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  NeoFlash MK4-Key Official Review - Read ...icial review inside
Posted by retrohead on Fri, July 14th, 2006 at 18:04 - 0 Comments
 
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NeoFlash MK4-Key Review



Introduction & Packaging

The MK4-Key is made by the NeoFlash Team and is set as a more competitive price  than the MK4-Mini by the removal of the 2MB onboard memory chip. This means that if you want to save your game on your flash cart to a DS cart, then you will not be able to use this product. The NeoFlash team products are not usually considered as competitive as this due to thier mass overcharging in the past but this could all be set to change. So on with the review.

The MK4-Key comes packaged in a plastic moulded case. It is not vacuum sealed so pops open in a matter of seconds and you will be greeted with the MK4-Key, cardboard backing sleeve and a mini CD containing some drivers and things which i will talk about later as i found it quite facinating that you would recieve a cd with a product like this :hmmm:



Hardware



The hardware itself is quite nice though the plastic itself feels a little brittle. You can also feel the mode switch through the label on the back of the cartridge and there is something under that label on the front aswell but i dont want to take the label off to see what it is. The cartridge is the perfect size though and will fit into your DS 'phat' or DS Lite with ease though there appears to be a slight click as you remove the card from the slot as if a component is rubbing slightly inside.




On top of the card is a small 2-way switch which is used for switching the boot mode of the MK4-Key between NDS and GBA mode (If you have a Neo MK2/3 you will want to have this on GBA mode for reasons i will explain in the software section of this review). The switch itself feels quite flimsy and you may not want to spend alot of time switching between modes as it seems like the switch will wear away in time making it ever more difficult to switch modes. There is also a very thin piece of plastic over the toggle which is actually detatched slightly on my model already. Also to note is that the label infact has GBA and NDS around the wrong way. By this i mean you need to select NDS to play GBA mode and vice versa.  :lol:


On The CD



As i mentioned earlier, i was quite surprised to find a Driver CD included in the package and infact on it their are some handy links to websites and small guides. For example the is a folder named FlashMe which has a link to the website for the latest version of FlashMe, some files for using FlashMe with your MK2/3 and a picture showing the SL1 hole in a DS 'phat'. Other than this, there isn't much else related to the actual MK4-Key


Software

This is the installed software on MK4-Key not on the CD.

I'll first mention the NDS mode as this is basically the same as the original PassMe devices. You have the switch on NDS mode, insert your flash cartridge with your DS code on it into the GBA slot and turn on your DS. You will be greeted with whatever screen you expect to see from the rom you have flashed on your GBA cart. The beauty of the MK4-Key is that it can boot any flash cart from the GBA slot out_of_the_box and attempt to run DS code from it where as other products will fail to boot some devices and some even require tweaking to get them to work with DS Lite's.




Now GBA mode is slightly different and this is the mode that MK2/3 users will need to use if they are using the MK4-Key as a boot device or if you want to play GBA code from the GBA slot as normal. Switch the device over to GBA mode, taking care of that little switch don't forget and when you turn on your DS you will be greeted with the DS warning screen followed by the standard menu.

Here you have 2 options. Obviously to play a GBA game you just click on the GBA slot and play as normal but here is where the MK2/3 options come in. If you click on the DS slot, the MK4-Key loads up a menu asking what you would like to do?




The first option is for MK2/3 owners and if chosen, will ask you to then remove the MK4-Key from the DS slot and replace with your MK2/3 device. I do not have a MK2/3 to test this out but I assume everything works well as the MK2/3 are both made by NeoFlash.

Choosing the seconds option will boot the MK4-Key as if you had it switched in NDS mode and will attempt to load DS code from the GBA slot.



Conclusion

The MK4-Key is a great NoPass device. It is capable of booting alot of devices currently on market and compatability wise is excellent. The packaging is as good as you can ask for though a small case to carry your MK4-Key in would be nice  ;-)

The build quality of the card casing could be better as you can feel components through the labels and plastic seems quite brittle especially around the mode switch area and seems likely to get damaged easily.

The card does exaclty what it describes on the box and comes at a decent price. I've deducted a few percent here and there for the minor faults but overall, i'm pretty impressed with my first NeoFlash product.

You can buy the MK4-Key or Mini from Winsunx



Overall Score


  78%



 
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