Review - UltraFlash Pass 512Mb

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by doomkiller, Aug 12, 2006.

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Aug 12, 2006
  1. doomkiller
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    Newcomer doomkiller Newbie

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    Ultra Flash Pass 512
    http://www.ndsgba.net/

    [​IMG]


    I got this card about a week ago and have enjoyed it being my first flash device I’ve ever owned. I am however going to review this on how it stands up to what else is on the market.

    First Impression

    At first glance this thing looks totally sweet. It looked perfect for a user who only played DS games. It also seemed very well designed. However after the first impression I had reading things on the site, things just got worse.

    What the Developer Offers

    Features:

    - It works on all NDS / NDS Lite (without any Passme device/flashed firmware)
    - Accepts NDS CLEAN ROM (Multi-Games Support)
    - Same size as the NDS cartridge - (will not stick out from the NDS / NDS Lite)
    - 512Mbits Internal Memory
    - Plug-and-play easy to use
    - Can use as a Passme Card

    Ordering

    As of now there is only one place you can order this product from (http://minionlinestore.com/). The website may not be the best in the world but it is nice to be able to go directly through paypal via a shopping cart instead of having to send the payment on paypal’s site. All shipping is free (via airmail) but it’s obvious they jack up the prices to compensate for this. The price on the UFP is GBP29.90 which comes out to be $57 on paypal. For me this was an ok price which I’ll explain why later on, but for a more advance NDS homebrew user it is quite pricey. The shipping actually took about 2 weeks. 1 week for the guy to actual email me back and send the thing, and other week to get here (I live in Orlando FL). It was annoying that I had to practically email the guy 3 times to get him to ship it. I also want to note here that for some people it took around 2 months to get because there was a problem with manufacturing, this seems to be all worked out now.

    Opening the Package

    The packaging was actually clever on there part but seemed a bit odd. The UFP actually comes with a rectangle sized box but the box is not assembled it’s flattened out so it can fit in a flat folder. This and the UFP, USB device, and CD (that has the software) were all in the package wrapped in bubble wrap. Both the UFP and CD were in plastic sleeves, as well.


    Build Quality


    At first look and touch the build quality actually seems pretty nice. It really is quite nice until about a week of use. Mine is now coming apart at the seam. This doesn’t affect it to much, but it’s still annoying. On closer inspection you will also notice a microchip rising up out of the cartridge hidden by the sticker. In pictures you will never notice this but just touch the card and you will know that it is there. This doesn’t affect the cartridge to much but you will notice a little resistance on getting the card in and out.

    Software


    The software that comes with the UFP is pretty easy to understand.

    [​IMG]

    Here’s a quick rundown of the software:
    1. Clear rom list of all roms.
    2. Add a game to the list to be burnt onto the card.
    3. Remove and individual game form the list
    4. Burn the games in the list to the card.
    5. Add/Remove Save games from the card. (This is explained more later on)
    6. List of games you want to be burnt on the card.
    7. This will disable the menu if you want to have just one rom auto boot or if your going to use this as a NoPass device then this needs to be checked (Again this explained more later on.)
    8. Status bar when burning roms.
    9. Information with what the software is doing with a handy time stamp to see how long it takes to burn a game.

    The only problem is the burn speeds. It takes me about 5-10 minutes to burn a small game and about 20-30 to burn a game that almost fills the card. This is what is really hurting this card right now IMO. The developer is saying he will have a new software release in about a week that remedies this problem but I’m not holding my breath. I must also note that for people that only have USB 1.0 need to double the times I noted.

    Compatibility


    The big question when it comes to flash carts. Will it work with this game? Generally yes but there are quite a few popular games that will not work or won’t work properly. And almost all games having some form of trouble whether it be saving or crashing or running slow, this card defiantly has problems. Once again the developer says the next release of software will fix most of this, and I’m still not holding my breath. Here is a few examples:

    Not Working or Having Save Problems:
    -Cars
    -Super Princess Peach
    -Mario Kart
    -Age of Empires
    -Lots more…


    Other Features


    This card has two other features worth a mention. One, it can also be used as a NoPass device which for me is going to be great for when I spring for something more practical like a Super Card Lite. I personally have not tried this but I know some who have and they report it works. The device also has a built in menu mode. Since the card is so small (512mb so about 64mbit) you can only fit about two games on there. I could not get this to work though it seemed the second game always gave me a white screen. I’ve read of people getting it to work with more than 1 game, and again the developer is trying to fix the problem. There is also another advantage of the UFP’s menu mode, game saves. If you press L+R before starting a game, you can later put the card back into the USB reader and download the saved games to your computer for later use. So far I’ve tried to do this on two games and I’ve had no luck.


    Overall


    I have to say this is probably one of the worst cards out on the market. It’s has some cool factors which got me to buy it, but it just has way too many problems right now to do much good. The size is also a problem, I can barley fit anything on there. The developer said he was going to make larger version but he also said he had no planned date for its release. So in the end I strongly suggest you do not waste any money on this card.

    Score:
    2/10
     
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