Supercard DSTwo REVIEW

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by Ryukouki, Jun 30, 2010.

Jun 30, 2010

Supercard DSTwo REVIEW by Ryukouki at 11:48 PM (3,525 Views / 0 Likes) 6 replies

  1. Ryukouki
    OP

    Member Ryukouki See you later, guys.

    Joined:
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    [​IMG]
    At long last, I can release my Supercard DSTwo review. This sample was sent to me courtesy of the GameKool team, many thanks to them for supplying me with such an amazing flash cart. Another thank you goes out to PharaohsVizier for negotiating with GameKool.
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    Materials Used for the Review
    Nintendo DS Lite
    Nintendo DSi with 1.4U firmware
    Supercard DSTwo cartridge
    Freshly formatted 8GB Transcend Micro SDHC memory card

    What's Inside the Box?
    When you get the Supercard DSTwo, you notice how professional it looks. It has a sleek, high-tech sort of look. Turn to the back and you see pictures of the interface and cartridge features. The cartridge comes in a velvet tray with a mini instruction manual and Micro SD reader. The manual is in Chinese and English, so don't panic if you feared only Chinese, though it only describes very basic things like uploading firmware or changing hotkey. This information can easily be found on the Supercard website. The SD reader is cheap and durable and serves its purpose.
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    Box contents look nice, not too much but not too little either.
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    Nice organization of items into a velvet tray.
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    World's handiest standard MicroSD reader.

    Official Features of the Supercard DSTwo
    -Real Time Functions: Real Time Save, Real Time Game Guide(.txt, .bmp, .jpg) and Real Time Cheat
    -Multi Save (4 slots)
    -Unlimited Micro SD storage space support, with SDHC support up to 32 GB.
    -Multi-language support
    -Built in GBA/SNES Emulator
    -Action Slow Motion (4 levels)
    -File Management System (Copy, Paste, Cut, and Delete)
    -eBook reader

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    Just look at that box and you'll see everything you need.
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    Since when does an instruction booklet kill anyone? And double language, no less!

    Getting Set Up With the Supercard DSTwo
    To get set up, go to the Supercard website. Go to their download section, click on the DSTwo option. There will be a firmware page. The download as of right now should be around 40.88MB. Download and extract with WinRAR or another program. The resulting folders will need to be copied to the root of the Micro SD. Put your SD card in and play!


    Introduction
    The Supercard DSTwo is the successor to the Supercard DSonei. The Supercard DSTwo flash cart is the second cart in existence to have a more powerful CPU built into the cartridge. This powerful CPU allows the Supercard DSTwo to perform once unthinkable actions, such as the built-in Game Boy Advance (GBA) emulator, AVI and DivX video playback, and a very powerful Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) Emulator. This cart was released to the public on May 18, 2010, after about a year of development and hype in the video gaming community.
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    Proof that the cart can bypass DSi firmware 1.4X

    First Impressions
    This cart was announced about one year ago, and released for a little bit over a month (from when I am writing this). The cartridge was advertised everywhere with pictures of a smooth, sleek, and shiny interface. It was really something else to actually experience it for myself. The interface was really well done, with a lot of nice colors. It was very responsive, and it had lots of handy features for an advanced user like me. I will be covering these features later in great detail, don't you worry. The GBA emulator was something else altogether. I was able to successfully play many classic games like Pokemon, Super Mario Advanced 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, and classic Legend of Zelda titles. It was a really nostalgic moment to be able to play those games again without a slot-2 cartridge or a GBA. Once again, I will be digging into these features at a later time.
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    Top screen looks really good, displaying all the proper information.
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    All of the essential functions are organized into neat menus.
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    Displaying different file types; in this case, it's NDS and SAV files.
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    Another perfect interface theme. Silver and pink make a nice touch.

    The Supercard DSTwo Build Quality
    Quite possibly the Supercard DSTwo's build quality is one of its most controversial points. The reason for this is because of the way the cartridge was designed. After reading many reports about how DSTwos fell apart after coming out of the box or by other means, I can conclude that I just got lucky, because my DSTwo is sturdier than a rock. However, a careful fingernail can pry the cartridge apart, something I refuse to do. The team also put a random screw on the right corner of the cart. How odd. The DStwo fits awkwardly in the NDS slot on the Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DS Lite series. On a Nintendo DSi, it seems like it needs to be forced in with a little more vigor than normal. On a DS Lite, to pull the cartridge out, you need to push down a little bit harder on the left side of the cartridge (opposite to the Micro SD slot) to pull it out. After a bit of use, however, it becomes fairly easy to pull in and out.
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    Why they placed a screw on the right corner is beyond me, sorry guys.
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    The cart is very reflective, but it doesn't look cheap like the Acekard.

    Another thing to notice was the Micro SD slot. When I first started to use the Supercard DSTwo, I knew that since it was new it would be a little hard at first, not to mention that I had a freshly formatted brand new Transcend 8GB Class 6 memory card. When I stuck my SD card in for the very first time, I heard a rough crunching and scraping noise. It worried me that the spring was going to break. And again, it gets better as you use it more often. Yes, note that the micro SD slot is SPRING LOADED.

    The User Interface of the Supercard DSTwo
    Now THIS is where the Supercard DSTwo truly excels. It earns some renown for its beautiful user interface. If the Supercard team perfected one thing, it was the user interface hands down. In the pictures below, you will see nothing but crisp and clean interface. Every time I get a new flash cart, the interface is something that always blows me away. Moving from the simple interface of the R4 to the EZ Flash V Plus to the Acekard was a sudden jump already. This cart blows away the Acekard interface all the way. It looks really clean and organized. All necessary items are organized into sections. The Copy/Paste/Delete functions are all placed in a handy section called "File Operation" when the the user presses the start button on the NDS Game menu. There is a help section that displays the button information as well as firmware version. This review used the 1.02 version of the Supercard DSTwo firmware. The overall language can be changed, as well as the skin. System settings can change display features (listing files in a list or as icons), brightness (DS Lite users only), change the hotkey (to access the DSTwo in-game menu) and what files are shown.
    [​IMG]
    I'll take this over the DSi menu any day of the week.

    Another noteable feature was the glossy mode selection screen. The mode selection screen, with its quirky slogan of "It's Time To Go Beyond DS" dominates the top screen with a fiery flaming frame (Hey it rhymes! :D) The bottom screen looks similar to the Nintendo DSi Start Menu, with the scroll bar on the very bottom, and icons. In this case, the icons are DS_GAME (which can be changed with a hex editor that I will discuss later), GBA Emulator, Moonshell, and whatever plugins you feel like having on your Supercard DSTwo. I will discuss the plugins later.
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    Let's go beyond the DS guys!

    The NDS Game Compatibility of the Supercard DSTwo
    There isn't too much to say here. Nowadays, game compatibility is great. All of the games that I tested ran successfully without problems, including popular games such as Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. This cartridge features a new anti-piracy patch system that can bypass any current anti-piracy system. This means no more ROM patching! It's great as far as I can tell. All of my clean roms that were supposed to have AP patches run perfectly fine.

    DS Games Not Working on Supercard DSTwo
    Metroid Prime Hunters (Faulty ROM?)
    Game and Watch Collection?
    RUMOR- Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver (jalaneme)
    RUMOR- Kirby Canvas Curse (jalaneme)

    The GBA Emulator of the Supercard DSTwo
    This is, in my opinion, the main fruit of the Supercard DSTwo. As of right now, not many flash carts can run a full fledged GBA emulator. The only one that can is the iPlayer media cart. Only thing is, it cannot play DS backups! :( The DSTwo GBA emulator was originally created for the iPlayer by DarkChen. I remember everyone being dubious about it coming to fruition but he pulled it off with aplomb. Kudos to DarkChen, because I wouldn't be enjoying my GBA games if it weren't for him!

    Now, onto the actual reviewing part. When you select the GBA Emulator option on the DSTwo start menu, you are greeted with a NDS GBA emulator splash screen. Looks good so far. But it gets better. What you get when it loads are nine options. Those options are Video/Audio, Save State, Cheats, Tools, Others, Exit, New, Restart, and Return. Video and Audio change various game options such as fast-forward and frame skip. Save States allow the use of Real Time Save to save from wherever you want. Cheats are, well, cheats. A user name Matt1140 created an application to create cheats using Action Replay codes. I will provide a link later on. Tools allows you to take screen snapshots, change buttons, and rewind the game. Others allows you to change CPU frequency and language. Exit takes you to the DSTwo Start Menu. New allows you to select a game, Restart is obvious, and Return closes the menu.

    GBA Compatibility for the Supercard DSTwo
    GBA compatibility is great on this thing! Many of my favorite games work without any problems. The release of Supercard EOS 1.02 and GBA emulator 1.21 brought about many changes. Pokémon games began to have Real Time Clock support! Put simply, Real Time Clock allows the time to keep moving. There will no longer be dry battery errors. Another noteworthy file to use is the game_config.txt which increases compatibility tenfold. Many thanks to raing3 for compiling the information from gPSP Kai by eXophase. The game_config.txt file goes into the NDSGBA folder.The games I tested are below:

    -Pokémon Fire Red, Leaf Green, Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald
    -Super Mario Bros. 1-4 (Advance 4 running from game_config.txt)
    -Metroids Fusion and Zero Mission
    -Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
    -Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
    -Fire Emblem Sealed Sword, Fire Emblem 7, and Fire Emblem Sacred Stones
    -Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
    -Final Fantasy IV
    -Final Fantasy V
    -Final Fantasy VI
    -Castlevania Aria of Sorrow
    -Castlevania Harmony of Dissonance
    -Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories
    -...and many more games...
    If you require further testing please do not hesitate to ask me. I tested around 100 games and yours may be on my list that I did not mention above.
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    Yay for a cool splash screen!
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    Even the menu for an EMULATOR looks cool!

    The SNES Emulator of the Supercard DSTwo
    WILL BE AMENDED WHEN RELEASED

    The Movie Player of the Supercard DSTwo
    WILL BE AMENDED WHEN RELEASED

    The eBook Reader of the Supercard DSTwo
    The eBook reader of the Supercard DSTwo is called the iReader. Released in early summer of 2010, this feature of the Supercard DStwo allows users to read .PDF, .TXT, .JPG, and many more file types. Basically, it's a handy little application that beats rushing to the computer to figure out the next step of games like Phoenix Wright. With iReader, you can keep FAQ files from sites like GameFAQs on your Micro SD cartridge.

    The only problem I have with it is the dismal loading times needed to run .PDF files. .PDF files tend to take 5-6 minutes to load a 49 MB file. In this case, the file in question was a walkthrough guide for Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver. Maybe since it was so full of pictures, it just loaded for a long time. I got kinda bored of it, so I just got a .TXT of it and it worked the same way. :) Definitely like it though, I can relive some of my vacation moments on my DS! :)

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    Plugin menu icon.

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    Menu interface similar to Moonshell 2?

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    Boktai 2 .TXT file for the win!

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    Displays the stuff I need, and more!


    Special Features of the Supercard DSTwo
    The Supercard DSTwo packs quite a punch with special features. It contains the necessary gimmicks such as File Operations and homebrew playback. I didn't really get into the in-game menu nor the Real Time features. I plan to remedy that right now.

    Well, the real time features are certainly an improvement from what I am used to. The real time features include Real Time Save, Real Time Cheat, and Real Time Guide. The Real Time Cheat allows you to access available cheats on the fly, without having to switch back into the menu. It’s handy and convenient and saves time. The Real Time Save feature is one of the better ones for me. Ever have one of those stupidly insane legendary Pokemon that you really weakened to the perfect amount but don’t want to have to redo it? Rejoice! With RTS, you can easily one of four saves and relive that moment whenever you please. It’s great. It saves very quickly and was recently updated to support 3D games. The Real Time Guide is a wonder in itself. Have that part in Phoenix Wright that you can’t solve? Need that guide? RTG allows you to do that ON THE GO! No computer required! It shows high quality guides and pictures, so it can save you a lot of money on those overpriced game guides. With the ability to display .BMP images, it’s a steal. Oh yes, before I forget about Hotkeys. Hotkeys allow you to access your needed features with the pressing of a few buttons. Just be sure to memorize it.The in-game menu gives access to most of these features. It's a ton of fun to use. It's a lot faster and sleeker than those of the M3 or EZ Flash.

    Plugins are icons that lead to specific homebrew. The icons are activated on the DSTwo start menu. There are a ton of plugins, most of which are found in my Links section. More icons are needed to make proper use of the plugin system. (Thanks CannonFoddr)

    Free cheat is a unique little feature that lets users make cheats on the go. It's handy when a game has no cheats or has no cheats released yet. Rather than try to explain it, I'll show you a video. It's a video PharaohsVizier made a while back for his first impressions but it'll do just fine.
    [youtube]Vpnwxb5InzU[/youtube]
    This video was created by PharaohsVizier and I take no credit for it in any way.

    Skinning is pretty nice on the DSTwo. With the release of SkinUpDS2 for the Supercard DSTwo, you can update you r emulators/firmwares/skins by connecting to WiFi and download the updates. It's really convenient when you're lazy and don't want to go to your computer.
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    Well, if you can see it on the far left, its DS2Tools, a custom plugin to download skins and updates.


    Conclusion
    That pretty much sums up all there is to know of the Supercard DSTwo. I had a lot of fun reviewing this amazing flash cart. I want to send a big thank you to PharaohsVizier and Gamekool for providing me with the sample, and to the amazing people who devised programs and tools to make the Supercard DSTwo as good as it is.

    My personal note is that this cartridge taught me a very valuable lesson about patience. People were bickering at the Supercard Team to release a product. When it was released it did not meet their demands and the communities raged at the Supercard Team. They were so hyped that the Supercard team RELEASED IT TO PLEASE the crowd, only to be criticized. People really need to be patient. If they want a quality product don't rush it.

    Pros and Cons of the Supercard DSTwo
    Pros
    -Sleek and shiny interface
    -GBA/SNES emulator
    -Improved Real Time features
    -eBook reader
    -Video playback of common file types

    Cons
    -Awkward cartridge build
    -Overly hyped cart gives bare-bones features on first release

    Credits
    -Gamekool
    -PharaohsVizier
    -The Supercard Team
    -The GBATemp community
    -raing3 (game_config.txt)
    -shaunj66 and Costello (Free Cheat video)
    -Matt140 (GBA Cheat Creator)
    -DeltaBurnt
    -CannonFoddr
    -and many more that I can't remember off the top of my head...

    Final Score

    Build Quality 18/20
    User Interface 20/20
    Special Features 20/20
    Game Compatibility 20/20
    Other Gimmick 20/20

    TOTAL SCORE 98/100

    Links
    Latest firmware: SCDS2 Firmware Section
    GBAtemp.net
    Supercard website
    Gamekool (Our sponsor!)
    DS2 SkinUp and Files
    GBA Emulator Plugin 1.21
    How to make Game Guides for Supercard DSTwo
    Matt140's GBA Cheat Maker
    SCDS2 Plugins
    DSTwo skins
    DeltaBurnt's DSTwo FAQ

    And once again, thank you to GameKool and PharaohsVizier for helping by providing this review sample. Until next time!
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  2. Ryukouki
    OP

    Member Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    I just realized I spent 4 hours today on it. ;D
     
  3. viz

    Member viz neckbeard

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    nice review, well written
     
  4. Ryukouki
    OP

    Member Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Thank you. I'll update it as more info is released.
     
  5. Raynar

    Member Raynar GBAtemp Regular

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    Very nice review. Can't wait to get it for my DSi
     
  6. Ryukouki
    OP

    Member Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Many thanks pal. Really. This review has been a huge success so far. [​IMG]
     
  7. Ryukouki
    OP

    Member Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Updated with the iReader information.
     

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