allowing you to view FAQ’s and guides at any time during gameplay </li><li>Full NDS download play support, including problem games such as Mario Kart DS </li><li>Wii connectivity in games such as Pokemon Diamond/Pearl is supported </li><li>Homebrew soft-reset, allowing you to reset back to the iEvolution G.U.I. from almost any homebrew software with a simple button combination</li><li>Battery saving function which allows you to enjoy your handheld for longer between charges </li><li>Action Replay compatible cheat code engine, comes bundled with cheat codes for over 330 games! </li><li>Uses microSD cards, both FAT16 and FAT32 supported </li><li>Supports the microSDHC specification, allowing for high capacity memory cards </li><li>Save type is automatically detected, no need for a save type database </li><li>Save directly to microSD rather than onboard flash </li><li>Multi-lingual user interface </li><li>"Enhanced Mode" which provides powerful, unique features during game play. Enhanced features are activated through an in-game menu.

    Enhanced mode features include:<ul><li>Real Time Save which allows you to save and restore the state of gameplay at any time </li><li>In-game text reader </li><li>Adjust LCD brightness during game play </li><li>Slow-motion mode which can be used to slow down game play to make fast paced action sequences easier to master </li><li>Return to iEvolution Menu (a/k/a soft-reset)</li></ul>
    </li><li>Excellent homebrew compatibility with DLDI auto-patching </li><li>Autoboot mode which when activated will directly boot into the last ROM or homebrew application executed </li><li>Moonshell included to provide media playing functionality, soft-reset is supported </li><li>Gameboy Advance software support with GBA ROM auto-patching (NDS/DSLite only) </li><li>PassMe function (boot from slot 2) (NDS/DSLite only) </li><li>Supports rumble and memory expansions (NDS/DSLite only)</li></ul>The iEvo features a “compatibility layer” which is said to allow DS-Mode Homebrew and ROMs, accessed while in DSi-Mode, the ability to benefit from the DSi’s faster CPU and increased RAM. DSi-Mode has the ability to enable access to the faster CPU and increased RAM for any software it executes. Speculation from the community is that the iEvo is simply “enabling” this hardware feature in regards to ROMs. The Homebrew compatibility layer has been designed so that Homebrew should not be required to be recompiled with the DSi-Mode supported LibNDS. The Homebrew compatibility layer is publically described as supporting older DS Libs such as PALib.

    The compatibility layer allows NDS ROMs and Homebrew, executed in DSi-Mode, access to the faster CPU only. The iEvo limits the RAM access to just 4MB as allowing access to 16MB causes stability issues. When DSi enhanced ROMs are executed the compatibility layer is disabled by default, allowing properly dumped ROMs access to the faster CPU speeds and the full 16MB of RAM. In regards to Homebrew, disabling the compatibility layer will cause some older DS-Mode Homebrew projects to fail, due to their inability to function with the additional RAM. However, projects compiled with the latest LibNDS, which are now “DSi-aware”, will benefit from the increased RAM, CPU speeds, and potentially the ability to access the built-in camera.

    As for the compatibility layer, in regards to Homebrew, it currently falls short of adding any amount of increased compatibility for DS Homebrew executed in DSi-Mode. Speculation from my sources reference areas of code which are designed to precisely execute Homebrew on the slower CPU. These limiting sections of code, once developed to increase compatibility and functionality, are potentially causing problems in DSi-Mode. The compatibility layer is a work in progress and Cyclops has stated that older projects may experience issues if not recompiled using the latest LibNDS. At this point it is very hard to fault them for their efforts, considering how new the DSi-Mode exploit is for developers, I just hope Cyclops goes the extra mile by attempting to add support for older Homebrew projects reported as problematic.

    The currently available v2.1 iEvolution software has received ROM compatibility bug reports and Team Cyclops has addressed most issues as quickly as possible. Users should keep in mind that the idea of 100% compatibility is subjective in nature. One could think of the claim to mean that all properly dumped ROMs will attempt to boot while others see it as a description for the total amount of fully functioning ROMs. The iEvolution software may support all clean NDS ROM dumps but the ability to run those ROMs is dependent on the loaders and the support of its team. While properly dumped clean ROM compatibility is rather high, it is not yet at 100%.

    The iEvo offers support for in-game guides, slow-motion, real time saves, soft-resetting, and other options. These options are available using the in-game menu which can be set to open with any d-pad/button combination. The in-game menu does not function on all games, meaning that not all ROMs can be soft-reset back to the main menu. The in-game menu option for real time saving, as of the v2.1 software, will only function when in DS-Mode. Team Cyclops is aware of the issue and has publically stated that they are working towards a DSi-Mode solution.

    Homebrew soft-reset functions without the need of opening an in-game menu, something I wish was also available for ROMs. Homebrew soft-reset works rather well but fails to function on occasion and may not be currently supported by DSi-Mode. Homebrew soft-reset was attempted on each file which was used for the testing of this review. More often then not a DSi-Mode compatibly problem arose which limited the opportunities to test the soft-reset feature, and for files that did execute correctly in DSi-Mode the soft-reset feature failed to function. It is possible that Homebrew soft-reset in DSi-Mode is fully functional. While testing for this review, I simply did not come across a file where it worked correctly.

    The official features list describes Homebrew has having “excellent compatibility”, a claim which is only partially honest and subjective to interpretation. The DS-Mode has a very high compatibility, few DLDI issues, and full access to WIFI features. The DSi-Mode suffers from many problems and compatibility issues, some of which are probably directly related to the early build of the Homebrew compatibility layer. Other files failed in both modes, these files were popular projects with well documented development histories. Many of these same failed files have been reported as problematic since the CycloDS Evolution (DS-Mode Flash Kit). A more honest statement to describe Homebrew compatibility could have been that the CycloDS iEvolution has high homebrew compatibility for files launched in DS-Mode. The use of the word “excellent” denotes a level of achievement beyond what the iEvo currently demonstrates.

    <a name="a2"></a><b>DSi-Mode:</b>

    The first DSi-Mode Homebrew, released by <a href="http://gbatemp.net/t173066-dsi-homebrew" target="_blank">Gemisis</a>, was a very simple game which worked using WinterMute’s exploit. A proof of concept which actually provided little proof besides the authors’ word and the known functionally of the exploit that the code was indeed running in DSi-Mode. During the course of the next year, many rumors that the DSi Common Key had been found began to circulate, as did rumors that multiple different teams were working on separate DSi-Mode Flash kits. Most of those I had spoken with concluded, as did I, that Cyclops recent covert tactics were to keep quiet the fact that they had expanded upon WinterMute’s exploit and intended to release a functional DSi-Mode Flash Kit, now known as the CycloDS iEvolution.

    Now that the tangibility of the CycloDS iEvolution has been confirmed, what benefits does it offer Homebrew developers and gamers, what are the differences between DS-Mode and DSi-Mode, and more importantly, what does Cyclops plan to do with the technology?

    Cyclops has begun to submit source code into <a href="http://libnds.devkitpro.org/" target="_blank">LibNDS</a>, with the help of WinterMute, which will allow Homebrew developers to compile new projects and recompile old projects with DSi-Mode support. According to the <a href="http://dsx86.patrickaalto.com/DSblog.html" target="_blank">February 1st, 2011 Blog Post</a> by Pate, the developer of DSx86, the recompile process is rather easy and does indeed allow Homebrew to access the benefits of DSi-Mode. Currently only a handful of concept projects have been attempted or <a href="http://gbatemp.net/t277326-zoomx3-1-28-11" target="_blank">released</a>, and while nothing is yet fully utilizing the enhancements, DSi-Mode Homebrew is being planned, discussed, and coded.

    I have been referring to DS-Mode and DSi-Mode throughout the beginning of this review. Some readers may be asking themselves what the differences are, and the answer is actually very simplistic. The different modes relate to the parameters for which actual retail game carts must boot into and can also be used to discuss the additional options available to the software. In regards to DS-Mode the 2-ARM Central Processing Units clock at speeds of 67 MHz and 33 MHz, respectively, with a total accessible RAM capacity of 4MB, and WIFI limited to <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wired_Equivalent_Privacy" target="_blank">WEP</a> encryption. In DSi-Mode the ARM-9 CPU clocks at an increased speed of 133 MHz while the ARM-7 co-processor continues to clock at 33 MHz, a total accessible RAM capacity of 16MB is now available, and DSi-Mode software can connect to WIFI using <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_Protected_Access" target="_blank">WPA</a> encryption. Additionally, DSi enhanced ROMs (potentially future Homebrew projects as well), have access to the 0.3-megapixel digital cameras.

    Some users have asked if anything more can be done using the DSi-Mode technology. The proposed questions referenced how booting into each mode is only software dependent, and if Cyclops had a way of booting into DSi-Mode would it not be possible for DS-Mode software to benefit from the increased specs? Cyclops has responded by incorporating a software “compatibility layer” (previously discussed) which allows “non-DSi aware” software to benefit from the increased CPU speed and RAM. Put simply, Homebrew and ROMs compiled for DS-Mode can now be executed when the iEvolution is booted into DSi-Mode. Nothing overly dramatic should be expected, and once the technology is perfected the speed increase and RAM gains will be enough to help problematic emulation, graphically intensive ROMs, and the like, to be enjoyed with potentially less problems or issues.

    When DSi-Mode was first announced many users speculated over what would be possible, this speculation included DSi-Ware. DSi-Ware has not yet been decrypted and as such there is currently no way to run or access DSi-Ware files via the iEvo. Cyclops has made no claims that DSi-Ware would ever be accessible, and as the hardware required to run it is locked out once anything boots from the Slot-1, it is likely that it will never be accessible using the iEvolution's current exploit.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="b"></a>Contents and Packaging</div>
    <b>Contents:</b><ul><li>1x CycloDS iEvolution</li><li>1x iEvolution Bootstrap Flasher</li><li>1x Generic microSD Reader</li></ul><b>Packaging:</b>

    <div align='center'><a href="http://gbatemp.net/news/09_cyclods_ievo_review_box_front.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/09_cyclods_ievo_review_box_front-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/00_gemei_mps_a330_review_spacer.png" border="0" class="linked-image" /><a href="http://gbatemp.net/news/10_cyclods_ievo_review_box_back.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/10_cyclods_ievo_review_box_back-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>
    The CycloDS iEvolution, unlike most Flash Kits, ships in an attractive tin box wrapped in a thin open-ended plastic bag. The box measures approximately 4 inches by 4 inches by 1 and ¼ inches. The box feels very light but is extremely well constructed, and will most definitely protect the contents during shipping. The lid of the box is adorned with the Cyclops logo proudly displaying the evolution of man from “ape” to “DSi” mode. The bottom of the box contains a brief list of the Flash Kit’s features, displays the teams name and logo, and contains the URL for their support and news Website.

    <div align='center'><a href="http://gbatemp.net/news/11_cyclods_ievo_review_box_open_contents.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/11_cyclods_ievo_review_box_open_contents-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>
    A thin foam insert lines both the top and bottom of the box, adequately protecting the interior contents. Additionally, the Flash Kit, microSD reader, and bootstrap flasher, are secured in a foam tray cut precisely to each individual pieces unique shape. The CycloDS iEvolution should arrive pushed to the bottom of the foam insert, and one can see that there is room here to store more than 1 Flash Kit. The design, build, and extra room for Flash Kit storage demonstrate that Cyclops put some constructive thought into the iEvolution’s packaging.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="c"></a>Kit Design and Impressions</div>
    <div align='center'><a href="http://gbatemp.net/news/12_cyclods_ievo_review_flash_kit_front.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/12_cyclods_ievo_review_flash_kit_front-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://gbatemp.net/news/13_cyclods_ievo_review_flash_kit_back.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/13_cyclods_ievo_review_flash_kit_back-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://gbatemp.net/news/14_cyclods_ievo_review_flash_kit_pcb_front.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/14_cyclods_ievo_review_flash_kit_pcb_front-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://gbatemp.net/news/15_cyclods_ievo_review_flash_kit_pcb_back.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/15_cyclods_ievo_review_flash_kit_pcb_back-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <font size="1">PCB images provided by: <a href="http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showuser=53260" target="_blank">Mbmax</a></font></div>
    The CycloDS iEvolution ships in a white plastic windowed shell similar to other Flash Kits. The front of the shell is covered by a Cyclops “evolution” logo sticker. The shell can be separated by applying minor force at either the top left or top right corner. The logo sticker has been placed over the window meaning that the center of the logo sticker is “stuck” to the chip and the top half of the shell should be removed with caution. The PCB contains 17 connection “teeth” each protected by their own plastic guide. To the right of the microSD slot are three small indentations which offer a graspable area when holding the Flash Kit during microSD removal. The microSD slot is not spring loaded, accepts the microSD card smoothly, and grips the microSD card securely.

    When pushed on, there is no movement between the shell and the PCB. However, the review unit did arrive with top left corner of the shell unsecured. The plastic guide that should push into the hole on the opposite side continues to fight against its design. Each of the reviewers and Homebrew developers whom I have spoken with has experienced similar issues with the two halves of the shell. While the slight lifting is not aesthetically pleasing it causes no issues to the Flash Kit when being inserted into the DSi XL or DS Lite. When inserted, the iEvo fits snugly into the DS Lite and smoothly into the DSi XL. The protruding chip will rub on the wall of the slot and cause the logo to scratch or fade due to usage. After 2 weeks of testing, the review unit is already showing signs of ageing in regards to the logo, as seen in the image above.

    The overall build quality of the CycloDS iEvolution is not what one would expect in the $50 price range. The feeling of the iEvo is heavy and solid but the misaligned shell and separation between the seams make the Flash Kit’s design seem rushed in comparison to the box design, DSi-Mode ability, and software features.

    The included microSD reader is a standard generic reader. The device is encased in a dark-smoke colored translucent plastic and includes a matching plastic cap. For those who do not currently have a microSD reader, the include reader does function and provided no issues during the testing phase of this review.

    The bootstrap flasher is a white circular USB connectable device commonly known as the CycloDS iEvolution UFO dongle. The center of the UFO dongle contains a translucent red plastic circular area adored with the “evolution” logo. The device is made from a thin plastic that feels very fragile, and applying small amounts of pressure to the shell results in creeks and cracking noises. It is not mandatory to use the device, as some users have already reported that the DS Phat and DS Lite can also be used to flash the iEvolution’s bootstrap. While the device is not perfectly constructed it will suffice for flashing the bootstrap and should last for years provided the end-users takes care by inserting it, after the bootstrap has been flashed, back into the protective tin.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="d"></a>Set-up and Usage</div>
    The CycloDS iEvolution is very easy to set-up and use. The Flash Kit must first be flashed with a compatible bootloader before the software can be accessed. All of the relevant and important information has been collected and organized below to help make the set-up a little bit easier.

    <div align='center'><a href="http://gbatemp.net/news/08_cyclods_ievo_review_ufo_dongle.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/08_cyclods_ievo_review_ufo_dongle-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a></div>
    <a name="d1"></a><b>Bootstrap Flashing:</b>

    The iEvolution ships “blank” and can not be used by any DS system until an appropriate bootstrap has been flashed. Bootstrap creation is currently only supported for American and European DSi systems (U = U.S.A., E = Europe). Users with DSi systems from other regions will need to wait until an appropriate exploit has been released for their system.

    Bootstrap creation and flashing only has to be completed once for normal usage, however, if a future DSi update blocks the iEvolution then a newly exploited bootstrap will need to be flashed (assuming one is available). Creating the flashable bootstrap file is done by acquiring two specific NDS ROM files and by making use of a Cyclops PC application.

    <p><b>Cyclops PC Applications:</b>

    <img src="http://gbatemp.net/images/download.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <a href="http://filetrip.net/f23853-CycloDS-iEvolution-Bootstrap-%28USA-Version%29-1-0.html" target="_blank">iEvolution Bootstrap v1.0 USA</a>
    <img src="http://gbatemp.net/images/download.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <a href="http://filetrip.net/f23854-CycloDS-iEvolution-Bootstrap-%28Europe-Version%29-1-0.html" target="_blank">iEvolution Bootstrap v1.0 EUR </a>
    </p>
    <p><b>Required ROM Files:</b>

    U.S.A.:
    <img src="http://gbatemp.net/style_images/1/folder_post_icons/icon11.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <a href="http://gbatemp.net/?showtopic=37030" target="_blank">MechAssault - Phantom War (U)</a> [E04C5E3D]
    <img src="http://gbatemp.net/style_images/1/folder_post_icons/icon11.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <a href="http://gbatemp.net/?showtopic=165221" target="_blank">My Healthy Cooking Coach (DSi Enhanced) (US)</a> [0871A844]

    European:
    <img src="http://gbatemp.net/style_images/1/folder_post_icons/icon11.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <a href="http://gbatemp.net/?showtopic=37030" target="_blank">MechAssault - Phantom War (U)</a> [E04C5E3D]
    <img src="http://gbatemp.net/style_images/1/folder_post_icons/icon11.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <a href="http://gbatemp.net/?showtopic=164162" target="_blank">Mon Coach Personnel - Mes Recettes Plaisir et Ligne (DSi Enhanced) (FR)</a> [6D7F9B17]
    </p>
    Building a proper bootstrap and flashing the CycloDS iEvolution has already been documented by Cyclops. Instead of rewording the same instructions I have opted to make a few minor adjustments to the instructions contained in their release file. These minor adjustments are the rewording of short phrases so that the instructions make sense in regards to the order of which the review has been written verses the Cyclops release page.

    <b>UFO Dongle Instructions:</b><ol type='1'><li>Obtain the required ROM files, as listed above</li><li>Extract the contents of the required Cyclops PC applications archive to your PC and load the "iEVOBootTool" program</li><li>Select the source firmware file, which is the .bin file included along with the archive. Also select the DS Lite and DSi ROM files, as specified above</li><li>Click "Process". Providing there were no errors (such as corrupt ROM files), a file named "BOOTUPDT.EVO" will be placed in the same directory as the "iEVOBootTool" program</li><li>Copy “BOOTUPDT.EVO” to the Root directory of a microSD card</li><li>Ensure that iEvolution does not have a microSD card currently inserted, and then insert the iEvolution cartridge into the UFO dongle</li><li>Insert the UFO dongle into a USB port on your PC and wait for the red LED, on the CycloDS iEvolution, to light up</li><li>Once the red LED has lit up, while keeping the iEvolution plugged into the PC, insert the microSD card containing the “BOOTUPDT.EVO” file into the iEvolution’s microSD slot</li><li>The red LED should switch off after a few seconds, which indicates that the iEvolution bootstrap update is in progress. If the LED does not switch off, or if it flashes on and off, then there is a problem. This is often simply the result of contact issues with the microSD card, so try again from the beginning if you get such an error.</li><li>After a few minutes (approximately 3 minutes), the red LED will switch back on. This indicates that the bootstrap update has completed successfully and that your iEvolution is now ready to use.</li></ol>For users who experience any connectivity issues or partial bootstrap bricking from the UFO dongle the following alternative method can be used.

    <b>DS Phat/Lite Instructions:</b><ol type='1'><li>Copy “BOOTUPDT.EVO” to the Root directory of a freshly formatted microSD card </li><li>Insert the Cyclods iEVO, without any microSD cart, into a DS Phat or DS Lite. </li><li>Power up the DS console, the red LED light will turn on </li><li>Insert the microSD card into the iEvolution. The red LED with turn off indicating that the bootstrap is being flashed</li><li>Wait approximately 3 minutes until the red LED turns back on. The iEvolution is now ready for use</li></ol><a name="d2"></a><b>Software Set-up:</b>

    The CycloDS iEvolution software is extremely simple to set-up. All one must do is download the most up-to-date “boot.ievo” software file and place it in Root directory of a correctly formatted microSD card. After booting the Flash Kit, the “boot.ievo” file will be automatically unpacked into a “CycloDS” directory.

    The “CycloDS” directory contains the most basic of files required by the Flash Kit. In this directory files like themes, cheats, the configuration file, etc, are stored. One of the most important files is the “config.xml”, a settings file which allows the end-user to tweak some performance aspects or turn on various things such as the “screen capture” option.

    <p><b>CycloDS iEvolution Software:</b>

    <img src="http://gbatemp.net/images/download.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <a href="http://filetrip.net/f23876-CycloDS-iEvolution-Firmware-Stable-2-1.html" target="_blank">iEvolution v2.1</a> 1.73 MB
    </p>
    <a name="d3"></a><b>Accessing DS-Mode and DSi-Mode:</b>

    The CycloDS iEvolution is able to switch between DS-Mode and DSi-Mode bootloaders on-the-fly, pending a DSi system reboot. When booting into DSi-Mode the Flash Kit will display in the DSi Firmware Menu as the “Cooking Coach” icon, and when booting in DS-Mode it will display as the “MechAssault” icon.

    <p><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/07_cyclods_ievo_review_mechassault_icon.png" border="0" class="linked-image" /> “MechAssault” icon
    <img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/08_cyclods_ievo_review_cookingcoach_icon.png" border="0" class="linked-image" /> “Cooking Coach” icon
    </p>
    Switching between DS-Mode and DSi-Mode is only available when accessing the CycloDS iEvolution software on a compatible DSi system. When using the iEvolution on a DS Phat or DS Lite the change bootloader options are replaced with Slot-2 options.

    When accessing the CycloDS iEvolution software menu on a DSi system the bootloader swap is located under the “settings” menu. Depending on which bootloader is currently accessed one of the following two options will be available, “Switch to DS mode” or “Switch to DSi mode”. After one of the options has been selected the iEvolution software will prompt the user to “Please tap the power button to restart.” The DSi will reboot to the DSi Firmware menu where the Flash Kit can be selected and booted (based on icon) into the new mode.

    The CycloDS iEvolution will remember which mode it was last booted into and always offer that mode as the first choice when accessing the Flash Kit on a DSi system. If the iEvo is accessed on a DS Phat or DS Lite the Flash Kit will automatically display the DS-Mode “MechAssault” icon.

    <a name="d4"></a><b>Main-menu:</b>
    <div align='center'><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/01_cyclods_ievo_review_main_gui_icons.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    The CycloDS iEvolution main menu is a familiar 3 button G.U.I. which has been used successfully since the R4. Cyclops has placed the launching of ROMs and Homebrew, and the accessing of options directly related to both, under the first menu icon. The second icon is for launching a special build of Moonshell or for accessing shortcuts commonly known as “bookmarks”. The third icon is for adjusting settings and miscellaneous options which not only improve performance but allow the user to tweak out the G.U.I. to their own personal preferences.

    <div align='center'><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/02_cyclods_ievo_review_homebrew_directory.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/03_cyclods_ievo_review_rom_options_menu.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    Selecting the first icon will load the Root directory of the microSD card. All files will be displayed by a list format which can be adjusted by tapping the top right View option to change between filename, internal ROM header name, and recently played sorting options. Folders use a generic “folder” icon and files use their internal icon or a generic “DS” icon. Browsing a directory is rather intuitive, the d-pad (or stylus) is used for navigation, and the A button selects or goes forward 1 directory while the B button cancels or goes back 1 directory. Additional settings for Homebrew and ROMs can be accessed here as well. Pressing Y after selecting any file (or tapping Menu) will bring up the listing of additional settings. From the additional settings menu the user can view information about the file (name, size, type, cheats (disabled or enabled), save slot in use, and RTS information), short-cuts (bookmarks) can be set, cheats can be selected and enabled, settings such as Homebrew compatibility layer options (on, off, auto) and ROM save options (save slot, save size, RTS) can be adjusted, and files can be manipulated through copy, move, delete, and paste options.

    <div align='center'><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/05_cyclods_ievo_review_shortcut_menu.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/06_cyclods_ievo_review_shortcut_menu_2.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    The second icon will launch a <a href="http://filetrip.net/f23882-CycloDS-iEvolution-Moonshell-2-10.html" target="_blank">Cyclops “lite” version of Moonshell v2.10</a>, assuming it has been placed onto the microSD card correctly. Depending on the G.U.I. settings, the second icon might instead load a directory of shortcuts. The multimedia behavior of the second icon can be restored by changing the bookmarks option in the settings menu from “List” to “Main Menu”. When the option is set to “Main Menu”, the shortcuts made using the file’s internal icon will be displayed above the 3 icons of the main menu. Users who wish to use the “List” option may still launch Moonshell by executing its .NDS file.

    <div align='center'><img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/04_cyclods_ievo_review_gui_options.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    The third icon is for the G.U.I. settings and miscellaneous options. Here the user can switch between bootloader modes (DS-Mode, DSi-Mode), change the icon size (Small, Normal), adjust the behavior for bookmarks (Main Menu, List), manipulate the Save Mode (Normal, Alternative), turn on the Battery Saver (Enabled, Disabled), adjust the LCD Brightness (0-4), change the default G.U.I. language and theme, and use the Old Cheat Prompt (Disabled, Enabled). Additionally features like rumble and GBA support can be enabled or disabled, the time can be set to a 12hr or 24hr clock, and the in-game menu and last played file key combinations can be adjusted. The settings menu also offers options for hidden files to be displayed, file sorting by numbers, settings for deleting related files, and an option for creating a shortcut for the last file played.

    The in-game menu, as of the v2.1 software, can be accessed from within the DS-Mode and DSi-Mode. However, the real time save is currently limited to the DS-Mode only. Homebrew does not have access to the in-game menu and pressing the key combination will simply attempt to soft-reset back to the main menu. The G.U.I. shortcuts are created using the file’s internal icon, for files which lack this icon a generic “DS” icon (<img src="http://gbatemp.net/news/07_cyclods_ievo_review_generic_ds_icon.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />) will be used. The LCD brightness can be adjusted on the DS Lite and the DSi, however on the DSi this feature can only be used while in DSi-Mode. Turing on the old cheats prompt option will cause the software to prompt the user to enable cheat codes for the game (Yes or NO). If No is selected the ROM will attempt to execute, if Yes is selected the software will load the cheat selection screen where cheats can be “ticked” on or off using radio button and check box style inputs. Sorting by ignoring numbers will sort files by their name and ignore the leading numbers often associated with scene release ROM dumps.

    It is recommended for users to read the iEvo Manual for more information on the CycloDS iEvolution and its features.

    <p><b>CycloDS iEvolution Manual v2.1:</b>

    <img src="http://gbatemp.net/images/download.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <a href="http://filetrip.net/f23881-CycloDS-iEvolution-User-Manual-2-1.html" target="_blank">iEvolution Manual v2.1</a> PDF, 553.5KB
    </p>
    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="e"></a>Flash Kit Features</div>
    The CycloDS iEvolution has many of the features users have come to expect from a modern Flash Kit. While not all features will be discussed a list has been compiled which outlines some of the more important features users are looking for.

    <b>DSi-Mode</b>:
    The CycloDS iEvolution is the first publically available Flash Kit to offer support for DSi-Mode. The in-game menu real time save feature is currently limited to the DS-Mode, something Cyclops hopes to address in the future. DSi-Mode offers users the ability to run properly dumped DSi enhanced and DSi exclusive software with all intended features. These features include access to the DSi camera, WPA WIFI encryption, faster CPU and increased RAM.

    <b>Compatibility Layer</b>:
    Cyclops offers a “compatibility layer” which allows “non DSi-aware” titles, while running in DSi-Mode, the benefit of a faster CPU and increased RAM. The compatibility layer also allows older Homebrew files, compiled before the recent LibNDS updates, to function as expected while running in DSi-Mode with the benefit of a faster CPU.

    <b>Theme Options</b>:
    The iEvo offers users the ability to create custom themes for the Graphical User Interface. The background images, button images, and more can be adjusted and manipulated allowing for a somewhat personalized experience.

    <b>In-Game Menu Key Adjustments</b>:
    The button combination of the in-game menu can be adjusted for each user’s personal choice.

    <b>Real Time Save</b>:
    NDS ROMs can benefit from the ability to save in real time. This allows the user to stop and save at any point, just like modern day computer based emulators.

    <b>Soft-reset</b>:
    NDS ROMs and Homebrew can be soft-reset. This option is accessible via the in-game menu for ROMs and by simply pressing the in-game menu key combination for Homebrew.

    <b>In-Game Guide</b>:
    The iEvo features an in-game text reader which can be used to read hints, tips, and tricks.

    <b>Slow-motion</b>:
    NDS ROMs can be executed in slow-motion making difficult spots of gaming easier to conquer.

    <b>Anti-Piracy Routines</b>:
    Cyclops has dubbed their AP routine a “stealth mode” which helps with the execution of anti-tamper protected games.

    <b>DS Download Play</b>:
    Support has been added for DS Download Play.

    <b>Wii Connectivity</b>:
    Wii connectivity has been added for games from the Pokemon series, etc.

    <b>Battery Saving</b>:
    The battery saving options works by stopping microSD reads when ever a 0xB8 (readID) command is sent. This allows the microSD to “power down” for a few milliseconds and thus save some battery life. This method does work, however, while some extra time is gained the mode will not add hours of uptime and files which spam the readID command to the microSD card may cause microSD corruption.

    <b>Action Replay Cheats</b>:
    The CycloDS iEvolution uses the user.evoCheats file for action replay cheats

    <b>microSD support</b>:
    The iEvo supports FAT 16 and FAT 32 formatted microSD cards. The iEvo also supports SDHC cards allowing for microSD card capacities up to 32GB.

    <b>Automatic Save Detection</b>:
    The save type for ROMs is automatically detected eliminating the need for an updatable save-type database. Save types are written directly to the microSD card, which offers a slight speed increase over onboard flash memory.

    <b>Auto DLDI Patching</b>:
    The iEvo software will automatically DLDI patch Homebrew files.

    <b>Autoboot Mode</b>:
    The last Homebrew or ROM executed can be set to automatically launch.

    <b>Shortcuts</b>:
    Homebrew, ROMS, folders, and files can be stored in a shortcut section allowing for faster accessing of favorite or important files.

    <b>GBA Slot-2 Options</b>:
    The iEvo offers support for Slot-2 Flashing, GBA patching, Rumble, PassME, and RAM expansions.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="f"></a>Performance</div>
    NDS Homebrew and NDS retail ROM dumps were tested on a DS Lite and a DSi XL using a 2GB Japanese Kingston microSD card, an 8GB Class-6 Transcend microSD card and a 4GB Class-4 Taiwan Kingston microSD card, formatted with the Panasonic Formatting Tool v2.9.0.5.

    Each result is listed below by Homebrew or NDS ROM name followed by a color coded phrase. Green colored phrases mean the file performed as expected with no problems. Blue colored phrases mean the file performed with some problems. Problems could include speed issues, compatibility problems, graphical issues, in-game menu issues, etc. An orange colored phrase means that the issues are most probably related to an incorrectly dumped DSi enabled or DSi-Mode ROM. A generalized listing of encountered problems was added next to each appropriate section. Red colored phrases mean that the file failed in both DSi-Mode and DS-Mode. Failed files were additionally tested on an Acekard 2i, SuperCard DS2, or an R4DS.

    I attempted to test the latest revisions of Homebrew projects. For popular Homebrew projects I tested the most downloaded revision and not the latest BETAs. In regards to NDS retail ROM dumps I tested only N. American dumps verified by CRC against the NDS Good-set listing. When a N. American dump was not available the European (E) or Japanese (J) dump was tested instead.

    DSi-Mode and different compatibility layer settings (in regards to Homebrew) were used for all initial testing, as DSi-Mode is the mode of interest. When the DSi-Mode failed each file was retested in DS-Mode. Testing of both modes was not completed for each file listed below, an important distinction which should be understood. Additional problems including soft-reset issues, in-game menu issues, and compatibility issues, may continue to exist for files executed in DS-Mode. Files which failed completely did not work in either DSi-Mode or DS-Mode.

    <a name="f1"></a><b>NDS Homebrew Compatibility:</b><ul><li>5nake - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (No sound in DSi-Mode)</li><li>AlienDS - <b><font color="RED">Fail</font></b> (Does not work in either mode)</li><li>AngunaDS - <b><font color="RED">Fail</font></b> (Freezes after load, graphics do not display)</li><li>Animanatee - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Fails in DSi-Mode)</li><li>AtariDS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Blocks Mania: Another Dream - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Bombjack DS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (ROM selection screen fails to load in DSi-Mode)</li><li>CanyonDS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (ROM selection screen fails to load in DSi-Mode, NIFI fails to function with DSi)</li><li>Clirc - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (WIFI fails in DSi-Mode)</li><li>Colors! - <b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (WIFI fails in DSi-Mode, Homebrew does not work in DSi-Mode, soft-reset fails in DS-Mode)</li><li>Comic Book DS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Detective DS - <b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Does not work in DSi-Mode, soft-reset fails in DS-Mode)</li><li>DS 1943 - <b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (No sound in DSi-Mode, ROM selection screen fails to load in DSi-Mode, soft-reset fails in DS-Mode, NIFI fails to function with DSi)</li><li>DS Doom - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>DS Notes - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>DS Pack - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Graphic issues on ROM selection screen)</li><li>Element DS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Fatal Relations - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Does not work in DSi-Mode)</li><li>Flight from the Dark (LoneWolfDS) - <b><font color="RED">Fail</font></b> (Freezes in both modes after selecting KAI skills)</li><li>Inside the Machine - <b><font color="RED">Fail</font></b> (Loads to a white screen, music continues to play)</li><li>jEnesisDS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>JNKPlat: Platdudes Happy Endings - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Knytt Stories DS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> (Compatibility build required)</li><li>Lameboy - <b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (No sound in DSi-Mode, rumble fails)</li><li>Licks Media Player - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Lode Runner Origine - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Manic Miner: The Lost Levels - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (In DSi-Mode EFS build fails and FAT build has graphic problems)</li><li>Mario Paint Composer - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Fails in DSi-Mode)</li><li>MrDo DS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (ROM selection screen fails to load in DSi-Mode)</li><li>Munky Blocks - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>NeoDS - <b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Fails in DSi-Mode, soft-reset fails in DS-Mode)</li><li>nesDS - <b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Fails in DSi-Mode, soft-reset fails in DS-Mode)</li><li>Nitrotracker - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Open Tyrian - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Operation Libra - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Fails in DSi-Mode)</li><li>Pocket Physics - <b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Save/Load does not function in either mode)</li><li>Powder - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>QuakeDS - <b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Fails in DSi-Mode, soft-reset fails in DS-Mode)</li><li>QuakeIIDS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>REminiscenceDS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>S8DS - <b><font color="RED">Fail</font></b> (Does not function in either mode)</li><li>ScummVMDS - <b><font color="RED">Fail</font></b> (Does not function in either mode)</li><li>SNEmulDS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> (Emulates really fast in DSi-Mode, normal speed is recommended)</li><li>StarquakeDS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>StillAliveDS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (WIFI fails in DSi-Mode)</li><li>Take the Eggs! - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Video Game Hero - <b><font color="RED">Fail</font></b> (Black screens)</li><li>World of Sand - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li></ul>Files can both pass testing and experience problems when one mode has issues and the other does not. Most of the Homebrew problems encountered were limited only to DSi-Mode. Cyclops has publically stated that some issues may arise for older Homebrew projects compiled before the LibNDS DSi-Mode updates. The Homebrew compatibility layer was designed to address such issues, and as of the iEvolution v2.1 software it appears this solution does not yet function as expected. It is very possible that the faster CPU speed, which is always enabled regardless of the compatibility layer settings, is causing issues with older software more precisely coded for the slower CPU speed. WIFI enabled Homebrew files where unable to access the network when launched from within DSi-Mode, and the WIFI light on the DSi XL did not blink or show any signs of attempted WIFI access. It does appear that WIFI access from within DSi-Mode is not yet implemented in regards to Homebrew.

    <a href="http://gbatemp.net/t279103-navy-wars-v20110213" target="_blank">Some</a> <a href="http://gbatemp.net/t279101-speed-trap-v20110213" target="_blank">recent</a> <a href="http://gbatemp.net/t278104-dsx86-v0-24" target="_blank">Homebrew</a> projects, when recompiled with the updated LibNDS, have proved to function correctly when launched from within DSi-Mode. The unfortunate fact of Homebrew development is that many projects have been abandoned without a public source code release. If the compatibility layer can not be updated or tweaked to aid the performance of older projects, Homebrew enthusiasts may be forced to enjoy various projects only in DS-Mode. This may not even be an issue, depending on how the end user views the problem. Personally I felt, that for a Flash Kit advertised for its DSi features and DSi compatibility layers, it currently fails to deliver. Cyclops is actively fine tuning the iEvo and each update brings more fixes and better compatibility. Let us hope that they continue to focus on the Homebrew compatibility layer so that projects can be enjoyed without the need for the end-user to debug between options, settings, and modes.

    The discovery that many popular Homebrew projects (AngunaDS, Lone Wolf DS, S8DS, ScummVMDS, etc) failed to work is something that I find hard to excuse. These projects are substantiated Homebrew projects, well documented in regards to updates, and for the most part have large fan-bases. These are the very projects that should work from the start and the very problems which should have been fixed during the iEvo’s extensive BETA testing. I have read on some forums that users have complained about these same compatibility problems in regards to the CycloDS Evolution (DS-Mode Flash Kit). These problems appear to date back to older Cyclops software updates and I hope they address these compatibility issues with a future software update.

    <a name="f2"></a><b>NDS ROM Compatibility:</b><ul><li>42 All-Time Classics - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (WIFI Fails in DSi-Mode)</li><li>Alice in Wonderland (DSi Enhanced) - <b><font color="orange">Problems</font></b> (DSi specific sections are missing from the ROM file, works in DS-Mode)</li><li>Assassins Creed II - Discovery (DSi Enhanced) - <b><font color="orange">Problems</font></b> (DSi specific sections are missing from the ROM file, works in DS-Mode)</li><li>Bejeweled Twist (DSi Enhanced) - <b><font color="orange">Problems</font></b> (DSi specific sections are missing from the ROM file, works in DS-Mode)</li><li>Blue Dragon - Awakened Shadow - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Bomberman Land Touch - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Call of Duty - Modern Warfare - Mobilized - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (WIFI Fails to initialize in DSi-Mode, fails to connect in DS-Mode)</li><li>Castlevania - Portrait of Ruin - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Classic Word Games (DSi Enhanced) - <b><font color="orange">Problems</font></b> (DSi specific sections are missing from the ROM file, works in DS-Mode)</li><li>Combat of Giants - Dinosaurs - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Combat of Giants - Dragons - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (No audio during intro and freezes after loading in DSi-Mode) </li><li>Combat of Giants - Mutant Insects - <b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (No audio during intro and freezes after loading in DSi-Mode, in-game menu fails)</li><li>Contra 4 - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Dementium II - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Dragons Lair - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Foto Showdown (DSi Exclusive) - <b><font color="orange">Problems</font></b> (DSi specific sections are missing from the ROM file)</li><li>Gauntlet (Multi-boot DEMO) - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> (In-game menu fails)</li><li>Grand Theft Auto - Chinatown Wars - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (White screens in DSi-Mode)</li><li>Picture Perfect Hair Salon (DSi Exclusive) - <b><font color="orange">Problems</font></b> (DSi specific sections are missing from the ROM file)</li><li>Jam with the Band - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Fails in DSi-Mode)</li><li>James Camerons Avatar - The Game (DSi Enhanced) - <b><font color="orange">Problems</font></b> (DSi specific sections are missing from the ROM file, works in DS-Mode)</li><li>Korg DS-10- Synthesizer (DSi Enhanced) - <b><font color="orange">Problems</font></b> (DSi specific sections are missing from the ROM file, works in DS-Mode)</li><li>Mario Kart DS (Track Hack) - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Fails in DSi-Mode)</li><li>Mario Party DS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (DS Download play fails when hosting in DSi-Mode)</li><li>Mario vs. Donkey Kong - Mini-Land Mayhem (DSi Enhanced) - <b><font color="orange">Problems</font></b> (DSi specific sections are missing from the ROM file, works in DS-Mode)</li><li>Metroid Prime Pinball - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> (Rumble works correctly)</li><li>My Healthy Cooking Coach (DSi Enhanced) - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (DSi camera functions, in-game menu fails)</li><li>New Super Mario Bros. - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Prince of Persia - The Forgotten Sands (DSi Enhanced) - <b><font color="red">Fail</font></b> (DSi specific sections are missing from the ROM file, dual black screens in DS-Mode)</li><li>Sonic Classic Collection (DSi Enhanced) - <b><font color="orange">Problems</font></b> (DSi specific sections are missing from the ROM file, works in DS-Mode)</li><li>Space Invaders Extreme 2 - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Super Scribblenauts - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Tetris Party Deluxe - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (WIFI fails in DSi-Mode)</li><li>Tron Evolution (DSi Enhanced) - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (WIFI fails in DSi-Mode, in-game menu fails)</li><li>Ultimate Mortal Kombat - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b>/<b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (WIFI fails in DSi-Mode)</li></ul>The real problem with DSi games is that only recently have DSi ROMs been properly dumped. Apparently only RFTD and Bahamut have a proper DSi dumper, something which has become a coveted secret, yet not all of their dumps are working correctly. Older “DSi enhanced” ROMs, which appear to be incorrectly dumped for DSi-Mode, failed to function as required. These files cause the iEvo to report that the required DSi data is missing, meaning that each of the older DSi games will probably require a new dump at some point in the future.

    Once software is launched from Slot-1 everything gets locked out. The most important aspect of the exploited ROM is the hardware access mask, as files inherit the hardware accessibility of the exploited ROM (IE: My Healthy Cooking Coach). Because this particular file is being exploited the ROM dump of it works as expected, and in this case the DSi camera is fully accessible. It is virtually impossible to test the functionality of other DSi games or DSi enhanced games in relation to the exploited hardware access mask due to the previously mentioned issues with DSi ROM dumps. End-users assume that eventually the exploited ROM will allow them to enjoy the extra features of DSi enhanced games, until files are properly re-dumped or proper dumps are released, testing for this review will remain, regrettably, somewhat incomplete.

    Another major problem with DSi-Mode is that WIFI, including DS Download Play, is inaccessible. I double and triple checked the DSi settings, the router, and other aspects while completing testing for this review. The results of which were that Homebrew and ROMs can access WIFI when running in DS-Mode but never in DSi-Mode. When in DSi-Mode the WIFI light does not flicker or show any signs of proper connectivity.

    Only 1 of the tested files failed to function in DS-Mode (Prince of Persia - The Forgotten Sands), probably due to the metaforic anti-piracy measures. Otherwise DS-Mode functions exceptionally well with a high compatibility rate in regards to ROMs and their features. When the in-game menu was accessible its features functioned as expected. Cheats, real time saves, in-game guides, and other features were tested at random and functioned correctly without any serious issues.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="g"></a>Conclusion</div>
    Anyone interested in a DSi-Mode Flash Kit will be quickly overwhelmed with excitement and may not take the time to read reviews for the device. The potential to run Homebrew and ROMs in an environment which incorporates a faster CPU, more RAM, and access to a built-in camera, is more than enough to get anyone excited. Cyclops has partially delivered on their claim to produce a DSi-Mode Flash Kit; however at this point the excitement must currently end.

    Please be aware that I am well versed in the community. I am aware of the expectations of the end-user in regards to the iEvo. I am also very aware of Cyclops and their efforts to produce a fully functionally DSi-Mode Flash kit. Any negative statements included in this conclusion will be in reference to the current state of the software. I am fully aware that the software is not yet complete, the features are coded but not yet fine tuned, and that future updates should most definitely increase compatibility.

    The CycloDS iEvolution is the CycloDS Evolution with the ability to be booted on the DSi and make use of DSi only features. Cyclops has decided to take an extra step, into the unknown, instead of simply releasing a DSi compatible version of their popular DS-Mode Flash Kit. During the development process, the team disappeared from the scene and users started to lose faith in their ability to update, arguably, one of the better supported Flash Kits on the market. The team has responded with not only a first-of-its-kind Flash Kit but with continued support for both the Evolution and iEvo.

    The iEvo has a less than stellar build quality, especially for the suggested retail price. It is obvious that users will be paying for the ability to run Homebrew and ROMs in DSi-Mode, and not for the build quality of the Flash Kit. Two of my sources have confirmed at least one other team is working on a DSi-Mode Flash Kit, with rumors of another team expanding the features of a different exploit. Cyclops will always be remembered as being first but if other Flash Kits are released there remains the potential of a small price war which could lower the cost of the iEvo. At that point, the build quality may not be seen as much of an issue, especially after the software is updated to include higher compatibility and better DSi support.

    The CycloDS iEvolution offers many great features that have been tested and perfected through their Evolution (DS-Mode) Flash Kit. I personally enjoyed the ability to add a folder shortcut to my extensive Homebrew collection right on the main menu and the ability to sort files by ignoring their leading numbers. While more features are what most users seem to want, I feel that a Flash Kit should firstly have a high compatibility in regards to Homebrew and ROMs, followed by features and functions which make that experience more enjoyable.

    The iEvo has a lot to do to catch up to other teams who are currently offering a much higher Homebrew compatibility for their DS-Mode DSi compatible Flash Kits. Based on research for this review, some Homebrew files have been experiencing compatibility problems for awhile, something that the team will need to start addressing. The compatibility layer offers Homebrew the ability to access the faster CPU but only files compiled with the latest LibNDS will truly benefit from the DSi features and offer increased compatibility. If the compatibility layer can be tweaked to better incorporate older DS Homebrew projects is yet unknown. Currently, Homebrew enthusiasts will find only the DS-Mode to offer an acceptable compatibility, yet one still requiring fixes for some major projects.

    ROMs have an extremely high compatibly when executed in DS-Mode. This high compatibility should be expected as Cyclops has used the Evolution (DS-Mode Flash Kit) to help perfect their DS-Mode compatibility and in-game menu features. With the incorporation of the DSi exploit, however, a new set of problems have arisen. The first of which is the inability of groups to dump proper DSi enhanced and DSi only software. The iEvo is well aware of this problem as it warns the user that data is missing instead of attempting to launch the ROM file. The ability to access WIFI is a problem and it appears the DSi-Mode exploit or the use of the software is currently limiting some features of the DSi-Mode. With the incorrect ROM dumps, limited real time save availability, and the occasional failed file disregarded, the DSi-Mode is functioning with a somewhat high compatibility.

    Cyclops has the market cornered and if they want to capitalize on the lack of DSi-Mode Flash Kits they will need to up their game. Firstly, the software should be fully debugged, the old Evolution in-game menu should be replaced with an iEvolution menu, the ability to enable or disable cheats without a proper database should be addressed, real time save for DSi-Mode should be incorporated, etc. Homebrew compatibility should then be addressed so that nothing fails to function and the software is made to be somewhat future proof with only minor adjustments required. Following that they should take a second look at the compatibility layer and attempt to fix Homebrew projects that failed to function in DSi-Mode. ROMs need to be properly dumped before they can be debugged, but all DS-Mode ROMs should be tweaked, if possible, to run in DSi-Mode. If these changes can not be implemented or addressed then what the end-user is buying is simply a DS-Mode DSi compatible Flash Kit with potential for unreleased DSi exclusive Homebrew. The iEvo is a very hard sell at this point when the “whole package” and feature list can easily be cut down to size.

    I can recommend the iEvo as a DS-Mode Flash Kit for both the NDS and DSi. The compatibility (which is always improving), support from the team and the community, coupled with in-game menu features make it a nice kit to own. The build quality is not worth the cost but the potential for DSi exclusive features and Homebrew are.

    According to Cyclops, they will be phasing out the Evolution very soon, yet continuing to offer support for both Flash Kits. Eventually the iEvo will be the only choice for users who want to experience a Cyclops Flash Kit. The iEvo has so much potential, most of which will be decided by the next round of software updates. If the iEvo can do what the box claims, and do it correctly, than it will be well worth the money. Until that point I think that only those interested in Homebrew development should consider purchasing the iEvo. Please understand that I am not openly suggesting that the iEvo would be a poor choice, in fact you could do much worse when deciding on a DSi compatible Flash Kit, I am simply attempting to stress the point that the CycloDS iEvolution is not yet ready to stand on its own.

    I am giving the iEvo a silver award because it feels like a half way completed project. DS-Mode is excellent and feels polished with only minor issues. DSi-Mode feels like a work in progress, which it is, and has various issues which need to be addressed. This review will eventually be revisited, at which point a new round of testing will take place and any potential updates will be discussed. This review currently stands as a snapshot of the iEvolution’s potential and compatibility towards the end of February, 2011.

    <b><font color="green">Pros:</font></b>
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> The famed CycloDS Evolution is now DSi compatible
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Tin box for storage
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Includes all the hardware required
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> DSi-Mode functionality
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> High DS-Mode support (Homebrew and ROMs)
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Potential for DSi-Mode Homebrew
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Potential for DSi enhanced software
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Ships “legal” with no pre-flashed bootloaders
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Easy to navigate and well designed software
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Tweak-able menu and interface options
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Slot-2 options (flashing, 3in1 support, rumble, RAM, PassMe)
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Shortcut (bookmark) features
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Skinnable interface
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Functioning in-game menu features (soft-reset, slow-motion, real time save, in-game guide)
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Adjustable in-game menu key combination
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> AR cheat support
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Frequent updates
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Wii connectivity
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> microSDHC support
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Autoboot mode

    <b><font color="red">Cons:</font></b>
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Build quality not worth the suggested retail price
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Homebrew DSi compatibility layer issues
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Homebrew compatibility issues (ScummVM, etc)
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Some ROM DSi compatibility layer issues
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> DSi WIFI issues
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> DSi-Mode DS Download Play issues
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> In-game menu loading issues
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Homebrew soft-reset issues
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Possible UFO dongle issues (some reports of corrupt bootloader flashing)

    <div class="reviewbreak"><img src="http://gbatemp.net/up/award_silver.png" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    <b>Links:</b>
    <a href="http://cyclopsds.com/cgi-bin/cyclods/engine.pl" target="_blank">Official Website</a>
    <a href="http://www.teamcyclops.com/forum/index.php" target="_blank">Official Forum</a>

    <!--sizeo:1--><span style="font-size:8pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->This review was written for GBAtemp.net ONLY. The article and included photos are the property of Another World and published by permission for GBAtemp.net. The iEvo PCB photos are the property of Mbmax, and used with permission. Research was conducted by contacting other iEvo reviewers, Homebrew development programmers, the Cyclops Team, and by reading the Cyclops official Forum.

    Special thanks to Shaunj66, Costello, and the #acekard crew. Without all of you this review would not have been possible.
    Special thanks to Cyclops for providing the review sample.
    Special thanks to Gh0st for relaying responses from Cyclops.
    Special thanks to Abra for providing stuff that made this review possible.
    Thanks to Rain for photoshop skills and your studio
    Thanks to Brien for fixing the iEvo header image
    Thanks to KiwiSheepFucker for additional information.
    Thanks to Mbmax for the PCB images and additional information.
    Thanks to the GBATemp community for answering questions when I could not.
    Thanks to real Hip-Hop for providing the theme music of this review!

    If you see this review on any other site please let <a href='http://gbatemp.net/member.php?name=Another World' target=_blank>Another World</a> know by <a href="http://gbatemp.net/index.php?act=Msg&CODE=4&MID=111084" target="_blank">PM</a>.<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->


    • Former Staff

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    Update: 10/5/11

    Those of us who looked towards the Cyclops official forum for help and information were dropped hints that an iEVO update was due at the very end of September, 2011. During the months leading up to this release date Team Cyclops disappeared from the Flash Kit scene. Rumors that they were working on a piracy device for a popular console system started to circulate, while additional rumors stated that Cyclops had been without a Flash Kit kernel programmer for a long time. Regardless for their reasons to seemingly end support of their DS-Mode and DSi-Mode Flash Kits, most of their consumers continue to hold onto a gleam of hope that an iEVO update will be released.

    It is now early October, 2011 and many users are starting to wonder if Team Cyclops has just pulled a disappearing act.

    Here are the fun facts:
    • Cyclops stopped releasing updates for both of their Flash Kits
    • The official e-mail response slowly became a canned form letter, eventually they stopped responding to most inquiries altogether
    • The Cyclops forum continued to thrive thanks to a volunteer staff that moderated completely in the dark, some staff went so far as to publish comments that they were unable to reach Team Cyclops themselves.
    • The Web site went offline, followed by the forums. The site eventually came back but the forums continue to remain offline.
    Regardless of the shenanigans of this team, the question which remains is how bad of a purchase is the iEVO? This is a question which must be answered while remembering that Team Cyclops failed to uphold their promise to support their Flash Kits and while considering what the user may desire from the CycloDS iEvolution.

    When we break it down the iEVO is actually an excellent DS-Mode Flash Kit. Consider it the CycloDS Evo v2. It will do everything the previous DS-Mode Flash kit does, contains a similar menu system, and has about the same compatibility. Additionally, the iEVO can boot into DSi-Mode using a unique save game exploit. The exploit, unfortunately, contains limitations based on the hardware hierarchy of the DSi. Essentially only the hardware the exploited game uses can be unlocked. As a result of this limitation, DSi-Mode will always lack WIFI for any software that runs after the iEVO has been booted. The iEVO further suffers from poor Homebrew compatibility and compatibility layer issues for DS-Mode software run in DSi-Mode. These latter problems were discussed in February, 2011 when this review was originally published. Team Cyclops has had 8 months to fix these issues. Users who continue to support Cyclops should consider that not a single ROM compatibility issue has been fixed since March, 2011. Users should also keep in mind that not a single kernel bug has been fixed since May, 2011. When one takes a moment to review the change logs they will notice that nothing (not even a front page post) has been released for the past 4 and 1/2 months!

    The most important issue due to the lack of updates has been DSi and 3Ds support. Users who updated their DSi/3DS can no longer ?officially? switch into DSi-Mode as the DS-Mode compatibility was blocked by the Big-N. I say ?officially? because an unofficial project has emerged which makes it possible to force the iEVO into DSi-Mode using a DSL.

    The DSi-Mode exploit is a unique attempt for providing additional functionality, but perhaps not one worthy of an entire Flash Kit. It was inherently flawed from the start yet it does continue to offer potential for Homebrew development. However, with the unaddressed compatibility layer issues, only DSi-Mode Homebrew specifically compiled and coded for DSi-Mode will offer any benefits over traditional DS-Mode Homebrew.

    Partial List of DSi-Mode Homebrew:

    [IMG] Atari 5200 EMU
    [IMG] Atari 7800 EMU
    [IMG] CQuake
    [IMG] DSx86
    [IMG] GBA Emulator
    [IMG] Project Legends DS
    [IMG] Sandbox Engine
    [IMG] StellaDS
    [IMG] Zoomx3


    When we consider all of the problems Team Cyclops has yet to fix, the cost of the iEVO, the flaws of the exploit, and the poor build quality of the Flash Kit, what remains is the cold truth! The CycloDS iEvolution, designed with DSi-Mode in mind, is simply a wonderful DS-Mode Flash kit with potential for DSi-Mode exclusive Homebrew running on a non-updated DSi/3DS.

    At this point I would only recommend the iEvolution to those who mostly play DS-Mode software and are interested in trying out DSi-Mode Homebrew. DSi-Mode Homebrew will probably never have a Golden Age similar to DS-Mode Homebrew, due simply to the high cost of the only available DSi-Mode Flash Kit. While this Homebrew may never be as popular as DS-Mode Homebrew it is already showing promise, just check out the DS and DSi builds of StellaDS by Alekmaul to see the differences.

    If by some chance Team Cyclops decides to reappear and support the iEVO, I urge everyone to take such actions with a grain of salt. By that I mean, do not assume that an update means future support. They may simply be offering a few updates to instill faith in their product, an action by which they will gain more followers, more sales, and more money… right before pulling another disappearing act.
    • Reporter

    Ryukouki Pianist, Chemist, Reporter

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    How did you manage to get the screenshots of the Cyclo DSi like that? Is there a DS program that lets you save screen or something? O_O

    Example:[IMG]

    Was a camera involved here? It does not look like it hahaha
    • Member

    RoMee ??

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    • Reporter

    Ryukouki Pianist, Chemist, Reporter

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    I just found that out from AW. [IMG]
    • Global Moderator

    Densetsu GBAtemp Ninja

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    There's also a CycloDS skin tester.
    • Member

    Gh0sti "In Their tounge, he is Gh0stikiin" - Fus RO DAH!&

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    you should prob add that it works on the 3DS but only in DS mode no DSi mode enhancements nor 3DS enhancements
    • Member

    Bryon15 New Member

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    I have one quick question. Can this emulate gba games like the supercard dstwo can?
    • Former Staff

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    if it did, it would have been in the review.

    -another world
    • Member

    RupeeClock Colors 3D Snivy!

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    Another World, have you tested any of the pokémon games, or Sonic Rush Adventure?
    It's an odd one, in DS mode Sonic Rush Adventure freezes, but in DSi Mode it seems to play full speed.

    Pokémon Black (with the v7 translation patch) actually ran in true DSi mode for me, but for some reason it behaves like the DSi wifi is disabled. But the games I tried in DSi and DS mode (Black, Platinum) would frequently freeze.
    • Member

    GH0ST Your Hero is a Ghost

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    Another World I know you will not test all freezing games again but you should link to the new firmware 2.2 since it fixed an important regression with microSD ( I tested it and I've got no more freeze issue with my iEvolution on games like CSI unsolved, Prince of Persia etc).

    Most "suspicious defective" issues are solved with this firmware update. The MicroSD fix was important enough to skip the beta phase and I'm glad to see a couple of games fixes too :-)

    • Former Staff

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    hey ghost,
    gbatemp front pages the updates and you were kind enough to post some info in this thread. i am not going to update the review each time a new firmware comes out and/or retest files continually. eventually i will revisit the review and add some updated information. this is actually something i have planned for ALL reviews, but haven't had the time to get started on.

    on another note:
    i would like to mention that cquake's dsi mode version is running at a smooth 20-30+ FPS. information on what you need to get it running can be found here: http://www.teamcyclops.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11028

    -another world
    • Newcomer

    zzz92 New Member

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    Hey another world, i was wondering if the team behind cyclods is also behind iEDGE? and if so why is cyclods updated so frequently and not iEDGE.
    • Member

    haddad GBAtemp's Official Video Reviewer™

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    No, its different teams
    • Member

    Cartmanuk New Member

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    There is no offical source saying so, but check out updates for both below.

    4 / 3 / 2011
    EDGE OS v2.2

    3.3.2011
    CycloDS Evolution firmware v2.2

    3.2.2011
    CycloDS Evolution firmware v2.1

    2 / 2 / 2011
    EDGE OS v2.1

    1.2.2011
    CycloDS Evolution firmware v2.0

    26 / 11 / 2010
    EDGE OS v2.0

    25.11.2010
    CycloDS Evolution Firmware v1.60

    10 / 6 / 2010
    EDGE OS v1.11

    9.5.2010
    CycloDS Evolution Firmware v1.59
    • Former Staff

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    to be honest i never came right out and asked them. personally, i think they are the same team. i base this opinion on the similarities between the kits, web sites, firmware updates, game fixes, typos, etc.

    -another world
    • Member

    jurassicplayer Nyahahahahaha~

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    Even Normmatt says they are the same team xD (and I think the same as well).
    • Reporter

    Qtis Grey Knight Inquisitor

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    You mean the CycloDS iEvolution, not the CycloDS Evolution? Have you heard of something called DSi mode? The DSTwo can't do that and that is something that is different and the DSTwo has a different usage with its CPU. Also have you looked at what the DSTwo was capable at release? Not that much compared to now.. I think all competition is good and I personally wouldn't like that the DSTwo was the only option available. Sure it can do a lot of things, but some of it's features are things made by users, not SC.. We'll just have to see what DSi mode can offer for us.


    -Qtis
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    Jugarina New Member

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    Yeah your right about all that I guess I was too quick to judge. Lesson learned. After reading over the post from Another World I shouldn't have posted that anyways, my bad.
    • Newcomer

    zzz92 New Member

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    hmmmm icic thanks everyone, i think i'll just take it as 2 different flastcarts and not be bothered by the team behind it.

    Btw : i'm getting the iEDGE and the Acekard 2i, so it's perfectly fine that they are the same/not the same team. =D

    But thanks everyone for the helpful opinions!

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