The M3 lite is another DS lite filler-cart shaped flashcard from the guys at M3, the same people behind the G6 lite. Naturally, since they are both from the same company, they are almost identical in terms of shape, features and functionality. Except for one thing, and that is that the M3 lite uses removable micro-sd cards. But as one problem is alleviated, another takes its place. Is the M3 lite better? Find out in...
by: Maximum Hashi
As always, I am very grateful to the services of Kicktrading for sending me the review copy.
Note: This review will point out a lot of comparisons between the M3 lite and the G6 as they are both, essentially, the same product.
Before we get into any details, lets first start off the review with an insight on the contents:
- M3 lite flashcard
- 5 separate multi-colored shells (including one for GBA functionality)
- Mini-CD (containing M3 Game Manager v.3.1, not shown)
Packaging-wise, the M3 lite's contents are practically the same as the G6. Although the M3 lite is missing the cool, aluminum case that the G6 had; instead opting for a standard box. Of course, using removable storage, the M3 lite wouldn't need a U-disk burner. However, there is no micro-sd card reader so you won't be able to use the M3 right out of the box if you don't have a card reader.
The M3 lite uses micro-sd cards for storage, essentially removing the biggest issue I had with the G6. The M3 doesn't support drag and drop functionality, instead relying on the included software. The mini-CD contains the writing software. The writing process was pretty easy and the installation time was greatly reduced thanks to the fact that it doesn't contain thousands of game photos, a feature that the G6 had. One thing to note was that the write times were a little slower than the G6, especially for DS roms. Also, there is no rom trimming option so you will have to find an alternative.
In terms of build, its pretty much what you would expect. It fits perfectly inside the DS lite's 2nd slot. One particular thing to mention is that the M3 plugs in more smoothly and with a more mushy feel which feels very good.
On the software front, the M3 has about the same features as the G6. Including the built-in media player and the utterly useless PDA functions. One area where the M3 lite really lacks in is the presentation. The menus are pretty basic things with icons for each of the different choices; but none of the menus feature touch-screen support, even in DS mode! Also, the top screen isn't used at all. No logo or additional information was added. Another thing to note is that the font style used was a little too small for my liking and that GBA roms are shown when the M3 is in DS mode so you must navigate through all of your GBA roms to look for a DS game. On a brighter note, load times were pretty small for DS games. Surprisingly enough, GBA load times were longer as the save file is loaded before the game.
Some of the roms tested include:DS:
- Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (Works Great)
- Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (Works Great)
- Osu! Tatake! Ouendan (Works Great)
- Konami Arcade Collection (J) (Didn't Work)
- Mario Kart DS (Worked Great)
- Kirby Squeak Squad (Worked Great)
- Fire Emblem (Worked Great)
- Mario & Luigi: SuperStar Saga (Didn't Work)
- Super Monkey Ball Jr. (Didn't Work)
- Mario Kart Super Circuit (Worked Great)
- Super Street Fighter II: Turbo Revival (Worked Great)
*Side Note - All of the roms used for any review go through many different flashcards to ensure that it is not a bad rom.
DS compatibility is pretty good, save for the occasional, non-working rom. Each rom played perfectly and went without a hitch. Save times are also pretty good. Now, I bet you're wondering why GBA roms were included. Most of the time, GBA roms on flashcards work without a hitch; but in the case of the M3, some roms ceased to work. While the games worked on the G6, they failed to work on the M3.
There isn't many extras included in the M3. Most of them are exactly the same as the G6 like the built-in emulators. They are both the same right down to the misleading SNES compatibility. As for other features, there is a media player (which is very ugly, presentation wise) and the PDA function (which is still disgustingly useless).
All in all, the M3 lite is an alright flashcard, but you would be better off sticking with the G6. The M3 has some nice features, like removable storage, but lacks big-time in the presentation department and doesn't have as good a rom-compatibility as the G6. However, those who don't mind this and are looking for a slot-2 flashcard to plug their micro-sd cards into will not be disappointed.Ratings:
- Build - 5.0: Nice and sturdy like the regular filler cart.
- Ease of Use - 3.5: Simpler writing, but also slower.
- Value - 3.5: Only a little cheaper than the G6 at $80 USD.
- Compatibility - 3.5: Some DS and GBA roms failed to work.
- Final Score - 3.0
Would you like an M3-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.