DX GBA Clone Review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by mercluke, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. mercluke

    mercluke ‮҉

    Dec 2, 2007
    So i'm gonna be swapping around the review structure a bit for this due to personal preference but here we go...
    Time for the
    *now with 100% more caps-lock

    Build Quality
    From all the positive reviews on Dealextreme about the amazing build quality of the device i had quite high expectations for this. When i got it in my hands there was no doubt that it was built extremely well for a Chinese knockoff but there is no way it was as good as the quality of the real thing (as some people had mentioned)
    The buttons (including the L+R Triggers use clicky switches in place of the contact pads of the GBA so pressing buttons turns into a noisy nightmare, especially for the shooters such as R-Type which were included with the device.
    Luckily my old, broken GBA saved the day, the L+R triggers can be swapped out with a bit of de-soldering and once my CircuitWriter Pen arrives i can swap out the face buttons/rubber pads from my original GBA and have button pressing feel just as smooth as the real thing :)

    After a bit of playing around i was unfortunate enough to have somehow had the unit brick itself during testing which resulted in a loop of constant restarting when powered on. After hours of button mashing i happened to stumbled upon an undocumented recovery menu which (as warned by the menu) will delete all your files and is supposed to fix the unit. unfortunately it also deletes a vital system file which allows it to boot so at this point, the unit was simply displaying a white screen on booting rather than rebooting endlessly.
    after a look at the file structure in comparison to a backup which i had the foresight to make beforehand, one system file is restored where as another is not so when re-copying that other file (do not overwrite the file that is already there or you just get the reboot loop again) it will finally go back to greeting you with it's OSX-esque menu.

    USB Connectivity
    When in-game, inserting the USB cable will thankfully just charge the unit rather than making it enter USB mode but when inserting the USB cable while in the OSX-esque main menu it will enter USB mode and allow you to browse the filesystem with your PC.
    But before you do that
    Hold down your shift key so that any auto-running programs on the device do not launch. Reason being that my unit (and i assume others too) was infected with a self-replicating trojan which (thankfully) avast was able to detect and thwart before any damage could be done. Feel free to delete "RavMon.exe" and "autorun.inf"
    When adding your GBA ROMs you will not need to provide any boxart images with it as it would seem that it is shipped with boxarts for all games, not just those included on the device.
    One other thing to note is that USB transfer speeds are unfortunately quite horrible with this device.

    Retail Cartridge Support
    When inserted, my Minish Cap cartridge booted correctly but unfortunately was unable to read my save data rendering the game unplayable.
    I also decided to give a few of my GBC cartridges a try as the original GBA supported them (not micro, though) but unfortunately they failed to even boot.

    Game Compatibility
    Due to the extremely massive amount of games included i have chosen to just test the first 100 (which just happens to be all GBA games on the device plus two PocketNES ROMs for good measure)

    Color key:
    Works with minor problems
    Doesn't boot, crashes or has game-ruining glitches

    included games: 92% working, 8% working with minor problems
    Pokemon - The movie 2000 (The power of one) - Audio can go out of sync
    Pokemon - Emerald Version
    Pokemon - Sapphire Version
    Pokemon - Ruby Version
    Pokemon - Leaf Green Version
    Pokemon - Fire Red - Works fine but it's actually a romhack called 'Liquid Crystal'
    Super Mario Advance
    Agassi Tennis Generation
    Final Fight One
    Super Street Fighter II Turbo - Revival
    Gradius Advance
    Total Soccer
    Golden Sun
    Wario Land 4
    Jikkyou World Soccer Pocket
    Tekken Advance
    Crash Bandicoot XS
    Space Invaders
    NFL Blitz 20-03 - graphical glitch on one of the start up splash screens, may regress later in game
    BMX Trick Racer
    Comix Zone
    Gekido Advance - Kintaro's Revenge
    World Advance Soccer - Shouri heno Michi
    Moto GP
    Lunar Legend
    Legend of Zelda, The - A Link to the Past
    Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper - once had invisible fighters, problem could not be replicated
    Sega Rally Championship
    WarioWare, Inc. - Minigame Mania - graphical glitch at game start, game play unaffected
    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
    Crazy Taxi - Catch a Ride
    Donkey Kong Country
    Sega Smash Pack
    Advance Wars 2 - Black Hole Rising
    F1 2002 - One or two graphical glitches while in a menu
    Lord of the Rings, The - The Return of the King
    CIMA - The Enemy
    Shrek the Third
    Zidane Football Generation
    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    King of Fighters EX2, The - Howling Blood
    CT Special Forces 3 - Bioterror
    Sonic Advance 3
    Super Mario Advance 4 - Super Mario Bros. 3
    FIFA Football 2005 - some audio problems in initial menu, perfectly playable
    Wakeboarding Unleashed featuring Shaun Murray
    Kirby & The Amazing Mirror - some in-game pausing/stuttering between level changes
    Need for Speed - Underground 2
    Mario vs. Donkey Kong
    Final Fantasy I & II - Dawn of Souls
    R-Type III - The Third Lightning
    Metal Slug Advance
    Legend of Zelda, The - The Minish Cap
    Astro Boy - Omega Factor
    Ace Combat Advance
    Silent Scope
    Contra Advance - The Alien Wars EX
    Killer 3D Pool
    Mr. Driller 2
    Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
    Batman Begins
    Dragon Ball - Advanced Adventure
    Riviera - The Promised Land
    Herbie - Fully Loaded
    Dynasty Warriors Advance
    Donkey Kong - King of Swing
    Harvest Moon - More Friends of Mineral Town
    Dragon Ball GT - Transformation
    Megaman Zero 4
    Sky Dancers - They Magically Fly!
    Fire Emblem - The Sacred Stones
    Gunstar Future Heroes
    Ignition Collection Volume 1 - Animal Snap + Super Dropzone + World Tennis Stars
    Nicktoons - Attack of the Toybots
    Drill Dozer
    Avatar - The Legend of Aang - The Burning Earth
    Shaman King - Master of Spirits 2
    2 Games in 1 - Castlevania - Harmony of Dissonance + Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow
    Tales of Phantasia
    Ice Age 2 - The Meltdown
    Advance Guardian Heroes
    2 Games in 1 - Prince of Persia - The Sands of Time + Tomb Raider - The Prophecy
    Tomb Raider - Legend
    Sword of Mana
    Naruto - Ninja Council 2
    2 Games in 1 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles + Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 - Battle Nexus
    Summon Night - Swordcraft Story 2
    2 Games in 1 - Cabela's Big Game Hunter - 2005 Adventures + Rapala Pro Fishing
    Super Robot Taisen - Original Generation 2
    Densetsu no Stafy 3
    F24 Stealth Fighter
    King of Fighters EX, The - NeoBlood
    Original Harlem Globetrotters, The
    Final Fantasy V Advance - some slow downs in-game
    Spider-Man 3
    2K Sports - Major League Baseball 2K7
    2 Games in 1 - Sonic Battle + Chu Chu Rocket!
    Super Robot Taisen - Original Generation
    Prince of Persia - The Sands of Time
    4 CARD G - NES game
    1944 - NES game

    Something to note is that the communications port cannot not be used as a communications port due to being a USB port so games such as Four Swords will suffer as a result.

    Known problematic games:
    Dragon Ball Z - Buu's Fury - Entered kai's house without "game cannot be played on this hardware" error no need for anti-piracy patch
    Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories - Freezes at opening cinematic with looping static noise
    Dragon Ball Z - The Legacy of Goku I & II - both worked perfectly fine
    Mother 3 - Both clean Japanese and English translation patch
    Classic NES Series - Bomberman - Reboots the unit
    Classic NES Series - Dr. Mario - Reboots the unit
    Classic NES Series - Excitebike - Reboots the unit
    Classic NES Series - Ice Climber - Reboots the unit
    Classic NES Series - Metroid - Reboots the unit
    Classic NES Series - Pac-Man - Reboots the unit
    Classic NES Series - Super Mario Bros. - Reboots the unit
    Classic NES Series - The Legend of Zelda - Reboots the unit
    Classic NES Series - Xevious - Reboots the unit
    Classic NES Series - Zelda II - The Adventure of Link - Reboots the unit
    (keep in mind that thanks to all the pocketnes games included it is insignificant that the classic nes series doesn't work)

    • Back-lit screen
    • Rechargeable battery
    • AC adapter
    • USB compatible
    • Onscreen prompt when low on battery charge
    • Comes with 498 free, highly illegal .gba ROMs including some real GBA gems and what i would assume to be almost the entire NES catalog packaged into pocketNES ROMs
    • In-game features such as Realtime Save/Load, Realtime Guide and Soft-Reset
    • Clicky Buttons
    • GBA carts boot but can't save or load game saves
    • GB/GBC carts refuse to boot at all
    • Feels too light
    • Communications port cannot be used for communications, is instead used for data transfer and charging
    • Avast alerts me that the exe included on the gba is a trojan
    "So, where can i purchase this baby", you ask? From this link, of course!


    posted purely for archival sake
  2. Schizoanalysis

    Schizoanalysis From somewhere inside the rabbit hole...

    Jun 23, 2009
    Great work -- thanks! -- I was considering getting one, but I guess I'll just stick to my GBA-SP for problem free GBAing.
  3. DigitalDeviant

    DigitalDeviant GBAtemp Addict

    Feb 14, 2010
    United States
    Solar Federation
    so is this definitely in stock, I bought months ago, only to find out it was out of stock. Whats worse is that during that time, DX never changed the stock status, and made it almost impossible to contact/find out its true status...what a pain, haven't bought from them since.
  4. mercluke

    mercluke ‮҉

    Dec 2, 2007
    i'm not sure, i wrote this review about 6 months ago
    as i said, just re-posted here for archival purposes [​IMG]
  5. jamespoo

    jamespoo GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Mar 4, 2011
    New Zealand
  6. pyromaniac123

    pyromaniac123 ส็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็(ಠ益ಠส็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็

    Sep 24, 2011

    I think you left this somewhere.
    1 person likes this.