Appearance. Back in the day, many people didn't care for their gadgets appearance as long as it worked great. But in this day and age where people carry around iPods and PSPs, many techies want their gadgets to work good while carrying a sexy image as well. People doing homebrew on their DS lite, who are also fashion-conscious, probably are sticking to slot-1 cards as using a Supercard or even the original GBA Movie Player makes the normally sexy DS lite look like its sticking its flashcard tongue out. As it seems, those are the target group that the G6 team have selected as those looking for an overall competent flashcard that sits flush in the DS lite which I will review today in the...
by: Maximum Hashi
Once again, I'm thankful that the guys at Kicktrading sent me this for review. Also note that you need a passcard in order to use DS roms with it.
Before talking about the G6 itself, I want to take a moment and talk about the really nice packaging that it comes in. The G6 comes in a regular box and inside is a small cylindrical tin case that holds all of the contents. The tin case is certainly a step up than most flashcard packaging I've seen. Here's what inside it:
- G6 Flash Lite
- U-Disk Burner
- 4 different colored cases (including 1 for playing it on a GBA or DS)
- Mini-CD containing G6 software
So overall, you'll get a fair amount of stuff for your buck (more on that later). A nice surprise was the extra colored cases so that you can match your G6 to whatever DS lite you have (including the import DS lites). Also there is a full sized GBA cart so that you can use it on a GBA or a DS. All it takes is a small Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the case and it just takes a quick transfer of the circuit board. Also, there is an included U-Disk burner for connecting the G6 to your PC as it doesn't use removable storage, it contains 4Gb (512MB) of built in memory (also, more on that later). One major gripe I had about it is that it is a little too bulky. This made it very hard for me to insert it into my PC's USB ports and I ended up having to buy a hub. It also doesn't include a USB extender so you better hope you have enough space or a hub.
When plugged in, the G6 acts as a regular removable flash drive. It already contains folders for all of the content, including GBA, NDS, EMU, etc. However, you can't just drag and drop all of your roms into it, you have to write the roms on it using the software contained on the Mini-CD. The software is a little large because it contains screenshots of thousands of GBA games. What this does is when you write your GBA roms on it, it will show a screenshot of it while you are in the menu. I personally found this to be a waste as it doesn't have screenshots of some of the games I have (including homebrew) and it makes the installation process a lot slower. I also prefer a regular list of roms rather than pics of then as it is faster to navigate. Some other gripes I had were that the write speeds were pretty slow (even for GBA roms) and you have to select the drive every time you start the software.
The overall build of the G6 is pretty nice. It is the exact same size as the normal DS lite filler cart and you can hardly tell the difference when plugged in. It also won't fall apart when changing cases. The U-Disk burner is also nicely built. The cartridge is secured nicely on it and doesn't move or jitter.
In terms of rom compatibility, the overall rate was pretty high. Every single GBA game I put on it worked flawlessly with no glitches or problems. Also, most homebrew apps (GBA or DS) that I threw at it worked nicely as well. In terms of DS rom compatibility, here are some of the games tested:
- Super Mario 64 DS (Worked Fine)
- Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (Worked Fine)
- Wario Ware Touched! (Worked Fine)
- Osu! Tatake! Ouendan (Worked Fine)
- Final Fantasy III (Worked Fine)
- Lunar Knights (Didn't Work)
So while most roms worked fine, one of them didn't even boot up and just gave me a blank screen. Also, cutscenes and cinematics work perfectly in the games that have them.
In the extras department, there were some hits and misses. Some useless things were the PDA functionality (which was all in Chinese and has a glitchy keyboard) and the media player (which is nowhere near as good as Moonshell). I bet you've noticed the EMU folder mentioned. This is where you put your classic roms as the G6 contains a built in emulator for NES, GB, GBC, SMS, GG, PCE as well as a few arcade games. One thing I hated was the fact that the box mentions SNES compatibility. This is a lie as there was no way to get SNES roms to work with it.
The last thing I have to mention is the built in memory. Some people like it and some don't. I fit in with the latter. 512MB seems large at first but when loading roms on it, but it goes away quickly. The memory is also not removable so you have to delete games once the space builds up. And while you can trim the roms, this makes loading times go from 3-7 seconds to 20+ seconds! (and this is for GBA games!). So if you have a large rom collection, you might not like the G6.
Overall, while this may be an alright flashcard, it just has too many problems to make it recommendable to anyone who doesn't care about their flashcard sticking out of their DS lite. While it may be your only choice for the target group who wants to play GBA games, if you want to play DS games, you're better off sticking with a slot-1 card instead.
- Build: 5.0 - Nice and strong; exact same size as DS lite filler cart.
- Ease of Use: 4.0 - Those used to drag and drop will find writing a drag.
- Value: 3.5 - At $90 (sans passcard) it may be too expensive for the casual gamer.
- Compatibility: 4.5 - Full GBA support; pretty nice DS support too.
- Final Score: 3.5
Want to pick up a G6 lite? Head over here!
If you have any questions or want to comment about the review, then e-mail me at maximumhashi [at] hotmail [dot ] com.