Proudly assembled in the Ukraine, MaxConsole presents to you the:
Everdrive GBA X5
The list of features below for the newly released Everdrive GBA X5 from KRIKzz is very impressive for an Classic Retro Flashcart for us long-time Nintendo Gameboy Advance fans, but is does it really live up to its 'specs', well our very own MaxConsole Product Reviewer @realtimesave puts it thru all the possible tests, stress, games you can throw at it, and then some more, and you can read about it all below in his latest exclusive in-depth review!
In this official MaxConsole review, we will put the Everdrive GBA X5 through its paces and showcase why it is a worthy flash cart for the GBA system.
The Gameboy Advance system still remains popular among handheld enthusiasts and especially Pokemon fans. In recent years, numerous flash carts have become available for the GBA but none of them had all of the features that Pokemon players deserve. Finally we have the Everdrive GBA X5 from KRIKzz that supports Real Time Clock (RTC) and enables all of the features Pokemon games have from the factory.
In our testing, we will show whether this flash cartridge addresses any issues found in the competition’s flash carts as well as show some excellent titles for the system and homebrew with focus on emulators. Configuration and installation will be discussed along with ROM compatibility.
The first thing to notice about this flash cartridge is it is a bit tall. It is not as tall as the old GBA M3 CF fortunately, but it does stick out of the console a little bit. If you take a closer look, the cartridge only utilizes one side of the PCB for all of the components and includes a built in removable battery. The battery is a CR1220. A spring loaded MicroSD card slot is also included and the overall cartridge build quality is top notch. The case is made out of transparent plastic which slides apart if the Philips screw is removed and has EVERDRIVE GBA molded on it.
Let us take a look at the inside of the cartridge. The PCB is good quality and on its surface are mounted high quality SMD components, typical of the expertise and design of any official KRIKzz product. Here you can clearly see 256Mbit of Micron PSRAM (memory where ROMs get stored) which we will later see provides an extremely fast load time for all ROM images as well as a large Lattice FPGA chip and several other components.
A word about counterfeit / knockoff / “Chinese” / Ebay Everdrive products:
I would strongly recommend anyone against buying a Chinese bootleg of this cartridge because not only are you supporting the developer by buying the authentic KRIKzz product but you are also ensuring yourself that you are getting a high quality PCB with high quality components and will not have any issues with it if you buy the authentic KRIKzz Everdrive cartridge. Also normally Chinese knockoffs use previous revisions of the PCB and sometimes PCBs missing traces, which KRIKzz has vastly improved upon in his authentic products. In all, to save $5 - $10 by purchasing a non-authentic flash cartridge just is not worth doing.
Be sure to check the list of authentic KRIKzz vendors at https://krikzz.com/store/content/6-dealers or just buy directly from https://www.krikzz.com .
This cartridge requires very little configuration to be made in order to play games. A FAT32 format to the MicroSD card and an official menu system ROM provided by KRIKzz’ website at http://krikzz.com/pub/support/everdrive-gba/OS/ placed on it are all you need to get up and running. ROM files and homebrew can simply then be dragged and dropped onto the MicroSD card to load up and play.
The GBA OS menu goes in the folder \GBASYS on the MicroSD card along with all emulators to play emulated ROM files.
The packaging and contents of the Everdrive GBA X5 flash cart are of high quality and great care. The box it comes in has anti-static foam glued in place for shipping the flash cart without damaging it from Europe to anywhere worldwide. It is a sturdy black cardboard box with a cutout for the flash cart in its foam. The flash cart resides in the center of this foam of course and is protected better than its competition for mailing and carrying.
This is a plug-and-play cartridge and is simple to set up and use. Game images (ROMs) are copied directly to a MicroSD card and that card is inserted into the Everdrive GBA X5 flash cart. The flash cart has a spring loaded MicroSD card slot which gives it a high quality feel. Thankfully, too, the memory card slot is mounted on the top of the flash cart which makes it easy to remove and re-insert without needing to take the cartridge out of the console. This flash cart’s firmware is built in but the menu system is downloaded from KRIKzz web page and the latest version is 1.11 which is located at: http://krikzz.com/pub/support/everdrive-gba/OS/GBAOS-v1.11.zip .
The cartridge is high quality and is easy to slide into and out of the cartridge slot of any Nintendo console that supports GBA cartridges. During this review, I inserted and removed this cartridge many times from Gameboy Advance systems and the Nintendo DS with no problem at all.
When the flash cart is accessing the MicroSD card, a red LED turns on as you can see in the above photo. Due to quick ROM loading times, the longest I have seen this LED on was about 6 seconds for loading a 256Mbit game.
Let’s try out some games.
This flash cart runs games in one mode: directly through RAM memory which is used to store the ROM from the MicroSD card. It is very fast and loads most games in as little as less than two seconds. I could not find any games that had a long waiting time to load.
Tested GBA games:
- Ace Combat Advance
- Advance Rally
- Advance Wars (Version 1.1)
- Advance Wars 2 – Black Hole Rising
- Aero the Acro-Bat – Rascal Rival Revenge
- Alex Rider – Stormbreaker
- Alien Hominid
- Atari Anniversary Advance
- Boktai – The Sun is in Your Hand (still requires solar sensor, RTC works fine)
- Boktai 2 – Solar Boy Django (Sensor bypass, RTC works)
- Bomberman Max 2 – Blue
- Bomberman Tournament
- Castlevania – Aria of Sorrow
- Castlevania – Circle of the Moon
- Castlevania – Harmony of Dissonance
- Chu Chu Rocket
- Colin McRae Rally 2.0
- Contra Advance
- Final Fight One
- F-Zero Maximum Velocity
- F-Zero GP Legend
- Golden Sun
- Gradius Advance (Europe)
- GT Advance 2
- GT Championship Racing
- Iridion 3D
- Iridion II
- King of Fighter EX, The – Neoblood (V1.0)
- King of Fighters EX2, The – Howling Blood
- Kingdom Hearts – Chain of Memories
- Kirby – Nightmare in Dreamland
- Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
- Klonoa – Empire of Dreams
- Klonoa 2 – Dream Champ Tournament
- Krazy Racers
- Legend of Spyro, The – A New Beginning
- Legend of Spyro, The – Eternal Night
- Legend of Zelda, The – A Link To The Past Four Swords
- Legend of Zelda, The – The Minish Cap
- Mario Golf – Advance Tour
- Mario Kart Super Circuit
- Mario Tennis Advance – Power Tour
- Megaman & Bass
- Megaman Battle Chip Challenge
- Megaman Battle Network
- Megaman Battle Network 2
- Megaman Battle Network 3 – Blue Version
- Megaman Battle Network 3 – White Version
- Megaman Battle Network 4 – Blue Moon
- Megaman Battle Network 4 – Red Sun
- Megaman Battle Network 5 – Team Colonel
- Megaman Battle Network 5 – Team Protoman
- Megaman Battle Network 6 – Cybeast Falzar
- Megaman Battle Network 6 – Cybeast Gregar
- Megaman Zero
- Megaman Zero 2
- Megaman Zero 3
- Megaman Zero 4
- Metal Slug Advance (Japan)
- Metal Slug Advance
- Metroid – Zero Mission
- Metroid Fusion
- Pokemon – Emerald Version (RTC works)
- Pokemon – Fire Red Version (V1.0) (This game doesn’t use RTC)
- Pokemon – Leaf Green Version (V1.0) (This game doesn’t use RTC)
- Pokemon – Ruby Version (V1.0) (RTC works)
- Pokemon – Sapphire Version (V1.0) (RTC works)
- Pokemon Pinball – Ruby & Sapphire (V1.0)
- Robotech – The Macross Saga
- Sega Arcade Gallery
- Sega Rally Championship
- Sega Smash Pack
- Sonic Advance
- Sonic Advance 2
- Sonic Advance 3
- Sonic Battle
- Sonic Pinball Party
- Sonic The Hedgehog – Genesis
- Sonic X – Volume 1
- Spyro – Attack of the Rhynocs
- Spyro – Season of Ice
- Spyro 2 – Season of Flame
- Spyro Orange – The Cortex Conspiracy
- Street Figther Alpha 3
- Super Mario Advance
- Super Mario Advance 2 – Super Mario World
- Super Mario Advance 3 – Yoshi’s Island
- Super Mario Advance 4 – Super Mario Bros. 3 (V1.1)
- Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo – Revival
- Tales of Phantasia
- Tetris Worlds
- Top Gear Rally
- V-Rally 3 (Europe)
- Wario Land 4
- WarioWare – Twisted!
- WarioWare Inc.
All games I tested worked without any difficulties on this flash cartridge. 256Mbit ROMs loaded in about 6 seconds which is really fast, especially compared to the long wait on the competition’s NOR flash memory.
RTC is working in the games that support it. I could not find a ROM of Boktai that had the solar sensor bypassed and the RTC still working in my set of ROMs though. There was a Boktai 2 with a solar sensor bypass which you can hold a couple buttons to recharge the solar sensor and it supports RTC still. Only three Pokemon games support RTC and they work fine. Make sure to only play one RTC game at a time because each ROM uses the same RTC memory and will mess up the time in the games if you load a different game and set the clock. Unfortunately the Pokemon games have a clock that cannot be reset without starting a new game. Boktai and Boktai 2 allow you to change the clock settings within their GUI but I found their clocks to be different from Pokemon clock settings.
As you can notice from my photos of the GUI, the flash cart does not automatically alphabetize files. It lists the files in the order they are copied onto the MicroSD card.
Let’s check out some homebrew emulation.
- Goomba (GB / GBC Emulator)
- PCEAdvance (Turbo Grafx 16 / PC Engine Emulator)
- PocketNES (Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator)
- PocketSNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator)
- SMSAdvance (Sega Master System / Sega Mark III Emulator)
This flash cart runs most of the tested emulators fine. The only emulators that are currently supported by KRIKzz’ GUI for drag and drop ROM loading are: Goomba, PocketNES, and SMSAdvance. PocketSNES runs at a good speed but it has some graphical glitches and does not appear to support mode 7 very well. That is not this flash cartridge’s fault, so I can’t knock it for that. Most of the other emulators emulate 8-bit systems and play games nearly perfectly. ColecoTech is an obscure emulator which I could not get to boot past the GameBoy logo so it may just be buggy ROM. PCEAdvance has no sound and plays a little slow.
- ColecoTech (ColecoVision Emulator)
I give this flash cart an A-. This score is due to the fact that it does not support RTS (real time saving) or cheat codes but does have a built in RTC and has an easy to read quick GUI that drops you straight to the ROM menu as well as has built in support for emulators. This flash cart supports every game that I tried with no problems and no need for further configuration. Of course more features can be added to it in the future and KRIKzz is still writing updates for this product.
- Supports all Nintendo Gameboy Advance capable official hardware.
- Supports the full library of games (from the selection I tested, there were zero issues).
- Supports MicroSD cards up to 64GB in size.
- Spring loaded MicroSD card slot.
- Drag and drop ROM file support to MicroSD card.
- Fast ROM loading speed.
- Supports RTC.
- Supports all save types.
- Built in emulator support for Gameboy, Gameboy Color, NES, and SMS. (with the emulators placed in the \GBASYS folder)
- Low power consumption.
- High quality.
- Still supported by KRIKzz.
- Easy to replace CR1220 SRAM battery.
Thanks to KRIKzz for providing MaxConsole with the review sample. Also thanks to eBay user electronic_convenient_4_you for providing the custom AGS-101 backlit Gameboy Advance systems used in testing this flash cart. This flash cart kit normally retails for $99 USD plus shipping and handling and definitely is a must for the best compatibility of features of all Gameboy Advance games. This flash cart is still supported and manufactured by KRIKzz.
- Does not alphabetize ROM files.
- No Cheat Codes
- No RTS
OFFICIAL SITE: --> https://krikzz.com/store/home/42-everdrive-gba-x5.html
Official Forum: --> http://krikzz.com/forum/index.php?board=22.0