[Review] Mega Everdrive -English-

Discussion in 'Mega Everdrive / Everdrive MD' started by aleomark, May 24, 2012.

  1. aleomark

    aleomark Spirited Member

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    Hello forum! Once again, I present to you a new review for a new flashcart. This is the new Krikzz’s MegaEverdrive which can be considered a reloaded version of the EverdriveMD, not its replacement (because the EverdriveMD will still be produced), which was created to satisfy an audience that was still asking for more; nevertheless, the price will increase. If you want to know the features of this flashcart keep on reading!

    Introduction
    Two years ago, the first Krikzz’s flashcart, the Everdrive MD, was almost sold out. One year later, a new version with an additional megakey option for playing imported games in unhacked consoles was launched. During this period of time, Krikzz put up for sale several high quality flashcarts for numerous retro consoles, some of them had good impact on the market such as the ones created for MD, SNES and N64, some other had mild success such as GG and SMS. Also, I could witness how reliable Krikzz as well as the official assembler’s forum are at the time of answering users’ questions and providing support; besides, in case the flashcart has a physical damage Krikzz can repair it with no extra charges. Due to the fact that the megadrive/genesis is the Krikzz’s favorite console, he decided to launch an enhanced flashcart which offers more advantages than any other cart for this console in the market right now.

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    About the reviewer
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    My nickname is usually Aleomark, and I want to add in this section that I have already done several reviews in the past, both in English and in Spanish, about flashcarts for different companies and retro scene accessories, so you can take for sure that in my analysis you will find a broad perspective about comparison and, most importantly, neutrality when it comes to analyzing and writing my reviews, I thank those who sponsored my reviews sending me samples, but when doing the analysis I am as objective as possible, so that you, the readers, can make sure you are reading a good review which you may use to base a decision of acquiring the product.

    In short, what is a flashcart and how does the MegaEverdrive work?
    A flashcart is a device, usually a PCB with multiple components and development, that loads roms (console games in digital format) in the console itself, using some kind of storage mean, usually an SD, in a way that resembles an actual cartridge/official game. They usually offer some extras that upgrade their value: customized menu, compatibility with unofficial titles or translations never seen before!
    In summary, a flashcart is a hardware component that enables playing security copies and implement Homebrew (homemade applications and games) in the very console and may have extras such as region free or cheat systems.

    Why should you have a flashcart and stop playing with emulators?
    Because if you like retro consoles and videogames, you may know that nothing compares to the sensation of playing a game in the actual console with the actual joysticks and peripherals in a tube TV or ctr. It raises a very special feeling when we play today the games we once played in childhood as well as the games we missed, also you can play the games in the actual conditions for which they were created.
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    How does it look like?
    You have 2 options, buy it “bare” (just the PCB) directly with the manufacturer or retailers and then you can customize it (reuse a case and paste some stickers), or buy it all “dressed” with retailers such as StoneAgeGamer which offers you a deluxe version:

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    In my case I choose to customize the cart. This is what I received:

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    The cart comes securely packed with in sealed bag warning the user that this product might be sensitive to electrostatic discharges and it has to be opened in a static-free environment. Also, it is protected by bubble plastic wrap and cardboard.
    Unpack it and you will see the MegaEverdrive and its components, the stick is for pausing SMS games:

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    Now, to “dress up” the flashcart you will need to take a case from an official cartridge, remove the label/sticker and make sure to eliminate any glue residue:

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    Next, use a gamebit 4.5mm screwdriver to take out the screws and you shoul have:
    -2 covers (back/front).
    -2 gamebit 4.5mm screws.
    -1 PCB, the one inside the cartridge (disposable if you think so).
    You can customize the cart the way you want, in my case, I just cut out a hole for the SMS games button (mandatory), if you wish you can also cut out a slot for the SD, microSD and USB port (optional). I used a micro SD but I did not make any hole and just wore out the cover from the inside in order to fit in the USB port.

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    Then you will need to print out some stickers for the cartridge and box, I modified user yakumo’s (Assemblers) label to paste it in the cart and printed it out in adhesive paper:

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    Also I created an insert for a universal case:
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    You can download the MegaEverdrive instruction manual (English and Spanish) from Krikzz official webpage LINKS, CLICK HERE

    Final result:

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    What does the product include?
    What you get is simply a PCB with/without extras (SD, case, labels, etc), depending on the place you buy it. But if you buy it directly with Krikzz it’s just the PCB, so customize it!

    Manufacturer’s Specifications

    128mbit (16mbyte) SDRAM.

    80mbit (10mbyte) rom maximum size.

    SD firmware updating

    Standard SD and microSD slots.

    FAT / FAT16 / FAT32 compatibility.

    SD (32GB maximum).

    Fast loading (1-2 sec.).

    USB port for developers and future updates.

    In-game menu (you can go back to the menu without moving from the couch).

    Snapshot Saves/instant saves.

    Regular saves.

    Genesis, Mega-drive, Sega Master System, y 32X games compatibility.

    Hardware MEGAKEY.

    CD BIOS loading.

    CD RAM cart compatibility.

    Cheats: Game Genie and Play-Action Replay compatibility.

    Integrated audio player. Currently only WAV is compatible, but other formats can be available in the future.

    Updates and support
    Krikzz has very good prestige in the scene, he is renowned for being kind and accessible when providing support in the official forum, a lot of people have witnessed that if the flashcart requires support or needs to be repaired or exchanged for another unit you can send the flashcart back to Krikzz for him to take care of it. Furthermore, the Assembler’s forum already has a large Everdrive community so other users can help you out if you have an issue with the cart.

    Updates are very easy to do because you only need the SD/microSD with the latest OS saved in the “MEGA” folder located in the root of the SD/microSD.

    The "menu"
    the appearance is similar to the Everdrive MD, but with new exclusive features, if you want to read about it largely just download the manual using the link I previously posted.

    Basic controlling
    "Start": Loading last game.
    "A": Opening directory or opening file menu (if a file is already selected).
    "B": Going back to previous directory or menu.
    "Down + Start" (During playing): Opening game menu (In-game Menu).

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    Main menu ("C" in the control).
    -Options
    MEGAKEY Region: It has to match the rom region. User can change it manually if it’s not correctly detected by the OS.
    MEGAKEY State: Allowing/disallowing MEGAKEY function. This feature runs imported games.
    In-game Menu: Enables game menu (In-game Menu) and the save progress function.
    Mapper: Forces certain mapper.

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    -Cheats/Codes
    This menu allows the user to enter Game Genie™/ Play-Action Replay™ codes or “cheats”. If the code is highlighted in yellow it means it’s active and if it’s gray it means it’s inactive.

    Browsing Cheats Menu:
    "A": Opening code editor.
    "B": Going back to the main menu.
    "C": Changing code status, active/inactive.
    "D-pad Left/Right": Changing between Game Genie™ and Play-Action Replay™.
    "D-pad Arriba/Abajo": Selecting code.

    Browsing code editor:
    "A": Checking symbol.
    "B": Checking previous symbol.
    "C": Checking next symbol.
    "D-pad": Selecting symbol.
    "Start": Going back to the Cheats menu. Automatically, the user is rerouted to the Cheats Menu after the last symbol is entered.

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    -Run CD: Loading Sega CD internal BIOS. The RAM card function will activate as well.
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    -System Info: Mega EverDrive information.
    Firm Version: Current hardware core and cartridge version.
    OS Version: Current software version.
    MEGAKEY Mode: Showing if user is using the hardware or software mode. Software mode will activate if using a 32X unit or if the hardware mode was not active due to incompatibility.
    System Type: Sega Genesis / Mega-drive region.
    CD-ROM: Sega CD region. Showing "XXXX" if not detected.
    Assembly Date: cartridge assembly date.
    Assembly Time: cartridge assembly time.
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    -About: more cartridge information.

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    File Menu: for accessing “File Menu”, you have to go to the file browser, select file and press “A” button. “File Menu” allows the user to select a game file, play an audio file or open the file with Hex Viewer.

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    In-game Menu: for accessing “In-game Menu” the user needs to have the “In-game Menu” function enabled. While playing a game press Star + D-pad down at the same time.

    Save State: Saving current state.
    Load State: Loading last state saved.
    Back to Main Menu: Going back to the main menu
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    Here you will find a video showing instant saves or snapshop saves:
    http://youtu.be/lyZF3K_zuFY

    What about compatibility?
    The Everdrive MD is highly compatible with almost all official Sega Genesis/Megadrive, 32X games and several SMS games (not all SMS games), but remember that you can also play hacks such as the Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 in the same console!!, make the Sega CD free region. There is only one game that does not load from MD, Virtual Racing, which uses a special chip, but you can play it’s version for 32X. The rest of the games, theoretically, should work fine, large hacks can be played if they match the console capacity. Loading times are superfast, you can check out this video http://youtu.be/A6pOVfF56Io

    As you can see the SFII loads easily. At the time of recording the video I forgot to load the UMK3.

    Conclusions
    For the Sega Genesis/Megadrive fans this cart is just the icing on the cake, the possibility to load roms and large hacks is simply awesome. The instant saves will help you to finish a title if you are beginning with one of those long games that do not require battery or simply don’t have enough time. The cart offers extraordinary compatibility and support, but which is not so good is that if you want to use the instant saves without issues then you have to deactivate the 32X (therefore, instant saves do not work with 32X games), the same with SMS. You do not have to deal with annoying clients and/or menus with bugs and it’s equipped with factory SD and microSD support which is great for esthetic reasons. The “cheats” support is also outstanding as well as the megakey function and the fact that you can load BIOS to free region the Sega CD. The menu is fine, but it would look better if you could have the chance to set an image as background.

    Pros
    -High compatibility, over 99,5% of all Sega MD/Genesis, 32X games (and a lot of SMS).
    -Sega CD free region.
    -Updates and support.
    -Factory SD and microSD support.
    -Cheat manager.
    -MegaKey.
    -Snapshop Saves (saves similar to emulators).
    -Fast loading.
    -Large hacks compatibility.
    -No PC software with bugs required.
    -Stable menu.
    -In Game Menu.

    Cons
    -No background image, Menu not appealing (not very important).
    -Higher Price compare to Everdrive MD, but fair enough if you take into account the cost of the components and new extra features.

    Additional Videos:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SOEUwnjgMY#noexternalembed

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    These review is also in:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.elotrolado.net/hilo_hilo-oficial-review-mega-everdrive_1698444
    http://www.bitgamer.su/forums.php?action=viewtopic&topicid=28987&page=last
    http://www.underground-gamer.com/forums.php?action=viewtopic&topicid=42383&page=last
    http://cosplaypartycr.com/foro/index.php?topic=11042.0
    http://www.imperioanime.com/foro/index.php/topic,14884.0.html
    http://www.assemblergames.com/forums/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=112


    resellers:

    retrogate.com
    stoneagegamer.com
    emere.es
    hardcore-gamer.net
    warnersretrocorner.com
    stuffpoint.ru (Для стран СНГ)
    Playtronics (Brazil)
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  2. sonicdude10

    sonicdude10 So long AG and thanks for all the fish!

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    This should be made a "sticky" for those who want a review of it here at ASSEMbler.
     
  3. ladyBug

    ladyBug Newly Registered

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    Nice overview.
    Agreed! This should be a sticky.
    Tks to your overview I'm super ready to crack open the cart.
    Just waiting on my newelectronx 4.5mm line head to come in the mail.
    ONe question - how did you remove all the glue residue??
     
  4. sonicdude10

    sonicdude10 So long AG and thanks for all the fish!

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    I used hot water and elbow grease. LOTS of elbow grease. Then I wiped the rest away with a towel while it was soft and warm.
     
  5. Eyedunno

    Eyedunno Spirited Member

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    Geez Louise that must've taken forever. If you'd tried naphtha (Zippo lighter fluid), the glue would have come right off in a matter of seconds. Water is a TERRIBLE solvent for sticker glue.
     
  6. StoneAgeGamer

    StoneAgeGamer Intrepid Member

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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  7. synrgy87

    synrgy87 Well Known Member

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    lemon juice and water will work too and is not oily or orange if people dont want to use chemicals
     
  8. sonicdude10

    sonicdude10 So long AG and thanks for all the fish!

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    I worked with what I had at the time. And yes, it took about 2 hours to complete. At least the space was clean enough to apply my Everdrive MD sticker.

    Never heard of that. Now I know how to remove the glue from cart labels in the future.
     
  9. Mystical

    Mystical Resolute Member

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    thanks for posting that, nice to see how they get made, liking the gold colour too
     

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