M3i Zero

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by FlashX007, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. FlashX007

    FlashX007 GBAtemp Maniac

    May 3, 2009
    United States
    This review is a few weeks old when the official firmware website was down. If you are lost in firmware updates their website has changed. It is now .net instead of .com (handheldsources.net)

    <b><u>Review: <!--coloro:blue--><span style="color:blue"><!--/coloro-->M3i Zero<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></u></b>
    <img src="http://m3r4dstt.com/blog/wp-content/uploads//2009/10/1121212.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />
    <b><u>Reviewer: <i>Shard/Flash</i></u></b>

    <b><u><!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Introduction<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></u></b>
    The M3i Zero is the latest successor in the long line of products in the M3 family. The M3 Team has been around for quite a long time and they are intending to stay around even more since this is the latest product and also DSi compatible. Rest assured this is a very worthy flash cart and will make you happy and delighted as I was. Overall I have started off with M3 DS Real for the first time so I am quite familiar with how this flash cart works because I have experience with it's predecessor.

    <b><u><!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Packaging & Contents<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></u></b>

    <img src="http://www.r4ds-ds.com/product_images/c/m3i_zero_3__97529.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    As you can see the overall design and packaging holding the flash cart itself is very appealing. It gives off this masculine look to it and incredible design which would appeal to first comers. I keep all my boxes and packages from the flash carts I receive and trust by looking at this design I can't lie so I admit I have stared at it for about 5 minutes or so. I just liked it at first glance and that is the idea I am trying to present. Is it worth it besides the packaging? Of course M3 is very good. Trustworthy and also fills up any desires you want in your DSi. The packaging was safe too it had a plastic tray so that everything was in place. It was not loose and the M3 was protected in a case.

    <img src="http://www.kickgaming.com/images/m3images/m3i_zerob.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    1x M3i Zero
    1x M3i Zero Update Cable
    1x MicroSD Reader
    1x M3 Card Case

    What was included within the box was pretty good for the price but one this made it very dislikable. I am talking about the microSD reader. It was pretty much too small so neither the microSD card fit in it nor did it go into the USB port. Complete waste on both the buyer's part and the M3 team. Why have something custom if it is too small or a bit disapproving. Do not let that sour you though on the upper side the M3i Zero comes pre patched so it will work on your DSi automatically. I must thank simplymods for providing me with this sample because I believe other stores or websites did not fully have ones like these. At most cases you had to patch it but if you buy it at simplymods then you do not have to worry. Unless Nintendo decides to throw us off the wagon and make a new firmware update the update cable is not needed. As for the case it was pretty much acceptable except I do not have any real games anymore pretty much so I admit I might use it for flash carts at most but for me it is unnecessary.

    Advanced Sakura Operating System & GUI
    USB 2.0 MicroSD & SDHC Reader Included
    Compatible With All Speeds of MicroSD
    High Quality Shell Casing & Hardware
    Excellent Homebrew Compatibility
    Hardware Updatable Kernel Sys
    Custom Media Centre Soft
    Supports MicroSD & MicroSDHC to 32GB
    Real Time Save & Soft Reset Functions
    Supports DS, DS Lite & DSi Consoles
    Built in PDA With Notepad & More
    Easy Touch Screen Navigation
    Multi Skin Interface Support
    Multi-Language Support
    Fully upgradeable: Boot Flash data, Kernel, and Firmware

    The features pretty much summarize what you have in your hands. Overall I think most packages do not cover this but M3 covered most of it surprisingly. If you do not understand that I simply mean there might be features or functions it did not point out that you may need to find out for yourself. Do not get me wrong they missed a few things but any body smart can figure it out so no need mentioning it. Pretty much the features are acceptable and appealing so I can't say much but anticipate what to expect. Are you ready?

    <b><u><!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Installing<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></u></b>

    <img src="http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc282/pokespiritomb101/HNI_0068.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    I do not want to start the review with negativity but this may make buyers or users lose trust and hope. Why? The M3 Team's official site where you get firmwares and updates has been down or shut down or something. I do not know the cause or why but do not panic. If you do panic and do something stupid I can't stop you but I have links that can help you find the firmware you need anyway. As I said in my previous reviews there is a website where you can get pratically anything. What site? <a href="http://filetrip.net" target="_blank">http://filetrip.net</a>. Simply navigate to flashcart related files then go to M3 section and find yourself either the M3 firmware which is M3i Zero/DS Real firmware or M3 Sakura. What's the difference? We shall go over that later. Moving on.

    <b><u><!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->OS/G.U.I<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></u></b>

    <img src="http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc282/pokespiritomb101/HNI_0070-1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Do not let that picture fool you. Yes it says M3 DS Real but I was using M3i Zero when I took that picture. Why does it say that? Because M3 Team decided to merge firmwares. They probably thought making a firmware that works on both would make it less harder for them to go back and forth from 2-3 firmwares. I recommend their M3 Sakura firmware pretty much and again I will go over it later. Should you use this firmware? It has better performance when playing games so there is a reason why and it still has a few useful features.

    <img src="http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc282/pokespiritomb101/HNI_0069-1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    The main menu is completely touch screen so that is pretty useful. You can switch from bottom screen to top by pushing X which might be useful if you want to use buttons but I doubt it. It also has a simple looking interface which is easy to navigate and understand. You have your NDS, GBA, MyCard, Boot, Media, PDA, Settings. Those are the icons listed in order. Moving on.

    <b><u><!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->NDS Section<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></u></b>

    You will have a list of all of your NDS games here. You can scroll pretty fast so it has good performance so no lag or what ever. If you do come across lag I will explain later as to why. For me I like a list of my games and everything but pretty much the skin also matters for me. This default skin makes me want to puke but I can't do anything about it. Read further on to know why.

    Now you might not know about it or did not get any information about this but if you highlight a game and push 'select' you will have a save feature. What this does is basically shows you options such as reading a 1st or 2nd save. This is useful if you have siblings or other people that use your flash cart and mess up your progress on a game. This way you both can play and not get in each other's way. Useful and also the other options included are completely wiping out any .SAV file which is as close as M3 will get to file manipulation (cut, copy, paste, delete). That is the only 3 options I find useful to go over. Going on.

    <img src="http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc282/pokespiritomb101/HNI_0074-1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    This is if you select a game. You move on to yet another menu. Here is where there are important options and functions. I will go over each one briefly.

    <b>Select File</b>
    This is basically the option of finding and using a .DB file which is what M3 uses for cheats. M3 has it's own exclusive Cheat Engine as such they run .DB which is database. You use this option to skim through your folders to find and use these files. Useful when updating. You need to use this when updating in fact otherwise the old file will be read so if you update your cheats I repeat go to select file and go find the new .DB or no cheats.

    <b>Cheat Switch</b>
    You will only need 3 choices. Either Off, Switch On, or Always On. The names probably explain what that does anyway but if you can't process it simply means either no cheats or turn cheats on or off during game play or have cheats on throughout entire gameplay. Useful feature that I always use. Do not hate the cheater. Hate the game that let it happen.

    <b>RT Save/Soft Reset</b>
    I do not know why they merged this option but here you also have the same option. Simply go over to it when highlighted and select it and you will get option of RT Save or Soft Reset during game play. After doing so it shows the hot key buttons needed to use in parenthesis. (e.g. L+R+X+Y+Start) I found the soft reset useful but still when games either crashed or did not work it did not fully work so their soft reset function could do better. Still works just if the game crashed simply turn it on and off if you have a DS lite. If you have a DSi simply push the power button. The RT Save probably sends you to a menu where you save or load. Why say it that way? Never used it in my entire life even when I had M3 DS Real. I do not know why I just disliked M3 down the road in which my M3 DS Real eventually broke. Do not worry flash carts do not break unless it was old or over used. Mine was 2 years old so that is why mine broke. Will M3i Zero break? Probably but not any time soon. Great build.

    <b>Slowmotion Switch/Slowmotion Level</b>
    The switch basically gives you off or on option. Then you pick the level which is either starting from 0-7 or somewhere around that. Again not a feature I use because M3 has a different use which I find very well or in fact better than this firmware. (M3 Sakura)

    <b>Blah Blah Blah</b>
    You have Start which runs the game then you have Y which also runs the game but gives it better performance if your going to use download play. Then you have select for global settings which gives you a simple version of this menu. (Cheat switch/RT Save). I apologize if I am giving facts rather than opinion. If you want my opinion the menu is good overall but with the experience I have I find other rivals probably succeeding where M3 has failed. Where have they failed? Appeal. They do not have their old mojo which they used to have. Either that or me.

    <b><u><!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Not Going Over<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></u></b>
    I will not be going over GBA, MyCard, and Boot. Why? I do not have a GBA Expansion Pak and nor do I feel like wasting my time going over MyCard which is a waste. What is MyCard? It is that folder icon you see in the front menu which moves you to your files and folders inside your microSD card. If this firmware does not have file manipulation I can't hold back from saying what the hell were they thinking this is one of the most useless features I have found in a flash cart. Anyways GBA and Boot need a RAM of some sort (aka GBA Expansion Pak) so since I do not have those I cannot help in any way with a opinion or theory on how it works. I will also not go over PDA because it is an extra software or application you need to find yourself from the previous link I gave you earlier. Trust me they have almost everything so you will probably find the PDA software needed to run the PDA feature. As for me I did not find or use it because I chose not to. It might be a useful feature but in this case I am trying to understand if this is a flash cart for DS/i or a flash cart trying to rival that of a iPod which is ridiculous.

    <b><u><!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Media<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></u></b>

    <img src="http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc282/pokespiritomb101/HNI_0072-1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    I will show you in a video further a brief look into this but quite frankly I suggest not worrying about it. M3 Sakura runs over this any day at any time. What can you do here? Watch movies (.DSM) and listen to music (.mp3) or read (eBook) or look at pictures (.BMP, .JPG, etc.)

    <b><u><!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Settings<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></u></b>

    <img src="http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc282/pokespiritomb101/HNI_0073-1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Do not even touch or look at this. Why? The only thing useful here has been ruined. That is the skins. The firmware comes with two other skins but the performance ruins it. I do not know where M3 messed up but previously it did not have this problem but with more updates I believe they have missed it or forgot about it. What is the problem? When selecting a different skin besides the default version you run into lag or performance issues. It lags like crazy and can take ages to go to a game or section or features. It probably won't even load at most times or just stop in place. It may be my microSD card that has the problems but I did not notice this problem until I updated a while back when I still had M3 DS Real. Overall this flashcart no longer supports skinning. It lags and crashes when selecting a different skin besides default. What sucks is it had a good selection of skins so it sucks not being able to use them and use this disgusting default skin. Other flashcarts even have better default skins than this. Terribly disappointed. With this and the website problem I doubt any of you might have the passion or feeling to buy this because you might be thinking M3 has gotten too old. I can't argue though there are many problems that they should fix. Instead of focusing on compatibility.

    <b><u><!--coloro:blue--><span style="color:blue"><!--/coloro-->M3i Zero/DS Real Firmware<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> <!--coloro:red--><span style="color:red"><!--/coloro-->vs.<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> <!--coloro:Pink--><span style="color:Pink"><!--/coloro-->M3 Sakura<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> (M3i Zero/DS Real firmware)</u></b>

    M3 firmware has performance issues with style and features and functions. M3 Sakura provides a futuristic appeal and style to it. You can add skins with no performance issues or problems like M3 firmware had. You can have a choice of touchpod which is the M3 firmware or M3 Sakura's firmware when using M3 Sakura. M3 Sakura is M3 firmware. M3 Sakura is M3. As such it provides the same performance and features except it gives off a better appeal. It's interface is combined with moonshell if you are familiar with. Is that good? Yes, makes it look like an iPod touch. You can also probably have more of a media experience with M3 Sakura. It runs .DPG files which are easier to watch than .DSM. It runs more of a music choice such as .mp3 or .wmv or something else. Also has a better picture support. It also has exclusive applications such as disk check which runs when booting or time clock and etc. Can also record and play your voice. I believe this is the M3i Zero firmware. I cannot describe it but if I have soured your opinion on M3i Zero this is meant to sweeten it. Why? It has probably more features when it comes to games, movies, and music. At most cases it gets updated faster than the touchpod firmware. M3 Sakura beats EZ Flash Vi when it comes to multimedia let me just say it that way. Get M3i Zero for M3 Sakura? Yes, I recommend it you will have a fun experience with M3 Sakura. Plus the skins are more elegant and beautiful than M3 DS Real skins. There is a major difference.

    <b><u><!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Performance<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></u></b>
    100% compatible with latest games. Some do slip through the crack still so not everything is compatible but this flash cart does assure 100% compatibility with latest releases when other flash carts do not. With the latest anti piracy though I believe all flash carts will lose to one game in the future which will change piracy for all.

    <b><u><!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Skinning Support<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></u></b>

    <img src="http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n134/stratton_865/bottomultimate.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    M3 Sakura yes. M3i Zero/DS Real firmware... NO. M3 Sakura has more beautiful skin choices and selections. Provides the taste you are looking for. I am a major style geek I guess so I search for good skins for my flash carts before using for the first time. I just wish M3i Zero/DS Real had their old skin support. I think there might be a bug problem with it or some sort but in the near future I hope they solve the problem. Had some good skins for M3i Zero.

    <b><u><!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->microSD/HC Support<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></u></b>

    Supports 2GB-32GB microSD/HC cards. Also supports SDHC cards. There is no difference except for quality and performance. SDHC is like the HD version of microSD cards and that may be useful if you watch moves and listen to music. Might get a better performance out of it. As for me I use a SDHC card for my media. Why? Why not is the question.

    <b><u><!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Video<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></u></b>
    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Gmgbp1X9az4&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Gmgbp1X9az4&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Gmgbp1X9az4&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Gmgbp1X9az4&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

    <b><u><!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Overall<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></u></b>
    I like the M3i Zero do not get me wrong. I have had experience with a M3 DS Real so I know how to use this as well because M3i Zero is basically M3 DS Real but for DSi. Should this make you not want to buy one? No for the price and the features included it is a great flashcart. I cannot support the idea that there will be any more firmware updates though at the moment because their official website is down. As for SimplyMods I thank them with all my heart in giving me a sample to check out and review. It is a great flash cart and powerful once you connect with it and know how to use it. For the price provided by simplymods I must say it is worth it because other websites sell it for 30 or more. Which is a rip off. I understand a perfect bundle being more than 30 but M3i Zero with what is included inside it and current firmware issues I believe it is affordable and worth it. At the moment I cannot recommend it though not until they fix their website or bring it back up. Check out simplymods for different choice in flashcarts though. Truly recommend it they are really cheap and affordable. I look forward to bringing you more so check us out as well.

    <b><!--coloro:green--><span style="color:green"><!--/coloro-->Pros<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b>
    + Good Build
    + Packaging
    + Performance
    + Firmware (M3 Sakura)
    + Features (M3 Sakura)
    + DSi Compatible
    + Pre Patched Core

    <b><!--coloro:red--><span style="color:red"><!--/coloro-->Cons<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b>
    - Website Down
    - Firmware (M3 DS Real)
    - Skinning (M3 DS Real)
    - Useless Stuff
    - Features (M3 DS Real)
    - Functions (M3 DS Real)

    <b><!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Links<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></b>
    <a href="http://filetrip.net" target="_blank">http://filetrip.net</a>
    <a href="http://simplymods.com" target="_blank">http://simplymods.com</a>
    <a href="http://youtube.com/pokebattlecenter" target="_blank">http://youtube.com/pokebattlecenter</a>
    <a href="http://kickgaming.com" target="_blank">http://kickgaming.com</a>

    Apologies if I had it somewhere before copying it over I tried to remove anything that was related to the place where I originally posted this.