Heres a new product just released by Neoflash and for fans of the Super Nintendo aka Snes a Dream product.
A Little about the reviewer
Ive been an emulation and homebrew fan for as many years as i can remember (since around 1996 i think) but nothing i repeat nothing is better than playing on the real hardware.
Back in the Megadrive(genesis) and Snes days i owned a Super Wild Card and a Super Double Pro fighter, both cost about 300 pounds and ill admit that it was a great way to play games that i would never have been able to afford or because of stupid region lockouts.
So the day when Neoflash announced they were working on a Flash Cart for the Snes called NEO SNES/SFC Myth cart , i wanted one so badly, the chance to relive the best of the Snes and to play games ive never played was too much of a thrill to behold.
Now i must point out that being a webmaster of a homebrew site makes me no expert, im just as clueless as most newcomers, i like websites and i like posting news, i like to know that if i need a certain release i should be able to find it on my sites (hopefully :P).
First off Heres some screens of the Snes Flash Cart in and out its Packaging:
Front Side View in Packaging
Back Side view in Packaging
The NEO Snes Myth cart and Accesories
Neo Snes Cart in Console
You also get a Mini CD with a load of Drivers on for all Neo Products.
Specs of the N64 Snes Cart
Heres what Neoflash claim it does:
The NEO SNES/SFC Myth cart SPEC v1:
* Support ALL SNES/SFC console,all in one solution
* Support the SNES/SFC rom size up to 64M
* Support all save type
* Support 99.5% SNES/SFC games , and sure, some special game need DXP cart support
* Download games from PC to NEO2 cart directly via USB port
* Upload/restore game save to PC via USB directly
* Multi-CIC support, can use any SNES/SFC cart to boot Neo Myth on you SNES/SFC console
* Support Multi games, can download many games at the same time and swap the game via menu on your TV
* Upgradeable! Support upgrade the SNES/SFC Myth cart CPLD logic core through the NDP upgrade kit
The Snes Flash Cart needs the latest software/drivers to make it work, so first off head on over to the Neoflash Forum to download the latest version of the software, once youve downloaded it (15MB) then click on to install to the directory it wants to, pretty straightforward for anyone.
Clicking on the Neo 2 Ultra Menu Icon (look on your desktop or in new programs) will lead you onto a screen that looks like this:
Now get your Neo Myth Snes Flash Cart and making sure that the cart that says 256M is inserted (or the Neo 2 Card with an SD Card inserted), connect the USB Lead to the Cart and Plugit into your Laptop or PC.
It Should have no problems and automatically find drivers installed when you installed the software above, i had no problems using Windows Vista but with Windows XP Pro SP3 it wouldnt load the drivers properly, i did post a thread at Neoflash and was given instructions on how to fix this. (Try a different USB Lead it may be that, infact the Snes Myth cart does come with a lead that identifies in XP right away but this info is essential should you need any help)
Adding Roms etc
Ok carrying on from the screenshot above if everything went ok youll be able to start the juicy part, first off i did a quick format of the card, it took around 30 seconds to do, so no real biggy.
Next on the list was to Add Roms to the Cart (Homebrew Roms and Emulators can be found at links Below)
Adding Roms is as easy as clicking the add rom button and going to whereever your roms are, i was able to add as many roms as the cart would hold but if your using anything bigger than a 256MB card there may be a limit to how many you can hold, i was able to put 15 games on the cart..
Once you have added the roms you require then click on Snes Burn, depending on how big your roms are will depend on how long it takes to copy to the cart, give it a few minutes, it also verifies each burn.
Now one thing to take into consideration is that if you have a USA Snes, you will need a USA game plugged into the back of the Snes Myth Cart, If you have a Pal Snes youll need a Pal game plugged in.
Onto the Gaming
Ok youve Burnt your games onto the Flash cart and you have the Flash Cart installed in the Snes with the correct region game in the back, now its time to turn on:
When the console turns on
Games ive Tested So Far - all Perfect
Donkey Kong Country
Donkey Kong Country 2
Donkey Kong Country 3
Super Mario World
Super Mario Collection
Great Circus Mystery
Super star wars
Over at Neoflash theres a more complete list of whats working and save issues etc.
Today was one of them times when i was took back to the reasons i truly love the homebrew/Emulation scene. The Flash Cart seems easy to use, The adding of roms to the cart is as easy as they come so a big plus factor there and unlike the N64 Cart you can have as many roms as you can fit onto the size of the cart.
Having no drivers and documentation on the CD will make it a little hard for newbies but i would think that most people that are going to buy this are the hardcore Snes fans of old.
On the whole the roms it plays is great, although at the moment theres some work to do on the DSP, Super FX and other special chip Snes Games, the best advice is to own at least 1 of each type of Special Chip game to be fully safe for booting other games. There is work over at Neoflash to maybe emulate the chips so the compatability may be even closer to fully 100%.
The price for the Flash Cart is $169 (around 90 quid) so it will put some people off but to retro collectors/major emulation fans it will be very worth it, if you owned one of the back up systems for the Snes this will be much more preferable as theirs no messing around with ruddy floppy disks that take ages to load and usually knacker up whilst loading. Yes for that price you can buy a heck of a lot of the games but theres some genuine gems that are very hard to trace these days and the homebrew factor makes it worth it for me.
My advice is to those who are tempted is go for it, the flash cart does what you really want it to and thats play Snes, a big thumbs up for Neoflash on this retro cart.
I suppose like everything it depends how big a fan you are and what finances you have to spend on gadgets, for me it does what i want it to and its also seen the re-emergence of a Homebrew scene for the Snes, there are a lot of developers getting their fingers into Snes development and the upcoming Neoflash Coding Contest makes Snes Homebrew exciting again.
Links of Interest
Ic2005.com - Official Sellers of the NEO Myth 64 N64 flash cart and Neoflash Products.
Neoflash Forum for all discussion regarding the flash cart.
Snes Development forum at Neoflash.
N64/Snes Homebrew News and Emulation Site at DCEmu.
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