GBAtemp/shop.01Media.com Reviews

MC DUI

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Good review Darkforce
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I have been very vague on the features of the MK2/3 products, this review is great in learning all about these devices.
Personally I think they could be a great cart going forward but like you say DF its compatibility is really not too good at the moment.
 

cory1492

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Most excellent review DarkForce, aside from:
MK2 compared to MK3 is a bit off....

MK2 has 16Mbit as well as the 2Mbit SRAM built in (although its not used yet and they havent made it clear how it will be used)

MK2 flashes my NeoMax and XG2005 512 cart fine, Im told its currently not working in 0.3 with NeoFlash 512 though
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I haven't figured out how their passme function works, but if I am correct in my guess and they are able to redirect the execute address of the PassMe to the MK boot menu space without a GBA cart - which I kinda doubt
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- (all MK2/3's have the 16Mbit area for the boot menu and plausibly save backups on top of whatever flash memory and SRAM it has) then all the MK2/3's should theoretically be able to do it.

In testing, MK3 flash memory is very very fast (as fast as the max speed of the DS slot) and appears to address as if it was an origional game, making patch compatibility pretty much a non-issue.

Something I should point out as well, the MK3 that is included with NeoMax is 64+32 and operation/ability may wind up different from the stand alone 256 and 512 MK3's
 

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Damn, Darkforce that was fast, your gonna make the rest of us look bad.
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I'll be reviewing the Neo-Max, so I'll just speak up a little now...

The difference between the MK2 and the MK3 is small, everything Darkforce has in his review holds true, so there will be little ground for me to cover about the MK3 specifically and I'll focus more on the Neo-Max Kit as a whole...

Also the software so far is for the both the MK2 and the MK3, so for now there is no real a difference to make note of...

The only thing to really say is this:

The MK2 is for homebrew people, and the MK3 is for pirates...

I'm think the inability to play GBA games is what prevents the Mario Kart Hack from loading :'(
 

alexp2_ad

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I think it's unfair to say "You need a GBA cart" and "it doesnt play GBA games" are both problems!

Other than that though, good review. Compatibility looks like the reason not to bother with this one right now.
 

cory1492

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QUOTE said:
The difference between the MK2 and the MK3 is small, everything Darkforce has in his review holds true, so there will be little ground for me to cover about the MK3 specifically and I'll focus more on the Neo-Max Kit as a whole...

aside from what I pointed out before, of course; From the review:
QUOTE said:
The only thing the MagicKey 3 can do that the Magickey 2 cannot is write a game from the SD/MMC card onto the GBA flash cart for improved compatibility, but for more information on this read the MagicKey 3 review.
MK2 does this just the same as MK3 - but this is more accurate:
QUOTE
The only thing the MagicKey 3 can do that the Magickey 2 cannot is write a game from the SD/MMC card onto the MK3 built in flash memory for improved compatibility, but for more information on this read the MagicKey 3 review.

grog.gif
 

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True...

Since your here maybe you can answer this for me?

How will the 64mb + 32m zip in the Neo-Max MK3 be of any use for most of the roms that will be too big for it?

Unless I'm mistaken the future of the MK3 is bright, but the Neo-Max one seems rather neutered compared to the two stand alone MK3 sizes you can buy...

Would that be a mistaken impression?
 

WeaponXxX

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Suprised to see such a high score, I am waiting for a software update before I review mine. My wife agrees that the unit is pretty much unplayable right now. Mario Kart, Mario N Luigi, Bubble Bobble, the games work fine just loading levels suck BALLS. Interface does kick ass though and the unit shows tons of promise, its just a matter of time as to when the unit actually will shine. Dr. Neo did say that only the MK3 will load games perfectly...I hope that was a misunderstanding though.
 

MC DUI

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Thanks for the review of the NeoMax/MK3 Luse.
grog.gif


Definitely seems as though the Supercard, M3 and G6 are the carts to stick with for the moment.

These carts just seem overly complicated at this point in time. Maybe once all you need is the MK3 and an SD card with pure roms this thing would kick arse, but at this stage they are all over the shop.

Releasing carts at almost only beta stage is really poor IMO.
 

cory1492

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Always count on GBA temp reviewers to give excellent, quality, informative reviews
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QUOTE said:
Since your here maybe you can answer this for me?
How will the 64mb + 32m zip in the Neo-Max MK3 be of any use for most of the roms that will be too big for it?From what I'm told the chip actually has 128Mbit available (even though it says 64), and aside from a tiny few commercial ROM's and whatever comes from the coding compo I doubt it actually will be used for anything (and I was damned choked when I saw the post edited on the neomax final specs from 256 to 64) That said, the zip RAM has the potential to be a prefetch cache (although it would take some seriously excellent programmers to finagle this one into the boot menu/patching wrather than using it as a transparent read ahead cache at the hardware level). Your impression is far from mistaken in that light.

I personally never took a liking to the NeoFlash carts based on my poor experience with the XG cart they were based on, although I can say the NeoMax is constructed much better it appears to be a minor revision of the XG2005 512 I have here. Your review is extremely negative, but from my point of view and with the testing with current software that I have done across a few different carts it is completely valid - if XG's software is the basis for updates it could be a looong while before the planned features are put into NeoMax and I doubt slumping sales due to poor software will help this along at all (just gives more incentive to carry on with the "sell the next thing" mentality).
QUOTE said:
Releasing carts at almost only beta stage is really poor IMO.Releasing them at a beta stage and never going much beyond that is even worse IMHO (-cough- xg software -cough-) - wait and see I guess.
QUOTE said:
Dr. Neo did say that only the MK3 will load games perfectly...I hope that was a misunderstanding though.
I dont think it is an understatement. The NeoMax cart is operating at about the same speed as NeoFlash/XG carts (so little hope of perfect from the serial flash cart), and with their GST patch methods it doesnt even hold a candle to the SuperCard SD as it has slowdowns, rare updates and such. The built in ROM area of the MK3 is extremely fast (once written to) and as far as I can tell is capable of outstripping the DS slot's speed (max ~4mb/s) - and wont rely on GBA bus patching methods, making it alot more capable than current GBA carts.

At any rate, I have all the MKs here now along with the NeoMax kit, and I expect to do my own review (probably skipping the pics and such) when I have something good to say about the products and their software (beyond what I know now which is: that the MK's are built sturdy and from looking at the internals they didnt skimp and get cruddy components, and whoever is in charge of manufacturing NeoMax cart did a hell of alot better of a job with the soldering than the XG2005's had). The biggest boon to these MK/Neo carts is that there has been at least some info let out (be it source code/hardware specs) that can help the developer.
QUOTE
* Includes Mini High-Speed USB Slim Loader III
I still dont get where they got the "High-Speed" from in this
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Both Darkforces and my review had deadlines in place, so like it's mentioned in the reviews they will be updated when the software is.

Like WeaponX, Costello, and Darkforce, I think the MK2/MK3 will kick ass one day, it's just a matter of time...

Cory I think you've done a great job on the neoflash boards, and I figured you'd be able to keep us straight on some of the features of the Neostuffs (like that the neo-max MK3 has 128mb instead of the listed 64m... That's a hell of a misprint) so thanks for your input, and I hope when the next software updates are out and we update our review's you'll still keep us straight...
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As for these being released too early or still with beta software, sure that sucks, but even the EZ-Flash 3 started off like that, and it turned into one of the best GBA carts you can buy... That same thing will more then likely happen here, probably more so with the MK3 then the others, but again it's just a matter of time...
 

cory1492

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Cory I think you've done a great job on the neoflash boards, and I figured you'd be able to keep us straight on some of the features of the Neostuffs (like that the neo-max MK3 has 128mb instead of the listed 64m... That's a hell of a misprint) so thanks for your input, and I hope when the next software updates are out and we update our review's you'll still keep us straight...Â
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You have no idea how much I appreciate the compliment.
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I dont think it was a misprint, only that when used as a MK3 with the boot menu it has access to more memory (likely due to a chip spec) than when used with the NeoMax software. Im still waiting to see exactly how much can truly be written before I stand by 100% what I was told about it having 128mbit
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