Slot 1 Shootout at the DS Corral

Discussion in 'NDS - Flashcarts and Accessories' started by weebwobb, Oct 17, 2008.

Oct 17, 2008
  1. weebwobb
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    Newcomer weebwobb Member

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    Here's a comparison of flashcarts I wrote up for my blog but have since have decided not to publish it since it's so heavily biased towards the sorting of ROM titles. Maybe someone will find something useful in it here:

    Since all cards can play your backup games and run homebrew just fine, most folks will be happy with any of these slot 1 beauties. Why one is better than the others comes down to your personal preferences with the user interface (UI) and which extra features you value most.

    CycloDS
    The CycloDS is the Rolls Royce of cards and my personal favorite. It has a fantastic graphical user interface (GUI) that’s intuitive to use, fast to navigate, with a streamlined design. It also offers unique features like real-time saves, in-game slowdown, in-game faq’s and more. And at more than twice the price it should!

    Cons: Battery life. Probably due to its internal RAM the Cyclo chews through battery life quicker than pigs through slop. It’s the one flaw that makes it an otherwise perfect card. It’s this shortcoming, along with hungry friends who needed inexpensive cards of their own, that I tested the following products in my quest for a Cyclo sidekick.

    AceKard 2
    This is the hackers choice. Besides the official firmware there are two other systems you can try, one of them being completely open source. While being open source is great, AK2 stands on its own with many nice features and is my 3rd choice- or second runners up- for an inexpensive Cyclo replacement. It has some features the Cyclo is missing like copying, deleting and moving files on your memory card, which are nice to have. It also can update the cheats database over wifi. The primary reason the AK2 doesn’t make the final cut is due to a personal nit-pick of mine, so it may be the best for you, but it doesn’t have the option to sort by ROM titles. If none of the others had this option either it would have been the best. Read on so see which one does.

    iTouch DS
    The iTouchDS shows a lot of promise and gets extra credit for taking chances with their innovative UI with a favorites screen and adding a settings button for every game. Like the AK2, you may customize settings for each game on an individual basis. The iTouch also provides an in-game slowdown feature which is the only one besides the Cyclo to offer it. The two reasons I can’t wholeheartedly recommend the iTouchDS is the sluggishness of the UI and the poor build quality of the cartridge itself. The UI probably wont bother most people as you can easily get used to it.

    EZFlash V Plus
    I admit to being pre-disposed to liking the EZFlash V Plus. For one, it’s the only card which loads from the side, which appeals to me for the irrational comfort that the memory card will never fly out. Second is my happiness with their sister-product the ezFalsh V slot 1 rumble card since it’s nice to have cards made from the same company for compatibility. The most unique feature is that moonshell- the media player- is loaded every time you boot the card. So your media is always ready to play after the firmware finishes loading. Great if you use a lots of media, an unnecessary slowdown if you don’t. You can’t sort by ROM titles and the rest of the features list seems a little thin compared to the others. Alas, it was not one of my favorites.

    Edge
    It’s probably no surprise given how much I like the CycloDS’s UI that I also like the Edge’s UI since they are essentially identical. In fact, the Edge can be summed up by saying it’s a CycloDS without any of the in-game features like changing the game speed or real-time saves. This is my Cyclo replacement. It doesn’t have as many features as the AK2 or iTouch. It can only be considered a bare-bones card for those that don’t need the fancy extras but instead value a clean UI. When the other cards can sort by ROM title, I’ll have to reevaluate this list. But for now, the Edge is my cyclo’s sidekick for those long trips where battery life is essential.

    R4
    The R4 isn’t really in the running anymore since it’s a generation behind the others but is included for informational purposes. The R4 is of course the grandaddy of all slot 1 cards. It still performs admirably but its unwillingness to read SDHC memory cards leaves this little train that could chugging hopelessly behind it’s younger cousins. However its snappy UI with its ‘Games First’ attitude and super stingy battery usage makes this a fine old-school alternative. If you already own one of the beauties than enjoy the plentifull and cheap RAM cards and be happy with your classic.
     

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