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marurun
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Question about DS flash cart quality, price, availability

by marurun Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:18 pm

So, I have a DS. I don't play it much because I don't have much time, but also because I don't have but 2 games on it. There are a lot of great titles out there, and while prices haven't been shooting up out of control, finding copies of games locally is hard. I see mostly piles of kusoge (trash/licensed trash games). There are also some translations of Japanese games around that I'd like to try. This leads to the big question: what is the current availability of DS flash carts? Are there particular models that are great bang for the buck? Are there some I should avoid considering? Who are reputable sellers? Are they easy to work with (the sellers and/or the flash carts)? I would love a little advice in navigating this space.
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Re: Question about DS flash cart quality, price, availabilit

by nullPointer Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:49 pm

I just bought a DS flash cart this year (in May), and I've been pretty pleased with the results. After doing a fair bit of research, I got the model seen here for use with my new 3DS XL:
R4i GOLD 3DS RTS for New 3DS /3DS v11.6/2DS/DSi/DS Lite
I went through the vendor in the link (nds-card.com), and had a good experience with them. The website looks super sketchy if you start looking at the nuts & bolts of it (you'll notice for instance that their "VeriSign Trusted" icon is simply a ripped web image that doesn't link anywhere, lol). Their PayPal process was also a bit ... different (you send payment to a seemingly unconnected email, then send the actual guy an email with your payment and order number ... again it all sounds sketchy as hell, but I suppose the precaution is understandable given the nature of the product, and PayPal being, well PayPal. There are alternate payment options FWIW). In the end everything worked just fine, and again I really have no complaints. They came highly recommended via the GBATemp forums (that particular icon on the home page is in fact legit, lol). At any rate, they have the feel of family-run business. Good communication, etc. I opted for expedited shipping (DHL) and had it in my mailbox from China inside of 7 days. YMMV, of course, but I was pleasantly surprised all things considered, and I would do business with them again.
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Re: Question about DS flash cart quality, price, availabilit

by nullPointer Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:14 pm

One other quick addendum to this: if it wasn't clear before, what flash cart to get will depend on the model of your DS/3DS, and to some extent even the firmware version you're running. It's for this last reason that running a CFW can make things a bit more predictable so that a Nintendo update doesn't break your flash cart compatibility all of a sudden. Having said that, I would suspect that the DS firmware is pretty much set in stone at this point, as I wouldn't predict future updates there. The 3DS received a firmware update as recently as 09/2017. It's also worth noting that running a CFW introduces it's own set of complications (precautions regarding 'phoning home' to Nintendo and that sort of thing), but for the most part I feel it's a relatively straight forward process at this point (especially if you have any experience whatsoever with CFW on other game systems). Regarding all of this, the GBATemp forums really are a treasure trove of information.
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Re: Question about DS flash cart quality, price, availabilit

by Segata Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:25 pm

Isn't this just for pirating games? I don't like the idea of that.
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marurun
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Re: Question about DS flash cart quality, price, availabilit

by marurun Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:28 pm

Homebrews and translations, bro.
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Re: Question about DS flash cart quality, price, availabilit

by Sarge Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:36 pm

Yes indeedy. Plus, you can rip your own games and have them all on a single cart on the go. It's glorious. That's what I've done (well, I dumped some and downloaded the rest because ripping is so slow), so now I can just throw it in a bag and I've got anything I'd want to play on DS in my backlog.

Same deal with a hacked PSP; I rip my UMDs to a large memory card, and just play everything from there. Faster access, better battery life, and I still have physical copies. Win, win, and win. :)

At some point I'll bite on the 3DS scene, but only after the system is pretty much dead. I have no desire to lose my purchases or get banned or anything like that.
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Re: Question about DS flash cart quality, price, availabilit

by nullPointer Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:01 am

Just to reiterate what the other fellas have mentioned, I primarily use the flash cart for translations and/or games for which it would be impossible for me to play any other way. In this particular instance I only use the flash cart for DS games that meet the above criteria, and it's strictly for DS games since, among other things it's only compatible with DS games (I.e. no 3DS). I really do try to be conscientious about supporting publishers and developers in all cases that it's possible (which is most of the time for current titles). Not saying I've always been an angel in every single instance, but for the most part I try to do right by the games industry, lol.
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Re: Question about DS flash cart quality, price, availabilit

by Exhuminator Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:26 pm

If someone is only going to be playing turn-based JRPGs/SRPGs/Visual Novels/Adventure games, thus quick action buttons aren't necessary, it's worth considering emulators...

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... stic&hl=en
Windows: https://desmume.org/

But for legit DS hardware flashcards, this is what I recommend...

Flashcard: http://nds-card.com/ProShow.asp?ProID=141
Firmware: https://filetrip.net/nds-downloads/flas ... 32256.html
MicroSD: https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-MB-MS2GA ... B005TUQSUW
MicroSD reader: https://www.sandisk.com/home/memory-car ... der-writer

There's quite a few DS translations these days:

http://www.romhacking.net/?page=transla ... ssearch=Go

https://gbatemp.net/threads/translation ... ad.193740/

My favorite so far has been Soma Bringer. Brilliant action-JRPG.
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Re: Question about DS flash cart quality, price, availabilit

by Ziggy587 Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:22 am

My recent experience with the R4 card: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=51674

It's noteworthy that you can get these off Amazon, they're just not listed so obviously.

I'm using a SanDisk with mine, and it works great, but they're not kidding when they say you need an SD card formatter app. I've never heeded this warning and always just use Windows to format SD cards, and I've never run into a problem. The R4 really is picky though, and games would not load. Unless you're using a brand new SD card, make sure you format it properly.

https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/index.html

There's a bunch of SD formatting apps available, but in my mind the above link is the only one. That's the official tool on the official site.
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