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 The EverDrive Collection: Flash cartridges for retro systems!

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muckie
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PostSubject: The EverDrive Collection: Flash cartridges for retro systems!   Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:39 am

LINK:
http://shop.krikzz.com/

I have been a longtime member of Sega-16's forums, and one of our fellow scenesters from the Ukraine named Krikzz has been producing quality products called EverDrives. These are basically flashable cartridges for ROMs to run on actual hardware. I got one for the Genesis/MegaDrive and it is truly amazing. He covers everything and the kitchen sink. My EverDriveMD allows me to play not only Genesis games from all regions, but also Master System games (only compatible with the first and second models of Genesis) and even 32X games! The cartridges support microSD cards up to 32GB (more than you will ever need for a complete, unzipped set of all documented ROMs) and the Sega one in question even has a tiny button to act as a pause button for Master System mode (since the original was mapped to the console and not on the controller). It can bypass 99% of region locks using the MegaKey, can use Game Genie/Action Replay codes, and even backup Save data into a seperate folder on your SD card, so if the battery dies, it'll be safe. Speaking of battery, you may remember that many RPGs of the past on cartridge format relied on lithium batteries to retain save data. Traditionally to replace a dead battery, it required opening up the cartridge shell and soldering a new one to the little metal prong, however this could be dangerous. Krikzz has remedied this by using a little holder to let you pop the battery in and out when it needs replacing. Most of the options are available from a built-in OS for the system cartridge, from which the roms are loaded via a menu.

There are some limitations, however. Some games, like Virtua Racing on Genesis or StarFox on Super NES, used special 3D chips that are not implemented in the EverDrive. Thus, these games are not playable. However, most of the games in these libraries did not use external hardware and thus 99% of games are playable. Super Nintendo being the bigger culprit of this than Genesis, there is, at the very least, the option of adding support for the DSP chip set for an extra $20, and is highly recommended (Super Mario Kart used this). However, this still does not cover SuperFX games such as StarFox.

Most games come with the circuit board only, but the option to get a plastic shell is available for some systems such as the two mentioned for an extra $9. I recommend ignoring the option for USB support (this is really only ideal for people programming their own accessories or apps to use it) and settling for the cheaper alternatives when possible. For example, Mega Everdrive has a few more options over the cheaper EverDrive MD but I went for the latter because it still does everything I want it to for a good price, never saw the need for the more expensive alternative unless you're running one of those funky high-end rom hacks being done these days. This is the same case with SD2SNES vs. Super Everdrive.

The shells are designed to be compatible with all region systems without modification. Also, there may be some limitations to some of the devices not mentioned here. If you have any questions, let me know.

PS: I just wanted to add that it does seem that the more expensive versions allow savestates like emulators and easier access to the menu in-game instead of having the get up and press reset, as well as faster loading, so keep this in mind.
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Stender
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PostSubject: Re: The EverDrive Collection: Flash cartridges for retro systems!   Sat Sep 05, 2015 12:37 pm

Cool. I modded my snes to play pal games years ago because there were no one making these reproductions really back then. My main interest was the UK version of terranigma. Since then though I have managed to pick up some snes repro carts, mainly rpgs. The one i'm most fired up on though is Mother 3 repro for GBA. Cant wait to pop that thing in soon.
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SideShowDisaSter
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PostSubject: Re: The EverDrive Collection: Flash cartridges for retro systems!   Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:29 am

That's cool info matey, I'll have to check it out further.

It's ironic ready this, as I was just looking into those "Retron" systems that are supposed to be able to play NES and SNES games.

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muckie
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PostSubject: Re: The EverDrive Collection: Flash cartridges for retro systems!   Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:03 pm

A warning about the Retrons: Retron systems run under emulation with varying degrees of accuracy and often have a high defect rate. The most recent, the Retron 5 which plays like 6 or 7 different systems at once, is under fire for illegally using emulator code without permission from the authors and profiting from it. They're a chinese company that is used to having lax copyright laws so they'll take what they want regardless. The Retron 5 has many advantages like high definition, an in-game menu with savestates and so forth, etc, etc. but the original systems give you accuracy. The only drawback is that they don't look too good on modern high def TVs without upscalers like the Framemeister which can be expensive. This is why a lot of retro gamers prefer to keep a CRT TV around.
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SideShowDisaSter
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PostSubject: Re: The EverDrive Collection: Flash cartridges for retro systems!   Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:57 pm

Yah, I've read up about the accuracy issues with the Retron consoles. I'm not too fussed about some of the knocks I've read (sound being slightly behind the display, etc). I really just want to be able to play some old NES and SNES games (maybe some day get around to some of the SEGA games like Phantasy Star).

I'd like to get the original systems, but here is Australia they can be pricey as (to get one that actually works properly, I mean). CRT TVs are cheap as chips, so that wouldn't be a problem. I've had this massive bout of nostalgia going for a few years now, and I'd like to jam Legend of Zelda and shit like that again.

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ShadowAngel
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PostSubject: Re: The EverDrive Collection: Flash cartridges for retro systems!   Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:06 am

muckie wrote:
This is why a lot of retro gamers prefer to keep a CRT TV around.

There are more reasons as to use old consoles with CRT TV: Light Guns don't work on HDTV's (and not even 100 Hz CRT) and other peripherals like the 3D Glasses for the Master System don't work either.
It also just looks wrong and bad. Even PS2 Games look bad on HDTV compared to CRT with RGB Scart.

SideShowDisaSter wrote:
Yah, I've read up about the accuracy issues with the Retron consoles.  I'm not too fussed about some of the knocks I've read (sound being slightly behind the display, etc).  I really just want to be able to play some old NES and SNES games (maybe some day get around to some of the SEGA games like Phantasy Star).

I would suggest you buy a WiiU and use the Virtual Console, it's a bit limited (only Nintendo Consoles at the moment) but emulation is a lot better working than on those chinese emulation consoles.

Or otherwise just get some Emulators for the PC, it still the easiest and best solution if you don't care about the feel of the gamepad or thinking that putting a cartridge into your console is an awesome thing to do.
A very good multi-console emulator is Mednafen for example.
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muckie
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PostSubject: Re: The EverDrive Collection: Flash cartridges for retro systems!   Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:14 am

Thing is, even the most accurate emulators have a half-second input delay, as we're still some time away from emulating this aspect with complete speed and accuracy. So if you're getting bummed on the special stage of Sonic 3 or some other game that requires precise timing contrary to how you may remember playing it console-wise, this is the cause of the problem.
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