GBAtemp.net review of the...
Manufactured by: EDGE
By Urza - 1st February 2008
Updated by Urza on 26th February 2008
Skinning now works, and the fitting flush issue only affected the first batch of carts.
Review Contents & Index:
- Official feature list
- Packaging and Contents
- Box Contents
- Cart Design
- Setting Up & Using
- GUI (OS)
- Download Play compatibility
- Homebrew Support
- Additional Features
EDGE, almost completely unknown until it appeared on DX. At first glance it would appear to be strictly a poor clone of the CycloDS, mimicking only the menus and lacking any of the enhanced features. Read on to find out that's not as bad as it sounds.
Official Feature List:
- Supports MicroSDHC cards up to 32GB
- Plays Commercial NDS ROM
- MicroSD support
- PDA-style interface
- Video/Mp3 playback
- Plays Homebrew NDS ROMS
- Touch to execute OS system
- Works with Moonshell for multimedia playback such as movies and MP3’s
- Frequently updated OS for best compatibility
- Action Replay compatible cheat system
- Brightness adjustment for NDSL
- In game reset
- Full download play support
- Supports slot 2 expansions
- Multi language user interface
- Save game saves directly to Micro SD
- Automatic save game type detection
- Supports clean ROMs
- Robust non-spring loaded Micro SD slot
- Micro SDHC card reader included
The first thing you'll probably notice is the unique packaging. Why did they choose a shape as deadly as the triangle? To protect yourself against DS thieves? Just marketing of course, but I quite like it. The bottom half of the packaging is made of about half an inch of cut cardboard, with a single sheet of much harder cardboard fastened to the top with a single screw. The top sheet of cardboard slides open, and is held closed with a slightly-elastic fabric band. The backside of the packaging gives the very basic instructions on usage.
- 1x EDGE slot-1 cart
- 1x MicroSDHC card reader
Currently only available in black, the label has a slight rough quality to it, and isn't reflective or glossy like most cart stickers we've been seeing.
After sufficient pawing and attempted bending of the cart, the EDGE shows itself as one of the more sturdy. It feels solidly built, moreso than any other slot-1 solution I've had the chance to play with. Running you finger over the label you can feel a slight bump from a chip concealed underneath, although to a lesser extent than the one present on the Supercard DS One and earlier DSTopToy. This doesn't seem to add to the resistance at all; it slides into the DS almost as smoothly as a commercial game card.
Unfortunately, two of the three units I've received have a very noticeable defect. The MicroSD won't fit flush in its springless slot. In those two units, the MicroSD sticks out about 3mm from the top of the EDGE, while on the third it only sticks out about half a millimeter. While aesthetics-wise this would seem like a no-no, it actually makes MicroSD card alot easier to remove (when compared to the M3DS Real) while still holding it fast. Nonetheless, I hope this gets fixed in future batches (or was only present in mine).
The internals. Under the sticker (which is easily peeled off and reattached) is three screws.
Setting Up & Using
Setup is as simple as downloading the firmware from the EDGE website and placing it on your MicroSD card. The team claims compatibility with MicroSDHC cards up to 32Gb, but I currently don't have any to test with, so I'll be using 1Gb and 2Gb Kingston Japan cards.
The firmware consists of an "EDGE.dat" file, and an "EDGE" folder. Inside the folder is a "cheat.dat" that contains cheat codes, and a "config.xml" that is generated after first boot and stores all your settings. At first boot you will be presented with a language selection screen, which presents: English, Bahasa Indonesia, Tagalog, Chinese, Korean, as language options.
Like most slot-1 cards, the DS will jump right to loading the EDGE menu regardless of which settings you have set on your DS. From completely off to the menu takes about 8 seconds, 4 seconds after the health screen disappears.
Once loaded, the main menu presents four buttons to you. One of the things I like about the EDGE is that everything is accessible with both the touch screen and buttons. The buttons (in order) are:
"Games / Homebrew", which takes you to a list of games on your card.
"Media", which boots moonshell.nds in the moonshl folder.
"Settings / Misc", which lets you adjust the settings and activate PassMe mode.
The game list is where the EDGE really excels. Only .nds files will be displayed, alphabetically, folders are supported and can be hidden. Pressing the 'X' button (or tapping the "View: " text) will cycle through three display modes. ROM view will display the game's icon next to the game name (from the database) and publisher. File view will display the game's icon next to the file's name and size. List view will just display the file name without any icon. ROM and file view will show 4 games per page, while list view will show 10. 'L' and 'R' will go back and forth by page respectively. Pressing 'A' on the game (or tapping it) will load it, and 'B' (or tapping the top folder icon) will bring you back to the main menu.
Now the great thing about the EDGE's menu, is how snappy and responsive it is. Even with ROM or file view active, there is no lag or delay when navigating through. It supports key repeat, and will speed up after you've held it for about a second. Holding the stylus near the top or bottom of the screen will also scroll the list.
Blurry blur is blurry. Demo of the interface using the stylus. When the menu doesn't go the first time, it's because I didn't press hard enough. No sound.
The settings menu contains options to enable or disable cheats (more detail on this in the "Additional Features" portion of the review), toggle through 4 brightness settings, switch the language, cycle through skins, boot the slot-2 in NDS mode (PassMe), and return to the main menu. Like the other menus, this can be navigated with either the buttons or stylus, pressing 'A' or tapping will activate the respective settings.
The top screen is unused, and just displays a static image.
All tests were conducted with a 1Gb Japanese Kingston and EDGE OS v1.03
ROM compatibility seems to be 100%. 20/20 games ran perfect. Only noticeable mentions are that Contra 4 and Advance Wars: Days of Ruin both run flawlessly. Commercial ROMs take 3-4 seconds to load.
Download Play Compatibility
From testing, it appears all or most games are working great with download play.
- 42 All-Time Classics/Club House Games
- Bleach 2nd
- Mario Kart DS
- Metroid Prime Hunters
- Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2
- New Super Mario Bros.
- Tetris DS
- The Legend of Zelda - Phantom Hourglass
- Worms - Open Warfare 2
Auto-DLDI patching works great.
- 3 in 1 ExpPack Tool
- DSOrganize 3.2
- MegaETk 1.03 (nofat)
- NetHackDS 1.17
- Pocket Physics 0.3
- POWDER 100
- SneMulDS 0.6
- Warcraft: Tower Defense
- Win2DS Fusion
The EDGE cart uses the 512k save for all games. The saves are identical to (and compatible with) the saving system that the R4, DSTT, and any other flashcarts that use forced 512k saving.
Works fine. See "Homebrew Support" under the "Performance" section of this review.
Boot to slot-2 (PassMe mode)
Works fine. This will allow you to boot any slot-2 flashcart in DS mode. Not compatible with commercial GBA carts.
English, Indonesian, Tagalog, Chinese, and Korean are all supported by the EDGE, and can be cycled through from the settings menu. I can only read English, but it appears that all 5 languages are integrated into every menu. Game names and cheats will be displayed in the language they were transferred over.
Works with 20/20 games tested. Press A+B+X+Y+L+R to go back to the game list.
Probably the biggest disappointment when testing the EDGE. While skinning support is listed as a feature, it doesn't work. Instructions are even listed in the online menu! Supposedly, the EDGE is compatible with all CycloDS skins. Placing them in the correct folders does nothing, and tapping the "Skins" option in the settings menu does nothing. I hope this gets fixed in a future software revision.
With the release of OS v1.31, skinning support has been enabled. You can place any number of skins (each in their own folder) in the "EDGE/skins" directory, and cycle through them via the Settings/Misc menu.
Once enabled from the settings menu, a dialogue will pop-up every time you load a game that has cheats available in the database. Yes, every time. There is currently no way to disable this (aside from turning off cheats altogether), although it is only mildly annoying. Selecting "Yes" will bring you to the cheat menu, which is similiar to those found in other carts. Button support works fine, but I find that you are unable to scroll the cheat list with the stylus without activating/deactivating the cheats scrolled over. While it does remember which cheats you have selected from the last time, once again you must go through this menu every time you load the game with cheats.
I'll keep this short and sweet. The EDGE team appeared virtually out of nowhere. People were skeptical. It looked like a CycloDS clone (and is to a point). In the end, it is a great little cart with a fantastic GUI. Cheap, ROM compatibility is perfect, download play, cheat support, MicroSDHC support. A few things hold it back, such as the currently broken skinning, and a few annoying flaws in the menus. Quality control will be something to watch and only time will tell if my 'MicroSD fitting flush' issue is widespread. Overall, I think I would recommend this as the best in the sub-30USD price range.
+ MicroSDHC compatible
+ 100% ROM compatibility
+ 100% Download Play compatibility
+ Soft Reset works 100%
+ Auto-DLDI patching
+ PassMe functionality
+ Sturdy build
+ Cheat system works great
+ Very fast and responsive menus
+ Different menu view options
+ 5 languages supported
+ Any number of skins on your card at once
- MicroSD may not fit flush on units from first batch
- Can't disable "Do you want to enable cheats?" prompt while cheats are enabled
- Stylus doesn't work correctly in cheat selection menu
- No software CD
- EDGE Website
- GBAtemp Download Center
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