Neo2 SD Review

Discussion in 'Official GBAtemp Reviews' started by jumpman17, Oct 18, 2006.

Oct 18, 2006

Neo2 SD Review by jumpman17 at 3:36 AM (20,642 Views / 0 Likes) 0 replies

  1. jumpman17

    Former Staff jumpman17 He's a semi-aquatic egg laying mammal of action!

    Apr 11, 2003
    United States

    When I was asked to review the Neo2 SD, I was hesitant given the past history of the Neo team, but I thought, “Hey, maybe this is ‘the one’ like from that Matrix movie I love so much and ‘the one’s’ name is Neo, it has to be some kind of sign! Maybe they'll do it right this time!” So I agreed and had it sent to me.

    But what makes this device different then all the other slot-2 solutions? It claims to support clean dumps. No more running your game through a converter so it will work on your Neo product. Just drag and drop the game onto the SD card, no patching necessary. Sounds great, let’s get this review under way.


    It arrived in a really nice plastic casing that looks like something you’d see sold in a retail store hanging on a hook. Is that a good thing though? Retail store packaging seems to be made in space with plastics from another planet, which can only be opened with scissors that have blades made of diamonds. The Neo team calculated it was too expensive to go to space to make the plastic the retail way so they decided to take the user friendly approach and designed the case to be opened and closed again by dented in areas of plastic on the back.

    Inside is a MK4-Mini, the Neo2 SD of course, and last but not least, in between the cardboard backing is a mini-CD. However, it appears to be a generic mini-CD that must be packaged with all the Neo products as it contains a labyrinth of folders ranging from information on their future products to drivers for other products. Nothing of any real use for this product on there.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Alright, I know what you’re thinking. “Enough with the packaging, okay, we get it, it’s pretty. But how does the design of the product hold up?” Well, lucky for you that’s what this section is here for. I won’t go into much detail about the MK4-Mini since we already have a separate review for it. The Neo2 SD however is up for inspection.

    I take the MK4-Mini and push it into slot-1, a perfect fit just like a real DS game. Next I grab the Neo 2 and…oh…what’s this? Why is the bottom half of my Neo2 naked for? It’s lacking a shell for the bottom of it, hope I don’t break it. I slide it into slot-2 and the last bit of the push is a lot harder then a normal GBA game and there is no snapping into to place like a GBA game so you really don’t know when to stop pushing on it. Oh well, at least it’s the same size as a GBA game.

    Wow, everything is so nice and flush so far, let’s put my 512 MB PNY SD card in now. Uh-oh, something must be wrong, it’s only going in half way. Nope, that’s as far as it goes in. Hope I don’t snap my SD card in half with it sticking out like this.

    Also, upon further inspection, when I push the Neo2 in the DS, if I push on the top front half of the Neo2 the casing gives on the right and the front half slides down just a little as it creaks and moans.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    These are the features as stated by the back of the packaging.

    • Compatible with all versions of GBA / SP / GBM / NDS and NDS Lite
    • Compatible with SD / Mini-SD / MMC / RS-MMC or Mini-SD only (just for Mini-SD version)
    • Built-in 3 set separate RTC, one for game, one for real time, and one for game playing time counter
    • Built-in 16 bit DMA, the transfer speed can match the maximum GBA/NDS transfer rate
    • Built-in battery AD converter, can watch the voltage of SRAM battery on screen
    • Pure GBA hardware save, can auto detect the GBA save type
    • Built-in hardware FAT system, each sector is 2Mbit
    • Built-in 8K bit high-speed level 2 cache
    • Built-in 16M save SRAM
    • Built-in 16M menu flash
    • Built-in 128M ~ 256M zip RAM
    • Built-in 256M ~ 1G NOR flash memory
    • Can use with Neo Sega / SNES / N64 cart

    Now, I don’t know about the rest of you but most of that means nothing to me as I don’t know what the heck most of that stuff is. The key things that I see are the fact that it fits all devices, the four different ways you can store you games, the built in RTC, and the fact that it’s compatible with their future devices for other systems.


    A menu shouldn’t be too hard of a thing to do right. At first glance, it looks great with the icon of the game on the left and the name of the game on the right, what could be wrong with it? I’ll tell you what is. Want to scroll down your list of games? What would be the first button you’d push to scroll down? Did you answer the down button? Well, the Neo team must have thought the up button would be better suited for scrolling down and vice versa. Plus there is no touch screen support for the menu.

    The saves act a little weird on how they display. From what I can figure out, when you first put your games on the card, the saves appear below your games which is good as they don't get in the way, but after you go back and add more games and erase old games, the saves for the newly added games go under the newly added games so you have games, saves, games, and saves.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    GBA Games:

    I’d thought I would start out trying some GBA games first since this is a slot-2 card after all. I drag and dropped an assortment of games onto my SD card and then boot up the DS. Hmm…unknown file type…interesting. I got on the Neo team’s website and did some searching. I figured out why I couldn’t get it to recognize my GBA games. It’s because it doesn’t play GBA games. Neo says that it will in the future, but as of right now, the GBA compatibility is 0%.

    NDS Games:

    Alright, since there is no support for GBA, that must mean all the work went into the DS compatibility. After trying about 6 games and only having 1 of them boot, I again went to their website and found an update was available. It was easy enough to install, simply copy the file to your SD card and then run it on the DS and its updated. After trying them again, they all booted but for one reason or another, about half of the games didn’t run. I looked at their official list of compatible games to make sure it wasn’t me and some of them they had the same problem as me while others simply said working. I noticed at the bottom though is said that games listed as working may not save or may lock up in certain areas so who knows how accurate that list is.

    Bubble Bobble Revolution (Locks up when saving)
    Clubhouse Games (Locks up when saving)
    Danny Phantom: Urban Jungle (Locks up when saving)
    Kirby: Canvas Curse (Locks up before level starts)
    Mage Knight: Destiny's Soldier (Nothing)
    MechAssault: Phantom War (Locks up when saving)
    Ping Pals (Locks up before getting to title screen)
    Rainbow Islands Revolution (Error at boot)
    The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure (Error at boot)
    The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody: Tipton Trouble (Locks up before level starts)

    Avatar: The Last Airbender (Randomly locks up when entering a new area)
    Bomberman (Doesn't save)
    Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (Intro video lags)
    Pokemon Dash (Randomly locks up during play)
    Tony Hawk's American Sk8land (Slowdown during song change)

    Alex Rider: Stormbreaker
    American Dragon: Jake Long
    Asphault: Urban GT
    Bratz: Forever Diamondz
    Cooking Mama
    Feel The Magic: XY/XX
    FIFA Soccer 07
    Garfield: A Tale Of Two Kitties
    GoldenEye: Rogue Agent
    Mr Driller: Drill Spirits
    Need For Speed Underground 2
    Hannah Montana
    Mario Hoops: 3-On-3
    Mario Vs Donkey Kong 2: March Of The Minis
    Open Season
    Ridge Racer DS
    Spider-Man 2
    Super Mario 64 DS
    Wario Ware: Touched
    Yoshi Touch And Go
    Zoo Keeper

    The Neo team doesn't give a percentage of what their compatabilty is for DS games but after tallying up how many not working games there are on their official list, I came up with 86.9% compatability. Now, I only tested 40 games, but the compatability going by the sample I tested comes out to be 62.8%. Some of the games I tested didn't even load despite the fact that the official list claimed it working.


    Just like the GBA games, the Neo2 does not recognize the files and thusly will not load them. Homebrew support is non-existent I'm afraid.

    Closing Thoughts:

    The Neo2 took on a big task of a no-patching required slot-2 flash card. Straight out of the packaging the Neo2 is better used as a paper weight then a flash card. Updating the firmware though increases the compatability. The lack of GBA and homebrew support really hurts it too. The compatability for DS games is pretty weak at 62.8%. They seemed to concentrate on the older games first and work their way up because the higher up the list of releases you go, they start working less and less. Hopefully the Neo team will continue to support this flash card and work on the compatability as it really does have potiential, but that's all it is right now, potiential.

    + No patching required, just drag and drop
    + Slot-1 and slot-2 pieces fit flush with the DS
    + Takes four different kinds of memory storage

    - No GBA support
    - No homebrew support
    - SD card sticks way out of the DS
    - Could use a little more glue to hold it together
    - The newer the game, the less likely it will work
    - No casing around the bottom of the card

    Packaging: 9/10
    Design: 7/10
    Menu: 7/10
    GBA Compatability: 0/10
    NDS Compatability: 6/10
    Homebrew Compatability: 0/10
    Overall (not an average): 4/10


    Neo Flash Team Website:
    Compatability List:,3315.0.html
    Neo Reseller Shops:

    Affiliated sites
    Purchase this cart from our affiliated shops:


    ~~~How could this have turned out bad. The was a sign. Oh wait...Neo2. The second Matrix was one of the worst movies ever created. Maybe it was meant to be.~~~

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