|Acekard 2 Official Review|
Acekard 2 Official Review
Introduction and Packaging
Kick Trading sent the Acekard 2 today in a bubble envelope. The bite I took tasted good. The packaging on the acekard is a generic blister package with a paper insert containing some basic instructions. On the back is a list of features:
- Perfect Compatibility. No need to convert, No need to flash.
- Write save file directly to TF card. No more save type selection.
- Auto patching DLDI. Run homebrew programs without convert.
- Support Soft-Reset. Support Download play. Support Wi-Fi.
- Support SDHC microSD card. No maximum file limit.
- Support Action Replay. Built-in editor.
- Low power consumption. Long playing time.
- Easy operation. Support pad and touch screen control.
- Multi-languages. Support Customize Skin.
- Support launch slot-2. Support expand package.
- 4 level brightness adjustment.
- Support reading text files, listening mp3 and watching movie.
The products can bounce around in the packaging, but not too much and it seems to secure them well enough to avoid any damage. Personally I prefer this type of packaging to the usual style plastic packaging that electronic devices come in that requires a hacksaw to open.
Overall the construction does not feel very sturdy. It is easy to open by carefully popping open 5 little tabs that hold it together. It is spring loaded though, which is always nice to see. The micro SD card fits neatly inside and is easy to pop in and out. It's not like it's particularly fragile, but it does feel more cheaply made than regular DS cards. The sticker is very shiny though. I opened it up and found something kind of interesting, there is a hole in the top half covered by the sticker that a chip fits into. After I saw this, I noticed there was a slight bump where the chip pushed out against the sticker. I guess they didn't have enough space otherwise. There is also no plastic in between the connectors, and though I don't think this will affect performance, it is another sign of cheap construction.The SD reader it came with is okay. It's nice and small and though the plastic is pretty cheap it feels solid. You'll notice that the card does stick out a little, and it is not spring loaded, but other than that, it's not too bad.
The acekard itself fits flush with the DS in slot 1 and is the same size as any DS game card. The outer edge does feel a little sharp, but this will quickly dull after sitting in a pocket for awhile.
The software included is excellent. I am using v4.07a12 for this review. To get the latest version, simply download it from acekard's website and extract the contents to the root of your SD card. Cheats can be installed as either dat or xml files in the cheats folder. There is automatic DLDI patching for homebrew games, and it's easy to change any settings in the various ini files. The card does not override your auto-boot settings and it loads in about a second after choosing it from the DS menu. The main menu allows you to choose either to explore the SD card or boot a slot 2 device in PassMe mode. It even saves what folder you were in if you restart your DS.
It's easy to skin and there are some pretty nice ones included, I just used the default "Zelda" for this review. The top screen presents a calendar and time that also can be skinned to whatever you like.
There are a lot of options in the menu of different things you can do that include the usual file actions, changing global settings, as well as choosing the patches to apply to each individual game. It has built in rom trimming too. It also allows for changing the brightness and is fully compatible with either touch screen or buttons. Overall all the menus are very responsive and quick and barely take any noticeable time to load.Game Compatibility and Game Patcher
You can choose how to patch each game with the patch options menu. The games load in about 4 seconds the first time you play and afterwords only take 1-2 seconds because it has to create the savegame file. Rom compatibility seems to be almost 100%, as does download play support and soft-reset support; portrait of ruin does experience the occasional lock up but it is a known problem game. Tony Hawk's downhill jam seems devoid of slowdowns or lag though!
- Super Mario 64 DS
- Tetris DS
- Elite Beat Agents
- Zelda Phantom Hourglass
- Contra 4
- Geometry Wars
- Mario Kart DS
- Metroid Prime Hunters
- Hotel Dusk
- Final Fantasy 3
- Dragon Quest Heroes - Rocket Slime
- Nanostray 2
- Sonic Rush
- Castlevania Portrait of Ruin (after playing for awhile noticed a few freeze-ups)
- Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam (no slowdowns!)
- Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow (no problems here either)
- Brain Age
- Brain Age 2
- Call of Duty 4
- Lego Star Wars II
- Mortal Kombat
- Ninja Gaiden
- Create & Race
- Dead and Furious
As stated before, this flashcart has auto DLDI patching, and so far everything I've tried has worked great. Although it says you can view text documents, play mp3s, and watch movies, you do have to download moonshell to do this. There is a pre-set up copy of moonshell available on the acekard site that you only need to extract to the root of your SD card to run. After all, what good would a flashcart be if it didn't enable you to listen to music and view porn on your DS?
- Pocket Physics
- DS Linux
- Shooting Watch DS
The acekard uses a 512kb save format similar to that of the R4, Supercard, EDGE; so they're interchangeable. It saves to "GAMENAME.nds.sav".
The AceKard 2 lacks features, even the few that they have, such as cheats lack polish, the build quality of the cart is questionable, and some games lag. The confusion behind custom and original kernels and software could mean that users don’t get the most out of their cart. As well the level of customization also brings on the same problem, frankly I didn’t know about one of the features until after a whole month of usage (the shortcut system), and frankly I might be missing out on more.
The AceKard 2 does have an incredibly fast menu, and some of the nicest designs out for any flash cart out. It also plays games fine, and offers users a level of customization for their skins that is unheard of. All this is offered at a price that rivals the cheapest of flash carts, and you get a very active team that supports their cart.
How does the AceKard 2 stack up to its competitors? You have to answer that for yourself. This review has explored how the AceKard 2 is used, the flaws and its strengths, and in today’s expansive market, it is hard to say exactly. With competitors like EDGE, iTouchDS, M3DS Real, and EZ Flash V dominating the “budget cart” market, and carts like the CycloDS Evolution, AceKard RPG, and Supercard DS ONE being offered as high end carts, the AceKard 2 seems to offer a nice balance of the two categories. If you like what you read, and don’t mind sacrificing a few features for a high end menu, then the AceKard 2 is for you.
|Last Updated ( Monday, 01 December 2008 01:29 )|