Acekard R.P.G. in-house at GBAtemp

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by shaunj66, Sep 12, 2007.

Sep 12, 2007
  1. shaunj66
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    Administrator shaunj66 Administrator

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    Acekard R.P.G. in-house at GBAtemp

    Fire away with your questions!








    [​IMG]Â[​IMG]
    We've received our Acekard R.P.G. samples this morning. The Acekard R.P.G. is the successor to the original Acekard and boasts the following features. (Taken straight from the packaging)...
    • 100% Compatible with CleanRom
    • Boot from Slot1 directly
    • Built-in ultra speed NAND Flash
    • Built-in USB to PC Interface
    • Available U-Disk function as storage drive
    • Compatible with MicroSD / TransFlash
    • Auto SaveType detect function
    • Custom SaveList modification
    • Multi-language support
    • Auto ROMs RIP function
    • Open Source Operating System
    • Compatible with homebrew software
    • Custom OS skin function
    To hear our first impressions, to see some real photos and to ask questions about the device, enter the topic via the link below.

    [​IMG] Acekard R.P.G. in-house at GBAtemp (discussion)


     


  2. shaunj66
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    Administrator shaunj66 Administrator

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    First Impressions

    First of all let's take a brief look at the build quality. The black semi-transparent plastic feels quite strong and professional. The mini-USB socket is lowered into the casing slightly and is not flush with the top of the casing, the USB port is held into place via 4 large solder points on the PCB. The micro SD slot IS spring loaded and seems to work fine, the SD card fits flush in the card. The casing is held together by 5 clips which seem quite delicate. Use a pair of thin tweezers or screwdriver to lift them up, the clips on my card have already turned slightly white where I bent them too much. But they still seem quite strong and the cart still clips together tightly. The build quality of the PCB is very nice and the USB port and Micro SD slot both sit level.

    My review sample came with zero accessories (except a spare shell and labels which I expect aren't intended for non-review samples). I'd expect the retail box to come with some kind of manual and a mini USB cable (fortunately I already own more than enough of these).

    Let's move on to software. The Acekard menu software (which works in the form of a loader similar to R4 and not firmware which you must flash to the device) must be placed on the built in NAND flash and not the micro SD. (The loader consists of a akmenu4.nds and '__rpg' folder on the root of the flash). The Acekard R.P.G. requires no drivers and shows up as a removable flash drive with 968MB of space (FAT or FAT32).

    You can, cut, copy and paste files to and from the NAND flash/micro SD within the OS. You can even choose the OS to auto-trim ROMs during this process. Unfortunately this seems to corrupt DS ROM files at the moment and I haven't successfully copied a ROM yet. See the video for this process. It is extremely buggy and often says that a file with the same name as the file you're trying to move already exists in the folder when it doesn't.

    The loader is nice and works just as you saw in the early press photos. The touch screen responsiveness seems a little iffy and when entering a directory (which you do so by tapping its icon and not its name) if you move the stylus down slightly when tapping it, it will scroll slightly and not enter the directory, so a steady hand is needed. The scrolling is done by dragging the stylus up and down like the CycloDS but seems extremely fast and its sometimes confusing as the screen moves so rapidly. Fortunately everything in the OS can be controlled by buttons which makes it easier.

    The Acekard R.P.G. supports micro SDHC and works fine with my class 2 Sandisk 4GB SDHC. The internal flash memory seems much faster than the SD card for example, when entering a folder full of ROMs on the micro SD there is a slight delay when entering, but this delay is MUCH shorter when the same thing is done on the flash memory. The OS has support for 8 different languages but currently only English and Chinese are translated. The entire OS is extremely skinnable with .INI file with tons of clear settings (such as text placement, colour, size etc..) and loads of .BMP files containing customisable fonts.

    There is no extra features within the OS besides the calendar and settings screen, there is absolutely zero multimedia support, no in-game menu, no soft-reset no cheat support etc... Whether this will come in time, or if the team just plan to ride in the support of open-source (yes the cart will be entirely open source when launched for retail) is unknown.

    ROM compatibility seems 100% so far. Something which the original Acekard also boasted. There was never a known ROM with an issue, even games that require the ARM7 fix.

    DLDI homebrew is automatically patched and the OS can determine from where it is being launched and patches it on the fly with the correct DLDI driver (NAND/SD).

    Unfortunately download play does NOT seem to have been addressed for the R.P.G.. I Tested Yoshi's Touch & Go and it froze at the Nintendo logo on the receiving un-flashed DS.

    Overall, the cart feels like a step backwards in some areas. No additional features; no real download play support; not even soft-reset and a slightly slow loader are a let down.

    The selling potential for the R.P.G. I believe lie in its open-source promise, dual flash and micro SD(/HC) support and more than excellent ROM compatibility.

    Feel free to ask any question you like and I will try my best to answer. Look out for the official GBAtemp.net Review of the Acekard R.P.G. in the coming days/weeks.

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  3. azn_star

    Newcomer azn_star Newbie

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    Does this mean all kits will come with spare shell's, and no manuals or discs? Or only because your one is "sample"

    EDIT: DAMN doesnt sound as good as i hoped it would be =S.. no download play support?? even R4's can do that with just a firmware upgrade... im sure Acekard will manage.

    EDIT2: Bamboogaming promises the batch to arrive as soon as the 15th, couple; of days, im pretty sure that batch wont have any of the fixes to the problems mentioned?
     
  4. 4saken

    Member 4saken Retired Ace Attorney

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    Wow all of a sudden the case looks flimsy [​IMG] It's like practically the same as the AK1

    EDIT: Lack of download play, cheat and soft reset is a bit of a worry isn't it? Hopefully the open-source thing will allow developers to help solve the problems and shortcomings
     
  5. TLSpartan

    Member TLSpartan Kills threads

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    Thanks for posting shaun. Looks like a good solid flashcart. Hopefully they iron out all the bugs when they release it. No reason to replace my trusty SCDS yet.
     
  6. 4saken

    Member 4saken Retired Ace Attorney

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    I wonder if it actually supports clean ROMs (not counting on it, seeing as download play is stuffed).
     
  7. HBK

    Member HBK Clover - Fearless to Speak Now. ;)

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    So a little sum-up:

    Pros - Decent build quality, supports SDHC, open source, supports 2 types of media storage, 100% Comp.

    Cons - Lack of download play, buggy menu, low responsive touch screen, slow MicroSD speeds compared to it's internal memory. Absolutely no homebrew such as moonshell pre-loaded. No cheats, nothing.

    We have some of the R4 pros, with a little of the DS-Xtreme cons!

    I will now hand down a verdict.

    The R4 still wins.
     
  8. myclock

    Member myclock GBAtemp Fan

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    hmm i might wait a while and see what opens up about this. if it overtakes the R4 then i get but if it donts im fine with that [​IMG] up to 33GB of goodies [​IMG]
     
  9. recover

    Member recover GBAtemp Regular

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    My thoughts:
    Pretty bad that you didn't get a manual/cd.
    They should have kicked out those bugs with the interface.
    How fast is the NAND memory *really*, we need some expert to benchmark this.
    Really silly that the built-in trimmer copying between NAND and microSD creates corrupt roms...
    The source should be included with binaries and documentation on a cd that you should receive in the package.
    No download play?? baaaad
    No usb cable?? baaad

    Hopefully the open source should correct the bugs, fix the interface, fix the trimmer, and fix the download play.
    After that is done, there are still some irritations that open source can't fix (the packaging and accessory).
    I'll be interested to hear more!
     
  10. shaunj66
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    Administrator shaunj66 Administrator

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    The built in trimmer doesn't corrupt ROMs. I had it disabled. The built in copy/cut/paste system completely corrupts ROMs and makes them un-usable regardless or not whether they're trimmed.
     
  11. recover

    Member recover GBAtemp Regular

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    Whoops, sorry, my mistake...
     
  12. Seraph

    Member Seraph GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Looks like my fears of it looking great but not actually working well were true...So I'm assuming since download play doesn't work, Wii connectivity doesn't either? [​IMG]

    Hopefully they fix some problems before release...
     
  13. hanman

    Member hanman I'm a pretty lucky guy

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    i'm excited about this cart...no other cart on the market has even half the potential of this one. never underestimate the power of open source. of course, they have to make it good enough so that many people will buy it who are capable of developing it further than the creators have. still, this is one to watch... and, in my opinion, if it plays the games, the rest can wait. [​IMG] (if it's not too long!)
     
  14. EmeraldEx

    Member EmeraldEx GBAtemp Regular

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    May I ask how well the custom skin/os system works?
     
  15. Saylient_Dreams

    Member Saylient_Dreams GBAtemp Fan

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    I was wondering how this handle's games. Does it do that "patching on the fly" stuff like most slot 1's do?
     
  16. Gestahl

    Member Gestahl GBAtemp Regular

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    Acekard is still the only flash-kit on the market that boasts 100% ROM-compatibility (don't even start with download play support, who needs this anyway) without the patches every two weeks. Very impressive.
     
  17. ahtin

    Member ahtin GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    AK have one time upgrade for 2 roms long long time ago

    but of course they did much more better than others for ROM-compatibility
     
  18. gab10

    Newcomer gab10 Advanced Member

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    how about soft restart
    wii communication
    and download play?

    open source
    is the most important point of akrpg

    hope ak really release all codes, not lying
     
  19. lazyguy

    Member lazyguy GBAtemp Regular

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    does the slot-1 device act as a sdhc reader if you plug it in with the sd card inside?
    i'm guessing not

    and the copy and paste function is useless, no one is going to use it, it's impractical, just do it on the computer, it's probably faster too
     
  20. kernelPANIC

    Member kernelPANIC GBAtemp Fan

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    If the Acekard R.P.G. falls in a forest and noone is around to hear it, does it make any noise?
     

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