Current favored kit for DS/DSLite?

VmprHntrD May 7, 2019.

  1. VmprHntrD
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    VmprHntrD GBAtemp Addict

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    I saw the big DS FAQ there but the information inside talked more about CFW, update issues blocking kits, and really leaning towards the net based DSi/2-3DS systems instead.

    Today I lucked into finding a very beautiful black DSLite in black for $7 and I have no interest in going back to get a library on this again like I had a decade ago, but I would like to mostly dabble with the improved emulators of the GBA era and the newer to pop up since for it.

    Are there any blocks or pitfalls in my way of stuff that won't work out of the box (as in, put whatever on sd card, throw into kit, put kit into system and it works)?? What the the currently favored kit to use on the pre-internet based DS handhelds like this? I don't mind if it's currently still supported or an out of date one that people strongly prefer, though I would hope it would just run from the DS slot and not need to use the GBA one too.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Sasori

    Sasori GBAtemp Addict

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    Did you get a DS or a DSi?
     
  3. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Welcome back I guess.

    Other than the passme stuff nothing was ever blocked for the DS and DS lite. All DS cards are then as you describe, give or take what you feel about updating the onboard firmwares of some of them (usually throw it on, hold a button while booting, wait for it to be done, maybe repeat if it is a chain of updates that need doing).

    It was only the DSi and 3ds with readily updated firmwares that frustrated DS flash carts. The 3ds stuff is somewhat lessened these days if you hack it and use older versions of the DS compatibility layer (not sure if they have blown it right open yet but eh). DSi also has a measure of this but DSi hacking is slightly more involved. Any neither are my area and it does not seem to be the case here.

    Hardware limitations prevent GBA code from being run properly from a DS slot. There are three cards that do any measure of good GBA emulation by virtue of being crammed full of extra hardware to emulate it onboard, though for most purposes it is the supercard dstwo (hard to find nowadays) and its successor aimed more at the 3ds in the supercard 4 in 1 aka DSTwo plus that serves here. Naturally said extra hardware gobbles a bit more power, and pumps the price up a bit. For the sake of completeness the others are the iplayer (supercard's attempt at a more legit flash cart and lacked much in the way of commercial support, not sure what goes nowadays) and ismart mm (a vendor site bought the design for the iplayer and crammed an older version of the dstwo firmware onto it, also got a version of dingux* a bit later in time which also returned for the DStwo a bit later still. The owner of the vendor site then died which pretty much stopped that one).
    Said emulation is not flawless, and homebrew emulators are even more of a grey zone (in some ways they are less demanding, in other ways the emulators on said cards have their fixes optimised for the commercial games) but looking at your posts then sounds like you have an EZFlash Omega to play with so I will skip that one.

    *could manage about 15fps if you were lucky PS1 emulation. Don't get one for it though.

    Said DSTwo is probably also the cream of the crop for commercial DS games. We do have standalone libraries of patches these days though so most shortcomings can be made up there. The main things to rise up to match it would be the Wood firmware made for old school R4s and a few others (cloned, usually badly, by more people still) and AKAIO for the acekard 2i.
    Most other flash carts (M3, the various EZ5 lines and a few others) tapered off and were finished when the DSi/3ds updates got serious and took out most things of the time. It was still pretty late in the day and not much was released afterwards (a handful of pokemon games being the main ones as far as most are concerned). Again though https://gbatemp.net/threads/ap-patch-preservation.477536/ and stuff like it exists so stuff can still get done.
    Of the "current" non Supercard DSi/3ds lines that most shops stock it should be noted that several feature so called timebombs wherein they refuse to work with the stock firmware after a system date. Winding back the date or using an alternative firmware is an option but personally I would not go there to begin with. Afraid I am not up to date and what it doing what nowadays -- you were probably still around to see the term R4 become the generic term for flash cart with a thousand different things with R4 in the name... it got worse.

    Emulation on the DS somewhat stagnated as time went on, and then all but died (give or take some efforts with GB/GBC emulation) with the rise of IOS and Android. Where the GBA era was all hopping with top notch code and people getting crazy features for a handheld going on this was more limited on the DS, many of the top tier coders of the GBA era stuck around and got some good stuff going on but it was perhaps not quite as inventive. You can get a lot done though and I look favourably back upon it compared to what we saw on the 3ds and are seeing now on the Switch. In terms of pure playability the PSP has the DS beat but you can certainly enjoy much of the SNES (oh the DSTwo also has enhanced SNES abilities as well, even touching some of the special chip stuff), megadrive and mainstream older consoles on it, including some perks for keyboard sporting "minicomputers" by virtue of having a touchscreen.

    "needing a GBA slot"
    There was some homebrew that took advantage of the extra memory some GBA slot cards (and libraries to support them) offered. Emulation wise then
    https://wiki.gbatemp.net/wiki/3_in_1_Expansion_Pack_for_EZ-Flash_V#Third-Party
    So rumble in those GB/GBC games with it, and a minor quirk for some SNES games.
    If you are still thinking needs flashme or a nopass then don't worry about that. That was more or less over by mid 2009 (and long before then it was a "holdout" type position), and these days the EZ4 (about the only thing to stick around in some capacity and thus the only thing of that era of any merit you stand a decent chance of finding for sale) does not even have a DS mode on newer firmwares and revisions. The EZ Omega and Everdrive stuff does not have any appreciable DS functionality really either.

    Anyway I am waffling.
    Short version.
    If you don't mind the expense and power drain then the DSTwo/DSTwo plus are good stuff. Loads of nice features for DS ROMs, enhanced emulation on various fronts, some abilities to run GBA code as part of that, media player that plays many normal media files...
    Something that supports the wood firmware is a good choice. Do note the original R4 which is supported by it is still limited to SD family stuff (2 gigs or less). As it is largely based on the same code then the acekard 2i is also worth noting in this, the build quality is occasionally a bit suspect there (enough to note in this) but can usually be worked around.
    There are various things named R4. I have not kept up here (at one point it was the R4i Gold that was the main thing here but again I am some time out of the loop) and timebombs make me both wary and sad so read further there. These tend not to have as many features but will have cheats, ability to run commercial games and homebrew which I find is all most people care about.
    If you are willing to fiddle with the extra patches then a lot of things have nice options too -- the EZ5i is probably as close as you are going to get feature wise to the DSTwo (indeed its in game text reader is probably better than the DSTwo's, savestates maybe only slightly worse). The ismart MM was dropped before that but feature wise... it is a version of the DSTwo firmware, albeit older. I don't know if I would particularly suggest the later M3 lines here (we will skip the Sakura and Moonlight drama) but you could get some things done.
    If your interest is purely homebrew then anything that has a DLDI patch (which should be just about everything, and all but the very very first DS slot things should do it automatically, to say nothing of there being DS side code to handle it if you care) should be good here.
     
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  4. VmprHntrD
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    VmprHntrD GBAtemp Addict

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    Got a black DS Lite with the original charger that had a loose brain age 2 and rayman advance with it.

    Thanks. I don't post much but I do read, and I've never had a DS kit before only GB/C and GBA (and NGPC) for handhelds. I just never got around to getting one with all the stuff circling around the devices over a decade ago, and I never touched the 3DS kits because of all the firmware push issues and well basically what you wrote about there. Yes you're right I was paying attention back when R4 got generic and confusing so I don't mind all that waffling as it fills in the blanks. I recall the acekard too. I also do remember the whole hoops you said are long dead with flashme/nopass which was a larger reason the headache at the time wasn't worth it to me. An early no$gba emulator ran enough DS stuff admirably on my hardware then I could try before I bought since I wasn't into it just for rom junk but playing, and I kept to using flubba/loopy's goomba/color, pocketnes, pce advance, etc stuff which was fine. The SNES Advance blew me away even if it ran slow in most cases and had no audio since GBA was just too weak.

    Basically since then I now have a 7 1/2 year old daughter who I got into gaming so she's got a GBC, a DSLite my mom gave her, also both those NES/SNES classic consoles too. I try and do handheld games with her so recently I found a gba thrift pickup that had a pink link cable so we could do GB-GBA stuff using her GBC or a pair of GBASPs, but had no good way to do the DS stuff. I got this, figured why not instead of selling it, keep it and get a kit.

    So my goal is something now that I know of it, doesn't time bomb out, does not get limited to a 2GB SD card size, and can preferably handle native DS, second to that emulation, and third if I find something nice homebrew. I do not like or use cheats so that wouldn't factor in, a hacked IPS to improve a game or translate at best.

    That EZ5i may be the wise choice so I'll look into that. I trust EZ since the 4 came out ages ago and even now have their best newest kid on the block the Omega.

    Though I will look at the DStwo/plus as I'm curious to see what the deal is there too. I'd have to wonder of the two brands what people would prefer more. I'm not critically worried about one being a battery sucker more than the other as I rarely play on the go so a cable isn't far.
     

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    Last edited by VmprHntrD, May 7, 2019
  5. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    For the DS we mostly stopped using IPS to translate games and distribute hacks; between the 16 meg minus a few bytes size limit, lack of size expansion and DS being file system based and thus relocating was a 10 second rebuild away it fell short of what was needed. BSdiff, xdelta and a few custom formats are what most went with for the DS. Usage is still "present proper ROM (some even have source verification to make sure, or have to disable if you trimmed it or are trying to stack things), present patch, press go, play results" though. All I would really note is there are two main versions of xdelta ( https://www.evanjones.ca/software/xdelta-win32.html and current http://xdelta.org/ builds) so have both, GUI patchers for both also exist.

    EZ5i wise. They were making new features, doing timely updates for new games and otherwise doing as well as it got on non enhanced DS flash carts. When the big DSi/3ds save and random spot checking update hit (they had been playing whack a mole with headers and such, https://hackmii.com/2010/02/lawsuit-coming-in-3-2-1/ for the tech side, for a while) they could not get around with the hardware they had though (the DSi and 3ds would take a while longer to be hacked enough to nerf it from the firmware side of things). That also more or less killed out game updates (I might be able to get my hands on a never released beta that took care of two or three more games than the last public one but yeah). Nobody was really doing public patches at the time either. While the DS was more or less over by this point (May 2012) that means for many they would be missing out on pokemon black and white 2, and pokemon conquest and thus it dropped off the radar -- pretty much everything else was region dupes, games for bored housewives that had not yet made the jump to android or whatever (usually bad versions of those too -- I like a bit of tile matching, puzzle games and hidden objects at times but never found much here), a few kids games based on films and cartoons and that is about it. You might find something in there, which might even still work (their baseline "I am on a real cart" stuff was top notch), as indeed Veggy World is a fine shmup if you like Euro style shmups and Scribblenauts collection is probably the best version of those games, but its best days were firmly behind it and we lacked the "we really know this hardware and can make it sing" things we often saw on older devices.

    Now they are doing open source (there was talk of opening the 5i code up years back) for the other stuff I might see if we can do that. Even if it never works on updated stock DSi and 3ds it would be nice to have it all work otherwise.

    In many cases over the years I didn't know if I can truly recommend it. I like mine and have continued to use it for years now (granted I still also use my EZ4 to play the odd DS game), as have many others. On the other hand I said about its shortcomings above and if they don't bother you or you can work around it then so be it -- it would be a fantastic way to experience most of the DS library with a DS or DS lite, both of which I would favour over the DSi or 3ds in a lot of ways for DS purposes.
    Obviously you would be missing out on the GBA emulation of the DSTwo (you have GBA flash carts though... all you then miss out on is easy button remaps and possibly turbo mode), better X86 emulation ( https://dsx86.patrickaalto.com/ ) and the better SNES stuff (baseline DS SNES is not so bad, and it all pales in front of the PSP (and if it was ported to the GBA (or PCE/TG16 or megadrive) like a lot of things were, often being improved along the way...). Most other things were more proof of concept than want to use this every day, especially if you are now used to the slick modern emulators (you say you liked the SNES on the GBA and I will believe you, time changes us all though).

    http://www.advanscene.com/ and http://www.abgx.net/nds_releases_date.txt will list things for later years, though most of the PUSSYCAT stuff is a pointless* redump, probably a lot of EXIMUS stuff as well though they were mostly filling out v1.1 and obscure European versions. Ignoring those this leaves about 300 titles to look at, all in for all regions, versions, nukes and all. Numbers on releases wise then it will be about 6000 it starts to get iffy, though smaller games will probably still work.

    *for many years there was a blank section of header. Rudolph's dumper assumed it was blank and filled it accordingly. When the DSi hit all previous games were whitelisted in the firmware and all newer ones had to be signed, that section doing nicely for it (more on that hackmii thing above if you are bored). No flash cart, flash cart user, ROM hacker, emulator, hypothetical future emulator or similar will ever derive any use from it or trouble for not having it unless artificially made to do so. The later wood dumper dumped this section and hence the redumpathon in the years since.
     
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  6. VmprHntrD
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    VmprHntrD GBAtemp Addict

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    I'm keeping this bookmarked if you keep dropping more info or others. I think that 5i makes sense but so does the DSTwo, either or are an expense, and either or are made or not now, so it depends how deep one wants to go. You saw my interest list of legit DS, emulator, then the rest as an afterthought. I guess the stupid way to put it would be, what do I get where I dump a game on a memory card, pop it in the kit, and then it plays all the same the easiest. That would be the winner. I'm used to having to use GUIs or whatever and pre-assemble files as GBA had to do for the flubba/loopy stuff so that's not a beef for me. I liked what SNES Advance did for a technical feat, but I would never have used it for fun, 80% and deaf isn't 100% speed and sound that's non-ear shattering. PCE Advance was like 80-100% based on the game, even the ISOs of CD/SCDs too which impressed me on GBA, so I would think a DS would do that justice.

    It's a shame I'm years out on this where it's not very active like all the junk krikzz, retrohq, etc peddle as you can get answers that are pretty clear, concise, and easily mined for answers. I don't intend to own a Sony handheld again unless something odd just occurs where a PSP is almost free or given to me it just won't happen. I also recall when it was alive you had enough hoops with that too running boots and emulators between pandora and the rest but that's another post and time, not this one.


    I will add back though to this, that x86 emulator looks fun, not so much the DS version, but the DS2plus which can do a 486dx20 (as I had a 33 in the day) and that would happily run doom. :D
     
    Last edited by VmprHntrD, May 7, 2019
  7. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Most DS slot flash carts were drag and drop since the R4 took the idea and the world ran with it. Some of the older ones had save lists, including the very original EZ5 models. Then anti piracy protection started dropping so now everything being drag and drop we had to wait on updates where before save lists (which could be user updated) were a thing. Something like save lists later returned in various forms (the EZ5i and Supercard DSTwo both having various takes on the matter), obviously taking out cheats and other mods that would trip detection in the process. For the most part that was just to hold people over until the updates hit with the relevant patches. As no more games are likely coming out now then even that historical quirk should just be that, give or take the things I mentioned earlier for the EZ5i. If you can dodge timebombs and get something of reasonable build quality then newer cards should also be without worry here.
    Like the GBA ( http://gbatemp.net/threads/buying-a-gba-flash-cart-in-2013.341203/page-18#post-4756995 ) then things with extra hardware can get tricky but even those fell https://gbatemp.net/threads/release-game-hacking-for-learn-with-pokemon-typing-adventure.480825/

    DS homebrew wise it is usually a matter of extracting the file to your SD card and running it. Most DS slot flash carts should autopatch DLDI. Some later homebrew also needs things to be in specific folders (50 pieces of homebrew all needing things on the card root got a bit messy so there was a push to have it in certain directories later on). Still drag and drop -- few things needed any kind of custom ROM builder, especially not the later versions (moonshell had a bit of thing for it once). Technically you can still do it with DS homebrew if you really wanted -- see FCSR which some emulators like as it makes life a bit easier, and some older GBA slot stuff as FCSR = Flash Cart Save RAM.
    If you are particularly bored then you can also stick an FTP server or something on your DS and send files that way -- it is limited to 2Mbit though (also will need a WEP encrypted connection) so do what you will there.

    Emulator wise then again while I have massive respect for the DS emulator authors (it was pretty much the last time it was all a really good time -- the 3ds and things since have been rather underwhelming from where I sit) it was not quite as much as the GBA. Obviously the memory and CPU speed bump ironed out a few issues almost immediately. In terms of breadth of things done then not so much (a bit incomplete in some instances but more than enough to serve as a jumping off point -- http://nintendo-ds.dcemu.co.uk/emulators-for-nintendo-ds-1158162.html , their GBA list for comparisons for others playing along at home http://nintendo-ds.dcemu.co.uk/emulators-for-gba-1158173.html and if we are kicking it old school then https://web.archive.org/web/20060816050325/http://www.gbafan.com/ or maybe https://web.archive.org/web/20081006125536/http://gbafan.pocketheaven.com/ , for amusement then https://gbatemp.net/threads/goomba-color-update-2019-05-04.537731/ and might as well throw in http://kuwanger.altervista.org/gba/pogoshell/ ). Make of all those what you will but "like the GBA but better" is a not entirely accurate.

    These days Doom gets ported to just about everything under the sun, this includes the DS (such things also made it as far as quake 2, though that you will need a GBA slot thing to augment). https://gbatemp.net/threads/dsdoom-svn.364770/ for a later spin, older ones exist https://gamebrew.org/wiki/DS_Doom . Custom WADs is a bigger ask in some cases (I once tried sticking some of the new episodes made for the XBLA version through it and did not get too far) but you can still get some stuff done.

    I would taper your expectations a bit about the x86 stuff -- if you are thinking about playing things at the point where it starts brushing up against the DOS4GW and 3dfx era (or "almost like playing an Amiga*") then don't. You can still have some fun but think a bit earlier still; if such things could have been done then it would have probably looked a bit different around here.

    *if we are talking Amiga then there are spectacular versions of Lemmings, Cannon Fodder and a few others though sprinkled around homebrew (previous two) and commercial efforts.

    PSP stuff got easy. Sony hosed up about as hard as you can and included the PSP private keys on the PS3 for some reason. When the PS3 fell (also in spectacular fashion) such things also leaked and now basically everything is signed like it was from Sony themselves (last I checked some ridiculously large files were tricky but everything else was fine). That said Sony are also on my "don't buy unless absolutely necessary" list so fair enough on that one and I will skip it.

    "It's a shame I'm years out on this where it's not very active"
    Other than the DSi/3ds updates stopping some cards we did end up with cards able to fit almost every game and run them like they were on real hardware while they were active. This compared to some of the GBC and older (GBA also got something of a "plays everything like it was on original hardware thing) where most things available were junk based on older designs and practically begging for people to come in and give shiny updates that rendered previous efforts obsolete. The cheaper end of things got timebombs to make life a bit more interesting there but realistically "buy a DSTwo/DSTwo plus" would serve as a solution for just about everybody if they have a tiny bit of cash to flash. The other stuff was mainly as a "if you do manage to navigate the timebomb minefield then there are alternatives, especially if you only care about DS/DS lite compatibility" and a note to be careful with some of the older stalwarts.
     
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  8. VmprHntrD
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    VmprHntrD GBAtemp Addict

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    Wow good job on that out of nowhere with dwedit still updating goomba color, I like that. You got me figured date wise, the stuff I cared about and used much of it is broken web archive fodder now that's why I asked and said I'd bookmark all these big posts for later. If I even bothered wtih x86 my expectation would not be dos4gw (did Doom use that? I forget.) I was thinking more earlier basic stuff from the 1989-93 era that was happy on a mid-tier 386 with 1-2MB of RAM on it. I just threw Doom out there as it's an easy go to as it's the biggest source ported project probably ever given people like to add them to car consoles, toasters, your fridge, copier machines, etc.

    Basically my interest would be legit games, second to that the improved emulators of the GBA that were nearly or not so nearly 100% there due to low system specs. You just surprised me that x86 was done that's about it. I still dabble very very slightly with the homebrew, but it has to be one hell of a gem like that GBC release a couple years back if that of uCity (a port of the original Sim City) which runs marvelously.

    I wish I better comfortably understood this timebomb thing. I don't get why someone would create a kit that would implode as that seems strange. I mean I'd get it with a net active handheld (dsi/3ds line) as you're fighting back on system updates, but the older stuff, that's foreign to me. Bung, EZ, F2A guys, BennVenn whatever with GB, GBC, GBA, or the couple of dudes into Virtual Boy now, or the NGPC/Lynx guy at RetroHQ they don't make things to blow up in your face. You copy files from source A to flash card target B, throw it in the little kit and wham, game time. All this complexity was what kept me off the DS a decade ago plus as it looked like a mine field and I figured with age people would have smoothed it over. So that's again more motivation why I asked about a straight answer for a favored card. I'm not loaded, quite the opposite where I tend to have to be a lousy local thrift scrounge to have ahem 'new' things or flip the stuff to get wants and sadly at times even necessities which is why I saved a lot for many kits I have now as the market is toxic death these days. If it's Nintendo, it's crapping gold bars as far as most greedy idiots are concerned.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    That said, I'll have to investigate where to get the EZ5i or that DSTwoPlus kit you brought up, because unless I was misreading you on all the back and forward about the good and bad, they seem to be the most stable, yet time bombs?
     
  9. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I don't think doom did dos4gw but it was fairly common around that time where before everybody was doing other things so I was using it as a shorthand. Perhaps a better thing would be if you were worried about having to remember arguments for mscdex then don't worry as nothing that came on a CD (at the time, as a dual release or as a reissue), or did not fit on maybe 3 floppies, is likely to run here. DSTwo version of the x86 thing and yeah some 386 stuff would probably work. I tend not to pay too much attention to that era (as in 386 and such) though as most things I would be playing from around then also got remade at points on the DS or anything else it can run/emulate well.
    Sometimes we get people see such things, start having dreams of diablo, dungeon keeper, carmageddon, redneck rampage, dark forces, 7th guest... which is right out. Even the stuff before it is tricky -- doom, doom clones, duke 3d, older but not oldest might and magic, older elder scrolls, Dune II and such are a bit of an ask (many of those got ports or engine ports*), as is all the 16 bit era DOS ports that Capcom did is dubious. In some technical sense it might have ran in a postage stamp on the older stuff but... yeah. Text adventures, maybe a few roguelikes (again homebrew remakes/ports -- not version of the older ones but I love Powder here), pipe dream, maybe the older ultima titles... that is where the DSTwo comes in, and even earlier for the vanilla DS versions. DOS era is rather broad but for most these days it means 486-DX, cyrix equivalent of the time, or bust so I am wary.

    *not sure what to look at but stuff like Dark Forces never saw a source release and a remake was not getting far. To that end some thought about smacking Doom or whatever hard enough that it would work with the raw assets, or a way to convert the assets into something that would work as just another custom WAD. Dark Forces is probably a bad example but hopefully the idea got across.


    Time bombs. The original R4 was abandoned for so many years its price dropped and dropped on flash cart vendors (sub $10 at one point for many big ones) and was a bit of a running joke, later it got the Wood port and became useful for a few other things so it crept back up but different discussion there. This also started a trend towards cheap for said DS flash carts (the DSTT/TTDS being an early example, as would be things that ran with ysmenu in general). Eventually some designs for flash carts were made available as a kit (apparently about $1000) in Hong Kong so we got a massive explosion of everybody that knew someone there with a PCB fab shop making their own R4 named thing (all with fairly unique firmwares) and flogging it for next to nothing. It does not make for much return and thus the time check and failure to work if past a certain date, presumably then people would go back and get another as it is just another "I spend more on lunch some days" type purchase. It is purely limited to said cheapo R4 named things, but not all of them. I don't have the current list of known timebomb/known safe things to hand though if you are going to wade through them. There is usually one around here somewhere though and if plain DS homebrew, DS ROMs, DS ROM hacks and such is your goal there are those there which will allow you to play the whole library just fine for years to come, possibly even on an updated DSi/3ds if they are now to be considered done.
    Nothing Supercard, M3, EZFlash, Team Cyclops, Acekard or any of the other big flash cart makers ever made had them, however other than Supercard most of those dropped off with the big DSi/3ds blocking update (if not before) leaving those games mentioned tricky, or needing an external patch and Supercard's efforts are a bit more expensive, justifiably so but again whole library/homebrew just fine on a cheaper device. If you find an EZ5i on the street then you will have a great time, I would probably not put any great effort into tracking one down though. A DSTwo would be a different matter -- we don't tend to see people that did stump up come back and say I wish I had got an acekard 2i or R4i gold or something instead. I suppose this means there is something of a gap in the market for a solidly made, feature packed (albeit maybe lacking some of the DSTwo's fanciest features like onboard cheat search) conventional DS flash cart in the $25-30 range that we can just say "get this".

    Homebrew that isn't emulators. Maybe take a second look. Between quasi emulation (international karate was a good early example here), things as seen on https://osgameclones.com/ and the DS' power not being quite enough for some things we got a lot of very good stuff here. I quite like a lot of out and out original stuff as well ( https://gbatemp.net/threads/links-to-various-gbatemp-features-over-the-years.352851/ which is also in my signature covers several things here). I must have missed the sim city thing for the GBC but there is plenty there as good, or better than a lot of commercial efforts, to say nothing of the weird and wonderful stuff that no commercial dev would ever be able to justify. Or if you prefer I was not kidding when I said IOS and then Android killed the DS homebrew scene -- lots of what was there was subsequently ported by the same devs to IOS (and then android) to give that initial hit of good stuff they got, quite often with a "see ya/have you seen how green this grass is" comment on gbadev or pocketheaven (and sometimes the DS builds vanishing from their sites/blogs).

    Emulators themselves. While at first the DS did not suffer the same "ooh it has C and some power, let's compile an old PC emulator and smear it around until it looks OK" that that PSP suffered from then many things also lacked the polish of some of the GBA stuff. Sure the DS was a bit faster and that helped, and some things even got some features. However we were still dealing with shortcuts needing to be taken, not enough speed for some fun stuff, the screen resolution being less, on top of the desire fading a bit. NESDS is great stuff (its rewind feature being a hit among many), the GB/GBC emulators also do well (though I do keep goomba color in reserve), we actually have a megadrive/genesis emulator, non special chip SNES is now worth playing, and as everything supported DLDI then we were also spared the having to build emulators thing and could just drag and drop entire ROM sets around the place. At the same time it is not going to be the portable thing I ride off into the sunset playing my non Amiga 16 bit and older dreams on, albeit with a few liveable with glitches/quirks and a lack of fancy graphical filters. The PSP would be a better candidate for it but it has its failings too (not to mention no touchscreen so more limited options for the keyboard sporting old school devices) so I am still waiting on something here, and the 3ds was not it either.
     
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  10. VmprHntrD
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    VmprHntrD GBAtemp Addict

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    I had a feeling peeling around through some stuff, including a handy reddit that covered a lot of DS/3DS level cards and which do bomb or not that was the ultimate answer, there is not one, no go to. The closest ended up being that 5i or the DSTwoplus. The problem I find, well is that, I don't find them. I've found listings, sold out, backordered, no longer offered. I've been digging some lists on the site here from years back, sadly some links now dead, but well lays out what all the choices are that work well or not on the DS. I didn't know NeoGeo had like an 80-85% game compatible choice which is sweet.

    I've got a Shield tablet so I know what you mean about the mobile killing the dedicated mobile gaming device for tricky emulators and other odd creations which is sad but was writing on the wall. I have Neo.EMU on there with dumps of the arcade games I have for easy use if I'm on vacation on there or it's handy at the time.

    For now I think trying to find a US vendor with a kit I'd find right (modchipcentral had the dstwoplus, out of stock now) that I'd feel comfortable using or a second hand one from someone who had one tossed in a drawer at this case as that stuff isn't on ebay when I looked yesterday (plenty of everdrives though.)
     
  11. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
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    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Nintendo and paypal ganged up on flash cart sellers, and US customs also got a bit fun for bulk sales, so such things are a bit harder to come by. Ebay and Amazon dropped flash cart sellers long before then. If you know this week's magic terms for said places then you can possibly find something but eh. Otherwise there are a handful of European shops left and then we are back to the Hong Kong side of things, and supply can be tricky even then. I guess I will end by saying I miss Jandaman as well.
     
  12. VmprHntrD
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    VmprHntrD GBAtemp Addict

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    Oh damn right man yeah I miss him, jandaman was cool. I used to BS with that guy a decade plus ago on a forum we both used daily, very good person and great to order from. I know what you mean about the magic word, but sometimes I just don't think ebay cares as the benefit of their extortionate FVF scheme makes it worth taking a blind eye to all that extra pittance of money the fakes give (or the giant sum of all knockoffs total of any product on there.)

    I'm going to probe around as I'm determined.

    As it stands these days, as I said, I still buy when the price is old school second hand like or at least loose cart prices out no higher than the old MSRP of the 80s/90s/00s(gba), or complete otherwise same area so it's a thin spread. I really just grab virtual boy stuff now when I can, PS1 stuff, now this has my eye too, and I like old 20th century toys of most decades so it depends what crosses my eye locally at second hand wild spaces. A DS card showing in one will be damn near unicorn horn level, you think you remember seeing it once in your life, but you're just not certain and that's about it on that. :D
     
  13. Ryccardo

    Ryccardo and his tropane alkaloids

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    In early 2017, I wrote for a telegram group I'm in that the "still notable" flashcards were the original R4 (r4ds.com = r4ds.cn = r4ds.me), the R4i Gold 3DS (r4ids.cn ~= r4idsn.com - beware of soundalikes by r4isdhc.com and the like), the DSTwo, and with many, many asterisks (ie only really good if you want DSi mode homebrew), the Cyclo iEvolution; none of these have timebombs, they have acceptable quality (not so much in plastics but as in not spontaneously bricking), and except for the iEvolution they have very good game compatibility

    Two years later, the original R4 (still my #1 out of the above for reliability) is out of stock almost everywhere - and nearly so are both models of the DSTwo, the iEvo lost its last practical value with DSi hacking having become a thing almost out of the blue... that leaves the r4ids.cn (one of the two pictured here: https://gbatemp.net/download/r4i-gold-r4ids-cn-windows-icons.35409/ - the red one is current production, I own the green one as well as an ezflash 3-in-1 and haven't regretted it yet) :)
     
  14. VmprHntrD
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    VmprHntrD GBAtemp Addict

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    Would you feel that specific R4+3in1 combo would be best on a DSLite for pure original stuff, but also emulators? Or would it really matter if one did still get the dstwoplus, or perhaps the 3in1s companion the EZ 5i? I could buy a 5i right now brand new, the other is a bit of a problem of waiting and looking.
     
  15. Ryccardo

    Ryccardo and his tropane alkaloids

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    The ezflash 3in1, as the name implies, runs GBA games, vibrates, or provides 16MB extra memory (a big deal for DSLinux and some homebrews which care, but most don't) - you also need a flashcard with a kernel that integrates with the 3in1 (Wood and YSMenu do, the ez5's obviously probably does, don't know about others) or to use the homebrew "GBA exploader" (which IIRC doesn't support the newest internal design, likely the only one you can find in stock)

    Since you said you have a standalone GBA flashcard, the GBA features probably won't matter to you (it actually beats the ez-omega, everdrive, and probably the ez-reform in being usable for DS games that do something only with a specific GBA game inserted, but apart from that...)

    So for DS commercial games you can skip it just fine - most people played the relatively few games supporting GBA sync or rumble without the appropriate accessory :)

    For GBA games a slot-2 flashcard can't be beat - though if you had to buy one an O2DS may be a better deal (especially in the long term, with no relatively obscure batteries lasting less than a year), if you're willing to compromise with annoying save management and having to convert your games with a Windows-exclusive program...

    For (certain) emulators (and MPEG-4 part 2 = Xvid movie playback) the coprocessor of the DSTwo is a great advantage (or so I heard) over a plain DS - but a N3DS is even better at 386/SNES/GBA software emulation, if those are important for you (and as well as good as an O3DS at GBA virtualization described above) (nobody made a decent media player for 3DS, though, and GBA/DS software looks ugly due to the choice of non-multiple scaling or small screen)

    Finally I'll repeat my opinion that I agree with FAST6191 on that (widespread) smartphones didn't kill console gaming but rather homebrew, and that the PSP/DS/Wii will probably never be replicated - because fairly inexpensive (large-)pocket device with a touchscreen and wifi, or that other one with a point and click interface that plugs into a TV, are not appealing novelties anymore

    The Vita is even better for certain emulators due to the horsepower (and hardware PSP/PS1 support), but we are vaguely still there when it comes to "appealing things you can do on it" :(
     
  16. Tarmfot

    Tarmfot GBAtemp Regular

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    At least, you can do a 1:1 ds/gba in a 3ds.
    I haven't still found a ds game that get bad scaling in a 3ds.
     
  17. VmprHntrD
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    VmprHntrD GBAtemp Addict

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    I've actually got an EZ Omega and it's quite nice, saw it made the krikzz toy have no value and annoying since it sticks out like a toe. I think in time mobile games will do some considerable harm to console gaming, if anything because the mobile stuff is free, freemium, or already quite cheap with pretty high bar on the best tier stuff. I don't see them killing dedicated handheld devices though until phones start having tactile comfortable input on them for people who really like to play. DS probably is the best space to look for emulation mixed with just playable ROMs, it's right on that last stop before firmware pushes and annoying updates with live connections. I'm not worried about accessories either on the DS, wasn't back then either and I had the rumble but that's because I bought Metroid so I left it in the system yet little used it so it was pointless.

    I guess in the end my idea of the EZ5i or the DS Two Plus would be best, whatever I feel would fit the need best. Shame it's not so easy to just find an easy video or comparison post somewhere of the 16bit level emulators using the DSTwo plus vs the standard speed stuff that don't have that added processor built in. I know I'd like to have Neo Geo and SNES at hand.
     
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  18. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    There have been worse premises for a video series. That said it is not so much speed/game ruining slowdown, frameskip, layer priorities being off and visual glitches as much as special chips vs not, and a slightly different UI (neither of which will have the really fancy features). The HCS64 set might be able to spot audio differences but it will all pale before a proper PC emulator, mere mortals probably don't care much either way. I am sure we could also do the whole https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011...-3ghz-quest-to-build-a-perfect-snes-emulator/ thing too but... realistic expectations and all that.
     
  19. VmprHntrD
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    VmprHntrD GBAtemp Addict

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    Even he pushed back against his own tool there with Higan, it was having problems and bsnes came back just for the SNES. It's bizarre before higan it didn't take a 3ghz running the accuracy core, but when it got bloated with all the other fluff and emulators it slowed down a lot and needed that and more. Dissecting it back out of the mess into its own tool, the accuracy core needs the lower requirements it once did. Not sure where that went wrong but at least it was regressed to its own build.
     
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