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  Supercard Lite Official Review
Posted by klopas on Wed, May 2nd, 2007 at 01:07 - 11 Comments
 
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klopas United States

 
SuperCard Lite Official Review




Introduction

It's long overdue that DS-Scene reviewed a Supercard Lite.  First of all, we would like to thank gp2xstore.com for generously donating a Supercard Lite for review purposes.  The package received was beautiful, immaculate if you will.  The retail box boasted a Supercard Lite Rumble, and it was confusing because when attempting to update the firmware with the 1.7 rumble firmware, the cart refused to accept it. After trying to update several times thinking I had downloaded faulty firmware, it turns out that the packaging was for the Supercard Lite Rumble, but the card inside was actually a Supercard Lite.  This is not a problem since the only thing that is missing is the rumble feature, which is exchanged with better GBA and homebrew support.

Using the Supercard Lite requires one to have a Nintendo DS Lite with either a flashed firmware or a pass device in slot-1 of the DS.  I used the Supercard DS (One) v1, which was reviewed here at DS-Scene.  The Supercard DS (One) acts as a SuperKey pass device allowing the user to boot to the GBA slot, which in this case, holds the Supercard Lite.

For this review, I used a 1GB Kingston MicroSD, which was assembled in Japan.  I highly recommend this particular MicroSD card because it is cheap as well as fast.  Please note that if you go with Kingston memory, you will want to get the ones that are made in Japan, and not in Taiwan because there is a noticible speed difference in favor of the Japanese card.

In this review, I will be testing compatibility with the newer/problematic NDS games and popular homebrew.  As this is a slot-2 device, GBA compatibility testing is also a must.


PCB Pictures



Here are some shots of the PCB.

Packaging and Fit

The outside packaging is eye-catching to say the least. On the back, it details the features of the flashcart in a clear and consise manner, and provides a picture of the product in its actual size on the cover. The box gives a brief description of the product, stating that it allows one to "play games, watch movies, read E-books, listen to music, and view images" using a MicroSD card.

The Supercard team did a nice job of designing the retail box, but the inside is plain in comparison. There is an anti-static pull-out container that holds the Supercard Lite snuggly in place inside the box, there are no extras of any kind in the package - no documentation or software included.

Once out of the package, the Supercard Lite looks and feels almost identically to the filler GBA casing for the slot-2 that is provided with the DS Lite as a dust cover.  

Here are some comparison shots.
  



There is no noticible size difference to be found, but the Supercard Lite fits tightly inside the DS Lite, and it can be slightly difficult to remove it. The MicroSD card fits securely inside the Supercard Lite with no problems at all. I would have prefered a spring-loaded fit, but this is just a minor complaint. Since there have been problems associated with springs breaking after extensive usage in other flashcart devices, I was not too disappointed with the lack of a spring-loader.


Supercard Lite MicroSD Software and DLDI Patcher



In order to get full functionality from the Supercard Lite, there is a good amount of software to download, all of which is available here at DS-Scene. The Supercard Website also provides much of the software, but not everything can be found there.

Game Manager v2.58 - For patching both NDS and GBA games before putting them on the MicroSD card.
ndsrominfo.dat - This file must be used to replace the default ndsrominfo.dat file that is installed in the Game Manager v2.58. It provides better compatibility for newer NDS games. Just over-write the file that is currectly in the SC directory of the game manager.

Firmware v1.7 - The Supercard Lite retail package has v1.63 as the default firmware so here is the upgrade.  Put the new file in the root of the MicroSD card directory, boot the Supercard Lite, and run the file. Press Start to upgrade the firmware once it prompts you to do so, then wait for the progress bar to complete to 100%. That's all there is to it very simple indeed.

DLDI Patcher GUI - This interface allows patching of .nds homebrew files to increase compatibility with the Supercard Lite. Just run your homebrew DLDI compatible games and applications through your favorite patcher for best results.




Now on to the games and homebrew!

Game Compatibility

All games use these settings unless otherwise stated -- Restart: Yes, Trim Rom: Yes, Faster Game Play: Yes, Enable "Patch Cartridge Access" Compatibility: High

  • Animal Crossing Worked Fine
  • Castlevania Portrait of Ruin Worked Fine
  • Club House Games Worked Fine
  • Contact Worked Fine
  • Crayon Shin Chan Worked Fine
  • Diddy Kong Racing Worked Fine
  • Hotel Dusk Room 215 Worked Fine
  • Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords Worked Fine
  • Lunar Knights Worked Fine
  • Yu-Gi-Oh: World Championship 2007 Worked Fine
Every game worked and saved fine with no noticible slowdowns.      

GBA Games Tested:

All games patched with default settings in the Supercard Lite v2.58 patcher.  This includes soft reset, quick save

  • Boktai 1 Plays choppy with many in-game studders.
  • Boktai 2 Same as Boktai 1
  • Final Fantasy V Worked Fine
  • Final Fantasy VI Worked Fine
  • Fire Emblem Sacred Stones Plays perfectly with quick save and software reset.
  • Golden Sun Worked Fine
  • Golden Sun 2 Worked Fine
  • Rhythm Tengoku Worked Fine
  • Summon Night - Swordcraft Story 2 Plays perfectly with quick save and software reset.
  • Super Robot Taisen 1 Does not work - Black screen
  • Super Robot Taisen 2 Does not work - Black screen
  • Tactics Ogre Plays almost unbearably slow, graphic slowdowns.

The biggest problem I had with GBA testing was that with most games it refuses to save in game. Using the quick save method (L + R + A + Select) was the only way that I could manage to make any progress in some games. The GBA compatibility is fair in that the Supercard Lite will allow the games to be played, but there are various slowdowns in areas that hinder playability.

One minor annoyance is the obscured border around all GBA games, as shown here.




It is not a big problem, but it did distract me while I was first trying to test the games.

Homebrew Tested

All .nds homebrew files were patched using the DLDI GUI method I listed above with the Supercard Lite(Transflash MicroSD) DLDI file.

  • Beup 0.3d Worked Fine
  • DSDOOM Worked Fine, but I did not try to save
  • DSOrganize 2.61 Worked Fine
  • Phidias Worked Fine
  • WolveSlayer Worked Fine




Homebrew was a very plesant surprise as everything worked flawlessly on the Supercard Lite.

Conclusion

The SuperCard Lite is a great slot2 flashcard all around. I would recommand this card to anyone who is interested in playing games and homebrew. The SuperCard Lite is great for playing NDS games and GBA games as it has great compatibility. Homebrew worked fine since it is DLDI compatibale. So if you are interested in a fair price and solid backup device then this card is for you. The easy to understand software is great for everyone. The great presentation says a lot about the SuperCard Team. The SuperCard Lite is a great value for your money, and perfect for anyone from newcomers to pros. Overall this turned out to be a great flash card to review, and I can easly say it is a must have.

Pros

+Low price
+Quality Built
+Great NDS compatability
+Has GBA Support
+Simple and easy to use software
+Has DLDI support
+Uses SD cards (expandable memory)


Cons

-GBA games have a border around them
-Not perfect GBA compatability
-GBA Saving is a hassle
-You need a SD card reader
-No software in package



Overall Score


81%




DS-Scene would like to thank Gp2xStore.com for providing us with a sample of the SuperCard Lite for review.


This post has been edited by retrohead, Thu, September 6th, 2007 at 03:17


 
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 » Comment On: - Supercard Lite Official Review
#1
 
retrohead United Kingdom

  Wed, May 2nd, 2007 at 12:18
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A long overdue review. Good job klopas, the Supercard is not too bad but with so much else on offer nowadays I can´t really see any reason to pick one of these up. I also found it quite funny that it was packaged in a SC rumble box :P
 
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 » Comment On: - Supercard Lite Official Review
#2
 
mescalin United Kingdom

  Wed, May 2nd, 2007 at 17:33
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As a tip, writing often doesn´t work with my older Supercard Lite using the MicroSD DLDI patch on homebrew, I often find it´s actually better to use the Supercard SD patch instead, which might be good if you were one of the early adopters of this card and you´re having issues.
 
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 » Comment On: - Supercard Lite Official Review
#3
 
brujagio Canada

  Wed, May 2nd, 2007 at 21:30
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Maybe it´s just me, but I don´t see any border on my GBA games UNLESS I use the restart function from a DS game and boot a GBA game right after.
 
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 » Comment On: - Supercard Lite Official Review
#4
 
shansoft United States

  Wed, May 2nd, 2007 at 22:26
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huh...

made in taiwan and made in japan doesnt really seem have much speed difference when i use it..

but made in china... 2 of them down and 1 run really slow....


also...

Supercard lite got some extreme problem with GBA game

some GBA games have slow down problems and save crash...

but run homebrew and NDS rom pretty well...
 
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 » Comment On: - Supercard Lite Official Review
#5
 
klopas United States

  Wed, May 2nd, 2007 at 23:11
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As far as the border for GBA games is concerned, it may have been because I was using the default setting for all GBA games tested, which includes the soft reset and in-game save features.  The border appeared even before using soft reset for all games.

I´ve used Kingston memory, both 1GB models (Taiwan/Japan) and for most games they run the same speed.  When playing games like Castlevannia and Animal Crossing I noticed load time slowdowns with the card manufactured in Taiwan.  It may be different for you, but that was my experience.
 
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#6
 
veetor Australia

  Sun, May 6th, 2007 at 07:11
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No mention of the Supercard Lite´s performance as memory for the DS browser?

I´ve got a Supercard Lite of my own and have always wondered if there was any performance difference between the SC Lite and the official Nintendo memory.
 
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#7
 
retrohead United Kingdom

  Sun, May 6th, 2007 at 17:21
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Quote 
veetor Today at 07:11

No mention of the Supercard LiteĀ“s performance as memory for the DS browser?

IĀ“ve got a Supercard Lite of my own and have always wondered if there was any performance difference between the SC Lite and the official Nintendo memory.


I can´t say compared to the official memory but it works jsut as good as EZ Flash expansion pack so I can´t relly see why the official one would be any different ;)
 
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 » need help please
#8
 
ocampo12345 Canada

  Mon, May 14th, 2007 at 00:56
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i cant seem to get my games to work, everything seems correct but when i try to open the game it goes to a white screen?? any help would be great!!
 
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#9
 
blitit Chile

  Sun, October 28th, 2007 at 23:45
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You need to patch the NDS roms before you put the into the microsd card. Use the software from supercard's site.
 
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