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GBA NES emulation and movies via compactflash adapter


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Well, there was a discussion on what is OK and what is not OK on the forums a little bit ago. It was concluded that modchip and emulation talk is OK as long as you are not talking about where to get ROMs, etc.


That said, I'm not a fan of pirating stuff. In fact I feel pretty strongly against it (let's not argue about it here). But I do like the idea of playing games that weren't ever made portable on the go, and I can see legit reasons for space-shifting GBA games...


So recently I heard about a device called the Supercard. Basically it is a compactflash to GBA adapter. Other pirating devices use GBA flash carts, measured in Megabits (not MB like CF cards) and are $100-$150+. The supercard is can indeed be used for playing pirated GBA games. But it includes a NES emulator built in (Pocketnes), a Game Gear/Sega master system emulator, etc. It will also play mp3s, movies, and e-books. I haven't tested that functionality yet because it doesn't interest me much.


They are very cheap compared to flash carts. $40ish + $24 shipping from Hong Kong. Not much in the way of warranty support either - so chancy. You also need a CF card (speed of the card doesn't matter - in fact, slower is more compatible). I bought a 512MB PQI CF card from newegg for $28 shipped. Older revisions of the card didn't fit in the DS's GBA slot but the newer ones like I have do. I split up the shipping cost with 2 coworkers for a total of $50ish for me.


A con is that Compact Flash cards eat up battery power about twice as fast as a normal GBA cart. So beware of the reduced battery life.


I've seen my coworkers playing pirated GBA games, and I will admit they gave me a DVD-ROM of GBA roms - I may give in and try a few games I have been considering buying - like Golden Sun and Fire Emblem. But I WILL buy them if I like them...renting GBA games isn't available around here.


I personally have no real moral problem space-shifting games to CF that I personally have, like Zelda (hell I have this for GC and NES), Super Mario Brothers, Dragon Warrior IV, etc...even if an official GBA version is available.



I haven't tried any Game Gear roms yet...


I just wanted portable Dragon Warrior IV, honestly, ever since I saw a pirate cart of it on ebay last year. I was not willing to pay someone to pirate DWIV for me to a flash cart. This was my route to portable NES :D :D :D Cheaper and easier than a GameAxe !



The software to transfer games is basic but OK. Some GBA roms apparently need to be patched to run properly (since I am not playing much in the way of pirate GBA I can't comment).


The software needs to be updated, it is available on their main site for download. Just copy it to the CF and it will ask you to upgrade. Then take out CF, put back in PC, and delete the upgrade file. Not too hard.



NES emulation:

The sound is kind of icky on DWIV but the game itself runs well. Most games so far have been pretty good. A very few obscure games have blank-screened on me. Real time saves are supported. SRAM saves are also supported (you need to do a manual save to the CF after doing an in-game save). Ultima quest of the Avatar was fun to power up too, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dragon Spirit, etc. Old favorites.


Sometimes it is hard to tell where the framerate lag is the NES limitation itself and when it is the emulator. The stretching to the wider GBA screen isn't too bad, although it isn't perfect for RPGs as it makes text look a little funky.


Anyway I just thought I would post my review and comments. I haven't tried Game Gear roms yet as I can't think of any off the top of my head that I would enjoy.

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It is compatible with the DS, but the older style cartridge didn't fit in the DS's GBA slot. You need to make sure to order from a place with the newer cartridge style (otherwise you have to take a knife and whittle it down to fit).


The site we got them from ships the newer shape - both of my other coworkers have the DS and keep trying to convince me to get one. I'm not in until Bomberman or a good classic FF title shows up for it (or an RTS perhaps with the touchscreen).


One of the retailers that the official site links to has the best price (I get fw block at work for many game related sites so I can't find it right now). I will update with the site when my coworker gets here (he is the one that did the order).

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