Author Topic: NDS, R4 cards and addiction...  (Read 6540 times)

Trevor Belomont

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NDS, R4 cards and addiction...
« on: July 26, 2012, 05:02:37 am »
I have a confession to make, and i've got a smoke ready to burn for the firing squad that i'm sure is to begin whittling away at me for saying this, but here it goes...

I have been dabbling pretty fiercely in DS R4 card modification (for DS Lite/DSi and 3DS), and i really have to say that i have become spoiled by the quality and control interface of nintendo's handheld systems as well as the improved user friendliness of these devices and the best emulators for them.

I have been a long time fan of the Dingoo family, and always will be. Actually i collect handhelds and have damn near every one of them except the PSP family, wich i had one at a time in the past, but for particular reasons (i'd rather not go into now) i had lost ownership of...

I guess what i'm trying to get across is that after sinking into this new aspect of gaming experience, it's hard to want to pick up the Dingoos now, unless there are particular games or functions that the A320 can do that the R4 carded DSi can't, like listen to the radio... 

I have to say, i WANT to want to feel like picking up my dingoos to play games, but they just feel so, "cheap" now, in comparison.

I know the Dingoo A320 can do more now than any of those flash cards will probably ever do, and the emulation may never be up to that par, but like i said, it's hard to go back...

As a note, i have the following videogame systems and functions running smoothly on my R4 cards at this point:

Games:
- DS
- NES
- SNES
- GB/GBC
- Atari 800/7800/5200/2600
- Sega: Master System, Genesis, Game Gear/SG-1000
- Colecovision
- Commodore 64
- ZX-Spectrum
- Turbografx-16

Functions:
- MP3 (Audio)
- Ebook (Txt)
- AVI/DPG (Video)
- Synthesizer/Drum machine
- Drawing/notepad
- PDF Reader
- Voice sampler/keyboard

I wonder if there will ever be a time when open-sourced handhelds will be on par, hardware build quality-wise, with the leading, top videogame company's handhelds, such as the NDS systems or Sony's PSP...
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 12:04:14 pm by Turkish »

Reesy

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Re: Spoiled by R4 cards and NDS...
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2012, 09:04:37 am »
The build quality of my Caanoo is as good as the DS or PSP.

SNESFAN

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Re: Spoiled by R4 cards and NDS...
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2012, 10:44:38 am »
I have a dsi and several carts, acekard & dstwo and neither of them play snes at even acceptable levels... not to mention clunky interffaces and weird layer settings... as far as emulation is concerned i cant take the ds seriously for anything more than gba and 8 bit or older systems

The one advantage it has and the reason i havent tossed it in the closet is its the only handheld that can use nds roms at a even remotely good level (because it is one)

Trevor Belomont

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Re: Spoiled by R4 cards and NDS...
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2012, 11:32:20 am »
The newer R4-SDHC-3DS cards run a decent emulator, maybe the one you have, maybe not (SNEmulDS (may 2007) and 000SNEmulDS (nov. 2007)), but it runs very good on select snes roms. Maybe 30-40% of my roms either won't run or run crappy, but the ones that do, say, Earthbound, Super Metroid, Super Mario Allstars+Super Mario World, Chronotrigger, Castlevania IV, Castlevania Dracula X, Legend of Zelda: a link to the past, Alcahest (eng. transl.), Contra 3 and many others either work acceptably or surprisingly well. I think it's wonderful to be able to play any snes games at all on the DS's, particularly the DSi. For a mere $20 (shiping, handling and a new 8gb card). For the last 4 years or so i thought the DS systems were for little boys, girls and simpletons, but i wasn't aware of the quality game library, large variety of homebrew emulators/apps., as well as the quality of the handheld itself, wich should've been no surprise as Nintendo's handhelds have always been top notch, ever since the Gameboy was released. Lesson learned...

As far as quality of emulation, the other emulators that work well (at least better than the SNES ones) are the GB-GBC, Turborafx-16, NES (of course), Master System/Game Gear, amongst the ones that i've tested thoroughly...

I'd love to give the Canoo a try, i don't have many open-sourced handhelds, outside of the Dingoos, since there seem to be new ones popping up like bad acne...So many to sort through, but the more popular ones are definately on my list..
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 11:43:13 am by Turkish »

SNESFAN

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Re: Spoiled by R4 cards and NDS...
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2012, 11:56:37 am »
I am using those emulators, I agree some less intensive roms run fairly well, I would even say acceptable speed. So I should revise my statement, I am pretty anal when it comes to emulators... so acceptable to me is higher than most people's acceptable. As you said, compatibility and performance when dealing with cartridges with special chips FX chips for example are the reason why I didn't find it acceptable.

However we are comparing the ds to a caanoo/dingoo/psp in regards to console emulation right? In that respect the performance on the more intensive roms & consoles (particularly psx) on the NDS doesn't even come close to what those alternatives can do.

It is however a good device, and particularly for NDS games shouldn't be cast off. There is a tremendous catalog of very excellent games for that platform. It as a emulation device, is also a good substitute especially dealing with the systems with lower requirements.

Trevor Belomont

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Re: Spoiled by R4 cards and NDS...
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2012, 01:15:34 pm »
Very true and well said. Everyone has their own levels of acceptability on emulation, and the inability to play the FX chip games is saddening. The actual DS game library is what caught my attention. In particular, Metal Slug 7, all the usual suspects like the Marios, Metroids, Zeldas, Final Fantasys, Castlevanias, all the other good RPGs, all the quality exclusive titles and many more, were just too much to miss out on.

That aside, the ability to walk around with 100 (or more) of your favorite DS games in your back pocket is grand enough, to the point that everything else is just icing on the cake.
I like to think of my DS as a DS as well as a portable videogame museum that i can interact with.

It's just my new favorite toy.

Who knows what the next fun little gaming gadget that catches my attention will be...

I am hopelessly addicted to handheld videogame software modding.

If there is a Game-a-holics Anonymous group anywhere near me, then i NEED to be there.

Sometimes, i just stay up all night looking for new emus, apps or games, and i think it's killing me, in more ways than one.
I can't help it, it's just so damn interesting, addictive and...fun... :)
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 01:17:18 pm by Turkish »

SNESFAN

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Re: Spoiled by R4 cards and NDS...
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2012, 01:54:48 pm »
Who knows what the next fun little gaming gadget that catches my attention will be...

I am hopelessly addicted to handheld videogame software modding.

If there is a Game-a-holics Anonymous group anywhere near me, then i NEED to be there.

Sometimes, i just stay up all night looking for new emus, apps or games, and i think it's killing me, in more ways than one.
I can't help it, it's just so damn interesting, addictive and...fun... :)
After we nail down flawless SNES, PSX & N64 emulation, (4&5th genration consoles) I will personally sit back for a while while technology catches up to my needs. The next big goal I feel is when we can emulate NDS, PSP, PS2, Gamecube consoles (6th generation consoles) we are a bit off when it comes to performance of the host device, even with the very best mobile processors in top end devices we are still only on the cusp of being able to emulate those systems in a barely playable fashion on a handheld, and I think years away from full speed. If I had to take a stab at it, I would say give it 5 years maybe???  we will see full speed 6th gen emulation on handheld devices. (ARM v8 64bit processing possibly? maybe even later?)

I believe you are in that group right now... what do you think this place is? ;)
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 01:58:51 pm by SNESFAN »

lemmywinks

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Re: NDS, R4 cards and addiction...
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2012, 05:53:31 pm »
Pretty much the only consoles I play are DS/GBA and my JXD. Dingoo gets very little use and my PSP is now in a box in the spare room because it doesn't get played.

As you said the library available on the DS including GBA carts is of staggering quality. It really annoys me when people say DS is for kids, it has more quality games than any other handheld apart from possibly GBA. If DS could play GB/GBC it would be unbeatable!

Over here in the UK a DS Lite goes for about ?30-?40 second hand, total bargain.
Handhelds:
GPD Win, GPD XD 64gb, Pap KIII-Plus, RS-97, RS-90, New Bittboy, 3DS XL, DSi XL, GBA SP, GBBC Clone, Gameboy Pocket, PSP Go,
PC:
HP Envy M6, Acer 522, Dell Mini 9
Psion 5 & 5MX
Tons of other old laptops and tablets.....

Trevor Belomont

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Re: NDS, R4 cards and addiction...
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2012, 09:14:08 am »
Yes sir, i just feel that if Nintendo would market their handhelds a little better, word of how good thes things really are and the expansive libraries they offer wouldn't be such a mystery to so many gamers, including myself, at earlier times in the handheld's past...

But looking at the scene as a whole, there isn't a better time than now to jump on th bandwagon, especially with wonderful gadgets like flash cards to help hardcore gamers catch up on missed gems, in which there are so many...
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 11:10:50 am by Turkish »

Pollux

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Re: NDS, R4 cards and addiction...
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2012, 12:45:53 am »
I was a SEGA fan until Dreamcast.
Here in Portugal, way before playstation show up, the battle was between SEGA and NINTENDO and "Sonic people" always won.
Now Portugal is like a playstation idiotic cult but just because most of the parents weren't smart enought to make a research about other systems (some children call playstation to all system they see).
In my particular experience, I've crossed the enemy line about 5 years ago, when I bought a Wii (and I'm very happy with it). After that I bought a second hand Nintendo DS Lite and I tried those emulators Turkish said. However it wasn't good enough for me, as an old gamer who grew up with systems from Spectrum 48K.
Honestly playing SNES it wasn't good enought for me (tweaking games in order to play them is boring) and Genesis/Megadrive was a pain in the ass due to horizontal sync...
In my search for the "perfect" DS Lite emulator I found Dingoo and bought one.
I'm very happy with it and I can tell that I have 2 handhelds, DS Lite for all nintendo good games (not child games as some idiots say out there) and Dingoo for all the rest.
In my opinion the main advantage of having a Dingoo is that we own a small cheap multimedia player where we can play our old good games with pretty good ratings. For the other hand, the main disadvantage is due to it's limitations some things we cannot play and the screen is way too small (despite the backlight).
So after this long text I can tell you that I have two great machines, each one for each propose because I couldn't merge all functionalities in a single system.

Just a small curiosity: I still have one Tronika system (Helicopter Revenger) and it still works!

Articus

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Re: NDS, R4 cards and addiction...
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2012, 06:38:10 am »
I just started researching R4 cards, I want to get my nephews one. They are extremely affordable and I want the card to be easy to use (drag & drop, easy).  One for an 8yr old kid and one for 18yr old teen (2 separate units). 18yr old is attending college this fall and I want him to try out emulation on his DS lite.  There are many cards, whats the best one for a DS lite? 

Trevor Belomont

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Re: NDS, R4 cards and addiction...
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2012, 10:10:49 am »
I'm sure the more expensive R4 cards may be the "better buy", but if you're okay with not spending $50+, i'd recommend the following...

I have 3 different R4 cards, an "SDHC-3DS" (for all DS's), a "Revolution" (DS and DS Lite only), and a "Revolution: Unlimited upgradeable" (all DS's).

I like them because they're cheap, around $10 and are very easy to use, with simple, click and drag interface and subfolder customizability.

Once you have acquired one, all that is needed is to copy over the latest firmware onto a formatted Micro-SD card,  setup the folders the way you want them, I.E., "1 - DS games", "2 - Emulators", "3 - Apps", "4 - Music", "5 - Picture", "6 - Videos", "7 - Ebooks", "8 - Retro Videogames (load from folder 2)", etc...and then click and drag your multimedia files onto the main card memory.
You don't have to set the folders up like that, but that's how i do it just to make it easier for myself and anyone else to pick up use right away.

If you'd like, i can offer the sites to acquire the cards and the software data (they call it the latest "kernel"), and all the knowledge i've learned about them up to this point, wich could prove to be quite time saving for someone new to them.

At the end of the day though, if you're decent with downloading data files, extracting them, creating new sub folders, clicking and dragging files into them and following simple instructions on the emulator's "read me" files, then you will be right at home with these and shouldn't have any real problems interfacing them at all.

After that, it's time to turn on the unit and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Right now i think i have enough multimedia on one 8gb supported card to last me a lifetime, literally.
I actually can't help but feel a little overwhelmed sometimes.
So many great games, so little time... 3) 
« Last Edit: July 29, 2012, 10:18:47 am by Turkish »

Pollux

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Re: NDS, R4 cards and addiction...
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2012, 10:41:11 am »
I have one Happybox and still plays everything so my advice is to buy a cheap one, p.ex. R4i SDHC.
Before buying it search manufacturer website if they update kernels often.

Articus

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Re: NDS, R4 cards and addiction...
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2012, 05:30:20 pm »
Thank you, both!  I will research the ones you suggested and i will make a purchase soon.  Thank you!  :)

lemmywinks

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Re: NDS, R4 cards and addiction...
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2012, 08:38:05 pm »
As well as the latest firmware you might want to get YSMenu as well which is a .nds file and works as a seperate launcher of sorts. A lot of DS games have copy protection which YSMenu seems to bypass as well as being able to launch other emulated roms directly.

Before I discovered that I had to mess about with patches and non-working games, I've tried loads of .nds roms through YSMenu and every one has worked first time without any extra patching. That's just with the original R4DS card too which I've had since my first original style DS.



Just like to add, I do buy a lot of DS games and do mainly use the R4 to see if I like certain games - there's is a lot of shovelware on DS and the gems are often buried under the rubbish. Also you can run Quake from the R4 card so they're well worth buying, it runs really well too with ace fps controls.

http://quake.drunkencoders.com/index_q1.html
Handhelds:
GPD Win, GPD XD 64gb, Pap KIII-Plus, RS-97, RS-90, New Bittboy, 3DS XL, DSi XL, GBA SP, GBBC Clone, Gameboy Pocket, PSP Go,
PC:
HP Envy M6, Acer 522, Dell Mini 9
Psion 5 & 5MX
Tons of other old laptops and tablets.....

Trevor Belomont

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Re: NDS, R4 cards and addiction...
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2012, 11:30:11 pm »
Yes sir, but the newer R4 cards have built-in DLDI patching, so this isn't an issue anymore.

The only real worries using a new R4 card (particularly one that runs on all DS's) is not to update the firmware on their DS units, to ensure card usage, and that they don't/can't play GBA game roms.
(Their are a couple of other flashcard types that do, but i forget the names...)

I have 3 DS's (albeit not the original DS or DSi-XL), and it is really nice to share the usage of the R4 card between them all, at will.

The DS Lite is my beater, the one i have for heavy, random usage on the go, a brand new DSi i use for the really good, deep, immersive and involving games, when relaxing at home and the 3DS for all of that and to enjoy the new games that have recently been released. 

Just some versatility is what i like about this setup, and if one should ever be destroyed or become prone ro some kind of failure that i can't fix, then the gaming enjoyment can continue on another of my units...
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 10:30:00 am by Turkish »

 

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