EX4i DS Review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by Ryukouki, Jul 30, 2010.

Jul 30, 2010

EX4i DS Review by Ryukouki at 7:46 PM (1,973 Views / 0 Likes) 6 replies

  1. Ryukouki
    OP

    Member Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Hi everyone! It's been a while but welcome to my review of the EX4i DS. I'm hoping that you guys will make the most out of what I have to offer and also, I'm hoping that after you read this review, you can judge how much you want this flashcart. Special thanks to Gamezway for the sample. And without further ado, let's begin.

    [​IMG]
    Gamezway

    Introduction

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    The box of the EX4.

    The EX4i DS was created by the R4Li team. It was announced several months ago to be a competitor to the now famous Supercard DSTwo. It boasted features such as GBA emulation, an enhanced movie player, music support, and more. I will be going into each of these features so let's continue on.

    Unboxing the EX4

    [​IMG]
    Bypassing 1.4 with Lethal Alliance

    Well, when I got my EX4, it came in a slightly squashed silver and black box. My first impressions weren't too great because I saw a few points that could look better, but I heard from some of my colleagues that this cartridge had something to offer. Upon opening the box, you come across a plastic tray. A generic USB 2.0 reader sits on it, and a blue case that houses the EX4 and a flash cart of your choice. It's handy to carry some of my flash carts around in it. [​IMG]

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    Generic Micro SD loader

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    What's in the box.

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    Front of the cartridge

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    Back of the cart

    Build Quality

    In my opinion, this is one of the most sturdy carts out right now. It fits smoothly into my DS Lite, and a slight pressure on my DSi. After hearing from some people that the cartridges sometimes don't fit into a DSi, I conclude that either I got a newer batch sample, or I got really lucky. I did some crash tests on the cartridge, and it passed with flying colors. The only problem I have with it is that the Micro SD sticks out a little bit on the top of the cartridge. It's not that big of a deal but it just annoys me. I'm very picky about things like this.

    User Interface

    This is probably one of my lower points on the EX4i. The EX4i is pretty much a replica of the R4 menu system. R4 enthusiasts probably rejoiced upon seeing this familiar interface. In my opinion, after playing with the Supercard DSTwo, I found this interface a little bit dull and simple, but it was a signature of the R4 teams, so I can't argue there. One of the nice things about the EX4i interface is that the GBA games can be loaded off of the DS Menu. On the Supercard DSTwo, the GBA games needed to be loaded by a separate emulation system. So in a way, it's fairly convenient.

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    Top screen

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    DS Menu looks like Yasu's YSMenu

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    The famous R4 Menu but EX4 style.

    DS Game Compatibility

    There isn't a whole ton I can say here. Most cartridges nowadays run with near flawless compatibility nowadays. I did tests on a good 80 popular games, so if you want any testing done, don't hesitate to contact me. I would be more than happy to run a quick test for you.

    GBA Emulation

    Now, this is where the EX4i gets interesting. One of the reasons why EX4i was earning a name for itself was because it could play GBA games via a Slot-1. This was originally possible with the iPlayer when the now-famous Darkchen created the first Slot-1 GBA Emulator.

    Onto the GBA emulator itself... When I boot the EX4i, I go to the DS menu, and find my GBA Games. Loading takes a good 10-12 seconds unfortunately, so I have to wait a bit more. When the game finally starts up, it runs like any normal GBA game. Now, I was used to the many features that the DSTwo emulator offered, so I was sitting here, frantically pushing buttons trying to find stuff out. And, to my disappointment, I didn't find much. After hearing that the EX4i boasted a near perfect GBA compatibility, I tried it out for myself, although I had a very limited amount of games to test. I only ran tests on the games that I owned, although most of them were popular games that some users had troubles with. Games like Pokemon ran fine, although they lacked the real time clock support. Others, such as Golden Sun, ran with lag issues and skippy frames. Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones ran with some lag, and other games had perfect gameplay. I tested a group of about 35 games for a minute each, and they ran pretty nicely. It's not the same as retail but it's close enough for me.

    [​IMG]
    Crisp image of Fire Emblem 7 with no laggy frames or skips.

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    Patience is a virtue when loading GBA Games.

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    What the GBA menu looks like when attempting to load it.

    Video Playback

    Video playback is a step up from the DPG playback of Moonshell. Instead of the extremely limited DPG, we can now run FLV, AVI, DiVX, 3GP, and a lot more. It's more standard The only thing I had to complain about was the lack of features on the video player. It's extremely bare bones, only with features like Start, Stop, Rewind, and Skip. I was a bit saddened by what I saw. On the plus side for me, I can watch my Spice and Wolf on my long road trip!!! [​IMG]

    Final Thoughts

    I'll keep it short. The EX4i is a cart that can hold its own against the Supercard DSTwo, but it's got a long way to go. I like the cartridge because everything was out at once. I got to try a multitude of features to sort of preview and play around with, all at once. However, the cartridge does have its low points, such as lack of things to do with its special features. I think that it does have INCREDIBLE potential to be something great though. I want to see what the EX4 team can give us next. Also, it sells at a decent price too, given what it can already do. I'd easily recommend this cart to anyone that likes the simple interfaces and features.

    SCORE

    Build Quality: 10/10
    User Interface 7/10
    Special Features 17/20
    Compatibility 10/10

    Final Score: 44/50

    I gave it a score of 44/50 because I saw a lot of room for improvement. I genuinely loved the cartridge, and I think it can really compete against the DSTwo when it's at its max potential. I would like to thank Gamezway for the sample and I recommend buying from them. Their prices are affordable, and they're very friendly. Thanks again, and I'll see you guys next time!

    [​IMG]

    -This review is property of DSDatabase and should only be viewable by members of DSDatabase.org and GBATemp.net. If this review is seen elsewhere, please notify me. Thank you.
     
  2. Dter ic

    Member Dter ic ~

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    hmm.. nice review, a good break fir Another World on reviewing stuff like these, looks like the format is like dsdateabases (lol cuz you are the reviewer for dsdateabse) again nicly done [​IMG] [​IMG]

    oh and does castlevania portrait of ruin work?
    also i wonder if it will be able to update so it might work on the 3DS when it's out? instead of making a new cart for every new ds.
     
  3. Ryukouki
    OP

    Member Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Thanks. This was probably the most difficult review to write for me. I don't want to get into it either and yep, I'm reviewing for DSDB so yeah, it'll look like DSDB format. [​IMG]
     
  4. soulx

    Member soulx GBAtemp Legend

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    Very good review.
    Looks like the official GBAtemp ones! You should have used center tags, though. It looks better that way.
    Code:
    [center][/center]
     
  5. Ryukouki
    OP

    Member Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    For now, I tried that. And thank you so much for the compliment! [​IMG] If you have time, I'd point you to my Supercard DStwo review that I did, much more detail. [​IMG]

    EDIT: here's the review, with center tags [​IMG] http://gbatemp.net/t238196-supercard-dstwo-review
     
  6. soulx

    Member soulx GBAtemp Legend

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    I saw the review before.
    http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=238...t=0&start=0

    It looks very professional. You have some serious reviewing talent at least compared to me.
     
  7. Ryukouki
    OP

    Member Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Awww, thanks, but I'm just an ordinary guy trying to help out the community. I love it not for the stuff I receive. The main reason I love doing this is because I want to help people make a decision and get off the fence. [​IMG]
     

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