Earlier before, I reviewed the M3 Simply. It was a revolutionary slot-1 card that was the very definition of simplicity in terms of flashcards. But can it get any simpler? Well the guys at DS-X think so and have released a flashcard that easily beats the M3 in terms of ease of use. Now with that being said, the burning question is: does that essentially make it a better product? Today, I intend to delve into that question and many more in this installment of:
by: Maximum Hashi
As always, I am very grateful to the services of Kicktrading for sending me the review copy.
First, as always, I will talk about the packaging; or lack of. I say that because there are literally no extras; just the essentials. While it may be easy to start using the DS-X, there isn't anything else included. No manuals, no CDs, no rom trimmers or extra cases. With that out of the way, lets see what's in the box:
- DS-Xtreme 4Gb slot-1 card
- USB cable
I bet you're wondering why there is a USB cable in the first place. Well, one of the main selling points of the DS-X is the fact that it has a built in mini-USB port. So instead of normally fiddling around with memory cards and card readers, you just simply plug it into your computer and just drag and drop whatever you like. When plugged into a computer, the DS-X acts the same as any removable storage device. Preloaded are three folders: apps, music and skin. Apps is where you store anything that ends in .nds, music is where you add your mp3s, and I don't really need to explain skin. Also included is an XML document containing the DS-X's settings.
The DS-X's menu has a nice, slick interface with some nice menu graphics and touch screen support. There are buttons for Apps, Music, Settings and About. There are nice little touches like the fadeaway animation that plays as you start a game. The only bad part about it is that it hangs for about 2 seconds as you switch menu options. This delay can get quite annoying at times.
Game support is, as expected from a slot-1 card, awesome. Every rom tested worked great. Homebrew support, however, isn't that good as most apps didn't work well; but the ones that did worked great. Online play worked great. Download play, not so much. And as expected, GBA roms don't work. One thing to note is that save times were a little longer than other slot-1 cards. Here's a short list of what was tested:
- Phoenix Wright: Justice for All (Worked fine, screen glitches up during saving)
- Sonic Rush (Worked Fine)
- Star Fox Command (Worked Fine)
- Tetris DS (Worked Fine)
- Super Princess Peach (Worked Fine)
- Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja (Worked Fine)
The DS-X's mp3 capabilities were a little better than average, since you can do many things like make playlists or play songs by album or genre, but it is nowhere near the quality of Moonshell.
Now, one rather obscure feature for a flashcard is to have built in LEDs, am I right? I bet you're wondering why I'm saying this. The reason is that the DS-X has built in LEDs. These are customizable in terms of red, green and blue inputs and can even flash with the music you are listening to. These are ridiculous and will wow you for 5 minutes until you realize how useless they are. Gimmicks are a big turn-off for me and that's exactly what this is; a gimmick.
So, after reading this, would you want a DS-X? If you answered yes, then this info will be a huge shocker as there are two big flaws of the DS-X: the price, and the space available. The DS-X only contains 512MB of non-removable storage. As you probably already know, I really hate built in storage, especially when it is so small. This may be fine for the casual gamer but to the hardcore gamer (which I'm sure is anyone reading this), 512MB just wont cut it. Also, the price is about $130 USD. That is way too much for only 512MB of storage as you could buy a slot-1 card with removable storage AND a 1GB card for the same price, or even less.
In conclusion, while this may be an alright flashcard, the price is just too high for such little space. Game compatibility is great and it is very easy to use but there are just too many flashcards out there that do the same thing for a fraction of the cost and, most of the time, with more space to boot.Ratings:
- Build - 3.0: Flashcard doesn't fit perfectly into the DS.
- Ease of Use - 5.0: Dragging and dropping doesn't get any easier than this.
- Value - 2.0: $130 US is way too steep for what is being offered for it.
- Compatibility - 3.5: No GBA support. Not all homebrew supported. DS roms went perfectly.
- Overall - 3.0
Would you like a DS-Xtreme? 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.