Best GBA Flashcart for my needs

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by takieda, Dec 9, 2007.

Dec 9, 2007
  1. takieda
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    Member takieda GBAtemp Regular

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    I'm looking for a couple of flashcarts (two of the same) for the GB Micro and would like them to have the best compatability, on a flashcart that uses external memory. I was very interested in the EZF3 but it has such a small amount of capacity that it makes it nearly worthless to me.

    My concerns, in order of importance, are: compatability (esp with multiplayer link games); extra features such as real time save states (multiple, selectable save states), built in cheats, etc.; cleanliness and speed of the UI (the M3 is annoyingly slow), homebrew compatability (I don't see this as that big a concern as most likely most all flash carts should work with emulators and other homebrew just fine for the GBA, or am I mistaken?). Also, skinnability of the GUI would be nice, but is by no means a requirement.

    Basically, I've almost settled on the EZ-Flash IV, but I'm still concerned about the lack of the RTC. the EZ-Flash 3 was purportedly the best GBA flash cart made (for its time), esp for compatability, and it brings that compatability (minus the RTC) to the EZF4, but I'm still a bit uncertain in this arena. What games (aside from Pokemon) use the RTC? Is it that important? (I know games like Animal Crossing would be fairly useless without having an RTC - which, I know it uses the DS's internal clock, but the GBA doesn't have one - basically without the RTC, even with patches, it kills real time events)


    If the general concensus is the EZF4, then I'll go with that. If so, then, I've found them on Gameyeaaah (or however it's spelled), but, are they reputable?

    Thanks for any help rendered.
    Be well,
    -Takieda
     


  2. 4saken

    Member 4saken Retired Ace Attorney

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    Games which need RTC (but can be played without using a patch/otherwise): Boktai series, and the aforementioned pokemon, and likely a few more - but these are the main ones.

    The EZ4 will be fine as a good combination of price and compatibility.
     
  3. takieda
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    Member takieda GBAtemp Regular

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    a secondary concern with the ezf4 is the lack of proper support for >16MB games... while it does support them, it supports them in a rather unorthodox manner which can *REALLY* slow things down (having to load them into the 256Mbit of NAND or NOR memory - or whatever its called).

    I'd be curious what the compatibility is between the M3 and the EZF4, as the M3 has an RTC, but has a few compat issues with other games, whereas the EZF4 shouldn't have those problems but has issues with RTC games.

    Also, and probably a more serious concern, the M3 only has 2 save slots for real time saves/savestates. Does the EZF4 allow more savestates for games?
     
  4. 4saken

    Member 4saken Retired Ace Attorney

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    ezf4 has real time save? I might be getting it confused with something else.

    As for M3, the compatibility for most games is more or less the same, the ones that won't work are probably not worth playing.
     
  5. cracker

    Member cracker Nyah!

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    @takieda:
    Yeah, it's a pain in the ass to have to wait for a game to be written to the NOR. But you only have to do it once and it'll be ready to go every other time (until you have to overwrite it with a different game >16M of course). That's not a big deal for most people since there aren't really that many games that are >16M in GBA land.

    What games are you referring to that have a compatibility problem on the m3? Every GBA game I've tried on it has ran no problem.

    RTC isn't a big deal for most gamers. You will only really miss it if you are a Pokemon or Golden Sun player.

    @4saken:
    No, there is no RTS function for the EZ4.
     
  6. TLSpartan

    Member TLSpartan Kills threads

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    [/B]

    Fixed. EZF4 is an excellent cart IMHO. Doesn't take too long to load games. I have never actually tried out a 256 Mbit ROM though [​IMG]

    Don't bother with RTC. As 4saken has stated, only a handful of games support it
     
  7. takieda
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    Member takieda GBAtemp Regular

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    hmm... no RTS on the EZF4? somehow somewhere I thought I read it had that. I use it extensively in the Metroid games. I'm also a Golden Sun player, so this is looking less like the cart I want to use.

    So given all that, are there any other suggestions beyond the EZF4 or M3 Perfect?
     
  8. 4saken

    Member 4saken Retired Ace Attorney

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    The EZ3 has save state, you may gotten that confused.
     
  9. takieda
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    Member takieda GBAtemp Regular

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    You're probably right on that as I kept thinking about the EZF3 before migrating my thoughts to the EZF4. I'm still impressed with the EZF3's features, just the lack of external memory (or a large quantity of memory) really hurts my desire for it.
     
  10. cracker

    Member cracker Nyah!

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    I have an original 128MB (1Gbit) EZ3 and it worked fine for my needs. You can fit quite a lot of games onto a cart because the padding is stripped off them and also you can compress the games which can save a huge amount of space depending on the game. I have 21 games on the NAND side and still have 29MB left. So if you can find a 1GB (8Gbit) EZ3 you shouldn't have a problem keeping all of the games you want on it.
     
  11. takieda
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    Member takieda GBAtemp Regular

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    I really need closer to 2GB in space, but if the EZF3 does support all the other features I need, then it does sound like a much better solution to the EZF4 and even the M3. I won't be using the compression if I can fit all the games I'm interested on it (hence the 2GB need) and really don't want to sit around and wait for the unit to decompress and load on every game.

    Does an 8Gbit (or even 16Gbit) EZ3 exist? If so, I believe this answers my question on what one to buy.
     
  12. dexmix

    Member dexmix GBAtemp Regular

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    the EZ3 1Gb is the best gba cart hands down for compatibility.

    i personally use an EZ3 8Gb and an EZ4 with 2GB



    compression doesn't work very well.

    the best place to get an EZ3 is Jandaman
     
  13. dexmix

    Member dexmix GBAtemp Regular

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    yes the EZ3 1Gb seems much faster to write than an EZ3 8Gb

    If i have to rewrite the whole 8Gb - i have to cue up every game, and it takes literally a whole day to burn the 200 roms to the 8Gb. but - the load time/save time is instant.

    conversely the EZ4 - is much much easier to manage, but the load/save times are much slower.
     
  14. takieda
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    Member takieda GBAtemp Regular

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    it's looking more and more like the best choice is the M3, sheer number of features, speed and ease of use... just... I am really tired of the very dated GUI, very slow response in the GUI, etc... I do need the RTS, but I was hoping for more than two save states (the M3 has only two AFAIK).

    Considering the slow speed at loading an EZF3, what kind of save state support does it have to counter that loading problem?

    Can anyone comment on the M3 Real's GBA expansion cart and whether or not it works well? Are there any other GBA carts that might be noteworthy here?
     
  15. cracker

    Member cracker Nyah!

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    As I mentioned before, the EZ3's RTS is kinda flaky and it required the programmers of the EZ3 software to analyze each game and find where they could be hooked into in order to get it working. This means that not every game will support it and that there may be side effects in some games that is caused by them finding the wrong spot in the game to hook into. The m3 software searches the games automatically and does a good job of finding the right spot without an update to a database -- which means it will work with the last 1000 or so GBA releases that the EZ3 won't.
     
  16. Jaejae

    Member Jaejae Superfly Don't Used

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    Realistically, very few games utilize the RTC, the ones that do are pretty average (the only good GBA Pokemon games were Leaf Green and Fire Red, IMO atleast, neither of which use the RTC), and very few GBA games are 256Mbit, I can only think of Riviera and Kingdom Hearts.
    I think the EZ IV will suit your needs, I will be getting one to go with my yet to be purchased famicom micro.
     
  17. cracker

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    The lack of RTS with the EZ4 killed that option for him apparently.
     
  18. takieda
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    Member takieda GBAtemp Regular

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    I'm not completely against the EZF4 yet, as much as I don't want to get another M3 (personal choice, I've dealt with the M3 extensively - I was a mod over at M3-forum as a result, and personally just want something that feels less constricting). But considering how much I use Save States in games like Metroid Zero Mission, etc. I'm really hoping there's another solution that supports it. I'm going to go back over the Supercard line to see if that might suit my needs, though the GUI is fairly sparse, but does it lack support for several major GBA games?
     
  19. cracker

    Member cracker Nyah!

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    What do you mean by the m3 being constricting?

    There's no RTC with SC. I've not had firsthand experience with the SC but it looks like the compatibility isn't as good as other carts from all the threads I have seen posted. This might just be a thing of the past that was fixed with updates though.
     
  20. takieda
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    Member takieda GBAtemp Regular

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    Basically, There's no way to reorganize anything on it, the menu structure, the options, etc. You can't flash any other language firmware (which is fine if you have english and you speak it, but I have two Chinese M3's as well as an English one, and the two Chinese units are difficult to read - so I had to create specific skins for those). There's no touch screen interface (useless on the GBA, I know, but I"m just tired of their near absolute refusal to work with their customers on that), or any ability to autoload specific games/homebrew, then there's horridly annoying nagging screen at the beginning telling you that the product is not licensed by Nintendo (well FREAKING DUH!), and no way to remove it (the only real benefit of the Chinese M3's, if you can't read chinese, you can make believe that that bit of text is saying anything else). Then you've got the saves... they use a slightly modified version of the original saves you'll find EVERYWHERE ELSE... which basically means, you have to modify the .dat file, stripping out specific code, if you want to be able to use it on any other emulator, or flashcart, etc... they're nearly proprietary in most aspects, with the "promise" that it supports multiple save files, which is about the biggest pain in the neck ever. I'd rather have one save than the "ability" to have multiple saves. There's no grand explanation about how to have multiple saves, hell the M3 isn't even capable of making its own saves on the SD card dynamically, you have to have the Game Manager do that for you.

    I'd just prefer a greater level of control of the GUI, perhaps some ability to autoload games, etc. like pressing A while booting up the system loads the last game/homebrew you ran.

    I'm not trying to bash the M3 too bad, as it has been a faithful cart that has performed well, and if I have to, I'll get another couple of those (the ones I have are larger than a GBA cart, and the Micro really shouldn't have stuff sticking out of it), but I was really really hoping there might have been some evolution from other cart manufacturers that have jumped ahead of the M3, at least as a GBA cart.
     

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