The MK5 is one of the newest slot 1 flash cards on the market. It is made by the Neo Flash team, who are always advancing in the flash card market. IC2005.com kindly sent me a review unit so I could explain in detail to you about how the card works, the quality, and the overall use and functions of the MK5. I was very excited to try out the MK5 as this will be the first slot 1 card I have used. The MK5 is a great card for a beginner and for a long time user. It has a simple set up that anyone can understand. In this review I will test a few game back ups as well as some homebrew games and applications to see how well the MK5 stands up.
The MK5 comes in a plastic clam shell that holds an MK5, a GBA linker cartridge and a CD with the MK5 software. The packaging is small and perfessional looking. The back of the package has a list of information that states:
Supports clean roms
Huge memory space from 8Gbit upto 16Gbit
USB 2.0 high speed data transfer
USB Disk function, compatatible with any operation system
Built in Moonshell V1.5 and upgradable
Built in SMS multi save function and auto save
Menu is upgradable
Multi rom support
Media player support
MK5 Turbo engine, 100% full game running speed without any delay
Built in passme function, can boot almost any GBA flash cart perfectly
A USB linker cable is included with the MK5, however it is not included in the package.
The MK5 presentation is well developed. The MK5 DS slot 1 card is made from a solid plastic that looks the same as a normal DS cartridge. The GBA linker cartridge feels very thin and unsteady, as if at any minute you could break it. The USB cable that connects the MK5 to your PC is made of a thick material that looks strong enough to hold up to anything. It is hard to connect to the GBA cartridge however making you feel as if you are going to push to hard and break it. The overall quality of the MK5 is strong and well developed. The Neo Flash team really took their time with the MK5.
The Neo Flash team took the time to make a visually appealing menu. The game icons have a picture sitting on rotating blocks. The bottom screen has rotating icons. If you touch the bottom screen once it shows the information about the game on the top screen. Touch the icon again to load your game or homebrew. The bottom screen as Nintendo characters in the background making you remember how much fun Mario, Yoshi and the gang are. The bottom screen also carries the words "Your Imagination Our Job". On the top screen they have but a water drop as the background. In the bottom right corner of the top screen you can see the Neoflash Teams website and the year in which they made the MK5.
The MK5 is very easy to hook up to your PC. All you have to do is insert the GBA linker cartridge into your DS or DS Lite, hook up the USB cable to the nook in the back of the GBA Linker. Then plug your USB cable into your PC. After you finish all that you then turn on the DS or DS Lite and select the MK5 from the start up menu. Your PC should regconize the MK5 and you can start loading your games to the built in memory. The GBA linker cartridge acts as a bridge between the slot 1 card and the PC.
The only problem one might encounter with MK5 is the built in memory. Since it is non-upgradable you can not improve on memory size. This can be a good thing too though as I have found that with an 8Gbit card it can hold quite a bit of games and homebrew.
The MK5 comes with built in Moonshell, for watching movies, listening to music or looking at pictures. It also has a built in DS Organize in which is fully upgradable. All you have to do is download the new version then drag and drop it onto your MK5. The MK5 has built in homebrew games as well. You'll get a kick out of Aztec Challenge, a puzzle game that has you trying to blow up a brick located in a maze. Gamebox DS has four games in one. They are, DS Flower, a game that has you popping flowers before they hit the ground. Ping-Mine, Reverso and DS4 (a connect 4 type game) are also on Gamebox DS.
All these features are stowed on your CD in case you need to back them up. The CD also contains dpg tools, back ups for the built in games and homebrew applications.
The MK5 comes with software to convert audio and video files to proper format for running on the MK5. The MK5 comes with the unique drag and drop feature that allows you to directly drag a game or homebrew from your PC file to the MK5 file. With this feature comes the beauty of not having to download a game transfer device. Sometimes however you may need to change the game save file on certain game types. To do this, you touch the game once to bring up the informaton on the top screen then you hold select and hold left on your DS until you see the save format you need to use. Unfortunatly you have to go though all of them until you find the one that works with the game.
As soon as I recieved my MK5 in the mail I couldn't wait to get started on testing games and homebrew. I was surprised to see how many games actually ran on the MK5 but was disappointed in the homebrew section. I am sure once they come out with DLDI support these things will be smoothed over.(shorty after this review the Neo team added DLDI support to the MK5)
Here is list of the Games I tried. Beside them I will tell you if they worked or not.
Mr. Driller Drill Spirits (J)-flawless
Tony Hawks Downhill Jam (U)-Works but has slight graphical glitches sometimes
Super Mario 64 DS (E)-flawless
Trauma Center (U)-flawless
Underground Pool (U)-flawless
Phoenix Wright:Ace Attonery (U)-flawless
Super Princess Peach (J)-flawless
Casino High Five (U)-flawless
Pac N Roll (E)-flawless
Mario Basket 3 on 3 (J)-flawless
Puyo Pop Fever (E)-flawless
Viewtiful Joe-Double Trouble (U)-flawless
Monster House (E)-flawless
Lego Star Wars 2 (U)-flawless
Hotel Dusk-Room 215 (U)-flawless
Children of Mana (E)-flawless
Inuyasha-Secret of the Divine Jewel (U)-flawless
Flushed Away (E)-flawless
Jump Stars Ultimate (J)-flawless
As you can see by the list, there is not very many games that do not work on the MK5.
A big thing about the MK5 is the Homebrew. I tested a varity of different homebrew games and applications to see which ones ran and which ones didn't. I also tested to see if any needed DLDI support, which the Neo Flash team have yet to come out with. (shorty after this review the Neo team added DLDI support to the MK5)
BeUp-does not save
MegaETk-does not save
IRC DS-does not save
A Touch Of War-flawless
NitroTracker-does not save
Deal or No Deal-flawless
DS Weather-does not save
North N South-flawless
Homebrew would be much better if the Neo Flash team came out with DLDI support. As you can see by the list above, a lot of homebrew applications do not save. This will be fixed as soon as DLDI support comes out.
The Neo Flash team have done a great job on the MK5. The presentation is outstanding and the perfomance is above the usual standard of the Neo Flash team. The MK5 is great for a beginner or even an expert. It's easy to understand drag and drop feature allows for easy loading onto the MK5. Of course there are some issues with the MK5, mainly homebrew. Since there is no DLDI support yet for the MK5, homebrew does not work to it's fullest. The homebrew games seemed to run okay but when I got to the applications a lot of them could not save. We hope to see the Neo Flash team fix this problem.
Overall I found the MK5 remarkable useful and great for playing games. I was givin a 8Gbit card to try out and to my surprise it held a lot of games and homebrew. You can't beat the price of an MK5 card. At IC2005.com you have a choice between two sizes. Below is a price list with all funds in American Dollars.
As you can see you can not beat the price for an MK5. You can get an 8Gbit card for $50 Amercian or a 16Gbit card for just $10 more. The overall performance of the MK5 is outstanding, out of the 21 games I tested only 2 of them did not work. I have to say for my first slot 1 card I am very proud and happy that I got to try out the MK5.
+ Low price + No need to buy SD Card Reader + Works as a passcard device allowing booting of devices in Slot 2 from the menu. + Excellent build quality. Card fits flush in the DS and slides in and out as if a commercial card. + No patching required, just drag and drop to play games. + User friendly experience + Supports clean roms + Great looking Menu + Moonshell integrated into the menu provides the best options available on DS. + Smallest card is 8Gbit which equals 1GB of memory
- Non-upgradable memory - No DLDI Support yet (shorty after this review the Neo team added DLDI support to the MK5) - Minor problems experienced with some games from test. - Included Media converting software not the best - GBA Linker Cartridge made a bit weak
DS-Scene would like to thank IC2005 for sending us a sample of the MK5 for review. Check out the MK5 and other Neo Flash cards at IC2005.