Review SuperCard DSTWO Review

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Another World

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

<font size="5"><font color="#000080">SuperCard DSTWO</font></font>
01_supercardds2_review_header.png


Manufactured by: SuperCard
Also Known As: SuperCardDS2, DSTWO, DS2, SCDSTWO, SCDS2
Review by Another World - completed 6/09/10

Review Contents & Index:<div class="reviewbreak">Review Introduction</div>
The SuperCard DSTWO (SCDS2), released by Team SuperCard, has been dubbed the 2nd generation of DS Slot-1 Flash Kits. Since the introduction of Slot-1 Flash Kits, users have continually desired new features, better support, and advancements from the developers. The SCDS2 attempts to appease the user with an on-board CPU capable of GBA Slot-1 emulation. Team SuperCard has additionally promised SNES emulation, drag/drop video playback, on-the-fly anti-piracy advancements, an in-game menu system, slow-motion, soft-reset, a real-time cheat editor, and more.

This review will focus on the current DSTWO EOS v1.02 firmware and its features. Features not currently available will be mentioned and discussed based on publicly available information. The review kit will be tested on a DSi XL and a 2 GB Japanese Kingston microSD card. NDS compatibility will be tested with both NDS Homebrew and NDS ROMS and the GBA EMU will be tested with both GBA Homebrew and GBA ROMs. All review photos will be taken using the “SILVER” EOS v1.02 included theme.

Official Features List (Corrected):
  • Real time functions: real-time save, real-time game guide (txt, bmp, jpg), and real-time cheat.
  • Multi-saves (up to 4 slots), easy to back-up and restore saves.
  • Unlimited microSD storage space support. SDHC support. FAT or FAT 32.
  • Multiple languages.
  • Built-in GBA/SNES Emulator.
  • Action slow motion (4 levels).
  • File management system (copy, paste, cut, and delete). Long file name support.
  • E-book in .BMP, .JPEG, .JPG, .PNG, .TIF, .GIF, .TXT, and .PDF formats.
The official features contains some “Engrish”, misspelled words, and dual index formatting. Based on the package description, someone with little to no knowledge of this hobby might easily pass this card off as being “cheap junk.”

The list includes the phrase “unlimited microSD storage space support,” a selling tactic lie for which I have no appreciation. The included paper manual has an image of a microSD card and the box includes the phrase “SDHC” and a printed SDHC logo. This card clearly only supports SDHC external media, and as consumers we know that the limitation of SDHC cards is 32 GB.

The list mentions SNES emulation, something which has not yet been implemented by Team SuperCard or the EOS Operating System.

E-book support includes a listing of mostly image formats and skips some dedicated E-book formats (.EPUB, .LIT, .LRF, .MOBI, etc). I would have preferred that the image formats were listed under an appropriate Image heading and for .TXT and .PDF to remain under the E-book heading.

The feature list lacks any mention of video/multimedia formats. The card was publicized as supporting drag/drop video codec playback. This is another feature not yet implemented by Team SuperCard or the EOS Operating System.

Oddly there is no mention of the “plug-in” system for creating custom icons used as launching points for NDS Homebrew and NDS ROM files. This is an interesting feature which not only helps organization through a favorites list but provides a way for users to personalize their theme.

<div class="reviewbreak">Contents and Packaging</div>
Contents:
  • 1x SuperCard DSTWO
  • 1x microSD reader
  • 1x User manual (in "Engrish" and Chinese)
  • 1x blue leather wrist strap
Packaging:

The SCDS2 ships in thin matte black colored cardboard box. The box measures approximately 5 and 1/2 inches by 3 and 3/4 inches by 3/4 of an inch. The left and right sides of the box fold inwards and secure with a cardboard flap. The box is printed with the “SuperCard” logo on all sides but the bottom. The top of the box includes a shiny DSTWO logo, a SuperCard Team logo, and a SDHC logo. The bottom of the box includes 3 shiny firmware screen captures of the EOS software. Also found on the bottom of the box is the official “Engrish” features listing and an official SuperCard URL (www.supercard.sc).

The box protects a thin plastic felt covered tray which slides in snugly and holds the SCDS2 and the microSD reader. Both of these items sit tightly into their respective cutouts, so well are they contained that users have reported damaging the shell of their SCDS2 while attempting to remove it. Removing either item is a simple as pulling out the tray and pushing on the back side to allow the item to lift away from the packaging. Under this tray sits the paper user manual and leather wrist strap. The wrist strap was not initially available for pre-ordered kits and later SCDS2 offered the strap as an additional purchase for resellers, causing each reseller to manually insert the wrist strap into each box. As a result of this some users have purchased a SCDS2 and not received the wrist strap, thus making it optional for the reseller and a random bonus for the buyer.

The included microSD reader measures approximately 1 and 3/4 of an inch by 5/8ths of inch by 2/8ths of an inch. The black colored plastic shell feels smooth and sturdy to the touch. The USB connector is protected by a clear plastic cover which slides and locks into the plastic shell. If the cover is reversed it will not lock shut and should not be forced. This microSD reader is a functional alternative and a nice addition to the internal packaging contents, however, it is much larger than my preferred solution and from a generic manufacturing factory. The longevity of this microSD reader based on build quality alone seems fairly long, yet only time will tell.

07_supercardds2_review_msdreader_front.jpg
08_supercardds2_review_msdreader_back.jpg
<div class="reviewbreak">Kit Design and Impressions</div>
The SCDS2 uses a modified shell possibly based on the AK2i design, and at first glance they look almost identical except for a deeper shade of black and additional insertion guides. Instead of glue, the SCDS2 is held together by a single jewelry sized micro screw and 4 plastic raised inserts. The plastic inserts extend from the stickered back side of the kit and join into matching holds on the opposite side. The entire kit can be pried apart at every point but the lower right hand area surrounding the micro Phillips head screw. The back side of the PCB which contains the main chip is held fast to the shell thanks to the residue of the stickered label. The microSD slot is located on the left hand side of the SCDS2. The PCB has 17 connection teeth and 10 plastic guide points. The kit itself measures approximately 1 and 2/8th inches by 1 and 1/4 inches by 1/8 of an inch.



PCB images provided by: How_do_i_do_that
The SCDS2 feels relatively sturdy yet not so well secured. It is much too easy to separate the shell halves from one another. The bottom of the PCB is flat against the shell resulting in optimal contact with the NDS Slot-1 connection teeth. The addition of 10 plastic guides gives this card a slight connection advantage over other Slot-1 Flash Kits that I have used. The microSD slot aggressively grips the card and I find it difficult to remove the card at times from the SCDS2 shell. The spring loaded microSD slot feels as familiar as any Slot-1 spring loaded Flash Kit. This kit is relatively new I can not yet comment on the integrity of the spring. There is always the chance that the spring could fail, with moderate respected use I would expect the spring to last. The SCDS2 fits snug into the DSi XL and extremely tight into the NDS Lite. The card is difficult to remove from the NDS Lite due to the protruding chip and over extended stickered label.

The front side of the SCDS2 is protected only by the stickered label. It is very easy to see and feel the chips and the other distinct characteristics of the PCB. These parts are vital to the functionally of this kit and users should take caution to avoid pushing onto this area of the shell

Although I have actively sought out an official confirmation, user speculation is that the I-Player Flash Kit was also designed by Team SuperCard. Comparing both the I-Player and the SCDS2 together one will see the similarities between boxes, packaging materials, paper user manuals, shell designs, PCB designs, emulation software, features list, and more. If the I-Player was a testing ground for the SCDS2 I hope that Team SuperCard has learned their lesson and that the SCDS2 will not repeat the failures of the I-Player.

Team SuperCard has allowed their forum “Admin” to leak news of an official SCDS2 Software Development Kit (SDK). Software which will push this Flash Kit away from the competition must incorporate the onboard CPU and one can only dream of the emulation possibilities this card has in store. The future of this Flash Kit design could very well come down to the Homebrew community who may be powerless to do official plug-in compilations without the aid of Team SuperCard and the official SDK. Team SuperCard should begin offering free SCDS2 kits to any established Homebrew author who wishes to develop for this unique Flash Kit (AgentQ, Normmatt & Smiths, Moonlight, Rudolph, Flubba, Simon J. Hall, Alekmaul, etc). If you want to increase sales you need to offer a wide range of exclusive software option. This can be achieved by giving away a handful of SCDS2 Flash Kits along with the SDK to the right Homebrew community contributors. Nothing could come of this but the potential for SCDS2 greatness is worth the effort.

The community has put their faith and trust into Team SuperCard and software that does not perform as stated on the box or in pre-release news and publicized advertisements. However, SuperCard has always come from behind to offer support and features for the life of their products. While the initial impressions include disappointment the frequent updates and attempts to support the hardware should be noted.

<div class="reviewbreak">Set-up and Usage</div>
The SuperCard EOS v1.02 software is released archived with 4 main directories. These directories are “_dstwo”, “_dstwoplug”, “moonshl2”, and “NDSGBA”. Each of these 4 directories must be placed in the ROOT of a freshly formatted microSD card.

The “_dstwo” directory contains vital system related files, the User Interface theme files, and translated language .TXT files. Users can easily see the influence from the Ackeard R.P.G. software from which the EOS is based, by examining the familiar directory structure. The EOS themes are complex and made up of 54 files not including the additional patch and plug-in related theme files.

The “dstwoplug” directory contains EOS shortcut icons commonly called “plug-ins” based on this directories name and not on their actually functionality as external software applications. Each shortcut includes a correctly formatted .BMP image and an .INI file. The .INI file contains a path to the icon file and the name as displayed in the EOS software. The .NDS file itself must also be located in this directory and named the same name as the .BMP and .INI files.

The following is an examination of the included “MoonShell2” shortcut found in the EOS v1.02 default file structure.

11_supercardds2_review_shortcut_properties.jpg

MoonShell2.ini contents said:
[plug setting]
icon=fat1:/_dstwoplug/MoonShell2.bmp
name=MoonShell
To use this shortcut one would place a MoonShell2.NDS file in the same directory as these shortcut specific files. Why they elected to do it this way makes absolutely no sense to me. Users should never be forced into an organizational structure, as each user has their own personal preference for organization. The .INI file could just have easily supported a path to the .NDS file (IE: path=fat1:/homebrew/applications/moonshellv2.10final.nds).

<p>Additional Plug-in Information:

icon11.gif
http://gbatemp.net/t229551-scds2-plugins
</p>
The “moonshl2” directory contains the default files found in a normal Moonshell v2.10 installation.

The “NDSGBA” directory contains all required files for the Slot-1 based GBA emulator. The EOS GBA EMU v1.21 install defaults on each load to this internal directory. Placing .GBA Homebrew files and .GBA retail ROM dumps into the “gamepak” directory will increase organization and minimize search time.

The file structures for the 3 firmware specific directories are as follows:

Code:
| + _dstwo
ÂÂÂÂ | + language
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ | + lang_cn
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-language.bkm
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-language.txt
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-local.fon
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-unicode.ank
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-unicode.l2u
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-unicode.u2l
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ | + lang_en
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-language.txt
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ | + etc...
ÂÂÂÂ | + patch
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ | + icon
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-brightnessdark.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-brightnesslight.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-cheatActivekWnd.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-cheatDarkWnd.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-realtimeLrActiveWnd.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-realtimeLrDarkWnd.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-rebackActiveWnd.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-rebackdark.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-rebacklight.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-resetActiveWnd.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-resetdark.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-resetlight.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-seekActiveWnd.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-seekDarkWnd.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-slowActiveWnd.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-slowDarkWnd.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-txtActiveWnd.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-txtDarkWnd.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-wnddarkbar.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-wndlightbar.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ | + serchcheat
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-addcheat_bk.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-arrowhead.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-arrowhead_L.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-arrowhead_R.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-brokeline.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-btn_bk.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-changecheat_bk.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-cheatlist_bk.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-result_bk.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-select_bk.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-select_logo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-slip.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-spinbox_bk.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-state_bar0.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-state_bar1.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-turnoff.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ | + user
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-asc10.fon.bin
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ | + plug
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-down_bk.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-language.txt
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-nds.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-nextbtn_press.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-nextbtn_release.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-prevbtn_press.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-prevbtn_release.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-selectlogo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-slip.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-text_bk.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-unkown.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-up_bk.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-update_bg.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-update_failface.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-update_message_pad.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-update_progressbar.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-update_progressbg.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-update_suceedface.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-update_wordbg.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ | + ui
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ | + pink
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ | + icon
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-cheat.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-dpg.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-gba.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-nds.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-plg.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-pth.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-realtime.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-rpth.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-sav.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-txt.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-unk.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-active.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-activehotkey.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-brightness.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-btn3.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-btn.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-cardFrame0.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-cardFrame1.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-cheat_clearall.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-cheatbg.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-cheatmenubtn.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-cheatselectbar.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-clock_colon.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-clock_numbers.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-close1.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-close.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-fathernode.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-form_L.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-form_M.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-form_R.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-hotkeybk.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-lamp.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-lower_screen.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-noactivehotke.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-onehotdown.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-onehoton.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-pitchdown.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-pitchon.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-popsubbar.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-progress_bar.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-progress_wnd.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-reBack.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-selectbar.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-settingbg.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-spin_btn_left.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-spin_btn_right.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-start_released.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-startbar.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-title_bg.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-active.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-title_left.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-title_right.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-triangle.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-uisettings.ini
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-upper_screen.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ | + silver
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ | + icon
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-etc...
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-etc...
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-DSGAME.nds
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-dstwo.nds
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-globalsettings.ini
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-lastsave.ini
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-ndspatch.dat
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-reset2desktop.nds
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-savemode.dat
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-system1.dat
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-system2.dat
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-system3.dat
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-systemp.bin
 
| + _dstwoplug
ÂÂÂÂ |-gba.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ |-gba.ini
ÂÂÂÂ |-gba.plg
ÂÂÂÂ |-MoonShell2.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ |-MoonShell2.ini
ÂÂÂÂ |-MoonShell2.nds
 
| + NDSGBA
ÂÂÂÂ | + gamecht
ÂÂÂÂ | + gamepak
ÂÂÂÂ | + gamepic
ÂÂÂÂ | + gamerts
ÂÂÂÂ | + system
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ | + gui
   |-¦µ¦¦.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-avo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-backo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-boot.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-butto.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-cheato.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-chtfile.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-directory.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-emptyo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-exito.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-fdoto.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-filesel.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-fullo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-gbafile.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-maybgo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-msgfr.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-navo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-nbacko.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-ncheato.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-nemptyo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-newo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-nexito.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-nfullo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-nnewo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-nother.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-nreseto.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-nreteno.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-nsaveo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-ntoolo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-other.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-reseto.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-reteno.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-saveo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-subiso.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-subsela.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-subselb.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-title.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-titlesub.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-toolo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-zipfile.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-language.msg
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-song.odf
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-verdana.odf
Like the Acekard R.P.G. firmware it is based off of, the EOS software uses a globalsettings.ini file to store various important system related variables. The default file stores many different options than the Acekard firmware. Please be cautious as editing the file directly is recommended for advance users.

globalsettings.ini said:
[system]
fontWidth=11
fontHeight=12
keyDelay=30
keyRepeat=1
brightness=1
language=0
langDirectory=lang_en
uiName=SILVER
fileListType=0
enterLastDirWhenBoot=1
downloadPlayPatch=0
uiType=0
runMode=0
saveNum=0
cheatEnable=1
hotKeyValue=8709
files=0
The globalsettings.ini remains undocumented at this early stage of EOS development. Some items are fairly obvious and others are extremely cryptic. The EOS DLDI file is absent from the directory structure, and has recently been released for download by Team SuperCard.. The EOS software can use the Action Replay usrcheat.dat formatted file. This file should be placed into the “_dstwo” directory and accessed using the included in-game software menu system. GBA .CHT cheat files are placed into the “gamecht” directory and .GBA Homebrew and retail ROM dumps can be placed into the “gamepak” directory.

<p>SCDS2 DLDI File:

download.gif
Download 1.05 KB
</p>
The EOS software is largely undocumented and unsupported for its current stage of development. Users are encouraged to do their own research until this Flash Kit is more efficiently documented. At such a point I will adjust this section of the review to reflect more factual content as I do not want this section to include research based on speculation.

EOS G.U.I.:
The SCDS2 will not skip the NDS firmware’s Health and Safety screen, user must click to advance or wait for this screen to time out. The current v1.04 SCDS2 firmware displays as “Fish Tycoon,” the v1.05 firmware is available but untested for this review. User reports have flooded the SuperCard forums with information about bricked or damaged SCDS2s after the v1.05 firmware upgrade. The v1.05 firmware upgrade is for users who auto-boot their NDS firmware and experienced problems with the SCDS2. This compatibility issue was limited to a handful of cards making the upgrade not advisable at this time.

Once the boot-up sequence is triggered the SCDS2 will load the EOS software in under 3 seconds. The EOS software has a similar design to the NDSi official firmware; the main screen contains various icons, the date and time, and a slider bar at the bottom. The top screen of the EOS software displays a still image with the text “It’s Time To Go Beyond DS.” At any point the B button can be pressed in succession to navigate the G.U.I. back to this top menu icon-display screen.

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The default SuperCard EOS software comes pre-installed with a handful of icons. The included icons are “DS_GAME”, “SLOT2 NDS”, “SLOT2 GBA”, “MoonShell”, and “GBA Emulator”. The first 3 listed icons will boot .NDS files, PassME mode, or Slot-2 Expansion devices, respectively. The last two icons will boot MoonShell or the SCDS2 GBA EMU, these icons are user created and stored in the “./_dstwoplug” directory. Users can alter, rename, or remove various icons from the EOS software. The "DS_GAME" icon can only be renamed by hex-editing the “dstwo.nds” file found in the “_dstwo” system directory. This icon is part of the software and can not be removed.

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<p>Hexing “DS_GAME”

• Open the dstwo.nds file into a hex-editor
• Browse for 0x00031a08 (bytes 08 to 0E)
• The replacement string can only be 7 characters in length
</p>
Hexing information provided by: Kentoss
The “SLOT2 NDS” option will boot the NDS PassME mode, launching any NOR flashed .NDS.GBA file into the correct mode. This mode was tested using a few older homebrew projects and I found it to function as expected (IE: DS Heretic). The “SLOT2 GBA” option will boot to the NOR mode of the supported Slot-2 expansion device. There is currently no way to flash to the PSRAM of the 3in1 expansion card and currently no way to backup, restore, or manipulate GBA SRAM save files. The EOS software assumes that the supported card is pre-flashed to NOR with a GBA ROM and that the SRAM battery is fully functional, thus limiting the user experience and discriminating against the vast majority of EZ Flash 3in1 owners.

The “DS_GAME” icon boots into a second viewing area which sorts by default visible folders, and files with the .NDS extension. Non-visible folders with their attributes set to “hidden” can only be made visible by using your computer Operating System. Automatically sorting the display based on file extensions is a nice addition which keeps miscellaneous files hidden regardless of their attribute or association. However, users who wish to have more control over their files can additionally sort by NDS & SAV, GBA & SAV, or by ALL file types. The start menu can be displayed by pressing START or by clicking Start on the touch-screen. This menu can be further expanded by pressing RIGHT or A, and retracted by pressing LEFT or B. The top screen displays a clock, the currently browsed file or type (folders display as “folder”, files display using their internal information and icon), and the file name which is limited to 14 characters.

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The Start menu provides the user with a minimalistic approach to firmware/software manipulation. As a result the EOS software has less of a learning curve but provides fewer options for tweaking the end experience. This experience is unlike the AKAIO firmware, where many options can be tweaked thus increasing the compatibility of the firmware and ROM files. The EOS user must rely on the SuperCard team for improvements, fixes, compatibility updates, and more.

The start menu offers basic file operations including copy, cut, paste, and delete. These options are limited to 1 file type at a time; a .SAV file can not be moved or removed at the same time as an .NDS file, for example. The second start menu option provides a way for users to select skins found in the “./_dstwo/ui” directory. The default EOS v1.02 install includes the English, Chinese, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Korean languages. Languages can be quickly and easily set through the start menu language area. The systems settings provide options for adjusting the display (icon or list), the brightness level (NDS Lite only, 1-4), the hotkey (.NDS retail ROM dumps' in-game menu key combination), and the previously discussed file display (NDS, NDS & SAV, GBA & SAV, ALL). The last start menu option displays a help menu which provides basic navigation information and the current EOS build number.

The currently implemented in-game menu functionally is limited to .NDS retail ROM dumps, Homebrew files are not supported. However, as of EOS v1.02, any Homebrew file capable of executing the “reset2desktop.nds” can soft-reset back to the main EOS icon display screen without accessing the in-game menu. The problem with this design is that older Homebrew files may be forgotten projects which will never be recompiled to access this .NDS soft-reset method. The .NDS retail ROM in-game menu button combination is completely configurable in real-time from within the key combination window.

The bottom right area of the tool bar contains 3 icons. The light build icon can adjust the backlight setting of the NDS Lite and the arrow back icon will navigate back one directory.

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The EOS software offers an icon based view and a list based view. The icon based view can display 12 items on the screen while the list based view can display 4 items on the screen. Both views display an icon and the file name, however, the icon based view truncates the file name between 6-8 characters when not highlighted and between 11-13 characters when highlighted. The list based view truncates the file name at 30 characters when highlighted and 32 characters when not highlighted.

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Once a file is highlighted execution can begin by either clicking on the file icon or by pressing A while in the icon list view. When using the list view, execution can begin by either clicking to the left of the icon or by pressing A. Loading beings with an EOS splash screen and can range anywhere between 2-30 seconds depending on the file. All .NDS retail ROM dumps load between 2-4 seconds, where some Homebrew projects took as long as 30 seconds to initialize (IE: Dawn Seekers).

The in-game menu can be accessed by entering the user-submitted control sequence. The in-game menu, as previously stated, only functions with .NDS retail ROM dumps. Once the key combination is pressed the users is presented with options to reset back to the top EOS menu, open a gaming guide (.TXT, .BMP, .JPG), enter cheat codes (usrcheat.dat), save/load save-states, initialize slow-motion (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%), or access the on-the-fly “free cheat” engine. Most selection can be manipulated with either the touch screen or a combination of the D-pad and buttons. The B button will exit out of any menu and go back one level, the top most level being the game itself. The only way to soft-reset back to the EOS top menu is by clicking on to top left icon, there is no button combination for this menu option.

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SCDS2 manual scans provided by: Pong20302000
The in-game menu options will be discussed from top left to bottom right. Save-state saving and loading will be discussed under one grouping. Each of the options will include a photo below of what the user can expect to see and any relevant SCDS2 related information.

The top left icon allows the SCDS2 to soft-reset back to the top EOS menu. This icon can not be accessed using any D-pad or button combinations and requires the user to physically press the touch-screen to activate it. The top EOS menu holds user created shortcut icon “plug-ins”, Slot-2 booting options, etc. Users who wish to continue playing .NDS Homebrew or retail ROM dumps will need to select the “DS_GAME” icon following each soft-reset, something which quickly becomes an annoyance.

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“Game guides” must be placed in the same directory as the .NDS retail ROM dump and given the same name. (IE: 0142 – Metroid_Prime_Pinrball.txt). The included literature states that .JPG and .BMP (24bit) are usable guide formats, however it appears that .JPG is not currently supported. Multiple guides can be hosted in the same directory by adding increasing single trailing digits to the file name. Users can also mix .TXT and .BMP guides into the same directory without the trailing digit.

<p>In-game Guide Examples Names:

0142 – Metroid_Prime_Pinrball.1.txt
0142 – Metroid_Prime_Pinrball.2.txt
0142 – Metroid_Prime_Pinrball.3.bmp

0142 – Metroid_Prime_Pinrball.1.txt
0142 – Metroid_Prime_Pinrball.2.txt
0142 – Metroid_Prime_Pinrball.bmp

0142 – Metroid_Prime_Pinrball.1.bmp
0142 – Metroid_Prime_Pinrball.2.bmp
</p>
Once the .TXT guide is loaded the text will display using a golden font color on a darker background, which I found very easy to read in both light and dark settings. Text based guides can be scrolled up or down by using the D-pad, with left or right acting as quick-skip keys. Image based guides can be scrolled right-left and top-bottom using the D-pad. The EOS software will store the X and Y coordinates of the last viewed image based guide, subsequent viewings will resume at the previous coordinates making image based map viewing easier to pick back up. Pressing B will exit out of the current window and go back one menu level.

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The EOS software offers 4 slots to save and load “save-states” to and from. Pressing A on any of the 4 available save slots will create an .RTF* file in the game's directory, save-states made by pressing A will be named by the current date and time within the EOS software. Pressing X on any of the 4 available save slots will present the user with a keyboard, which can be used for entering custom save-state names made up of alphanumeric characters with no spaces. Selecting “OK” will exit out of the keyboard window and back into the current .NDS retail ROM dump. Loading a save-state is executed by Pressing A on any of the available save slots, loading a save-state will exit out of the “loading” window and back into the current .NDS retail ROM dump. Pressing B will exit out of the current window and go back one menu level.

The .RTF* file is created using a increasing numerical value, where 0 is save slot 1 and 1 is save slot 2, etc. Save-states made using the keyboard will contain the user created save-state name before the .RTF* file extension.

<p>.RTF* File Example:

• 4679 - Space Invaders Extreme 2 (U)_BOSS4.rtf0
• 4679 - Space Invaders Extreme 2 (U)_.rtf1
</p>
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“Slow motion” presents the user with the ability to slow down the game play between 0% and 100%. The 100% option is not a true 100%, as the game play does not come to a stop, and it would be easier to think of the settings as 4 speed choices instead of percentages of speed. Upon exiting this window users will be presented with the option to save or cancel the current level setting. Pressing B will exit out of the current window and go back one menu level.

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The “cheat code” option presents the user with selectable cheats from a properly formatted usrcheat.dat file. The usrcheat.dat file must be placed into the “./_dstwo” directory. The cheat menu can be accessed using a combination of the D-pad and buttons, or by using the touch-screen controls. Cheats can be checked on or off, and the entire selection screen can be cleared by clicking on the top right “clear all” icon. The cheat database can be scrolled up or down by using the D-pad, with left or right acting as quick-skip keys. However, the cheat names themselves can not be scrolled causing any text longer than 39 characters to be truncated. Multi-grouped cheats can be expanded by clicking on the “+” symbol or by pressing A, however, there are no touch screen controls for navigating back 1 level. Pressing the A button turns cheats on or off, and pressing the B button will exit out of the cheats menu and into the current .NDS retail ROM dump. Entering the cheat menu for a second time, if no cheats are altered, the pressing of B will go back 1 menu level instead.

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Recent .NDS retail ROM dumps which do not contain usrcheat.dat entries will benefit from the “free cheat” mode. Using this mode the user can compare and adjust game values, find and modify cheats, hacks, and more. The “free cheat” mode provides users with the ability to search values and to organize discovered cheat or hacks.

<p>Additional Information by Matt140:

1. Use the fuzzy search "equal" mode.
2. Create a save-state for the ROM.
3. Narrow the results by using > or <.
4. If a wide range of results are displayed, load the save-state.
5. Then perform another search to narrow the results even further.

If you are playing a game that has health which decreases, for example, you run fuzzy search on equal mode to get the initial values. After the search is performed you make a current save-state for the ROM. Resume the game and when the character’s health decreases load and use the fuzzy search mode once again. Set the compare type to “less than” to find all values that have decreased from the previous search. Continue to perform these steps until only a few results remain as the character is beginning to run low on health. Finally load the save-state and then search for values that have increased using the “more than” mode. Only the values which you have previously found, and which have now increased due to loading the older save-state, will be displayed. These values are the potential location of the character’s health level.
</p>
<p>Guides by elixirdream:

icon11.gif
SuperCard Forum How-to Guide by elixirdream
icon11.gif
GBATemp Forum How-to Guide by elixirdream
</p>
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GBA EMU:
The SCDS2 GBA EMU is launched by pressing A on the main menu's GBA default plug-in icon. This icon executes the GBA.plg file found in the “_dstwoplug” directory.

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The GBA EMU will load approximately 6 seconds after the loading process has been initialized. Users are initially presented with a “no game loaded!” message on the top screen and an icon based file system on the bottom screen. The v1.21 software revision features 6 icons and 3 buttons. The icons read “video/audio”, “save state”, “cheats”, “tools”, “other”, and “exit”, and the buttons read “new”, “restart”, and “return”.

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The “video/audio” options are game fast-forward (off/on), frame skip type (auto/manual), frame skip level (0-9), and sound switch (on/off).

Game fast-forward works just like it sounds. Once it is turned on and the game is resumed, the game will fast forward approximately 10 frames per second. This can be used to skip annoying long intros or lengthy sections of text in previously played titles.

Frame skip is a necessary evil for most GBA retail ROM dumps, and yet appears to do nothing to enhance GBA Homebrew titles. Leaving the Frame skip on “auto” had the best results for a large percentage of tested GBA retail ROM dumps.

Each setting in this menu must be set on a per-file basis, and the loading or unloading of each file resulted in these settings returning to their default levels.

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The “save state” selection offers the user options to save, load, and delete save-states. Each .GBA file can have a total of 10 save-states at any one time. Save-states are stored in the “./NDSGBA/gamerts” directory and indexed by a trailing number which is directly associated to the save-state menu position. When a save-state is present, the icon box will be filled in and the top screen will display a screen capture of the game taken when the save-state was initialized. Save-states can only be manipulated during the emulation of the associated GBA file.

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The “cheats” section manages GBA .CHT formatted cheat files. Users can load a total of 30 cheats (3 per 10 pages) for 1 cheat file. The cheat file is loaded into the EMU using the “load cheat file” button found at the bottom of this menu section.

<p>.CHT Tool by Matt140:

• Add a game.
• Add cheats under a game (Action Replay/Gameshark codes supported).
• Edit/Delete cheats/games categories.
• Produce a compatible .CHT file.

download.gif
NDSGBA Cheat Maker 1.1 19.4 KB
</p>
<p>Additional Information:

icon11.gif
How to make GBA cheats
</p>
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The “tools” section has options for screen snapshots (screen captures), key pad remapping, and a roll-back feature formally known as the “sands of time.” Screen snapshots can be taken or browsed, while browsing users can view a slide show of saved screen captures. Once a captured image is loaded it may remain on the screen during various other option setting and EMU tweaking. Screen snapshots are stored in the “./NDSGBA/gamepic” directory as a 112 KB 240x160 24 bit depth .BMP formatted file. The key pad remap area allows users to reassign the A and B buttons, as well as setting a Rapid Fire selection for each of these buttons. The roll-back feature will save and load a save-state between .2 and 10 seconds, and operates like a generic rewind feature allowing users the ability to cheat death. Once turned on the roll-back feature is accessed by pressing L+Y at the same time. This roll-back feature must be initiated on a per-file bases, as with all of the other EMU options and settings.

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The “other” selection allows users to adjust the CPU frequency (1, 2, 3, 4), change the GBA EMU G.U.I. language, view the free space of the microSD card, initialize default settings, and view the version information (version/revision number).

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The “exit” icon will soft-reset out of the GBA EMU and back into the EOS top menu icon based "plug-in" display.

The “new” button opens a window for browsing .GBA files, users can browse from a list of new files or recently played files. The “new games” option will open the “./NDSGBA/gamepak” directory by default, with the added option to browse the entire microSD card. To speed up game selections it is advisable to store your .GBA files into this directory, although this is not a requirement. The “latest recently played games” option will sort by a list of recently accessed files regardless of their current availability on the microSD card. Files can load using the most recent save-state, allowing users to pick up exactly where they left off. Users who wish to use this option are encouraged to make a save-state before taking a file execution break.

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The “restart” button will soft-reset a .GBA file and reload it for emulation. The “return” button resumes the current emulation; after any options are adjusted this button or the B button are required to implement those changes. Making system adjustments (frame skip, etc) and reloading a .GBA file will result in those adjustments being changed back to the default settings. The B button will go back one directory listing for most menus, however, during game selection the B button will go back one directory listing into the microSD card. In the game selection menu pressing Y will return the software back to the top menu. Users should be aware that the SCDS2 GBA EMU features no touch sceen controls of any kind.

<div class="reviewbreak">SCDS2 EOS Features</div>
Many planned features have yet to be released for the EOS software, and some have already been implemented to a less than desirable level of functionality and compatibility. The following is a listing of the features which were either mentioned during press releases or as hype from the original team.

Present Features:
  • Slot-2 PassMe mode
  • Slot-2 expansion support (although somewhat limited)
  • In-game menu
  • NDS real time save
  • NDS in-game guide
  • NDS slow-motion (although somewhat buggy)
  • NDS in-game menu custom key mapping
  • NDS cheats
  • Automatic DLDI patching (although somewhat buggy)
  • On-the-fly AP patching
  • On-the-fly cheat manipulation and creation (although somewhat limited)
  • Slot-1 GBA emulation (although somewhat buggy, compatibility problems, etc)
  • GBA save states
  • GBA .CHT cheat file support
  • File manipulation (cut, copy, paste, delete)
  • Custom G.U.I. skins (Skin Editor Download)
  • Multiple language support
  • Icon and list based view modes
  • Updatable firmware (although v1.05 reported to render some cards useless)
  • iReader plug-in software (E-book reader/picture viewer)
    -Released 7/9/2010, review supplement posted 7/15/2010 -- HERE
  • NDSSFC plug-in software (SNES/SFC EMU)
    -Released 6/4/2010, review supplement posted 11/10/2010 -- HERE
Missing Features:
  • Drag/drop video support
  • NDS in-game guide .JPG support
As previously stated, the Slot-2 GBA mode is limited to NOR mode only. The EOS software assumes the user has a game flashed into NOR and that the Slot-2 solution contains a working SRAM battery. The EOS software contains no PSRAM flashing options or SRAM save utilities. Users who wish to use these 3in1 features should rely on GBA Exploader.

The in-game menu functions as expected on a majority of NDS retail ROM dumps, however, in some cases the menu fails to load. More recent game dumps suffer from a “black line” flickering of the in-game menu itself, making it difficult to pick options base purely on sight. The in-game menu is limited to NDS retail ROM dumps and will not function on NDS Homebrew files. I would not expect all options to work with Homebrew files, however, save-states and in-game guides would be a wonderful addition for supported Homebrew files.

In-game guide supports .TXT and .BMP files. The .BMP image files must be saved with a 24-bit depth.

Slow-motion works on a majority of files with varied results. For the majority of files this feature works as expected and can be adjusted in real time. However, with some files this feature causes graphical bleeding, layering issues, and other similar problems.

Automatic DLDI patching works in most cases but has some problems. Some NDS Homebrew projects will only be patched if launched directly from their microSD card directory, attempting to launch the same file through the shortcut icon “plug-in” feature will result in a failed DLDI patch.

On-the-fly anti-piracy (AP) patching appears to function correctly. However, some users have reported AP patch failure.

Slot-1 GBA Emulation is functional while being extremely buggy. Many GBA Homebrew files failed to function correctly with the EMU. In addition to Homebrew, GBA retail ROM dumps have also failed by causing the emulator to crash. The emulator experiences sound problems, graphical issues, faster than expected emulation, and Homebrew menu accuracy inconsistencies.

The EOS software is incredibly customizable though user made G.U.I. themes. The software contains so many images that the SCDS2 community is currently guessing at the purpose of some images.

The icon and list based view modes are limited by the amount of text each mode allows. The icon mode uses extremely large icons allowing for only 4 files to be listed at one time. Neither mode incorporates any text scrolling; names which are too long are simply truncated.

The SCDS2 is fully updatable in the event of a future official DSi block. The current v1.04 firmware suffers from a NDS Lite auto-boot incompatibility. Team SuperCard released a v1.05 firmware to address this problem. However, the recent firmware update has been reported to render some cards useless.

<div class="reviewbreak">Performance</div>
GBA Homebrew and GBA retail ROM dumps were tested on a DSi XL using a 2 GB Japanese Kingston microSD card formatted with the Panasonic Formatting Tool. Various features of the SCDS2 GBA EMU were tested at random to determine their efficiency. The GBA EMU v1.21 was used for all testing along with the gpSP "game_config.txt" file.

Each result is listed below by Homebrew or ROM name followed by a color coded phrase. Green colored phrases mean the file performed as expected with no problems. Blue colored phrases mean the file performed with some problems. Problems could include speed issues, compatibility problems, graphical issues, sound distortion, etc. A generalized listing of encountered problems will be added next to each appropriate section. Red colored phrases mean that the file failed. Failed files were additionally tested on a GBA PC Emulator.

I attempted to test the latest revisions of Homebrew projects. For popular Homebrew projects I tested the most downloaded revision and not the latest BETAs. In regards to GBA retail ROM dumps I tested only N. American dumps verified by CRC against the GBA Good-set listing.

GBA Homebrew Compatibility:
  • 3 Weeks In Paradise - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • 5nake - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • 8-Bit Theater - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • 100 Girls Slideshow - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • 1942 Advance - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • 1945 - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Background music issues)
  • Absolute Zed - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Background music issues)
  • Advance Book Reader - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Agoria - Ode To Fate - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Alien Demo - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Crashes EMU and SCDS2 firmware)
  • Alphawing - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Music crashing issues)
  • Anguna - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Another World - <font color="green">Pass</font> (Requires game_config.txt)
  • Arkanoid Advance - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Asteroids GBA - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Astrohawk 2003 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Atomix - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • B-Type - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Ball of Death - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Ballistic - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Balls of Pengu - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Barbarian - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Battle Spaceship - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Bubble Bobble GBA - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Beer Belly Bill - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Beer Belly Bill: Morning Shift - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Beer Belly Bill: Grillieren Barbecue Deluxe - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Berzerk - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Beru - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Billy Box - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Blackout! Advance - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Blastin Asteroids! - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Blocks - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Blod-Runner - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Bomber Royale - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Bounty Hunter X - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Breakout 4k - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Bridge Racer - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Broken Circle - <font color="green">Pass</font> (Occasional graphical glitch)
  • Bruce Lee: The Master - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Bullet GBA - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Bahnhot Banzai - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Carbie - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (HUD map does not display)
  • Cauldron - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Castle Master - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Crystal Clear Clone for Portable - <font color="RED">Fail</font>
  • Card Fighters Clash - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Menu sensitivity issues)
  • Cleangame Advance - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Saving issues)
  • Chaos Stars Christmas Puzzle - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Chaos: The Battle of Wizards - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Chaos Stars Presents Chinese Breakout - <font color="green">Pass</font> (Intro sound glitch)
  • Chopper - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • City Connection - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Sound issues)
  • Clay Pidgen DEMO - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Code Name Hacker - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Colour Bobble - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Critical Velocity - <font color="RED">Fail</font>
  • Commando Advance - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Cyler - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Daleks - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Dangerous Xmas - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • DanTE Advance - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Required SAV file not loaded)
  • Doomdark's Revenge - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Defender Advance - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Deflektor - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Destined Soul - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Diamond Mine - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Dragon Breakout - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Crashes EMU to black screens)
  • Droplets - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Dvck Hvnt - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Ebooblution - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Eco-Memory - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Elevator - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Elf in the Big Factory - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Elimator GBA - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Elite: The New Kind - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • E-Voidance - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Ex-Machina: Version Duex - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Factory Bots - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Falling Star - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Final Fantasy GBA - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Fill It Up - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Fleet of One - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Flood - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Crashes, choppy play)
  • Fred Firefighter - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Frogger - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Fruit Land Advanced - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Galaxy Invader 1000 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • GBA Exploader - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • GBA Mu Torere - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • GBA Notepad - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • GBATet - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • GBATtaxx - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Gleam - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Ghost'n Goblins - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Goldrunner - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • G.O.R.F. - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Gravity Ball Advance - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Gunner - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Happy Apple Brick - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Herg's Solitaire - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Button sensitivity issues)
  • Hert's Yahtzee - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Button sensitivity issues)
  • Hexa Virus - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Sound issues, choppy play)
  • Hieroglyphic Man - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Holy Hell - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Hotel Haut - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • International 5 A-side Soccer - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Inwaders - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Iterum Consentus - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Sound and control issues)
  • Just Another Invaders Game - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Jetpack 2 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Juengo - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Jumping Jack - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Kitchen Acadamy - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Sound and play issues)
  • Kara Kara Cube - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Kawaii Bakemono - <font color="RED">Fail</font>
  • Lab Sound - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Labyrinth - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • La Serpiente - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Lemmings - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Sound and play issues)
  • Lightsout Advance - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Lily: and the lost angel - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Speed issues)
  • Looped - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Luigi Puzzle - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Luminesweeper - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Lockjaw: The Overdose - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • M-Adventure - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Mario Balls - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Matrix Advance - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Maya Mystery - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Sound issues)
  • Mega-troid - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sensible - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Milo's Quest - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Moonquake - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Speed issues)
  • Motocross Challenge - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Sprite issues, unplayable)
  • Nebulus - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Negative Space GBA - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Night Hunter - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Nightmare Park - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Ninja Bear - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Oil's Well - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Operation Snow - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • ORN - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Pacrun - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Paint Master - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Internal saving failed, EMU save-states passed)
  • Pak-Man - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Pocket Commander - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Pocket Raider - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Jumpy game play)
  • Pong Fighter - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Powder - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (unplayable)
  • Puzzle Dungeon - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Quadtris - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (unplayable)
  • Retro Run - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Rex: New Mission - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Santa's Chimmey Challenge - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Scrilla Forilla - <font color="RED">Fail</font>
  • Serp - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Shapes - <font color="RED">Fail</font>
  • Simon Advance - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Speed issues, unplayable)
  • Six Pack Man - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Skeet Shoot - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Skool Daze: Klass of '99 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Sorcery - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Speed issues)
  • Space Impact - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Menu sensitivity issues)
  • Space Loonies - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Space Twins - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Spout GBA - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Crashes everything)
  • Star-shot - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • StarZone - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Super Mario: The Last GBA Quest - <font color="blue">Problems</font>
  • Super Wings - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Sushi the Cat - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Sound issues)
  • Sun Invaders - <font color="blue">Problems</font>
  • Tetanus on Drugs - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Tet*is Advance - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Sound issues)
  • The Fallen - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • The Hand of God - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • The Last Seal - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Does not load, froze the EMU)
  • The Lords of Midnight - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • The Old Well - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Speed issues, froze the EMU)
  • The Sack Ninja - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • The Tragical Historie of Rodion and Rosalind - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • The Tail Gunner - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Speed issues)
  • Time Walker - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Tom Sawyer - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Torben's Marvellous Adventures - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • TRON - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • UP HPADV - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Uranus - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Sound issues)
  • Uranus 2: Sun Tear - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Sound issues)
  • Uranus: Zero EV - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Uranus: Zero: Sun Tear - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Vincent: in the ice caves - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Vulkanon - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Wing Runner - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Graphic issues)
  • Wolf-Pac - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Speed issues)
  • Xmas Crazy Shift - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Yahtzee - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Graphic issues)
  • ZeroMine Advance - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Zoop Zone - <font color="green">Pass</font>
GBA ROM Compatibility:
  • Boktai 2 - Solar Boy Django (Sensor Hack) - <font color="green">Pass</font> (Real Time Clock)
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Classic NES Series – Bomberman - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Does not load, crashed the EMU)
  • Classic NES Series – Donkey Kong - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Does not load, crashed the EMU)
  • Classic NES Series – Excite Bike - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Does not load, crashed the EMU)
  • Classic NES Series – Ice Climber - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Does not load, crashed the EMU)
  • Classic NES Series – Pac-Man - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Does not load, crashed the EMU)
  • Classic NES Series – Super Mario Bros. - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Does not load, crashed the EMU)
  • Classic NES Series – The Legend of Zelda - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Does not load, crashed the EMU)
  • Classic NES Series – Xevious - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Does not load, crashed the EMU)
  • Comix Zone - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • David Beckham Soccer - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Doom - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Speed issues)
  • Final Fantasy VI Advance - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Final Fight One - <font color="green">Pass</font> (Frameskip 2)
  • GBA Video Spongebob Squarepants - Volume 1 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Konami Collectors Series - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Mariokart Super Circuit - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Metal Slug Advance - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Metroid Fusion - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Mother 3 (Translation Patch) - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Namco Museum - 50th Anniversary - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • NHL 2002 - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Does not load, crashed the EMU)
  • Ninja 5-0 - <font color="green">Pass</font> (Requires game_config.txt)
  • Samurai Deeper Kyo - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Snood 2: On Vacation - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Spy Hunter/Super Sprint - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Super Ghouls'n Ghosts - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Super Mario Advance - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Tales of Phantasia - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - <font color="green">Pass</font>
GBA Homebrew files suffered from speed issues in the most uncommon of places. For some projects the file's menu was too quickly emulated making it impossible to choose various options. The frame skip feature appeared to not affect the emulation of Homebrew files. With the menu emulation issue, lowering the frame skip to 0 did not resolve the problem. GBA Homebrew files further suffered from sound glitches and graphical problems. Returning from the GBA EMU menu, for example, would often result in a constant “tone” which forced a rebooting of the Homebrew. Graphical glitches were anything from a few bad sprites to completely unplayable Homebrew projects (IE: Powder).

There are over 100 GBA Homebrew files worth having in any game collection. Some of the “commercial” quality offerings are completely unsupported by the SCDS2 GBA EMU. This is a serious fault of the code, one I hope they address in a future revision.

GBA retail ROM dumps have a higher compatibility rate. The list of known problematic files is far smaller than the list of known working files. Save files function as expected, even AKAIO saves stripped of their 16-byte header. Save-states work very well and caused no problems for the files this feature was tested on. Some games require frame skip to perform optimally, in these cases the best results were achieved by keeping the frame skip setting on “auto.” Some games were emulated much too quickly regardless of the frame skip level (IE: Doom). The Game Fast Forward option works wonderfully well and aided during the testing of some games with extremely lengthy intros (IE: Metroid Fusion).

Both GBA Homebrew and GBA retail ROM dumps compatibility is far from perfect and recent updates to the EMU have included only minor enhancements. The inclusions of a Real Time Clock and various G.U.I. improvements have been addressed over Homebrew and ROM capability. The SCDS2 GBA EMU is very usable in regards to GBA retail ROM dumps and at times enjoyable with GBA Homebrew. Users who are looking for the ultimate Slot-1 GBA solution may be disappointed, especially those who specifically enjoy GBA Homebrew.

The SCDS2 EMU is a port of the Dingoo GBA EMU which is a port of gpSP. Thanks in part to the Dingoo SDK gpSP was able to be ported to the I-Player and in turn compiled for the SCDS2. The ported gpSP EMU can utilize an external file called “game_config.txt”, a file which helps to tweak the emulators performance through the external manipulation of various EMU based variables and settings. The “game_config.txt” file should be placed into the NDSGBA ROOT folder, and will allow for many games, not officially supported, to play as expected. The Another World Homebrew file by Foxy has an entry in the “game_config.txt” file, and this file is required to get this exceptional commercial quality Homebrew port up and running. It begs the questions if other Homebrew files can be fixed by using this file, one can only hope that the Homebrew community will insert the correct lines of information into the "game_config.txt" file to help improve GBA Homebrew compatibility.

<p>Game_config.txt File Download:

download.gif
Download 5.94 KB
</p>
NDS Homebrew and ROMs were tested on a DSi XL/DS Lite using a 2 GB Japanese Kingston microSD card formatted with the Panasonic Formatting Tool. Various features of each Homebrew file were tested at random to determine their efficiency (saving, loading, mods, wads, etc). The SCDS2 EOS in-game menu options were tested at random on a grouping of NDS ROMs and no single ROM received testing of each possible option.

The results are listed below by Homebrew or ROM name followed by a color coded phrase. Green colored phrases mean the file performed as expected with no problems. Blue colored phrases mean the file performed with some problems. Problems could include speed issues, compatibility problems, graphical issues, sound distortion, etc. A generalized listing of encountered problems will be added next to each appropriate section. Red colored phrases mean that the file failed. Failed files were additionally tested on a NDS PC Emulator.

I attempted to test the latest revisions of Homebrew projects. For popular Homebrew projects I tested the most downloaded revision and not the latest BETAs. In regards to NDS retail ROM dumps I tested only good/clean dumps verified by CRC against the ADVANsCEne listing.

NDS Homebrew Compatibility:
  • 1943: The Battle of Midway - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Alchemist Conflict - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • AngunaDS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Animanatee - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • A Touch of War - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Blockhead Catapultor - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Random freezing)
  • Blocks Mania DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Bomb Jack - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Bunjalloo - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Clirc - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Colors - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Comic Book DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • CommanDSKeen - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Dawn Seekers - <font color="green">Pass</font> (Takes 30+ seconds to get past double white screens)
  • Detective DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Doom Trilogy - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • DS Doom - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • DS Goo - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Touch-screen Does not work on the DSi)
  • DS Notes - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • DS Organize - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Touch-screen Does not work on the DSi)
  • DS Pack - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • DSx86 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Element DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Flight from the Dark - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Green Beret DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Hangman - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Inside the Machine - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Jay's Xwords - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • JEnesisDS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • JNKPlat - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Knytt Stories DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Lameboy - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Line Wars DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Manic Miner: in The Lost Levels - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Mario Paint Composer - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Moonshell - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Mr. Do! - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • NeoDS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • nesDS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Nitrotracker - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • OpenTyrian DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Operation Libra - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Stuck on "loading... ...")
  • Pang - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Passage to Demarr - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Pocket Physics - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Powder - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Puzzle Maniak DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • QuakeDS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Quake2Ds - <font color="green">Pass</font> (Slot-2 RAM Required)
  • REminiscenceDS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Ripholes in Rubbish - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Rise of the Triad - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • S8DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • ScummVMDS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Seek and Recharge - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • SenoDS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Sexy Blackjack Trainer II: Featuring Miria Ozawa - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • SNEmulDS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Snow Bros. - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Soft Porn Adventure - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Solomon's Key - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • SpoutDS - <font color="green">Pass</font> (SRAM saving only)
  • Spout Extended - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Stargrazer - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • StarQuake - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • StellaDS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Still Alive DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Take the Eggs: Ornithorhynchus Anatinus Go Go Go! DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • The Fifteenth Floor - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • The Legend of Zelda: Molblin's Magic Spear - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • UA Paint - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Video Games Hero - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Warhawk DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Wolfenstein 3-D - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • WordDS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • World of Sand DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • You Have to Burn the Rope DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
NDS ROM Compatibility:
  • 42 All-Time Classics - <font color="green">Pass</font>/<font color="blue">Problems</font> (In-game menu pop-up issues)
  • Again - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Animal Crossing - Wild World - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Blue Dragon Awakened Shadow - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Bomberman Land Touch - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Castlevania - Portrait of Ruin - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Random freezing)
  • Contra 4 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Dementium II - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Grand Theft Auto - Chinatown Wars - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Jam with the Band - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Korg DS-10 Synthesizer - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • LEGO Star Wars - The Complete Saga - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Mario Kart DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Mario Party DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Mario Vs Donkey Kong 2 - March of the Minis - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Metroid Prime Hunters - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Metroid Prime Pinball - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Namco Museum DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • New Super Mario Bros. - <font color="green">Pass</font>/<font color="blue">Problems</font> (Slow-motion graphical issues)
  • Nintendo DS Browser - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slot-2 RAM required)
  • Scribblenauts - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Space Invaders Extreme 2 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Tetris DS - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Tetris Party Deluxe - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • The Legend of Zelda - Phantom Hourglass - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • The World Ends With You - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Tony Hawks American Sk8land - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Ultimate Mortal Kombat - <font color="green">Pass</font>
NDS Homebrew files experienced randomly occurring issues with DSi compatibility, DLDI patching, and EOS software problems. Some Homebrew files experienced touch-screen problems on the DSi, while the same file performed as expected on the NDS Lite. The EOS software can not DLDI patch every Homebrew from the icon based shortcut “plug-in” menu, and on occasion DLDI patching failed on files launched directly from their microSD directory.

Operation Libra has become my personal test file for Homebrew compatibility. The game was developed for a coding competition using a Flash Kit, yet it continues to fail on every kit I have tested it on. There was no surprise when it failed on the SCDS2, while the file continues to function correctly on NDS PC based emulation software.

The SCDS2 does not currently support Homebrew soft-reset, a feature which does exist on the SCDS1. Team SuperCard has instead implemented an .NDS file which can reboot the EOS firmware without a hard-reset, however this file can only be executed by Homebrew that can access it (IE: MoonShell).

Users have reported that some Homebrew files will not function on the DSi while the same files work as expected on the NDS Lite. Speculation for this failure does not include DLDI patching, but a SCDS2 DSi firmware incompatibility.

Retail NDS ROM dumps performed better than expected in regards to the tested files. On-the-fly anti-piracy (AP) patching appears to be working as publicized. However, some users have reported anti-piracy patching failure. Tested ROMs were played between 20 and 60 minutes, and the possibility remains that the affected AP areas were simply not experienced.

The in-game menu is somewhat buggy and fails to load on the occasional NDS retail ROM dump. In addition, some features do not perform as expected or cause graphical glitches. Save-states, cheats, and in-game guides performed without any compatibility issues.

In regards to Castlevania - Portrait of Ruin, the issue is coding based on the part of the developer. A patching method is required for this ROM to function correctly on any Flash Kit. Users who contest this statement are advised to research the AKAIO firmware fix for this known threading bug. This fix was added into the open-source R.P.G. firmware and later used by the most popular Flash Kit firmware solutions. I had assumed that Team SuperCard would have implemented this fix, and was disappointed to experience the infamous “freezing issue” on the SCDS2.

Over all, NDS retail ROM dump compatibility was very high, in regards to tested files, with various problems almost completely related to the in-game menu and its supported features.

<div class="reviewbreak">Conclusion</div>
The SCDS2 is a lesson for buying into the hype of pre-release information, advertisements, and official team comments. The card was publicized to contain SNES emulation and movie support, two features which did not make the release date. Users who preordered the card may have been disappointed by the buggy EOS software, lack of features, and poor build quality.

The SCDS2 was in development for a year and Team SuperCard has paid attention to the community. The SCDS2 offers many features that other development teams can not. The SCDS2 has recompiled the I-Player Homebrew GBA emulator, offering a GBA Slot-1 only solution for the NDS and DSi. The team promises SNES emulation to be released shortly with video support to follow soon after. Team SuperCard may not have been able keep up with the publicity and hype, but they are managing to release supported software updates.

Team SuperCard has always stuck by their products, they have continued to this day to support their cards, offer a forum where the community voice can be heard, and push the level of Slot-1 possibilities. The future for this card looks very bright as long as the team continues to actively support their product.

The SCDS2 has a below average build quality, with no clips, screws, or glue, around the outer edge, the card can easily be separated and possibly damaged. The most important elements of the SCDS2 (control chip, RAM chip, etc) are located under the sticker in a windowed shell, where little protection is provided for these hardware items. The spring loaded microSD slot is untested and the community does not yet know how well it will hold up.

The Current SCDS2 EOS v1.02 software is buggy and suffers from problems that occur randomly. The software has DLDI patching issues, DSi touch-screen incompatibilities, Homebrew compatibility issues, in-game menu bugs, NDS retail ROM dump incompatibilities, limited display issues, is lacking long file name scrolling, etc. The software is broken down into so many subfolders that it is hard to keep track of what everything is and why it needs to be there. The SCDS2 GBA EMU has very poor GBA Homebrew support, interface bugs, frame-skip inconsistencies, and other issues.

The SCDS2 EOS v1.02 software and its plug-ins are far from perfect, yet the average users will find a well thought out in-game menu that works a majority of the time, very high NDS Homebrew support, excellent NDS compatibility, fully customizable G.U.I. themes, and more. Users should understand that Team SuperCard is not a new team and they should have no problems working out the EOS kinks. There can easily be a fix for each software related bug or problem, we only need to report these issues and allow the team time to fix them.

The SCDS2 is packed with features that are a bonus for any Flash Kit hobbyist. The in-game menu allows the user to turn cheats on or off when desired, access 1 of 4 save-states, and play with other fun features like an in-game guide, slow-motion, and an on-the-fly cheat creation engine. Anti-piracy patching appears to be performing as expected, in regards to the tested files, and users have already started to use the phrase “it works on the SCDS2!”

Battery life of the SCDS2 is limited by what applications are running. With the GBA EMU on the 3rd DSi backlight setting I experienced approximately 3 hours of battery life. With other Flash Kit functions I experienced approximately 5 hours of battery life. The normal Slot-1 functions which users commonly use (NDS files, etc) received the same amount of battery life as other Slot-1 Flash Kits (IE: 5-7 hours).

I would rate the design of the shell at 4/10. The shell should have been better secured with a windowless design. However, the card is sturdy enough that adult users who respect their toys should not experience any issues with it. Based on the design alone I find it hard to recommend this card to younger gamers.

I would rate the EOS software with its known file compatibility, currently experienced bugs, etc at a 6/10. The software does more than other Slot-1 Flash Kits, yet the software is filled with bugs and inconsistencies which can negatively impact the end user’s experience. Once the EOS software is polished and the small issues have been addressed this score will change to an 8/10. For Team SuperCard to earn anything higher they need to better organize the directory structure, add D-pad and button navigation support for every EOS menu (soft-reset, “+” cheat expansion menus, etc), add Homebrew soft-reset support, add long file name scrolling support (for “NDS_GAME” and the cheat window), add Slot-2 PSRAM and SRAM options, and fix the current soft-reset to return to the directory last viewed.

Complaints and other issues listed in this review may seem minor to the average user, but after spending over 100 hours in the past 7 days with this Flash Kit I can already see the annoyances and problems that the moderate user may not experience for the next 2-3 months.

I find it hard to judge this Flash Kit by its current level of development. For Homebrew users this Flash Kit would receive a bronze award, due to missing features and DLDI support problems. For NDS retail ROM dump users this Flash Kit would receive a Gold award, due to AP patching, the in-game menu, and other exciting features. For GBA users this Flash Kit would receive a silver award, due to the buggy GBA EMU regardless of its uniqueness. Let us not forget the yet to be released SNES emulation and drag/drop video support. Both features have the possibility to fail on some level. These features were mentioned on the box and during official publicized advertisements, and so they should be considered towards the overall award.

Until Team SuperCard can iron out the bugs I can not pass judgment on this Flash Kit. After a year of development the SCDS2 should have shipped with fully debugged software, including all of the options on the box, etc. Team SuperCard is releasing updates and I want to provide for them the benefit of the doubt. Therefore, I will reserve a final award until each of the launch features has been released. I will cover the three missing launch features as GBATemp “mini” reviews sometime in the future. During which time Team SuperCard can work to debug the EOS software and included updated features, emulation, etc. After such a point I will reevaluate this Flash Kit and a final GBATemp award can be decided upon.

The EOS software is currently battling itself for the high ground. For each thing it does right a bug or other issue can be found. The SCDS2 has the potential to be one of the most memorable DSi compatible Flash Kits, a potential resting on shoulders of the EOS software. Time will tell if this card becomes a classic, I only hope bug fixes for this card are released sooner rather than later.

<font color="green">Pros:</font>
<font color="green">+</font> On-board CPU
<font color="green">+</font> microSDHC support
<font color="green">+</font> Free microSD reader
<font color="green">+</font> EOS is frequently addressed, updated, discussed
<font color="green">+</font> Nice clean interface
<font color="green">+</font> In-game menu (soft-reset, cheats, in-game guide, slow-motion, soft-reset, etc)
<font color="green">+</font> On-the-fly AP patching
<font color="green">+</font> Multi-language support
<font color="green">+</font> Action Replay cheat support
<font color="green">+</font> Clean ROM support, no patching required
<font color="green">+</font> Auto DLDI patching support
<font color="green">+</font> PassME functionality
<font color="green">+</font> Custom icon “plug-in” organizational support
<font color="green">+</font> Slot-1 GBA emulation solution
<font color="green">+</font> High NDS Homebrew compatibility
<font color="green">+</font> High NDS retail ROM dump compatibility
<font color="green">+</font> Updatable firmware
<font color="green">+</font> Official SDK (soon to be released)
<font color="green">+</font> Strong user community

<font color="red">Cons:</font>
<font color="red">-</font> Missing SNES emulation
<font color="red">-</font> Missing drag/drop video support
<font color="red">-</font> Missing E-book reader support
<font color="red">-</font> DLDI patching problems
<font color="red">-</font> Poor GBA Homebrew compatibility
<font color="red">-</font> GBA emulator is buggy
<font color="red">-</font> EOS v1.02 software is buggy
<font color="red">-</font> Some in-game menu options are buggy
<font color="red">-</font> Lack of Homebrew soft-reset support
<font color="red">-</font> below average build quality, shell is poorly secured
<font color="red">-</font> Soft-reset always returns to the top most menu
<font color="red">-</font> Lack of Slot-2 PSRAM and SRAM support
<font color="red">-</font> Lack of native Slot-2 flashing options

<div class="reviewbreak">
mascot-small.png
>> AWARD -- Soon to be announced</div>
Links:
Official Website
DSTWO F.A.Q.
SuperCard's Official Forum
GBATemp's SuperCard Forum

This review was written for GBAtemp.net ONLY. The article and included photos are the property of GBAtemp.net, except for the following. The SCDS2 PCB shots were provided by How_do_i_do_that. The SCDS2 manual scans were provided by Pong20302000. Research was conducted using the SC Forums, IRC, and the GBATemp SC Sub-forum.

Special thanks to Shaunj66, Costello, and the #acekard crew. Without all of you this review would not have been possible.
Special thanks to L551 for all of your help, forum linking, and information!
Special thanks to AbraCadvr for providing stuff that made this review possible.
Thanks to Vatoloco for additional GBA EMU testing.
Thanks to How_do_i_do_that for the PCB images and to Pong20302000 for the manual scans.
Thanks to Spikey, Matt140, CannonFoddr, Brien S., and Allustar for additional information.
Thanks to ShopTemp for providing the review sample!
Thanks to Jimi Hendrix for Valleys Of Neptune, the theme music for this review!

If you see this review on any other site please let Another World know by PM.
[/plain]
 

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<font color="red">GBAtemp.net review supplement for the...</font>

<font size="5"><font color="#000080">SCDS2's iReader Software</font></font>
00_ireader_header.jpg


Also Known As: SCDS2 E-book reader
Released by: Team SuperCard

Review written by Another World 7/13/2010

Review Contents & Index:<div class="reviewbreak">Review Introduction</div>
01_ireader_review_plug-in_icon.jpg
On July 9th, 2010 Team SuperCard released their previously announced E-book software for the SCDS2. The software is officially described as supplementing the EOS software by supporting more text and image formats while providing simple operations and practical user functionality.

Originally planned for the SCDS2 review, the iReader v1.0 software was not publically available for testing at launch time. Instead of adding new information into the pre-existing SCDS2 review the iReader plug-in will be tested and discussed as a review supplement. All testing will be performed on the EOS v1.02 software, as was the entirety of the SCDS2 review. In addition a 2gb Japanese branded Kingston microSD card and a DSi XL will be used for all testing.

This review supplement will feature two main sections, E-book and images. Each supported file type will be tested for differences, functionality, navigation controls, implementation, and other undocumented problems or missing features.

Official File Support List:

02_iraeder_review_iface_01.jpg
E-book file types:
  • .TXT (UTF files are supported, special characters may not render correctly)
  • .PDF (Images are supported)
  • .HTML (Static HTML files only – no image, special formatting, etc support)
  • .INI
Image file types:
  • .BMP
  • .JP*G
  • .PNG
  • .TIF
  • .GIF (1 frame images only – no animations)
The iReader software features basic file manipulation which should benefit most end-users. Images can be zoomed and rotated in a variety of ways. Portable Document Files can be zoomed, scrolled through, and rotated. Text based files (.TXT, .INI, .HTML) can be scrolled and bookmarked. Text based files also feature font choices, reading modes, background styles, and brightness control settings (DS/DSL only).

The iReader software automatically parses supported files by extension type. The software can access .ZIP files as virtual directories, however, these files can only be accessed through the “All” sort option. Archived file support only works with the .ZIP file type but supports any compression setting, .RAR and .7Z file types will list as “?” file icons and remain inaccessible. Choosing the “Book” sort option will display a listing of supported text based files. The “Picture” sort option behaves in the same way and sorts by supported image file types.

<div class="reviewbreak">Menu Selections</div>
All:
The “All” sort option displays a listing of every file in the selected directory. File names are truncated to 32 characters including a tilde and a 3 character extension (IE: Super_Mario_Galaxy_2_Guide~1.PDF). As with other EOS software areas this plug-in does not feature any file name scrolling. When viewing the contents of a .ZIP file, names are cut off after 29 characters and end with “…” (IE: 01_Nestopia_GBATemp_WIFI_Nite…).

Book:
03_ireader_review_now_loading_screen.jpg
The iReader software lacks support for common E-book file types such as .EPU, .LIT, .LRF, .MOB, .RTF, etc. Instead of a full featured E-book software application Team SuperCard has settled on a text based reader with some basic although useful features.

The software scans by supported file types while loading so that sorting happens instantaneously, however, .ZIP files are never scanned for their stored files. This means that sorting by “Book” will not display .ZIP files even if the archive contains supported file types.

Text based files (.TXT, .INI, .HTML) load with a default static background and white 12pt font. Single lines of text are automatically wrapped on the default horizontal view at the 35th character.

These file types can be further customized to make reading easier for each unique reader’s preferences. By pressing “X” when viewing one of the 3 supported file types the user is presented with a variety of options. Font Settings allows the user to adjust the font size (10pt to 32pt), line spacing (0 to 15), and word spacing (0 to 15). Read-mode Settings allows the user to pick between two different modes (horizontal and vertical) and display on the lower screen, upper screen, or both screens. The vertical dual screen mode will display two pages at one time with wrapped text. A Jump-to Percentage setting allows the user to “jump-to” a specific area of the file by “End of File” percent completion (IE: 50% would be around the middle of the file). Help brings up the same menu which can be accessed by pressing Select. This menu displays directional pad and button combinations which aid navigation. If Help is accessed through the “X” options menu it can not be exited by pressing Select. The Style Settings option presents the user with static background options which display behind the readable “text.” The Brightness setting will control the back-light of the DS/DSL (options are 0 to 3). Finally the Bookmark Setting option provides users with the ability to add and view bookmarks. Added bookmarks will store by the last line of accessed text and by file percentage.

When reloading a text file the software will remember the last settings. Horizontally viewed files at 67.89% will launch into the same view at the same point. Bookmarks will launch at the saved percentage into any newly stored view, font, etc modes. Bookmarks are stored on a per-file basis, opening an old bookmark means that the file must first be accessed and viewing the bookmark list will only list bookmarks for the currently accessed file. HTML files will display static text only, images and HTML formatting is ignored by the software.

Basic controls allow the user to navigate using both a combination of the directional pad and buttons or the touch-screen stylus controls. The control scheme is very intuitive and simple enough that the controls are easy to remember. The control scheme is outlined in the Help menu which can be accessed via the “X” options window or the Select button.

Portable Document Files (PDF) will load and display both text and images. Larger PDF files make take up to 5 minutes to load, and 5 minutes to change pages. PDF files feature the “Picture” interface and allow users to zoom, rotate, and view areas of the file at any time. These features are additionally hampered by the file size where larger files mean slower processing. PDF files lack the “X” options interface, meaning users can not tweak their PDF experience. PDF files also lack the bookmark feature that the text files have and will always load to the 1st page. PDF files can only be viewed on one screen, where the top screen is used as the “zoomed-out” screen (think Comic Book DS). As with the other supported file types, PDF files feature directional pad and button navigation as well as touch-screen stylus navigation and controls.

04_ireader_review_img06.jpg
05_ireader_review_font_style.jpg
05_ireader_review_img08.jpg


07_ireader_review_read_mode.jpg
08_ireader_review_brightness.jpg
10_ireader_review_img07.jpg


11_ireader_review_img09.jpg
Pictures:
14_ireader_review_pictures_zoomed.jpg
Supported image formats are loaded into the same interface as the PDF viewer. Users can zoom, rotate, and advance to other images. The controls and limitations are relatively the same as previously discussed. Users can scroll around different areas of the image while viewing a zoomed-out copy on the top screen. The software features 4 modes of viewing (Zoom: Original Size, Zoom: %, Zoom: Adapt Width, and Zoom: Adapt Height) all of which feature the "zoomed-out" image on the top screen. Quality is as good as the image being viewed, meaning a high quality image will zoom with little to no pixilation. Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) images will only be rendered as 1 frame images, animated .GIF files are not supported.

<div class="reviewbreak">Impressions & Final Thoughts</div>
The long awaited iReader software plug-in is typical of the SuperCard development team. It features some nice options, a clean interface, and interesting file support but lacks a full featured E-book reader and simple coding revisions which could have put it over the top.

PDF support is very slow while still being impressive on the DS. Yet one should not find any problems with a Flash Kit that features onboard RAM and a CPU. A tested 16 MB PDF with text and color images took approximately 5 minutes to load, and 5 minutes to change pages. A tested 1.6 MB PDF with text only took approximately 30 seconds to load, and 30 seconds to change pages. The performance of large and small PDF files makes it obvious to the end-user that the extra features of this Flash Kit are not being used.

HTML support lacks any formatting or image support. While things such as javascript were clearly not expected, simple formatting and local image loading could have been easily addressed. Additionally some special characters are displayed as Chinese characters within the software.

While it would have been nice to see animated GIF image support, 1 frame images are useful due to the small digital footprint of this format. One of the most basic features of any image software is missing from the SCDS2 picture viewer, a slideshow feature. Dual screen image support (think Moonshell) would have been another great additional feature. Users may not always want to view files with the preset modes and sometimes loading larger images across two screens can be a more beneficial viewing mode.

Directory navigation responds to all directional pad inputs, allowing the user to scroll a "full circle" if desired. Exiting out of any section of the software highlights the last accessed file and places it at the bottom of the list. This directory refresh is something which can take a minute to get use to, but remains a minor complaint.

Long file names are either truncated with a tilde or “…” and again Team SuperCard has failed to implement a text scrolling feature. Thankfully they have truncated within the microSD directory correctly, by displaying the file extension.

Archived .ZIP files are not scanned and sorted correctly, as are other file types. It would have been nice to see .ZIP files scanned and sorted into their appropriate section. An example of this would be .ZIP files with supported images being listed in the “Pictures” section, .ZIP files with supported text files could be listed in the “Book” section, and mixed archives could either be sorted into both sections or left in the “All” section.

The E-book software supports static viewing only, with no announced text-to-sound (TTS) support. The SCDS2 is using the same CPU as the Dingoo A320/330, and one would expect for the CPU to actually get some use outside of the GBA emulator and in-game menu. Adding a feature, as creative as a TTS option, may have helped to put this software over the top.

The occasional minor bug was experienced while playing with the image viewing software. Image data was not always displayed for each mode of each tested image. Some images failed to load after switching the zoom display mode on a trailing image and then navigating back to the previous image. On occasion the zoom mode will reset itself when attempting to open the Help menu, forcing the user to press Select twice.

The installation notes explain to the user that they should "Download the package, copy all folder to the root directory of MicroSD card and replace old." If the user replaces the current plug-in folder with the pre-packaged iReader v1.0 “_dstwoplug” directory all currently stored plug-in icons may be deleted. While this is commonsense for most users I am sure that some users will make this mistake. Please be cautious when updating any software and be sure you have a current back-up before proceeding.

Overall the software performs fairly well and should be useful for most users. The Picture viewer is a nice alternative to Moonshell and being integrated into the EOS software means that exiting is as simple as pressing “B”. Text based files initialize and react to user input rather quickly. Reading simple formatted .TXT E-books is a pleasure thanks to the various “X” menu options. The lack of specific E-book formats is a disappointment, making the reading software feel like a slight upgrade to the previously released in-game guide. I hold out hope for a small update which will address the few bugs and add more file support, a slideshow view, a faster PDF rendering.

Dedicated E-book homebrew and image viewing homebrew exist in various forms. Team SuperCard has taken the most used features and implemented them into a clean Graphical User Interface with room for improvement. This download will cost you nothing and appears to integrate into the EOS v1.02 software without any problems. If you have use of simple text based files or images while on the go than this plug-in will make a great addition to your EOS software installation.

<font color="green">Pros:</font>
<font color="green">+</font> Clean Interface
<font color="green">+</font> Easy to use
<font color="green">+</font> Directional pad & stylus interface controls for all areas
<font color="green">+</font> PDF functionality
<font color="green">+</font> Integrates directly into the EOS software
<font color="green">+</font> Easy to locate informative Help menus
<font color="green">+</font> No Engrish what-so-ever
<font color="green">+</font> Smooth directory scrolling

<font color="red">Cons:</font>
<font color="red">-</font> Occasional bug
<font color="red">-</font> Poor PDF support
<font color="red">-</font> No picture slideshow support
<font color="red">-</font> No extra features (more modes, TTS, CPU enhancements, etc)

Links:
GBATemp SCDS2 Review
SuperCard Official Site
SuperCard Official Plug-in Download Page

This review supplement was written for GBAtemp.net ONLY. The article is the property of Another World & GBAtemp.net. Some images are the property of Another World, some images were borrowed from Team SuperCard and used without permission.

If you see this review supplement on any other site please let Another World know by PM.
 

Another World

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<font color="red">GBAtemp.net review supplement for the...</font>

<font size="5"><font color="#000080">SCDS2's SFC/SNES Emulator</font></font>
00_scds2_snes_emu_review_supplement-header-01.jpg


Also Known As: SCDS2 SNES EMU, NDSSFC, SCDSTwo SNES, SCDS2 SFC Emulator, SFCDS2, SFC EMU, NDS-SNES, DS2 SNES, DS2 SFC
Released by: Team SuperCard

Review written by Another World 10/09/2010

Review Contents & Index:
<div class="reviewbreak">Review Introduction</div>
Absent from the SuperCard DSTwo EOS v1.2 release was the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Emulator. This 1st party emulator was announced as a SCDS2 specific plug-in which makes use of the on-board CPU and RAM by offering ROM execution, cheat functionality, save-states, and more. On August 26, 2010, lilsypha published an official GBATemp review of the v1.0 BETA build, which would later become the v1.05 public release.

Final judgment and a GBATemp award have yet to be reached for the SCDS2 due to the missing features of the EOS launch software. This official review supplement brings the SCDS2 review one step close towards a final outcome, an official GBATemp award.

This review supplement will focus heavily on SFC/SNES compatibility and contain a full write-up of the software G.U.I. and its features. Many problem files will be tested in an attempt to build a more complete view of the current software’s compatibility. In recent months Team SuperCard has released updates which directly address problems found during the SCDS2 review process. The potential for SFC EMU updates is something which must be considered and will be addressed during the 4th and final review supplement, a reexamination of the SCDS2 and its software components.

Features List:
  • Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Emulation (.SFC/.SMC)
  • Multiple Display Modes
  • Emulation Fast-forward
  • Save-states
  • SRAM Save Support
  • Cheats
  • Screen Captures
  • Multiple CPU Frequency "Clock" Speeds
  • Automatic Save Loading
  • Recently Played File Listing
  • Integrated EOS software soft-resetting
The multiple display modes attempt to “resize” the game graphics to better fit the NDS native resolution. However, there appears to be no perfect way to for the emulator to display graphics on the DS screen, and at times either text or pixels must be sacrificed.

The SFC EMU features save-state loading and saving. The emulator will also reload the most recent save-state if a ROM is subsequently loaded using the “recently played” listing.

SFC/SNES cheats are supported using properly formatted .CHT files which include Snes9x emulator cheat codes.

As with the GBA EMU plug-in, the SFC EMU can capture the active screen and save it to the microSD card.

The emulator features user controlled CPU frequency “clock” speeds which can drastically speed up emulation at the cost of increased battery consumption.

<div class="reviewbreak">Set-up and Usage</div>
The NDSSFC v1.5 English software was released with two main directories, "_dstwoplug" and "NDSSFC". The contents of the "_dstwoplug" directory should be placed into the existing EOS software directory of the same name, found in ROOT. The entire "NDSSFC" directory must be placed in ROOT as well.

As discussed in the main SCDS2 review, the "_dstwoplug" directory contains files required by the EOS software. However, in this case the required files do not act as "shortcuts" but are actual supplementary plug-ins to the EOS software. The contents of the included SFC EMU “_dstwoplug” directory must be used, there exists no alternative way to launch the SFC EMU. In order to keep preexisting user-made "shortcuts" and default EOS software plug-ins the end-user is advised to copy and paste the contents of the “_dstwoplug” directory as overwriting the default EOS directory may result in a loss of required or desired files.

The “NDSSFC” directory contains 5 sub-directories titled “gamecht”, “gamepak”, “gamepic”, “gamerts”, and “system.” This directory also contains a file titled “version.txt.” The first 4 sub-directories are initially empty and will later serve as storage for cheats, ROMs, screen captures, and save-states, respectively. The “system” sub-directory contains language (language.msg), font (song.odf, verdana.odf), and theme related files (.BMPs via a “gui” directory). The included “version.txt” file is not required for SFC emulation and contains release notes from Team SuperCard.

ROMs can be placed anywhere on the microSD card but the SFC EMU will load the “gamepak” directory by default. Sub-folders can be placed into this directory to further organize the directory structure. Using subfolders is advised as the SFC EMU will freeze when loading directories of 256 or more files. ROMs can be stored uncompressed or compressed in the .ZIP format. Both high and low compression .ZIP formatted files are supported by the SFC EMU plug-in.

The file structures of the included directories are as follows:

Code:
| + _dstwoplug
ÂÂÂÂ |-SFC.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ |-sfc.ini
ÂÂÂÂ |-sfc.plg
| + NDSSFC
ÂÂÂÂ | + gamecht
ÂÂÂÂ | + gamecht
ÂÂÂÂ | + gamepic
ÂÂÂÂ | + gamerts
ÂÂÂÂ | + system
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ | + gui
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-backo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-boot.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-chtfile.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-directory.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-fdoto.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-gbafile.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-nbacko.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-savo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-sbutto.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-scheato.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-semptyo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-sexito.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-sfcfile.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-sfullo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-smaybgo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-smnsel.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-smsel.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-smsgfr.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-snavo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-sncheato.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-snemptyo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-snewo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-snexito.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-snfullo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-snnewo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-snother.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-snreseto.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-snreteno.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-snsaveo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-sntoolo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-sother.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-sreseto.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-sreteno.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-ssaveo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-ssubbg.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-sticon.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-stitle.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-stoolo.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-subsela.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-subselb.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-sunnof.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-zipfile.bmp
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-language.msg
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-song.odf
ÂÂÂÂ ÂÂÂÂ |-verdana.odf
ÂÂÂÂ |-version.txt
|-readme.txt
SFC EMU G.U.I.:
The SFC EMU is launched by pressing A on the main menu's SFC default plug-in icon. This icon executes the SFC.plg file found in the “_dstwoplug” directory.

01_scds2_snes_emu_review_supplement-sfcemu_main.jpg
The SFC EMU will load approximately 3 seconds after the loading process has been initialized. Users are presented with a “no game loaded!” message on the top screen and an icon based file system on the bottom screen. The v1.05 software revision features 6 icons and 3 buttons. The icons read “video/audio”, “save state”, “cheats”, “tools”, “other”, and “exit”, and the buttons read “new”, “return”, and “restart”. At any point during game execution the main G.U.I. can be accessed by tapping on the touch-screen. The G.U.I responds to d-pad and button combination navigation only, touch-screen control navigation has not been implemented. While navigating the G.U.I, A selects an item and B goes back 1 menu level at a time. Pressing B in continuous succession will always navigate back to the top most menu. NEW offers options (new, recently played) for loading an SFC file, RETURN resumes game execution which was halted while bringing up the main G.U.I. menu, and RESTART begins game execution from the start. When browsing a directory the SFC EMU will automatically scroll the directory name at the top of the G.U.I. but truncate sub-directories and files within the main directory. File directories and names are truncated between 27 and 31 characters, depending on which characters are used. File names can be manually scrolled by pressing LEFT or RIGHT, 1 character at a time. Pressing or holding the L/R shoulder buttons results in directory paging, 5 lines (files) at a time.

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The “audio/video” options include Graphic Display Mode (0-4) and Game Fast Forward (on/off).

According to Team SuperCard, the SNES resolution can not be scaled to the native NDS resolution. As a result the majority of graphic display modes adjust which portion of the screen will be “cut off” through the removal of entire lines of pixels. The first option squeezes everything together making it difficult to read text, and the remaining 3 options remove lines of pixels with varying results. In the image below the red box outlines the viewable area while the gray area represents the removed pixels for each display option.

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Fast-forward advances game execution by an approximate 50% speed increase. This was tested simply by counting when walking from point A to point B took half as long when fast-forward was turned “on.” Fast-forwarding works well but comes at the cost of possible audio rendering issues.

Each setting in this menu must be set on a per-file basis, and the loading or unloading of each file resulted in these settings returning to their default levels.

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The “save state” selection offers the user options to write, read, and delete save-states. Each game can have a total of 10 save-states at any one time. Save-states are stored in the “./NDSSFC/gamerts” directory and indexed by a trailing number which is directly associated to the save-state menu position (1-10). During the initial write of a save-state or when a second game is loaded from the "new" menu option, the software will create a gamename_0.rts place holder. After a save-state has been successfully written the position box will be filled in solid with the color purple. Save-states can only be manipulated during the emulation of the associated SFC file, meaning that until a game is loaded the associated save-states can not be accessed. If a game is loaded from the “recently played games” option the last associated highest numbered save-state will be automatically loaded. When manually loading a save-state the top screen will display a screen capture, and a date and time stamp, taken during the instance the save-state was written. Save-states can not be overwritten and in order to use a lower numbered save-state slot the occupying save-state must first be deleted using the on-screen options.

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When writing a save-state the user will be provided with two messages boxes. The first of which lets the user know that the save-state is being written and the second will let the user know that the write was successful. Save-state deletion provides the user with options to Delete All Game States or Delete Game State (1-10, depending). Selecting either option will ask the user to confirm YES (press A) or NO (press B) for this action. When deleting save-states the purple position holder icon boxes simply slide to the left, meaning that when save-state 4 is deleted save-state 5 slides into its G.U.I. position holder. The next time save-state 4 is deleted 5 is actually removed. When browsing the deletion area of the G.U.I., screen captures are not displayed which forces the user to guess at which save-state they are deleting or navigate back to the write area which will display the save-state related screen captures. When all save-states have been deleted the gamename_0.rts place holder file will remain, this file causes no problems if left on the microSD card.

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In addition to save-states the emulator can write the SRAM save (.SRM) to the “./NDSSFC/gamerts” directory, if SRAM data exists. Any game which has its execution halted by selecting “exit” from the SFC EMU G.U.I. option will have its corresponding SRAM data automatically written to the microSD card, if such data exists. Additionally SRAM saves for the currently emulated game will be written to the microSD card when a new game is loaded or when a save-state is written regardless of the assigned save-state position. There exist no alternative methods for dumping the SRAM data to the “gamerts” directory, if either of the above methods are not used the SRAM data will be permanently lost.

The "cheats" section offers support for SNES .CHT formatted files which contain valid Snes9x cheat codes. The default directory for cheat files is the “gamecht” directory, a sub-directory of “NDSSFC.” The .CHT file name does not need to exactly match the naming scheme of the SFC ROM. Cheat files are loaded using the “Load Cheat File” option, which browses files in the “gamecht” directory, after the corresponding game has been loaded. Loading the .CHT file first and the game second will cause the .CHT file to be unloaded or random freezing to occur. Cheats are indexed as 4 cheats per “page” with the ability to have multiple choices under each description heading. The SFC EMU supports 10 pages (0-9) for a total of 40 possible selectable cheats (0-39). When multiple choices are listed under the same heading only 1 choice can be selected at a time. Once a cheat has been selected pressing RIGHT will enable the cheat while pressing LEFT will disable it. Cheats should be enabled after the ROM has been loaded but before actual gameplay begins. Cheats loaded after game execution may not work or the SFC EMU cheat engine may cause the software to hang.

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The cheat engine uses a format similar to the SCDS2 GBA EMU, while making use of Snes9x cheats. Team SuperCard passed on information for this review stating that the application EMUCheat, when used in conjunction with Snes9x, will allow for proper .CHT files to be compiled. Users who wish to simplify the process can use the following outline in any format stripping text editor; files should then be saved as gamename.cht.

.CHT Outline said:
[Code Name Here]
Option 1=ADDR,VALUE
Option 2=ADDR,VALUE
Option 3=ADDR,VALUE

[Code that changes more than one address]
Option 1=ADDR1,VALUE1;ADDR2,VALUE2;ADDR3,VALUE3

[GameInfo]
Name=Game name, not sure if it matters.
System=SFC
Text=Notes here.
Contents of the 1st Working SFC EMU .CHT File by Rydian said:
[Power]
Small=19,00
Big=19,01
Cape=19,02
Fire=19,03

[Item Box]
Star=0DC2,03
Flying red coin=0DC2,0B

[Score]
ON=F34,FF;F35,FF;F36,20

[GameInfo]
Name=Super Mario World
System=SFC
Text=YOSHI IS A UNICYCLE! This is where notes go.
<p>Guide to Making .CHT Files by Rydian:

icon11.gif
http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=263113

SFC EMU .CHT File Conversion Pack:

download.gif
Mightymo Cheat Database Conversion v1.1 by Rydian
</p>
In the "tools" section, screen captures can be taken of the active game as displayed on the NDS top screen. Screen captures are saved in the “gamepic” directory as a 256x192 96dpi 24bit formatted .BMP file. After multiple screen captures have been saved to the microSD, users can browse the directory from within the software using a d-pad and button combination controlled slideshow. UP and DOWN control the slideshow speed, A pauses playback while LEFT and RIGHT scroll through images when paused. Pressing B will exit out of the slideshow and returns to the Screen Snapshot G.U.I. selection area.

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The “other” options provide a means to over-clock the CPU through a CPU Frequency option (0-4), which increases game performance at the cost of increased battery drain. In this section the G.U.I. language can be adjusted, microSD card capacity can be viewed in MegaBytes, default settings can be restored, and the SFC EMU version information is displayed.

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The “exit” button closes the SFC EMU, properly dumps the SRAM data, and exports the recently played listing. Failure to click this button when exiting the EMU may result in the loss of this data. Emulator specific options and ROM settings are never stored and will always load at default levels (IE: CPU Frequency of 2, Display Mode of 0, etc).

<div class="reviewbreak">Performance</div>
I attempted to test the latest revisions of Homebrew projects. For popular Homebrew projects I tested the most downloaded revision and not the latest BETAs. In regards to SFC retail ROM dumps I tested mostly N. American dumps verified by CRC against the SFC Good-set listing.

SFC/SNES files were tested on a DSi XL using a 2 GB Japanese Kingston microSD card, a 4 GB Taiwan Class-4 Kingston microSD card, and an 8 GB Transcend Class-6 microSD card. All microSD cards were properly formatted using the Panasonic Formatting Tool v2.9.0.5. Various features of the SFC EMU were tested at random to determine their efficiency. The SFC EMU v1.5 and EOS v1.8 software were used for all testing purposes.

Each result is listed below by file name followed by a color coded phrase. Green colored phrases mean the file performed as expected with no serious problems. Blue colored phrases mean the file performed with some problems. Problems could include speed issues, compatibility problems, graphical issues, sound distortion, etc. A generalized listing of encountered problems will be added next to each appropriate section. Red colored phrases mean that the file failed. Failed files were additionally tested on a SNES PC Emulator.

Test files came from the GoodSNES v2.04 collection and were verified to by CRC. Good [!] dumps were specifically used when available. Unreleased, BETA, Prototype, and DEMO files were collected from various sources some directly from the user/group who dumped or compiled them years ago. Translation files were pre-patched as part of the GoodSNES v2.04 collection and subsequent files were not patched or tampered with in any way.

SFC Public Domain Homebrew and DEMO Compatibility:
  • 2.68 MHz DEMO - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • 3D Stereo World - Find the Hidden Images - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • 4 Puzzle - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Adult Manga 2 - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (ROM loads, unable to advance images, unplayable)
  • Airwolf 92 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Amiga IFF Japanese Slide Show - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Anthrox - Mode 7 Interactive DEMO - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Anthrox - The Raider Bros. Parallax DEMO - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Astrohawk May 2003 Version - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Bio Worm - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Bling Blang Blong - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 4 Required)
  • Capcom Pics V3.0 by Brian Flanagan - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Chow Wai Man - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Columns - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Commander - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Commodore 64 Collection NTSC - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Copier - Backup Ad. - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Crying Face Test - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Crystal Anthraxus DEMO - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Danger-Zone - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Dennougai no Arukikata - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Destero Porno - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Diver's Selection Vol.1 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Dwarf - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Dynamate - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Elitendo Balls DEMO - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Freezes after initial load)
  • Ellen Chan Photo Session 1 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Erotic Manga Pics 1 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Ethos 9 - Anime V1.8 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Evangelion Disk 00 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Falling Leaves Intro by Ayt - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Final Insect - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • FrogNes - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Fuzzy Shooting - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Game King - Takahashi Meijin DEMO - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Guess My Number!! - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • H-DMA Fish DEMO - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Hong Kong 97 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Hysteria - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Illusion - Hidden Surprise Intro - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Infernal's Evil DEMO! - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Irokazu Koujou 1 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Juugo Pazuru 4 - <font color="green">Pass</font> (Playable with minor graphical issues)
  • Kamaitachi no Yoru - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Kid Icarus Angel Land Story - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Does not run after initial load, freezes EMU, unplayable)
  • Kim 1 by Purple Dave - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Kuon no Kizuna 03 - Aya - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Lee's Album 2 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Let's Go Freeze - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Let's Go Freeze 2 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Lotto - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Mai Ling Slide Show - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Marine Blue Vol.1 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Maze - <font color="green">Pass</font> (2-player game not possible)
  • Mode 7 and Sprite DEMO - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Modular Escape - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Napalm - Laughing Skull Intro - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • NESquik - New DEMO - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Nightfall - Party Slide DEMO - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Nintendo SFC 95 (Scrolling Clouds Kami DEMO 2) - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Black screen)
  • N-Warp Daisakusen V1.1 - <font color="green">Pass</font> (multi-player game, unable to fully test as 2 controllers are not supported)
  • Olivia Pin Up Slide Show! - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Panda Squaresoft Mode 7 DEMO - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Photo Album of Vivian Hsu - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Plasma - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Puzzle - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Rape Games - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Rapid Fire Counter V1.5 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Red 1 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Red 3 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • RTS - Mode 7 DEMO - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Running Long Jump - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • S.O.S. - Batisuka-fu! - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Sakura Wars - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Sexy HK Game Girls 1 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Shock-01 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Shoot - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Shoot Your Load - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Smile Writer v1.1 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • SNES9X DEMO V1.16 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Star Wars Portfolio - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Static - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Sub Game by Paul Lay - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Super Ota Quiz - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Super Pac-Man - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Tegami - A Letter #1 by Kami - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Tekken 2 - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Crashes, unplayable)
  • The Diver - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Tic-Tac-Toe - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Time Pilot - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Trendline - Flashing Intro - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Wesley Girl 30 - Flashing Intro - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • World of Manga 2 - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Crashes, unplayable)
  • X-Mas - Flashing Intro - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Zone - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Loads but does not start, unplayable)
  • Zophar's Domain Two Years DEMO - <font color="green">Pass</font>
SFC BETA Compatibility:
  • Aladdin - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Alien 3 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Apocalypse II - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Battletoads in Battlemaniacs - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula - <font color="green">Pass</font> (Minor slowdowns)
  • Brutal - Paws of Fury - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Choplifter III - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Cyborg 009 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Dragon's Lair - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Dream TV (BETA-A) - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Earthworm Jim - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Fighter's History - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Final Fight 3 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Full Throttle Racing - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Stage-2 graphic glitches)
  • Harley's Humongous Adventure - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Illusion of Gaia - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Joe & Mac - Caveman Ninja - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Killer Instinct - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Black screen, Freezes EMU, unplayable)
  • Little Magic - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Black screen, unplayable)
  • Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Might and Magic III - Isles of Terra - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Mortal Kombat - Isles of Terra - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 4 required)
  • NHL '94 - Isles of Terra - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Out of This World - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 3-4 for best results)
  • Phantom 2040 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Rise of the Robots - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Samurai Spirits - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Shadowrun - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Space Ace - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Street Fighter II - The World Warrior - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Super Adventure Island II - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Super Star Wars - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 4 for best results)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV - Turtles in Time - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • TimeSlip - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Ultima - Runes of Virtue II - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Wing Commander - The Secret Missions - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Wolfenstein 3D - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Black screen, unplayable)
SFC Prototype Compatibility:
  • Batman Returns - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Battle Blaze - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Breath of Fire II - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Chou Makai Taisen! – Dorabocchan - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Final Fantasy III - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • HAVOC (Argonaut Software DEMO) - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Justice League Task Force - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Marvel Super Heroes – War of the Gems - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Loads to black screen, unplayable)
  • Rock n’ Roll Racing - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Rockman 7 SAMPLE – Shukumei no Taiketsu! - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Solstice II 3/3/93 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Super Buster Bros. - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Tecmo Super NBA Basketball - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • The Flinstones – The Treasure of Sierra Madrock - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • The Pirates of Dark Water - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • TKO Super Championship Boxing - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Tony Meola’s Sidekicks Soccer - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Zoop - <font color="green">Pass</font>
SFC Unreleased Compatibility:
  • Batman - Revenge of the Joker - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Batman (Software Creations) - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Congo The Movie - The Secret of Zinj - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Eurit (Prototype) - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Header fix fail, does not start)
  • Fire Team Rogue - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Little Magic (Prototype) - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Mr Tuff (Prototype) - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Muhammad Ali Boxing - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Power Slide SFX DEMO (1994-12-04) - <font color="green">Pass</font>/<font color="blue">Problems</font> (Loads but is unsupported by all emulators)
  • Prime - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Rap Basketball (Prototype) - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Star Fox 2 (CRC: 1FB1CF76) - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Speed issues, unplayable)
  • Sylvester and Tweety (proto Dec 15th 1993) - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Tinhead - <font color="green">Pass</font>
SFC Special Chip Compatibility:
Please note that special chip emulation which may already be present in Snes9x, the ported emulator which has become the SFC EMU, may or may not emulate correctly due to the limitations of the SCDS2’s on-board hardware, potential data loss, CPU speed, etc. This section is not to point out the problems of the SFC EMU but rather to complete a listing of supported/unsupported SFC games.

An attempt was made to test all SFC/SNES special chip games for compatibility, however due to various limitations of the software testing pack some games may have been skipped. Games will be listed in alphabetical order under their corresponding special-chip-name category. Available information about each special chip will be included when possible. Special chip games were tested for 15-60 minutes each and no games were completed. Some games were additionally tested on Snes9x v1.52, the suspected revision ported to the SCDS2, to compare compatibility results.

CX4:
The CX4 chip was designed by Capcom as a main-board add-on math coprocessor. The chip was specifically designed for trigonometric calculations used in wireframes, sprite positioning, and sprite rotation. The only two SFC games to make use of this chip were from the Megaman series.
  • Mega Man X 2 - <font color="green">Pass</font>/<font color="blue">Problems</font>
The initial wireframe special effects, which appear in the introductory animation and on the main menu, run very slow on the SCDS2. The same effects run at full speed on Snes9x, the EMU which was ported and renamed the SFC EMU. Speculation is that a 50% data throughput loss from CPU-to-DS2-to-Slot-1 is at fault. On occasion the game will crash to a debug menu which is displayed while the game is still in motion, moving past the object which caused the crash will usually allow game execution to continue. The game further suffers from minor sound glitches and audio stuttering during areas of heavy animation or wireframe effects. Other than these few issues the game is playable and ultimately enjoyable on CPU frequency 4.
  • Mega Man X 3 - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 4)
Some lag was experienced when using the default CPU Frequency. The game was tested for 60 minutes and various stages were played. There remains the possibility for slow-down, sound problems, or debug menu crashing. The game was not tested for completion, and may very well be unwinnable. Additionally the “Invincibility” cheat, when enabled, will cause all in-game doorways to fail, the cheat can not be disabled while actively playing even though this option exists.

DSP:
The DSP (Digital Signal Processor) chip was originally designed to be part of the SFC/SNES itself and later removed from the design due to possible budget problems. The DSP chip revisions added many functions to SFC/SNES games including vector based calculations, math co-processing, bitmap conversions, 2D and 3D coordinate transformations, advanced Mode-7 scaling, 3D math algorithms, Artificial Intelligence calculations, and more. The DSP-1 received 2 revisions (1A and 1B), both of which were bug fixes. The DSP-2, DSP-3, and DSP-4 revisions featured updated microcode with additional features, and each chip revision was used for only 1 game.

DSP-1:
  • Ace wo Nerae! - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Ballz 3D - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 4 for best results)
  • Drift King - Shutokou Battle 2 - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 4, course selection screen error: example-1 vs. example-2)
  • Drift King - Shutokou Battle '94 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Final Stretch - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 3-4)
  • Hashiriya Tamashii - Rider's Spirits - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 3-4)
  • Lock On - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Slow-down/hanging makes it difficult to enjoy)
  • Michael Andretti's Indy Car Challenge - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Pilotwings - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Soukou Kihei Votoms - The Battling Road - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Super Bases Loaded 2 - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Does not load, crashes EMU, unplayable)
  • Super F1 Circus Gaiden - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Super Mario Kart - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Speed issues, unplayable)
  • Suzuka 8 Hours - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Touge Densetsu - Saisoku Battle - <font color="green">Pass</font>
DSP-2:
  • Dungeon Master - <font color="green">Pass</font>
DSP-3:
  • SD Gundam GX - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Black screen, unplayable)
DSP-4:
  • Top Gear 3000 - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Graphical issues, unplayable)
OBC-1:
This chip was a sprite manipulation chip used only for a single super-scope title.
  • Metal Combat - Falcon's Revenge - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Super-scope emulation not supported)
SA-1:
The SA-1 (Super Accelerator) contained a CPU core that could be run independently of the main 5A22 CPU. This chip allowed for programmable timers, a faster clock speed, faster RAM, DMA modes, data storage and compression, and region lock copy protection.
  • Daisenryaku Expert WW2 - War in Europe - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Derby Jockey 2 - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Game loads, crashes to a debugger, unplayable)
  • Dragon Ball Z - Hyper Dimension - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slow-down issues, unplayable)
  • Harukanaru Augusta 3 - Masters New - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slow-down issues, virtually unplayable)
  • Itoi Shigesato no Bass Tsuri No.1 - Masters New - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slow-down issues, virtually unplayable)
  • J.League '96 Dream Stadium - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slow-down issues, unplayable)
  • Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slow-down issues, unplayable)
  • Jumpin' Derby - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Graphical and slow-down issues, unplayable)
  • Kakinoki Shougi - <font color="green">Pass</font> (Appears fine, heavy Japanese text, unable to fully test)
  • Kirby Super Star - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slow-down issues, unplayable)
  • Kirby's Dream Land 3 - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slow-down issues, unplayable)
  • Marvelous - Mouhitotsu no Takarajima - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slow-down issues, unplayable)
  • Mini Yonku Shining Scorpion - Let's & Go!! - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Race sequence slow-down issues, virtually unplayable)
  • Pebble Beach no Hotou New - Tournament Edition - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slow-down issues, virtually unplayable)
  • PGA European Tour - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slow-down issues, virtually unplayable)
  • PGA Tour 96 - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slow-down issues, virtually unplayable)
  • Power Rangers Zeo - Battle Racers - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slow-down issues, unplayable)
  • SD F-1 Grand Prix - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slow-down issues, unplayable)
  • SD Gundam G Next - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slow-down issues, unplayable)
  • Shin Shougi Club - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Slow-down issues, somewhat playable)
  • Shougi Saikyou - <font color="green">Pass</font> (Appears fine, heavy Japanese text, unable to fully test)
  • Shougi Saikyou 2 - Jissen Taikyoku Hen - <font color="green">Pass</font> (Appears fine, heavy Japanese text, unable to fully test)
  • Super Bomberman - Panic Bomber World - War in Europe - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 4)
  • Super Mario RPG - Legend of the Seven Stars - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slow-down issues, virtually unplayable)
  • Super Robot Taisen Gaiden - Masou Kishin - The Lord of Elemental - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Slow-down issues, virtually unplayable)
SA-1 games were tested between 5-20 minutes depending on what problems were experienced after the initial load. All games were tested using a combination of SFC EMU CPU frequency options. Games were scrutinized in detail using the CPU Frequency 4 setting. Games which are listed as “virtually unplayable” functioned to some degree but suffered from slow-down issues which seriously hampered one’s ability to enjoy the game. Sound appeared to remain in-sync even when graphics slow-down brought the entire experience to a halt. Surprisingly the limitations of the SCDS2 are not in the emulator itself, it appears the SA-1 chip is fully emulated. The problems appear to be caused by the data loss from CPU-to-SCDS2-to-Slot-1. A speculation which may not be far off when one considers the “DS” mode hardware limitations, including the Slot-1 data transfer rate.

As none of the games were tested to completion there remains the possibility that games which “passed” may “fail” at a later point.

S-DD1:
This chip was used to decompress sprite data on-the-fly directly to the picture processing unit. The S-DD1 chip could run in parallel allowing the SFC/SNES to request uncompressed data while the S-DD1 was busy decompressing.
  • Star Ocean - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 3-4, some voice acting sound issues, playable)
  • Street Fighter Alpha 2 - <font color="green">Pass</font>/<font color="blue">Problems</font> (CPU Frequency 4 required, minor slow-down, playable)
SPC7110:
This chip was designed by Epson to provided data compression. Additionally, Tengai Makyou Zero contained a real-time clock accessed by the SPC7110 chip.
  • Momotarou Dentetsu Happy - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (SPC7110 chip test program runs, game does not start, unplayable)
  • Super Power League 4 - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (SPC7110 chip test program runs, game does not start, unplayable)
  • Tengai Makyou Zero - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (SPC7110 chip test program runs, game does not start, unplayable)
After reading the Snes9x v1.52 change logs, it appears that SPC7110 emulation without graphics has been added for testing only. The chip test passes but the game can not be launched as supported has not yet been implemented. This behavior further supports a theory that the Snes9x port used for the SFC EMU is v1.52.

S-RTC:
This chip was a separate Real Time Clock (RTC) chip designed for use with only 1 game. Unlike the associated RTC of the SPC7110, this chip’s only purpose was its RTC functionality. The chip kept accurate time by using an internal cart battery. Some modern emulation has managed to simulate the battery by sinking with the computer’s operating system clock.
  • Daikaijuu Monogatari 2 - <font color="green">Pass</font>/<font color="blue">Problems?</font> (RTC not fully tested)
Upon first loading the game the user is prompted to set the clock, which defaults to 8/2/1990. Unfortunately, my Japanese is extremely limited and I have not been able to fully test this game for RTC functionality. After exiting the game and re-launching it the clock was again back to the default setting.

ST010:
Designed for 1 game, this chip provided general AI related handling and functionality.
  • F1 ROC II - Race of Champions - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 4)
ST011:
Believed to have been based on the ST010 chip, this chip provided general AI related functionality as well.
  • Hayazashi Nidan Morita Shougi - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 3-4)
ST018:
Believed to have been based on the ST010 chip as well, this chip once again provided general AI related functionality.
  • Hayazashi Nidan Morita Shougi 2 - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 3-4, random debugger crashing, playable)
Super FX:
The Super FX chip was designed to supplement the main CPU by acting as a graphics accelerator chip for polygons and advanced 2D effect handling. Sprite scaling, sprit stretching, and huge “boss” sprites were among the additional 2D effects. In addition, the chip could provide foreground and background layers which helped to create a better “3D” depth-of-field illusion. The chip itself went though 3 revisions, the second of which was a standalone version used for Star Fox dubbed the GSU-1. The third revision, the GSU-2, had the same functionalities as the GSU-1 but was able to reach a full 21 MHz clock-speed compared to the 10.5 MHz of the second revision.

Super FX GSU-1:
  • Dirt Racer - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Does not fully load, unplayable)
  • Dirt Trax FX - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Speed issues, unplayable)
  • Star Fox - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Speed issues, unplayable)
  • Stunt Race FX - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Speed issues, unplayable)
  • Vortex - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Speed issues, unplayable)
Super FX GSU-2:
  • Doom - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Speed issues, unplayable)
  • Super Mario World 2 - Yoshi's Island - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Speed issues, unplayable)
  • Winter Gold - Yoshi's Island - <font color="RED">Fail</font> (Speed issues, unplayable)
With the exception of Dirt Racer, each of the Super FX games loads and appears to be emulated. Due to suspected data loss (CPU-to-SCDS2-to-Slot-1) the games are unplayable as they suffer from serious speed issues.

SFC ROM Compatibility:
  • ActRaiser - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Aladdin - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Alien 3 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Arcade's Greatest Hits - <font color="green">Pass</font> (Sound issues)
  • Breath of Fire - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Castlevania - Dracula X - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Chrono Trigger - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Contra III - The Alien Wars- <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 3-4, sound issues)
  • Donkey Kong Country - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 3-4)
  • Double Dragon V - The Shadow Falls - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Earthworm Jim 2 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Final Fight - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Flashback - The Quest for Identity - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 3-4 for cut-scenes, cut-scene slow down)
  • F-ZERO (CPU Frequency 3) - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventure (Some sprites do not display: poison dart level 1) - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings - Volume 1 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • King Arthur & the Knights of Justice - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 3-4)
  • Knights of the Round - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Lagoon - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 3-4)
  • Mario Paint - <font color="blue">Problems</font> (Mouse not emulated)
  • Mr. Do! - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Ms. Pac-Man - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 3)
  • NHL '95 - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Ninja Gaiden Trilogy - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Out of This World - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 4)
  • Pinball Dreams - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Prince of Persia - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Stargate - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Super Castlevania IV - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Super Chase H.Q. - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 3)
  • Super Double Dragon - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Super Mario All-Stars - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Super Mario World - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Super Metroid - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 4, occasional slow-down)
  • Super Off Road - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • U.N. Squadron - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • Wolfenstein 3D - <font color="green">Pass</font>
  • X-Men - Mutant Apocalypse - <font color="green">Pass</font> (CPU Frequency 4)
  • Zombies Ate My Neighbors - <font color="green">Pass</font>
<div class="reviewbreak">Impressions & Final Thoughts</div>
The Super Famicom/Super Nintendo emulator is the perfect addition to the SCDS2’s native Slot-1 software lineup. SuperCard has managed to port an existing emulator while including useful features such as cheats, save-states, .ZIP compressed file support, and more. The emulator feels very responsive which results in a fun gaming experience.

It should not come as a surprise that Team SuperCard has ported an existing emulator which was easily adaptable to the SCDS2’s CPU through their opensource SDK. Snes9x is a wonderful emulator which has been worked on by a variety of talented programmers over the years. This emulator has also been ported to many handheld and console systems, each using an existing base while tweaking out performance for a new environment. The SCDS2 has recently received a port of Alekmaul’s Native Dingoo MAME4ALL emulator, and the SCDS2 shares similar CPU and RAM specs to that of the Dingoo A320. The Dingux Snes9x port has received updates which allow for such games are Star Fox to be fully playable. While these hopes remain for the SFC EMU, users should understand that a data speed loss does exist when running code which must be transferred from the SCDS2 CPU to the NDS Slot-1. It is very possible that some of the enhanced special chip SFC/SNES games will never be fully enjoyable while using the SCDS2 SFC EMU.

The emulator features a working save-state feature that provides screen captures only when save-states are written. When attempting to delete a save-state the user is left wondering which of the 10 positions represents the desired save-state. Additionally, when a save-state is removed the remaining save-states shift to the left. Rather quickly the user can become confused over which save-state is where and which save-states continue to remain on the microSD card. A future addition to the SFC EMU could be the ability to access the “screen capture” feature, associated with a written save-state, when browsing save-states for deletion. The shifting of save-state positions is also confusing and ideally this is something that could be addressed. Save-states can not be overwritten; they must first be deleted in order to free-up a position (1-10). Allowing users to overwrite save-states and removing the save-state shifting could result in more simplified organizational habits. Users would find it much easier to remember which save-states are in which position and be spared of the extra step it takes to delete a save-state before writing to an existing position.

The cheats appear to be based on the GBA format while supporting only Snes9x cheat codes. Thanks to the efforts of GBATemp user Rydian, cheat codes can now be ported and made specifically with the SFC EMU in mind. The cheat engine itself does work but suffers from G.U.I. freezing/hanging, cheat name truncation, and other issues. When attempting to reload the cheat section of the G.U.I. the SFC EMU will more often than not freeze, causing a full system hard-reset. Cheats are listed by their description which is truncated without the ability to scroll. The buttons used for manual file name scrolling implemented into the directory listings of the SFC EMU have been remapped with the purpose of turning cheats ON or OFF. The truncation makes it difficult to understand the purpose of some cheats, for example, “Always have Scatter Blaster for gun 1 (disable during bonus stages)” is truncated to “Always have ...” making it impossible to know what the cheat will do. With a cheat engine that continually crashes, freezes game execution, or hangs the G.U.I., the user may be reluctant to pick something without knowing exactly what the outcome will be.

The screen capture feature is an interesting addition, although somewhat useless, it does function as expected. I found that the screen captures made during the initial testing of the G.U.I. were later corrupted to an unusable state after the experiencing many cheat engine crashes. Instead of implementing a screen capture feature I would have rather seen the early bugs addressed such as the cheat crashing and lack of cheat scrolling.

The SFC EMU suffers from a 255 file limit no matter the file type. More than 255 games or cheats in any 1 directory will cause the SFC EMU to hang whenever those directories are accessed. Organizing files by sub-directories is a viable option but perhaps not an option every user will wish to use.

The RIGHT and LEFT shoulder buttons can be used to quickly page the directory; while this helps it never felt fast enough. When the last paging of a directory resulted in 2 files or directories displayed on screen I was unable to use the directional pad for any additional navigation. I was forced, by a software bug, to press LEFT, page back 1 sequence, and then press DOWN to access the bottom most file.

All settings must be reset each time a file is loaded. Some files require a higher CPU setting while others require a different display mode. The ability to set SFC EMU settings on a per-ROM basis and to have those settings retained would be a wonderful addition.

The emulator has a relatively high compatibility rate thanks in part to the user controlled CPU Frequency “clock” speed settings. The default CPU Frequency of 2 is a standard setting which will allow for most games to play correctly while allowing the SCDS2 to access 4-5 hours of battery life on the DSi XL with WIFI turned off. Many games suffer from minor slow-down issues, half second pauses, sound issues, or other problems. Raising the CPU Frequency to 4 can often fix these problems but at the cost of increased battery drain. During testing I found that I was recharging the DSi XL more often than any other time I can recall. While the SFC EMU is a great feature is does tend to eat up the battery rather quickly, making it not the best choice for SFC/SNES emulation when away from a power outlet.

Games that do not have special chips or slow-down areas execute perfectly, especially with the CPU Frequency set to 4. Controls are tight and responsive making this emulator a real treat to use. The layering issues one would expect to encounter are almost non-existent. During testing only a few layering issues were experienced, all of which happened on BETA and Prototype files. These issues were generally limited to text overwrapping an onscreen graphic or a text box being displayed partially in front of or behind an existing graphic. The average user will probably never experience such issues and it seems that the layering problems of another popular NDS SNES emulator are a thing of the past.

At times the emulator would freeze for absolutely no reason during game execution. As the SRAM is not regularly dumped to the microSD some file progress can be lost if this happens. The only ways to write out the SRAM data would be to load a new game, make a save-state, or use the “exit” button. The lesson here would be that saving often is important and in this case means making save-states. This bug was completely random and did not occur often, the user who has only the occasional gaming session may never experience this problem.

At one point I did experience one odd G.U.I. graphic draw problem where text was continually redrawn to the screen making it appear to be an ever expanding blob of purple color. I also experienced a few random static sound bursts, and some debug file dumping. It goes with saying that this emulator is in a workable and enjoyable state but it is not without its problems.

The real beauty behind the SCDS2 has been the opensource SDK which is freely available from Team SuperCard. The source code for the SFC EMU v1.6 revision was recently shared with developers which allowed the 1st unofficial port to be released. BaseAceGold has added a very useful CPU Frequency setting of 5, fixed some of the G.U.I. crashing bugs, and made Mario Kart playable without sound. These updates are very important because they show us that not only is Team SuperCard supporting their software but so is the Homebrew community.

I would recommend this software and the unofficial update to anyone who enjoys retro SFC/SNES gaming. You will truly love the feeling of the precise DS controls coupled with the old school games you remember. SuperCard has done a wonderful thing for this hobby and they continue to push the boundaries for what we once thought were impossible.

<font color="green">Pros:</font>
<font color="green">+</font> SFC/SNES emulation from Slot-1
<font color="green">+</font> Integrates perfectly into EOS software
<font color="green">+</font> Prototype, unreleased, BETA, etc, support
<font color="green">+</font> Homebrew support
<font color="green">+</font> Cheat functionality
<font color="green">+</font> .ZIP compression support
<font color="green">+</font> Save-states
<font color="green">+</font> SRAM support
<font color="green">+</font> Adjustable visual modes
<font color="green">+</font> CPU Frequency settings
<font color="green">+</font> Special chip emulation exists (with mixed results)
<font color="green">+</font> Homebrew developer support

<font color="red">Cons:</font>
<font color="red">-</font> G.U.I. freezing/hanging
<font color="red">-</font> Cheat engine bugs
<font color="red">-</font> Lack of cheat name scrolling
<font color="red">-</font> 255 file directory limitations
<font color="red">-</font> Slow directory scrolling speeds
<font color="red">-</font> Poor special chip emulation

Links:
GBATemp SCDS2 Review
SuperCard Official Site
SuperCard Official Plug-in Download Page
SFC EMU v1.6 Unofficial Update by BassAceGold

This review supplement was written for GBAtemp.net ONLY. The article is the property of Another World & GBAtemp.net. Most images are the property of Another World, 1 image was borrowed from Team SuperCard and used without permission.

Special thanks to Rydian for cheat code help.
Thanks to SixtySixHundred for cheat testing.
Thanks to Vato for additional testing and help.
Thanks to The Greatful Dead for providing the theme music of this project!

If you see this review supplement on any other site please let Another World know by PM.
 
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