Ewin2 MicroSD Official Review
Introduction and Packaging
Gamersection.ca has been nice enough to send us an Ewin2 MicroSD Card for review. I was very anxious to get my hands on this as I can not wait to do this review and I'm interested to see how this card will hold up. The Ewin2 MicroSD card is a slot 2 card for your Nintendo DS Lite only. It will not fit into a Nintendo DS Phat. The Ewin2 comes in a semi large box and is very decieving as it's much bigger then the actual product. Inside the box contains one Ewin2 card. It has no CD Software, so you'll have to download it from DS-Scene here. I'll explain how to download in the software section, but it is a simple process. The Ewin2 does not play GBA Games and is only compatible with DS and Homebrew games and applications. Ewin2 has already came out with DLDI support. Since the Official Ewin Website is in Chinese it is very hard to find out about updates. They have made an English site (here) but as of this moment it seems to be down.
On the package that the Ewin2 comes in, it states the features of the product which I will list below:
- Professional build quality
- Optimal shape design
- User-friendly interface
- Excellent compatibility with NDS games
- Supports FAT 16/32 File System (however I could only get it to work in FAT 32)
- High-speed data transfer technology
- Auto save management system
The Ewin2 MicroSD looks and feels very durable. I was a little surprised at this, as the price is not high. The one thing about the Ewin2 is that you have to have your own Micro SD Card and a Card Reader/Writer. This means that you will have to spend more money to get those things, unless you already have it. The slot for the MicroSD card is on top of the DS and is spring loaded so you have to be careful that you do not pop it out while playing. It also will go flying if you do not hold onto it while removing it from the Ewin2. On another note the Ewin2's case has a nice glossy finish to it and matches the DS Lite nicely. However it does stick out from the DS about a quarter of an inch.
As I mentioned before the Ewin2 MicroSD card does not come with a CD. You will have to download the software here. I am sure that the Official Ewin Website would have it but since you can not understand it unless you speak Chinese, it makes it quite difficult to use. The first thing I did was upgrade my Ewin2 card with the new software. To do the update you drag and drop the update onto the SD card. Once on you then put your SD card into the Ewin2. When the card loads up hit the Left Bumper, Right Bumper and the Up Arrow at the same time. A warning will appear, at this time hit A to start the update. A message will appear saying "update will take about two minutes." Be patient and you will have the newest version. The pictures above show the Ewintool software and three different types of skins you can choose from. The first picture is the original skin. There is a few others to choose from as well. After you do the Ewin Update the screens change. The name goes on the top screen and the game information goes on the bottom touch screen, making the picture icons into a touch menu. To use your Ewin2 with your Micro SD card it has to be formatted to FAT32. I could not get any games to work without doing the formatting first. To put an NDS game on your card you open the Ewintool Version 1.13 and either click "add roms" or drag and drop a rom into the software patcher. Once the file is on the Ewintool it will give you three option, save patch, trim rom, and force access. Tick off the ones you want to use to patch your game. Then click the output button. Make sure you set your output path to your SD card. When it says "Congratulations Completed" you can safely remove your card. The patcher creates a patched rom and a .save file. What's nice about the Ewintool is you can do as many as you want at one time. I did 15 at once and it saved me time. There is also an option for autonaming your game.
The Ewin2 has great presentation when it comes to the menu. The top screen has the time, date and the name of the card. They also have the Ewin2 motto "Burn Dreams At Will". The bottom screen is where you see your games. On the top of the screen it has your version number and Ewin Team 2006. What is so nice about the presentation is the great picture icons and the ability to use touch screen if you wish. I did however come across I few problems when trying to load some games by touching them. After a while I just found it easier to load with A or Y. The overall presentation of the Ewin2 though is very good. They look like they took the time to design something that is appealing to people.
The game compatibility is quite remarkable for the Ewin2. I was very surprised at how well each game played out. I tested 20 games and out of the 20 I had no problems. The only small problem I ran into was the formatting of my microSD card. I had to format it to FAT32 because nothing seemed to work on my card when it was FAT16. Here is a list of games I tested and the options I used to get them to work.
- Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (U) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine
- Yoshi's Island (E) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine but had to load with Y
- Biker Mice From Mars (E) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine but had to load with Y
- Cooking Mama (U) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine
- Cake Mania (U) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine but had to load with Y
- Alex Rider Storm Breaker (E) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine
- Wario Ware (E) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine
- Zoo Tycoon DS (U) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine
- Top Gun (J) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine
- Star Fox Command (J) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine but had to load with Y
- Gyakuten Saiban 4 (J) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine but had to load with Y
- Cars (E) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine
- Lost in Blue 2 (J) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine but had to load with Y
- Bubble Bobble (U) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine
- Flipper Critters (E) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine but had to load with Y
- Happy Feet (U) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine
- Lego Star Wars 2 (U) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine but had to load with Y
- Super Mario 64 (U) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine
- Pokemon Ranger (E) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine
- Tony Hawks Downhill Jam (U) Save Patch, Trim Rom Works but with some graphical glitches and some game slow down
- Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (U) Save Patch, Trim Rom Worked Fine but had to load with Y
As you can see, some games can be loaded with A or touch screen and others have to be loaded using the Y button. I'll just explain to you what loading with the Y button will do. The games that load with Y will not start up with any other button. The reason for this is they have to be forced played and Y is a Force Play Button. So if you come across any games that will not load up do not give up just yet. Always try to load it with the Y button, chances are that is all it will need. If the Y fails to load it keep trying the different Option settings is your Ewintool.
Homebrew Compatibility Conclusion
The Ewin2 is meant to be used mainly for .nds files but I tried out some homebrew games and applications to see what would happen. The Ewin2 does have DLDI support which does help to get some homebrew to work. This is the list of what homebrew games and applications I tried out.
- Deal or No Deal (no sound) Works
- DS Organize Works
- Mega ETK Does Not Work
- DS Live Weather Works
- Wright Flight V0.21 Works
- Yahtzee Works
- River Crossing Ds V0.32 Works
- DS Fret Works
- Game Collection Does Not Work
- NDSmail Works but can not save
- Binary Clock Works
- LemmingsDS Does Not Work
- Eclipse Driving V1.05 Works
- Dj Portable DS Works
- Sorcerer of Claymorgue Castle V0.9 Works
- ComicBookDS V2.1 Works
- A Touch Of War V0.9 Works
- ProjectJDS V1.11 Does Not Work
- Babyfoot Beta 2Works
- Bitsweeper Works
As you can see from the list above not all homebrew works on the Ewin2. In order to get the homebrew to work properly I had to create a .sav file for every homebrew I put on the Ewin2.
The Ewin2 MicroSD card has turned out to be a great slot2 flashcard. I would recommand this card to just about anyone who is interested in just playing Nintendo DS games and the occasional homebrew. The Ewin2 is great for playing NDS games as it plays everyone that I tried flawless. However homebrew was a bit unstable with some of the games and applications. If you love your GBA games then this card is not for you, as it does not play GBA. The homebrew turned out to be okay with the occasional game and application not working. So if you are interested in only Nintendo DS games and Homebrew then this card is for you. The easy to understand software is great for everyone. Since the Ewintool can have as many games at once, you can save time by putting the games you want on at the same time. This is a great feature for those who are in a hurry. Plus you do not have the hassle of doing each rom individually which can take up a lot of time. The great presentation says a lot about the Ewin Team. If you are into presentation of the menu then this is a great card. The touch screen makes use of the Nintendo DS's wonderful features. The Ewin2 is a great value for your money, at the low price that you can buy this card it is well worth it. Overall this turned out to be a great flash card to review.
+Great NDS compatability
+Able to use up to 1GB of flash memory
+Simple and easy to use software
+Has DLDI support
+Has battery back up to ensure saves
-No GBA Compatability
-Sticks out from DS Lite
-Low homebrew compatability
-Lack of support (all support is in Chinese, and english website down)
-You have to make your own .sav file for homebrew
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