Hacking GBA Flashcards - What's the best ?

k0ns0le

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Would love to give my original Gameboy Advanced (with afterburner kit) to my 3-year-old son. While he can play 3D games (sort of) on PS4/Switch it's much easier for him to handle 2D of course! Size wise and button wise GBA is just much less to deal with than a Switch or 3DS. I hate to see him using iPads and iPhones with touch controls and thinking that's how you play games...

3 questions hopefully someone can answer:

1. What's the best card these days?
2. Ideally, the menu system should be icon based as opposed to a long list of names so he can navigate himself. Even if I had to curate that myself.
3. Would any GBA based flash card also work in the same slot on a DS? Since that would be my next handheld to give him.
 
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link491

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In terms of sheer quality, you should look into an Everdrive GBA X5. It's a fantastic flash cart that's got nearly 100% compatibility with only games like Warioware and Botkai The Sun is In Your Hand being incompatible since those games had weird extra bits (sun sensor, gyroscope, etc.).
Now, while the Everdrive is the flash cart that I personally use, they are quite expensive so if you'd like to save a bit, I'd look into the EZ Flash Omega. It's a decent enough cart with good compatibility (some roms will require patching to work and theres a few less well-kgames that don't run on it). This is a good cart especially if you're giving it to a kid simply because they're like 1/3 the price of an Everdrive.

The menu for both of these is just a list of text, and honestly you're not gonna find a good flash cart that doesn't have a menu like this.

As for hardware compatibility, both the carts I've mentioned work perfectly on the Nintendo DS, just like a regular GBA game would.
 
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FAST6191

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1) Everdrive x5 vs the EZFlash Omega for absolute top tier. Most flash carts that are not the supercard (or a clone thereof) will play everything that fits, though today that mostly means some shops still have the EZ4.
Compatibility issues for anything are mainly things like https://gbatemp.net/threads/buying-a-gba-flash-cart-in-2013.341203/page-18#post-4756995

2) Icon wise there are not many. Not sure what the Everdrive has but the Omega has a pack of icons and the option to select it. Depending upon how old your kid (just turned 3 vs almost 4 is very different in terms of development) is then they often learn to read enough in fairly short order if it is "their games" that is the incentive.

3) Nothing official with a GBA slot ever blocked anything in said GBA slot. Some of the third party adapter devices will not work for most flash carts (and even those it does work on will be annoying to use to swap between games) as they tend to be dump the ROM and run -- more than 99% of the games can be played like this and those that can not are either those with fancy hardware like the link above details or are things like https://mgba.io/2015/10/20/dumping-the-undumped/ (so not games and just videos most will not care about).
 

steelseth

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1. EZFlash, only advantage everdrive has is better quality plastic case and a removable rtc battery.
2. Everdrive list of names. EZFlash list of games with game preview icon (you need to download the pack and place it on the sd card)
3. Everdrive is larger that a normal gba game so it will hung out. EZflash has two shells a normal one and a smaller one for the ds lite.
 
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k0ns0le

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Thanks to everyone who took the time to post. I used to have one of the big parallel style Flash Cards back in the day but that failed many years ago and haven't really paid attention to flash cards in the meantime. Sounds like the EZ Omega is the way to go for now, as link490 said cheaper for giving to a child. He is likely to rip it out mid-game and generally give it a bashing... Now to chose the best supplier to buy from!
 
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