Slot-1 and Slot-2 predicament, GBA games

Discussion in 'NDS - Flashcarts and Accessories' started by LuzTeTT, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. LuzTeTT

    LuzTeTT Newbie

    Dec 27, 2008

    I find myself in a little predicament on whether I should purchase a new flashcart(s) or not. I read the sticky thoroughly and it seems like the GBA thread that it links to is a little bit out of date and inadequate when it comes to addressing what I am after.

    I currently have a M3 Real with GBA Expansion in Slot-2, and I play both DS and GBA games. I use the cheat functionality in the M3 Sakura menu to alter the cheats on my GBA Games and DS games on-the-fly, both of which I have a database for so I don't have to do anything further from clicking on the cheats button in the M3 Sakura menu for each ROM that I go to play. It's very comfy and there is no further effort required unless I want to go off and do something obscure, since the databases are choc full for nearly every game ever.

    I require this ease of use above all.

    I also require:
    • Real-time Clock
    • The ability to launch GBA ROMs straight from my Slot-1 device Micro SD, preferably easily.
    • Seamless, patchless or automatic patching that does not affect the (GBA) ROMs when played in my emulator on my PC, as I put the SD card in my PC when I am at home to conserve the DS battery, or to use Pal Park via DeSmuME, VBALink, etc.
    • Save files to remain *.sav files, and again remain unaffected so that I can launch my files from the GBA directory on the SD card without any extra step involved, since VBA loads these files making my Micro SD card hotswappable.
    So far this is what my M3 Real with M3 Sakura and a M3 GBA Expansion in Slot-2 does for me. Now, my DS Lite touch screen is playing up and I can't play a game I recently picked up, so I have to buy another one on eBay, and that's what prompted me to consider whether I should purchase another flashcart or not. This will be my forth or so DS Lite.

    In a perfect world, I'd just buy a DSi and move over to that with a new flashcart and everything would work after I set the new firmware up, but I don't think that's going to happen with what is currently on offer.

    If I was to upgrade, I would also like if the following was supported and proven functionality, and from what I have read about the SuperCard DSTWO, some of it might be:
    • Intuitive interface, DS games list, GBA games list, etc. Has no problem with populating lists from folders full of thousands and thousands of files and navigating through time quickly.
    • "GBA Linkage Function"; at the moment I have to move over to DeSmuME if I want to do complicated interactions between GBA save files and DS games. Does the DSTWO address that feature somehow? The M3 Real does, but it doesn't read the save file of the GBA game, so the DS game is only told what the Slot-2 "plugged-in" title is.
    • I really don't want to emulate GBA games, I prefer to play things natively. Apparently the 3-in-1 adds an extra layer of complication to the process of loading GBA games and then getting the RTC to work and so on and so forth. What a bother! The M3 Real does everything automagically.
    So, can anybody shed some light on what the new modern day tech is like and whether what I am looking for exists in any better shape and form other than the M3 Real with its GBA Expansion and M3 Sakura?

    And if so, could somebody give me an example step-by-step process of what I should expect if I was to buy a better flashcart, in terms of launching the games and applying cheats, unplugging the memory card and plugging it in to my computer, double click VBA, etc?

    I apologize if the post is too lengthy for you. Simplifying isn't my thing.
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Short version. There was nothing that does everything you want to (even your M3 setup adds several layers of transparent patching, it is one of the reasons you can not have easy access for your DS games to the GBA slot beyond insertion checks). It might not be technically that difficult but nobody has thus far done it or has announced public intentions of doing it. Beyond that these days people after GBA flash carts are having to look hard and spend big (or big compared to those that came up on late stage DS flash carts) to get anything reasonably functional as nothing has really been made in some time, certainly nothing new/modern/actively developed. Real-time Clock is right out for instance, though there are very good patches (not flawless/like it is the real thing but gets it done) if you are so inclined.

    "Apparently the 3-in-1 adds an extra layer of complication to the process of loading GBA games"
    Several carts have onboard support for the 3 in 1 (it was by far the more popular GBA expansion pack) and most of the rest of the time it involves launching a homebrew program and then pressing go. However if you have just stuck a whacking great SDHC in your DS flash cart does a few megs more really matter?

    The DSTwo stuff (or indeed anything that does not run from a GBA slot) is an emulator, in the DStwo's case it is a very good emulator and many would probably put it next to VBA in a lot of cases (even if it is not really).

    I do have to mention that you may be able to get something done as far as Pal park goes for some other expansion packs ( ).

    Personally I would argue you maybe do not have the best setup, though as you value ease of use and have a few different requirements to me (I for one do not give a damn about pokemon) that changes. Similarly if those are your requirements and you are not inclined to budge I am not going to be able to say something even with money no object.

    About the only place I have to go now is general GBA flash cart theory so I will tie it off here.