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  CycloDS Evolution Official Review - Read...icial review inside
Posted by Triforce on Tue, August 21st, 2007 at 23:37 - 21 Comments
 
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Triforce United Kingdom

 



Introduction & Packaging




The CycloDS Evolution is a slot-1 flashcard manufactured by Team Cyclops, a European company that also have a few other products on the market such as the CycloWiz (modchip for Wii) and CycloDS slot-2 flash carts. Today Homie and I will be reviewing the CycloDS Evolution.

The slot-1 device comes packed in a small silver tin with a foam inlay, a list of features can be seen on the underside of the tin, as displayed in the picture above. The contents of the package include: 1x CycloDS Evolution and 1x MicroSD USB reader.

The USB MicroSD reader that comes with the v1 should really be considered a freebie and under no circumstances would I advise anyone to use the one they've supplied. The plastic casing feels flimsy, and is as cheap as they come. If this thing doesn't fall apart or stop working completely within the first couple of days of owning it then you've done well! My advice would be to buy a proper reader if you dont already own one.

After all the complaints about the USB readers that came with v1 units they decided to include a new one for the CycloDS v2. The new reader is much better quality and comes branded with the CycloDS logo, these should be safe to use and are'nt likely to break down after a few days.


Features

  
    * Supports clean ROM's
    * Plug & Play
    * Download play support
    * Action Replay compatible cheat code engine
    * Supports MicroSD & MicroSDHC cards
    * Easily skinnable interface, Touch screen and button operation supported
    * Multi-lingual user interface
    * Adjust LCD brightness during game play
    * SlowMotion mode
    * Soft Reset
    * DLDI auto-patcher
    * 2 megabytes of onboard flash memory
    * Autoboot mode
    * PassMe function, allows you to boot from slot 2 devices
    * Supports rumble and memory expansions



Hardware



The card is the same size as a commercial DS game and fits flush in the DS. The plastic casing is strong and overall seems to be of very good quality. On the other hand the sticker on the front of the v1 Cylco is terrible, it looks like a small bit of low quality gloss paper thats been stuck on with a gluestick. Many people complained about the sticker and Cyclops team have changed it on all v2 units. Looking at the screenshots it might be hard to tell that the new sticker is of better quality but trust me it is.





The PCB in the v2 model is of a higher quality than the v1, but the IC on the back of the PCB still sticks out of the card, as you can see in the pictures. Also the board color changed, maybe because the white ones seem to be cheaper and worse quality than the green ones. Also, the MicroSD slot doesn't have a spring like the R4/M3 Simply on both versions.



Software



To update your CycloDS, you just need to drag and drop the latest upgrade file on to the MicroSD. When you boot the CycloDS Evolution it will ask if you want to upgrade. Choose yes and it will start updating, this process should only take a few seconds. After the update is done, the firmware file will be automatically deleted. Team Cyclops score!  


Menu





The CycloDS Evolution has a nice, clean looking GUI, from a design point of view you can see they created this with user friendliness in mind. The navigation controls can either be operated by the d-pad and buttons, or completely with the stylus. The stylus control on the menu is smooth, most other flash cards that offer touch screen controlled user interface don't have the smoothness that the CycloDS has. Skinning is also supported, so those of you that like to have their own custom skin wont be dissapointed. The user interface is also multi-lingual.

The CycloDS Evolution’s OS runs commercial ROM’s without the need for any patching. Simply drag and drop ROM files onto a microSD card and you're all ready to go. ROM loading is very fast, just browse to the game you want to play, press A or double tap the game to execute it. You won't need to apply DLDI patches to homebrew as the CycloDS will automatically DLDI patch homebrew software for you.



Options Menu



In this menu you can enable or disable cheat codes and Enchanced Mode. You can also adjust the LCD Brightness (DS Lite Only), change the menu language, skins and boot Slot-2.


Skins



The CycloDS Evolution GUI is fully skinnable as you can see in the picture (Custom Skin made by Team Cyclops), the amount of skins it can access is limited only by the size of your MicroSD, unlike the limited amount on other flashcards. You simply drag and drop the skin files to the skin folder and you are good to go. You can select which skin to use via the Options Menu.


Enchanced Mode



If you have this option on, during gameplay press L+R+X+Y+A+B and this menu will show up. Here you can return to the CycloDS Evo main menu, adjust brightness (DS Lite only) and activate Slow Motion (3 different speeds). Also, if you activate cheat codes before playing a game, on this menu you can enable or suspend them. On the new 1.2 BETA #3 firmware a clock also shows up.

An example of slow motion mode is shown in the video below





Opera Browser Support



The CycloDS Evolution automatically patches the Opera Browser to use CycloDS/Supercard as RAM. So you only need to drag and drop the clean rom on the micro-SD.


EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack Compatibility

There's not much to be said about this. The CycloDS Evolution sets the rumble to the same strength as the original rumble pak by Nintendo. Also, it patches the Opera Browser automatically to work with it. For GBA ROMs, I've used the latest Rudolph Tool (v1.9) and it worked with no flaws for both SRAM and NOR modes.


DS <-> Wii Connectivity

The only game that currently supports DS/Wii connection is Pokémon Battle Revolution, and that connection worked with no flaws.


Other Features



Cheat Code Editor: In the 1.2 BETA #2 firmware upgrade, Team Cyclops also released a Cheat Code Editor so you can add your own cheats and can even search for the latest cheats online via the Codejunkies server automatically.

Hiding Folders: In the 1.2 BETA #3 firmware upgrade, Team Cyclops integrated a new feature. Just add a dot (.) before the folder name and it will disappear from your CycloDS menu.



Game Compatibility

The compatibility with commercial roms was pretty much perfect, almost every game we tested worked fine and saved fine without any problems. Also, the Download Play results are as impressive as they've been advertised as (works 100%).

Hardware used: SanDisk Ultra II 2GB



PLAYED FINE

42 All-Time Classics (E)
Animal Crossing Wild World (E)
Advance Wars: Dual Strike (U)
Anno 1701 (E)
Big Brain Academy (U)
Bomberman (E)
Brothers in Arms DS (E)
Castlevania - Dawn of Sorrow (E)
Chameleon to Dye For (U)
Chuukana Janshi Tenhoo Painyan Remix (J)
Doki Doki Majo Shinpan (J)
Diddy Kong Racing DS (U)
Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training - How Old Is Your Brain? (E)
Dragon Ball Z - Supersonic Warriors 2
Dragon Quest Heroes Rocket Slime (U)
DS Download Station 6 (U)
Dynasty Warriors Fighters Battle (U) and (E)
Elite Beat Agents (U)
Feel the Magic - XY-XX (U)
Final Fantasy III (U)
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Ring of Fates (J)
Game & Watch Gallery (J)
Glory Days 2 (U)
Goldeneye Rogue Agent (U)
Gyakuten Saiban 3 (J)
Heroes of Mana (U)
Hotel Dusk Room 215 (E)
Idol Janshi Suchie-Pai III Remix (J)
Iraoji VOW (J)
Itadaki Street DS (J)
Jump Ultimate Stars (J)
Kikansha Thomas DS de Hajimeru Kokugo, Sansuu, Eigo (J)
Kirby Mouse Attack (E)
Luminous Arc (U)
Mario and Luigi - Partners in Time (E)
Mario Kart DS (E)
Mario Slam Basketball (E)
MegaMan Star Force: Ice Pegasus
Metroid Prime Hunter (E)
Metroid Prime Pinball (U)
Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 (J)
More Brain Training from Dr Kawashima (E)
Nanostray (U)
Nervous Brickdown (U)
New Super Mario Bros. (E)
New Zealand Story Revolution (E)
Nintendo DS Browser (E)
One Piece Gearspirit (J)
Operation Vietnam (U)
Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan (J)
Planet Puzzle League (U)
Pokémon Dash (E)
Pokémon Diamond (U)
Pokémon Link! (E)
Pokémon Pearl (U)
Pokémon Ranger (U)
Ratatouille (U)
Rune Factory A Fantasy Harvest Moon (U)
Simcity DS (E)
Starfox Command (E)
Super Mario 64 DS (E)
Super Princess Peach (E)
Surf's Up (U)
Taiko no Tatsujin DS Touch de Dokodon (J)
Tank Beat (U)
Tetris DS (E)
The Legend of Zelda - Mugen no Sunadokei (J)
Theme Park DS (E)
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 (U)
Tingle Balloon Fight (J)
Top Spin 2 (U)
Trauma Center: Under The Knife (E)
WarioWare Touched! (E)
Worms Open Warfare 2 (E)
Yoshi Touch & Go (E)
Zekkyo Senshi Sakebrain (J)
Zoo Keeper (E)
Zoo Tycoon DS (E)



BUGGY OR PROBLEMS
These were the only 2 games that gave problems and in all fairness Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam lags on nearly all flash cards with a standard MicroSD card, I've heard that even the original game card has slow downs anyway so maybe this is not really an issue.

Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam (E) - Lags when there's much action on the screen
Transformers Autobots (E) and (U) - Suffers of some blinking on the top of the top screen



DID NOT WORK

E3 Tech Demo Table Hockey - After loading, the flashcard gives an error. Reported here.


Download Play Results:

Works

42 All-Time Classics (E)
Advance Wars - Dual Strike (U)
Big Brain Academy (U)
Bomberman (E)
Chameleon to Dye For (U)
Diddy Kong Racing (U)
Donkey Kong Jungle Climber (J)
Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training - How Old Is Your Brain? (E)
DS Download Station 6 (U)
Elite Beat Agents (U)
Goldeneye Rogue Agent (U)
Itadaki Street DS (E)
Jump Ultimate Stars (J)
Kirby Mouse Attack (E)
Mario Kart DS (E)
Mario Slam Basketball (E)
Metroid Prime Hunters (E)
Metroid Prime Pinball (U)
Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 (J)
More Brain Training from Dr. Kawashima (E)
Nanostray (U)
Nervous Brickdown (U)
New Super Mario Bros. (E)
One Piece Gearspirit (J)
Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! (J)
Planet Puzzle League (U)
Pokémon Link! (E)
Starfox Command (E)
Super Mario 64 DS (E)
Taiko no Tatsujin DS Touch de Dokodon (J)
Tank Beat (U)
Tetris DS (E)
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 (U)
Tingle Balloon Fight (J)
Worms Open Warfare 2 (E)
Yoshi Touch & Go (E)
Zekkyo Senshi Sakebrain (J)
Zoo Keeper DS (E)



Save games

The CycloDS Evolution creates a save file without asking when you run the ROM for the first time. The save file is 512KB large and the format is .sav like most flashcards nowadays.


Homebrew Compatibility

All of the homebrew tested worked, so here's the list:

3-in-1 Expansion Pack Tool
AmplituDS V3
DS All Stars
Porn All Stars
DSOrganize 2.8 GBAX
IRCDS 0.3D
Johnny Platform's Biscuit Romp
Lameboy v0.9
NDS Backup Tool 3-in-1 0.3
NDS Backup Tool Wifi 0.31
Quake DS v2
Rose Camellia DS Concept
Shooting Watch DS V1.0a
SNEmulDS v0.5 Beta
Treasures of Gaia v0.1



Conclusion

Overall this is without a doubt the best flashcard on the market right now. This is the only flashcard that has exclusive features like Slow-Motion and in-game brightness adjustment.

You can buy this flashcard for $54.95 USD on Kickgaming. It's not the cheapest but it's worth the money.

PROS

+ Support team 100% active on the forums
+ 99.99% Game Compatibility
+ 100% Download Play Support
+ 100% Homebrew Support
+ No need to delete update files
+ Wii Connectivity


CONS

- USB v1 Card Reader isn't the best
- Card sticker isn't made of the best quality
- PCB sticks out of the card



Overall Score

96%




 
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 » Comment on: CycloDS Evolution Official Review
#1
 
Alcreion Canada

  Sun, September 2nd, 2007 at 03:00
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Great review Homie and Triforce! I still think the m3 simply is better!
 
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 » Comment on: CycloDS Evolution Official Review
#2
 
triton42 United States

  Sun, September 2nd, 2007 at 04:03
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Yes, good review. So this card supports the MicroSDHC format that the R4 does not? If so this will probably be a purchase for me down the line. I hope they fix that ic chip sticking out the back by then. I also think the lack of a spring on the slot is a good thing, that always feels like it's just about to break on my R4.
 
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#3
 
darig0n United States

  Sun, September 2nd, 2007 at 04:05
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nice review but i hear the actual transformers game suffers blinking so its not the flash cart u should fix that
 
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#4
 
Pedro UK United Kingdom

  Sun, September 2nd, 2007 at 09:26
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Sounds like the R4 has it's days numbered!  I'm sold on the small but useful features - changing brightness and having a clock display.  The HD card support is an added boon.  Do you think there'll be any chance of you trying it out with a high capacity SD card and updating the review?  I'm just curious about stability and access times.  I know that most slot 1 cards already have access time issues with larger capacity standard density cards...
 
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 » Comment on: CycloDS Evolution Official Review
#5
 
Perkele Finland

  Sun, September 2nd, 2007 at 11:05
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99.99% Game Compatibility means 1 in 10,000 games didn't work, that can't be correct.
 
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 » Quoting: Comment on: CycloDS Evolution Official Review
#6
 
Homie Portugal

  Sun, September 2nd, 2007 at 11:19
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Quote 
Perkele on Sun, September 2nd, 2007 at 11:05 [¬Ľ]

99.99% Game Compatibility means 1 in 10,000 games didn't work, that can't be correct.


On the games we tested ;)


Pedro UK on Sun, September 2nd,  2007 at 09:26

That's going to be difficult since they are a bit expensive right now. But as soon I get one, I'll update the review.


darig0n on Sun, September 2nd,  2007 at 04:05

Can't tell you if that's true since none of us actually owns the original game.



Thanks for the comments guys. If you would like to know anything else make sure you ask ;)
 
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#7
 
SCHUMI-4-EVA South Africa

  Sun, September 2nd, 2007 at 11:52
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This probably really offbase, but was there not an article on here like a month ago stating that the cyclo cards were just a copy of a supercard or was it a M3?
Or have I confused 2 different devices and that was something else?
(If this is really wrong and an admin sees it then just delete it...I will get my answer that way aswell)

This post has been edited by SCHUMI-4-EVA, Sun, September 2nd, 2007 at 11:54
 
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#8
 
Homie Portugal

  Sun, September 2nd, 2007 at 12:16
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That was the Slot-2 CyloDS Mini/Micro SD. http://www.ds-scene.net/?s=viewtopic&id=347
 
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#9
 
SCHUMI-4-EVA South Africa

  Sun, September 2nd, 2007 at 12:28
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Ahhh thanks for explaining that.
Sorry for the mix-up.

It was already that long ago (looking at post dates)? Damn, time sure flies.
 
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