R4i-SDHC (3DS revision)

Discussion in 'Official GBAtemp Reviews' started by Minox, Sep 25, 2011.

Sep 25, 2011

R4i-SDHC (3DS revision) by Minox at 2:01 AM (47,916 Views / 1 Likes) 53 replies

  1. Minox
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    <font color="red">GBAtemp.net review of the...</font>

    <font size="5"><b>R4i-<font color="#006400">SDHC</font></b> (3DS revision)</font>

    <img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/r4i-sdhc-3ds-logo.png" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Also known as: R4i 3DS
    Manufactured by: <a href="http://r4i-sdhc.com/" target="_blank">R4i-SDHC</a>
    Review written by <a href='http://gbatemp.net/member.php?name=Minox_IX' target=_blank title='View profile for member Minox_IX'}>Minox_IX</a>

    <b>Review Contents & Index:</b><ul><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#introduction">Introduction</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#features">- Official Feature List</a>
    </li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#contents">Packaging and Contents</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#contentslist">- Box Contents</a>
    </li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#design">Cart Design</a>
    </li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#setup">Setting Up & Using</a>
    </li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#romcompatibility">NDS ROM Compatibility</a>
    </li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#homebrewcompatibility">Homebrew Compatibility</a>
    </li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#additionalfeatures">Additional Features</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#nopass">- NoPass Functionality</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#cheats">- Cheat Support</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#soft-reset">- Soft Reset</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#dldi">- DLDI Support</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#multi-save">- Multi-save Handling</a>
    <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#wifi-download">- WiFi Download</a>
    </li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#conclusion">Conclusion</a></li></ul><div class="reviewbreak"><a name="introduction"></a>Introduction</div>
    Hi and welcome to this review of the R4i-SDHC 3DS, a flashcart produced by the <a href="http://www.r4i-sdhc.com/" target="_blank">R4i-SDHC</a> team. The R4i-SDHC 3DS is a new revision of R4i-SDHC Team's older flashcarts which is aimed at both 3DS and DSi compatibility, unlike the previous ones which only supported the DSi. Worth noting is that compatibility in this case means access to running games/homebrew in a sandboxed DS compatibility mode on the 3DS/DSi. So despite this cart being able to boot in these newer systems it still can't utilize any extra hardware capacity provided by either and is therefore just a normal DS flashcart with a bootloader that bypasses the security functions of a 3DS/DSi.

    All testing done in this review has been done on a Nintendo DS Lite in conjunction with one 4GB Kingston Taiwan class 4 microSDHC and one 8GB Kingston Japan class 4 microSDHC. The testing was not done on a Nintendo 3DS due to the fact that at the time of performing these tests I did not own or have access to a Nintendo 3DS. This however should have little to no impact at all since the R4i-SDHC 3DS is limited to Nintendo DS/DSL hardware capacity even when run in a Nintendo 3DS. I have since then gotten access to a Nintendo 3DS and while I have not redone the tests I have confirmed that it indeed does boot and will launch DS games and homebrew on said system.

    Throughout this review testing period Nintendo has released several updates aimed at blocking flashcarts on both the Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo DSi, each update being bypassed through the means of new R4i-SDHC 3DS bootloaders being released and exploiting new games. As well as releasing bootloader updates the R4i-SDHC team has also been releasing updates to the operating system, improving compatibility for problematic games.

    Like many other flashcarts clinging onto the former success and fame of the R4 you have to ask yourself what this particular flashcart does differently from all the others. Does it offer amazing game and homebrew compatibility? Awesome desirable features maybe? What makes this particular flashcart shine over all the other available flashcarts out there? What makes it worth buying? Personally I had no idea when I first started reviewing the cart. However in this review I will try my best to provide an accurate description of what the R4i-SDHC can and can not do.

    Last and not least I would like to give my sincere thanks to <a href="http://www.r4ds-ds.com/" target="_blank">R4DS-DS.com</a> for providing me with the review sample used in this review.

    <a name="features"></a><b>Official Feature List:</b><ul><li>Support the latest Nintendo 3DS perfectly.</li><li>Realtime skin/themes change function (support random skin/themes selection mode).</li><li>Able to memorize and restore to the previously selected game or application after restarting
    machine and soft reset.</li><li>Able to recognise and display SD card type, volume and type of formatting.</li><li>Sleep mode function, for power saving and longer standby time.</li><li>User friendly interface, easy to operate.</li><li>Uses MicroSD card FAT16 or 32.</li><li>Supports any MicroSD card speed with no lag in game.</li><li>Supports Clean ROM drag and drop. Works on any OS.</li><li>Built-in NoPass.</li><li>Supports Moonshell and other homebrew. Open I/O interface.</li><li>Supports the WiFi-game, DS Rumble Pak, DS Browser.</li><li>Supports the Soft Reset.</li><li>Integrated latest MoonShell 2.0 Beta version.</li><li>DLDI auto-patch.</li><li>Users are just one click away from playable games download.</li><li>WiFi search engine function available with NDS/NDSi/NDSiLL. Users are able to search and download
    the games and the latest game information according to their own preferences anytime, anywhere.</li><li>You will be able to manage your NDS/NDSi/NDSiLL download by distance control through WiFi once
    you install our Wi-Fi Engine Assistant on your computer.</li><li>Users only need to click on the games they want to download on NDS/NDSi/NDSiLL and the games
    can be downloaded automatically to the assigned computers.</li><li>This can avoid the annoyance of waiting during the download process.</li><li>Through our PC-based Wi-Fi Engine Assistant software, it is able to download our website's NDS
    games quickly and easily.</li><li>Core upgrade automatically through WiFi of NDS/NDSi/NDSiLL to avoid tedious upgrading steps.</li></ul><div class="reviewbreak"><a name="contents"></a>Packaging and Contents</div>
    The package provided to me in this review is to my understanding the R4i-SDHC 3DS luxury package. There is no explanation on their website how this package differs from the other packages so I will just have to take a guess that the so called 'luxury' in this package would be the four 3DS styli and that one wrist strap they include with the flashcart. I'm not so sure I understand what's so luxurious about that, but no matter. The R4i-SDHC 3DS comes shipped in a rather nice-looking red box with a plastic inlet holding the flashcart and the accessories in place. On the box itself you'll find an official list of R4i-SDHC 3DS features written in rather poor English and a link to the website where you will want to download the operating system (R4i-SDHC 3DS menu) from.

    <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/box-front.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/box-front-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/box-back.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/box-back-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/box-side.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/box-side-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a name="contentslist"></a><b>Box Contents</b><ul><li>1x R4i-SHDC 3DS</li><li>1x microSDHC reader</li><li>1x Small case for the R4i-SDHC 3DS</li><li>4x Styli</li><li>1x Wrist strap</li></ul>
    <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/content.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/content-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/cart.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/cart-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/reader.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/reader-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/case.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/case-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/stylus.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/stylus-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/strap.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/strap-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    The microSDHC reader provided with the R4i-SDHC 3DS is made out of dark blurry plastic and looks rather odd due to the way it's shaped. The first thing I noticed when examining it was smaller pieces of plastic remnants from the shaping process of its shell sticking out. These could easily be removed, but thanks to them it gives the microSDHC reader a really really cheap feeling. The microSDHC reader also comes with a smaller cap to protect the USB connector, the problem is that said cap does not fit too well and the cap tends to fall off defeating its intended purpose. Performance wise this microSDHC reader is of the rather slow kind and it can take a fair share of time before you've transferred your data using this device. It does work, but pretty much any other decent microSDHC reader will outperform it. During usage it also gets really hot, something which is fairly common among cheaper microSDHC readers.

    After a week or two's usage of this microSDHC reader it actually ended up falling apart. A short fall to the ground from my desk and it lay there with the different shell parts scattered on the floor. The microSDHC reader still worked after trying it, but it now doesn't have a shell to protect itself against damage anymore.

    The R4i-SDHC 3DS comes in a smaller case made of plastic with silicon inlets. It's not very sturdy and opens easily if. for example, was dropped to the ground. Since you're likely to keep the flashcart in your 3DS/DSi/DS most of the time I see little use for it. So after you've opened it and removed the R4i-SDHC 3DS from its insides it has pretty much served its purpose and can be thrown away unless you really like it.

    The four 3DS styli come in the colors white, bright blue, pink, and black. The quality of these styli is questionable due to a very small edge close to the tip. At first sight you probably won't notice it, but if you look very closely and feel the tip you're going to discover it rather quickly. This edge does not exist on official Nintendo 3DS styli and I suspect it could do more damage than good if used on a touchscreen and as of such I would not recommend using these at all.

    The little wrist strap is a wrist strap, it's bright blue and there's little else to say about it.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="design"></a>Cart Design</div>

    <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/cart-front.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/cart-front-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/cart-back.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/cart-back-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/carts-spread.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/carts-spread-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    Unlike the rest of the items provided with the R4i-SDHC 3DS, the cart itself feels very well built. The sticker is slightly skewed, but that is of little importance.

    <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/carts-side.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/carts-side-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/carts.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/carts-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/carts-top.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/carts-top-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/pcb-shell.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/pcb-shell-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/pcb-back.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/pcb-back-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a> <a href="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/pcb-front.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/pcb-front-small.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></a>

    The R4i-SDHC 3DS does not have a spring-loaded microSD slot, meaning that you really need to use your nails to get your microSD out. Some people prefer it this way, and some people don't. Personally I'm not a big fan of this kind of design since I often do not have long enough nails and I've found it to be really tedious at time to get the microSD out.

    When inserted into the microSD slot I found the microSD sticking out slightly, maybe by a few millimeters. Wriggling the microSD a bit made it go in slightly further though eliminating the issue.

    On the back side you'll find a small silvery sticker which when removed reveals an identification number that you can use on their website to verify that it is indeed a genuine R4i SDHC 3DS you've got yourself.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="setup"></a>Setting Up & Using</div>
    Most R4i-SDHC 3DSs should come pre-flashed with the latest available bootloader. If so then setting your R4i-SDHC 3DS up is as simple as downloading the appropriate operating system files from <a href="http://www.r4i-sdhc.com/downloade.asp" target="_blank">R4i-SDHC.com</a> and unzipping them to the root of your microSD. In the event that your R4i-SDHC 3DS does not come with an up-to-date bootloader and you're unable to boot it on your 3DS/DSi, then you will need to get access to a Nintendo DS Lite or a Nintendo DS so you can update your flashcart with the latest bootloader first. The latest bootloader should be included in the operating system files archive and after starting up your 3DS/DSi/DS you should be able to find the upgrade option under the settings menu.

    <div align='center'><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/main-menu.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/game-list.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>

    Once you have the appropriate operating system files setup you're ready to go. At this point you just need to copy whatever games, homebrew or media you want access to on your system. When you first start it up you should be greeted by an R4-esque menu prompting you whether to open the list of games/homebrew, start moonshell to play supported media or enter the settings menu. There should also be a smaller round WiFi "ball" spinning in the bottom right corner which takes you to the WiFi download feature.

    Entering the list of games/homebrew will bring you to a menu system which according to my research should be almost the same as the menu that the DSTT has. In here you will find all the .nds files for the games and homebrew you've copied over to your microSD. It does not really matter where you copy the files since this menu will display all .nds files no matter where they are on the microSD. The strange thing is that even though it will always display all files, it still has a system where you can select the folder you want to browse, although that will only lead to the first file it can find in that folder. It will actually not sort out anything that isn't in that folder.

    Every time you open up the game list it will take a few seconds before the list of games and homebrew show up, and scrolling said list after it shows up will give you a very sluggish impression. Every time you scroll down to a new game there is a noticeable amount of lag, and when scrolling through larger lists it can take ages to get to what you actually want to open. Not only that, but if you end up moving the selection too fast after the list appears you may end up with a completely frozen menu forcing you to restart your console and try again.

    The menu handling itself is strange to say the least. Normally one would expect A to be 'accept' and B to be 'back/cancel', right? Wrong. A is indeed what one might expect it to be, but what I'd expect to be B is in fact the Y button. The X and B buttons are used for up/down, respectively, when going through the different options on the top screen for the currently highlighted ROM. This all feels very odd, but I figure that you will grow used to it if you use it for extensive periods of time.

    On all the menus you will also find the sleep mode function if you don't touch your system for a few seconds. Essentially it turns off the screen when nothing happens, but while it may be useful if you forget your system on while in the menu it will actually end up annoying you whenever you stand in the menus for "too long". Disabling this feature can be done in the settings and is something I'd really recommend if the sleep mode function annoys you as much as it annoys me.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="romcompatibility"></a>NDS ROM compatibility</div>
    For NDS ROM compatibility I've tested 50 different games for the Nintendo DS. As the R4i-SDHC 3DS is limited to a sandboxed DS compatibility mode it can not run DSi or 3DS ROMs and as of such all tested games are Nintendo DS ones. Some of these games are known problem games in regards to lag in-game or annoying anti-piracy measures, some are favorites of mine and others have just been selected randomly to see how they perform.

    <ul><li>Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Advance Wars: Days of Ruin - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Atari Greatest Hits: Volume 1 - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Bomberman - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Bomberman 2 - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Brothers in Arms DS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Call of Duty: World at War - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Clubhouse Games - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Contra 4 - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Dementium II - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Dungeon Explorer: Warriors of Ancient Arts - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Elite Beat Agents - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring Of Fates - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Geometry Wars: Galaxies - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Golden Sun: Dark Dawn - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>GoldenEye 007 - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Inuzuma Eleven - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Kirby Super Star Ultra - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Metal Slug 7 - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii: Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>New Super Mario Bros. - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Ninjatown - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Okamiden - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Plants VS Zombies - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Prey The Stars - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Radiant Historia - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Retro Game Challenge - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Scribblenauts - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Soma Bringer - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Space Invaders Extreme 2 - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Super Scribblenauts - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Tetris DS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Tetris Party Deluxe - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>WarioWare: Touched - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>WarioWare: D.I.Y. - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Yosumin - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney - <b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Save corruption encountered)</li><li>Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars - <b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Save corruption encountered)</li><li>Mario Kart DS - <b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Save corruption encountered)</li><li>River King: Mystic Valley - <b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Save corruption encountered)</li><li>Jump! Ultimate Stars - <b><font color="red">Fail</font></b></li></ul>
    Having tested all these games I've got to admit that I'm surprised that pretty much all games with the one exception being Jump Ultimate Stars appeared to launch and play as they should. I had been expecting at least a few more games to not launch, but as it turns out I was proven wrong. I did however encounter something very nasty within a few of the tested games, from time to time these games' saves got corrupted prompting you to start again from the beginning.

    A game not launching is one thing, because at least then you won't expect much or anything at all from it. In this case the games did launch and appeared to work as they should have creating a false sense of security, but after one or possibly a few restarts the saves were not working anymore. Nothing I did to try to save these save files appeared to work and in the end I just had to deal with the loss of these save files. In order to see if this was something that happens often, I replayed these games again, saved and loaded some more and unfortunately the same problem appeared over and over again. This sort of problem could potentially be extremely annoying if you have been playing for a longer amount of time only to find out that you have to redo it all over again. Even if you do end up redoing everything you did there's no guarantee that it will actually save your progress properly this time either, creating an endless circle of uncertainness which may eventually cause you to completely lose interest in the game.

    Putting that aside, I did not encounter any issues whatsoever regarding the multiplayer aspects of the games that supported it. Download Play worked as it should, multi-cart local multiplayer worked and I did not encounter any issues regarding online multiplayer either.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="homebrewcompatibility"></a>Homebrew Compatibility</div>
    Homebrew also known as user-made applications and games exists in a lot of flavors for the Nintendo DS. In this test I've tried 50 assorted homebrew games and applications to find out just how well the R4i-SDHC handles them.
    <ul><li>AmplituDS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Anguna DS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>AriaDS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Arsenal - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Back From Ashes - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Bloxavoid - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Cherophobe - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Chronoclon - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>CLIRC - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Comicbook DS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>DS Mines - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>DS Reader - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>DS2Win - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>DSLiero - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Dual Slot Browser - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Earth Shaker - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Fireworlds - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>IKU Reader - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Jezzball DS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Jump Beat - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Knytt Story DS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Lameboy - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Lemmings DS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>LMP-NG - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Lockjaw - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Lode Runner Origine - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>MCinfoDS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>MegaETk-TD - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Moonshell 2.10 - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Nyan - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Nyan Cat Is Spreading - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Pocket Physics - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Puzzlemaniak - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Setsuzoku no Puzzle - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Still Alive DS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>SunOL - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Super Smash Bros Crash - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>TetattDS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b> </li><li>Video Games Hero - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>World of Sand DS - <b><font color="green">Pass</font></b></li><li>Morning Timer - <b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Input lag) </li><li>Stella DS - <b><font color="blue">Problems</font></b> (Scrambled graphics)</li><li>And's PDF - <b><font color="red">Fail</font></b></li><li>Boondoggle - <b><font color="red">Fail</font></b></li><li>Geo Wars - <b><font color="red">Fail</font></b></li><li>MindMaze - <b><font color="red">Fail</font></b></li><li>MrRobot - <b><font color="red">Fail</font></b></li><li>Red Temple - <b><font color="red">Fail</font></b></li><li>RUADS - <b><font color="red">Fail</font></b></li><li>Space Impakto DS - <b><font color="red">Fail</font></b></li></ul>
    The homebrew compatibility for the R4i-SDHC appears to be fairly decent since about 80% of all tested games and applications work as they should. There is still room for improvement but it's certainly not the worst flashcart regarding homebrew compatibility at all. Morning Timer and Stella DS both displayed rather weird behavior when used with the R4i-SDHC 3DS. Morning Timer had a noticeable input lag regarding all actions while Stella DS had a completely scrambled GUI. Among the homebrew that failed to launch I found something fairly interesting during the testing. All of these games and applications complained about the file system not initializing properly. Curious if this was somehow solvable I ended up trying to boot these problem homebrew using <a href="http://devkitpro.org/wiki/Homebrew_Menu" target="_blank">Homebrew Menu</a> and to my surprise they all launched as they should with no issues whatsoever. Launching Stella DS and Morning Timer through Homebrew Menu didn't change anything at all though, they still suffered from the same issues.

    So if you take that into account only two pieces of homebrew actually weren't (fully) usable, however having to launch another menu just to launch a homebrew game or an application is an unnecessary step that shouldn't have to be made by the end-user and it isn't even something that's properly documented on their own website. Personally I just feel like it would be a nice thing if they would work on the native homebrew compatibility so that another menu wouldn't be needed.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="additionalfeatures"></a>Additional Features</div>
    <a name="nopass"></a><b>NoPass Functionality</b>
    NoPass is a pretty standard function for a normal DS flashcart. It allows you to boot slot 2 flashcarts when used in a Nintendo DS or Nintendo DS Lite. This function used to appear even when the R4i-SDHC 3DS was used in a 3DS or a DSi even though it served no purpose there due to the lack of a second slot. In later versions of the operating system this function has been removed altogether and you will therefore not find it at all.

    <a name="cheats"></a><b>Cheat Support</b>
    Action Replay cheat codes are supported through the use of usrcheat.dat files. Highlighting a ROM and going to the cheat tab gives you the chance to enable your choice of available cheats for said ROM. I found the cheat function did not work often even though the cheats were supposedly enabled when launching the game. Certain codes worked while others did not and that gives me the impression that the cheat implemention for the R4i-SDHC 3DS is rather flawed.

    <a name="soft-reset"></a><b>Soft Reset</b>
    Once again a standard feature for most flashcarts nowadays. Basically it allows you to return back to the R4i-SDHC 3DS menu by the press of a button combination rather than having to do a complete restart of your 3DS/DSi/DS. The reliability of this feature was not very good at all, I often found myself stuck with a frozen system when attempting to go back to the menu.

    <a name="dldi"></a><b>DLDI Support</b>
    Automatic patching of homebrew files which in theory should allow all homebrew applications and games boot correctly.

    <a name="multi-save"></a><b>Multi-save handling</b>
    Multi-save handling allows you to manage several different save files for one single game. Up to 5 different save files are supported for each individual game.

    <a name="wifi-download"></a><b>WiFi Download</b>
    As one of the highly advertised features of the R4i-SDHC 3DS, the WiFi download function intends to allow you to download updates for the operating system, the bootloader, as well as actual NDS ROMs. This feature is distributed as a separate application that is launched when clicking the round WiFi ball at the menu you see when you start it up. In order to use this feature it is required of you to have a shared wireless access point that supports connections made by DS homebrew. Setting one of these up can in some cases be pretty annoying since even though normal NDS games work online you may still need to change additional settings for your wireless access point in order to have access to the Internet.

    Now I know what you're thinking. GBAtemp doing a review on a flashcart which allows illegally distributed ROMs to be downloaded? Don't worry, if that feature had actually worked I would not have mentioned it in such a way but it doesn't. Not once did I manage to even download 1% of the smallest game listed in their database. You can browse all the games that are supposedly there, but it never actually manages to download anything. I started a download of a 8MB file and even after more than one hour it was still stuck at 0%. If you're considering buying this flashcart for this function then don't, it does not work at all and is therefore a very worthless function even though it was advertised as something good.

    Something that did work however was the download of updated operating system files as well as updates for the bootloader. Both these downloaded just fine in a very quick manner. The operating system was updated automatically after this procedure, however the reflashing of the bootloader had to be started manually from the upgrade option in the settings menu.

    <div class="reviewbreak"><a name="conclusion"></a>Conclusion</div>
    I would not recommend the R4i-SDHC 3DS to anyone. The overall experience I am left with leaves a lot to be desired. Sure, most games start but thanks to the save corruption I experienced in a few games I can honestly not say that I would want to rely on the R4i-SDHC for any kind of actual gaming. Suddenly losing all progress in a game thanks to save corruption can and will kill interest in games that might otherwise be very fun and interesting to play through. Soft-reset is flaky at best and so is cheat support, these functions are far too unreliable and are definitely in need of improvement.

    The whole menu system feels sluggish and clunky, with illogical button mappings and skins that seem slightly out of place. Having a folder system but still showing all games and homebrew on the microSD no matter what you do makes no sense whatsoever. Usually folder systems allow you to organise things to your liking, but not in this case.

    Despite all this the homebrew compatibility is actually fairly good if combined with the use of <a href="http://devkitpro.org/wiki/Homebrew_Menu" target="_blank">Homebrew Menu</a>, but relying on third party applications to achieve compatibility is something that should not have to be done. It would be much nicer if all these homebrew games and applications could be launched without issues from the actual R4i-SDHC 3DS menu.

    Do yourself a favor, buy something else.

    <b><font color="green">Pros:</font></b>
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> 3DS & DSi compatible
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Most of the tested ROMs launch
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> microSD/microSDHC compatible
    <b><font color="green">+</font></b> Clean ROM support

    <b><font color="red">Cons:</font></b>
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Save corruption
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Inconsistent soft-reset & cheat functionality
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Clunky and slow interface
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> WiFi download does not work as advertised
    <b><font color="red">-</font></b> Not flashable through external means

    <div class="reviewbreak"><img src="http://moniox.gbatemp.net/r4i-sdhc-3ds/award-none.png" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    This flashcart did not receive an award because I can not recommend a flashcart which is in need of major improvements before even being a somewhat viable option.</div>

    <center><iframe src="http://shoptemp.net/viewproduct.php?pid=485" width ="100%" height="260" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"></iframe></center>

    <b>Links:</b>
    <a href="http://www.r4i-sdhc.com/" target="_blank">Official Website</a>
    <a href="http://www.r4ds-ds.com/" target="_blank">R4DS-DS.com</a>

    This review was written for GBAtemp.net ONLY. The article and all included photos are property of GBAtemp.net
    If you see this review on any other site please let me know via e-mail - minox_ix [@at@] gbatemp [.dot.] net
     
    1 person likes this.


  2. Minox
    OP

    Supervisor Minox Spytech Employee

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    Important GBAtemp Information:
    GBAtemp has recently opened all reviews for user comments. Please remember that the comments must adhere to our strict guidelines. Do not post congratulatory comments, comments speculative in nature, negative comments, or the like, that have nothing to do with the review or the review’s content. Such comments will be deleted without warning or explanation. Users should consider only posting well researched comments that further the overall effect of the review and nothing more.
     
  3. Ace Overclocked

    Member Ace Overclocked My CPU's hot but my core runs cold.

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    weird, all the problems you had for some roms never happened to me, always worked
    you should mention the backup system that works from the flashcart menu, and the interface is not that slow for me, soft reset and cheats work perfectly for me 0o
     
  4. KazoWAR

    Member KazoWAR GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    IDK why my previous comment was removed. It clearly states in the rules that negative comments towards the item being reviewed was allowed.

    If i need to elaborate more. The team already has a DSi mode cart, they could enable use on a 3ds with a bootstrap update. there is no need to release a whole new card just to put 3DS on the card's sticker art.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Mark McDonut

    Member Mark McDonut GBAtemp Fan

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    I was actually thinking the same thing while reading the review, and to add to your comment, flashcart vendors should be ashamed of themselves slapping the name "3DS" and "DSi" on their cards when the only functionality is to run rom images from .5 to 1.5 generations ago. You didn't see "DS" on slot 2 cards a few years ago unless they could natively run nds roms, patched or not. They need to either crack the format or stop putting "3DS" on cards unless they want to throw the word "Compatible" after it.

    Not to mention save corruption? I have 2 cards (from other teams) already that have yet to cause this issue. They need to fix their card, as the reviewer stated, and update the firmware instead of trying to sell yet ANOTHER r4 card. If I was an r4i user I would be infuriated.

    Edit: added '(from other teams)' as to not confuse with the product being reviewed
     
  6. Terminator02

    Member Terminator02 ヽ( 。 ヮ゚)ノ

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  7. amptor

    Banned amptor Banned

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    can't save in mario kart? yeesh I wouldn't give it an award either. it's good that it wasn't recommended at the bottom. I'm wondering how gbatemp can just simply recommend everyone the top cards like acekard2i and supercard dstwo. I like m3i zero too but a lot of people debate that one versus the other two. I'm not sure what else. I have Cyclo DSi but haven't used it much.

    As far as R4 goes, I have the newer white box one but it only works up to 1.41 DSi or something and I doubt it works in 3DS at all. It's a good cart but I mainly purchased it for novelty. And these days there's a lot of regular R4 clones available for about 3 to 5 bucks but those only work on the first DS and DS lite so that is pretty hard to recommend.
     
  8. ZeD

    Member ZeD GBAtemp Fan

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    I recently brought one of these cards (only cost £6) as a replacement to my Acekard as it cannot be upgraded. The main reason why I brought this was to finish Layton 3 and the fact I was short on funds. I get paid in 2 days and I already have the link saved for a 3ds compatible acekard. This card is good but it's a HUGE leap down from an Acekard. In short ... I miss my Acekard :'(
     
  9. zzzzz

    Newcomer zzzzz Newbie

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    I think the games are supposed to download to your PC, not to the DS.
     
  10. Buleste

    Member Buleste Old Fart

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    The games do download onto your PC using the Wi-Fi Engine. The DS part is purely to manage kernel updates and to queue ROM downloads on your PC. You still have to unpack the ROM and transfer them to your SDHC card as normal.
     
  11. Ace Overclocked

    Member Ace Overclocked My CPU's hot but my core runs cold.

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    they may have gave him a bad cart, it saves in it and the other games that he mentioned for me
     
  12. Electriccars

    Newcomer Electriccars Member

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    Actually the R4i Ultra works on 3DS and even DSi 1.4.3 just fine, though I don't recommend it over the acekard. You just need to use the Acekard.com updates, they work on the R4i Ultra, though the AceKard.com AKAIO doesn't.
     
  13. Lomeli12

    Newcomer Lomeli12 Member

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    This cart has worked perfectly for me. [​IMG] It has never corrupted my save files(but I do make back ups about once every two weeks to be safe). The only problems I've had was that my microSD card got corrupted once(though I later found out it was caused by the microSD Reader) and, earlier today, the folder where I kept my videos was corrupted(though strangely the video files weren't and I was able to extract them fine)

    I have yet to use the Wi-Fi feature as I don't have access to a wireless router(time to use Starbucks), but I don't really expect much from it anyway.
     
  14. link491

    Member link491 GBAtemp Fan

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    i've had the original version of this cart for years and i can easily say that all the cons you mentioned, aside from the game downloading wich is so confusing that i wouldnt try it, are easily fixed with patches foun d on this site, or only happen with flawed carts...
     
  15. Another World

    Former Staff Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    we wouldn't want incorrect information posted at gbatemp. so i have to ask… that statement, can you back it up with proof or are you just assuming there was a batch of flawed R4i-SDHC cards?

    minox did a ton of testing and made sure he could duplicate his results. he really did experience the save corruption but if the team has manufactured a bad batch then we would need to reevaluate this review.

    -another world
     
  16. Lomeli12

    Newcomer Lomeli12 Member

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    Just noticed that it says Jump! Ultimate Stars doesn't work. Works fine on my copy.
     
  17. FireGrey

    Member FireGrey Undercover Admin

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    I own one of these and i can't understand all these complaints in this review...
    Mario Kart works 100%.
    I have played it a lot.
    The USB adapter issues are false, it must of been from a bad seller.

    - Save corruption is solved easily by changing .SAV to .sav
    - The interface is fast on an average MicroSDHC
    - Wi-fi download works easily, you just search a game and donwload it to your computer from DS, plus you can also get firmware updates directly from wi-fi.

    Sorry but this review is not correct.
     
  18. mmb97123

    Newcomer mmb97123 Newbie

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    I don't know about flawed testing or flawed cards but I thought I should comment on this and the review made of the card...

    I have had a similar problem once with the save issues. I don't know if it's a software, hardware, issue with the R4 card or with the SD card. If you look at the SD card in your PC you will find the save file there but for some reason it will be all in capital letters. If you change it to look the same as the game file in the title your save file will work fine. I have only had this issue on certain SD cards that I have used inside my 3ds card and not with every one. The Mario cart DS that I play on mine worked fine the first time. I had an issue with another title that was not listed.

    In your review you said you got the "luxury" package. The "luxury" is different from a non- one because it comes with the stylus's. If you get a regular package it does not and you can get an economy package that is just shrinkwrapped without the box. Each one gets less in cost as you go less with material.

    I agree with the poorly made SD card reader but I haven't found many better ones that have been given with other card brands that I have ordered. All of them seem to be mainly for starter uses of getting the cards set up.

    I have never had a problem with my soft reset. Yes it requires that you push multiple buttons at once but I've never had a freeze when doing this and I've even reset while the games were loading.

    Also you complained about a cluncky and slow interface but... the only time I've seen any slowness is during my initial loading of the main menu. I have a 16Gig SD card installed into my 3Ds card and it's full so I would expect some bits of slower loading but when scrolling through the menu and loading from the card up to a game I haven't experienced these problems.

    I would make a suggestion that another card was tried. Maybe I just got lucky and have received extra good ones. But I feel that you might have also just been more unlucky.

    Sorry that you feel this way about this card. I have really enjoyed mine and also enjoy all the help that comes from the games-engine website associated with the card itself.
     
  19. mutant2

    Newcomer mutant2 Member

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    I may not be as "expert" as some of you guys on here, but I DO know a good or bad purchase when I make one. I've only bought 2 r4i 3DS cards (so far!). I bought both of mine from a registered supplier. All I can say to you minox_IX about this review is...

    I haven't had any of the problems you mentioned. I do agree that the USB card reader is a basic model - but then again, I have bought cards in the past from other shops/suppliers, and some of them didn't supply a USB reader at all. If you want a top-of-the-range reader... then there are plenty of different types on the market - but they are generally sold seperately from other purchases.

    I like that r4 supply a reader with their cards (as a "starter"), so that as soon as your card arrives - you can get to loading it.

    As for the ones that the supplier sold me - AWESOME! They came SUPPLIED WITH 4GB card - NDS READY! - with games and movies. I like the features with the new card.

    I had an 8GB microSD card, which I was able to load up with the proper firmware, very easily on my PC ; including homebrew apps from which also allow me to read magazines, comics, books, access mp3 audio books, walkie-talkie app... the list is sooo cool. I have the various different games, books, films etc in their own folders and they don't interfere with one another at all (sorry, I can't see what you are talking about there...).

    I love my new card and recommend it to anyone - matter of fact, I'll be upgrading the kids ones over the coming months. I also love that I can have a huge amount of different skins loaded on my card and have fun personalising them. The back-up service with r4 cards is awesome. If I ever have problems with games, downloads etc - the right people are there to help at the drop of a hat. R4's own website is terrific too and all these guys have great after-sales service.

    I wonder if the card you tested was a "pandora box"... perhaps if you were to try out a few it may be that that one was faulty - as I said...my two DO NOT have problems you mentioned.

    IT'S ALL GOOD FROM WHERE I'M STANDING with the R4i-SDHC 3DS.
     
  20. 1Player

    Member 1Player GBAtemp Regular

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    @mutant2

    there's a lot of people from crappy clone team that make fake accounts here to spam their flash cart.
    You seem like one of them.

    One easy rule to remember, when you're buying a cheap Chinese knock offs like the r4i-sdhc-3ds,
    expect crappy results like this.

    I agree with this review, I had one of these and it's total garbage to say the least
     

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