Author Topic: ~tak's NEO Myth SFC/SNES Review (GERMAN/ENGLISH)  (Read 15814 times)

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Offline ~tak

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~tak's NEO Myth SFC/SNES Review (GERMAN/ENGLISH)
« on: February 17, 2010, 04:18:18 AM »
** WILL BE AVAILABLE ALSO ON MY WEB PAGE **
****************************************

ENGLISH


** GERMAN **


Neoflash arbeitete bereits lange Zeit an einer SNES Cart, welche nun endlich verfügbar ist! Die Erwartung an die NeoMyth SFC/SNES Cart war hoch, obwohl die Spezifikationen nie wirklich bekannt gemacht wurden. In den letzten paar Wochen stieg die Begeisterung für die Features der Karte infolge Screenshots und Forum Posts wobei der erste Wurf eher ernüchtern ist. Nichts desto trotz soll die Software der Karte laufend verbessert und aktualisiert werden. Mehr dazu später :-)

Für sämtliche Tests habe ich meine GBA/NDS NEO2 Flash Cart (1024Mbit) verwendet und jeweils auf dem Ultra16 und einem Super Famicom getestet.

Lieferumfang:
  • NEO Myth SFC/SNES Cart
  • USB Kabel (A auf Mini B)
  • NEO Myth 256Mbit Flash Cart (aka NEO2 Flash Cart) = 32Mb
  • Mini CD-R mit Software und Treiber




Hardware Spezifikationen:
  • NEO  Myth Cart mit NEO2 Cart Slot
  • Gehäuse analog JPN/EUR Cart mit Aussparung für US SNES
  • 64Mbit PSRAM (!)
  • Integrierter Slimloader IV mit USB Port (für das Beschreiben der NEO2 Flash Cart)
  • Integrierter T-Connector für Boot Modul (z.B. Mario Kart mit DSP Chip)
  • Kleiner Switch (on/off) für ActionReplay Funktion (?)
  • Interner Port für Core Upgrade (um neue Funktionen im Core zu ermöglichen)






Software Spezifikation:
  • Windows Applikation für das Beschreiben der NEO2 Flash Cart
  • Boot Loader mit Menu auf der Karte


Funktionen im Boot Loader Menu:
  • (UP/DOWN)   Game Auswahl
  • (B)         Startet das im Menu ausgewählte Game
  • (Y)         Startet das am T Connector angeschlossene Game
  • (START)    PSRAM Check




Handhabung:
Um auf der NeoMyth SFC/SNES Cart ROMs nutzen zu können, muss man erst mit der Programmer Software die NEO2 Flash Cart formatieren und danach die gewünschten ROMs flashen. Vorteil hierbei ist, dass man den Flashvorgang direkt via USB mit dem NEO Myth  Modul durchführen kann.



Sollte der ROM Type nicht korrekt erkannt werden, so kann man ohne weiteres von Lo nach HiROM oder umgekehrt umstellen und bei Bedarf die Speicher Funktion einstellen. Ausserdem kann auf eine bereits beschriebene Flash Cart jederzeit weitere Spiele hinzugefügt werden.



Nach dem Flashvorgang wird einfach das NEO Myth Modul mit einem am T-Connector angeschlossenen Boot Game ins SNES eingelegt und gestartet. Das Boot Game ist speziell wichtig, wenn man ein ROM mit DSP Funktion nutzen will. So empfiehlt es sich z.B. Mario Kart als Boot Game am T-Connector anzuschliessen, da die einige Tester negative Erfahrung mit dem Pilotwings Modul gemacht haben.

Sobald das SNES eingeschaltet ist, kann direkt am Bildschirm mit dem SNES Controller das gewünschte Game ausgewählt und mittels (B) Button gestartet werden. Bis das Spiel dann effektiv startet, muss es durch die interne Modul Software in den 64Mbit PSRAM geladen werden (kurze Ladezeit!), wovon es danach als normales SFC/SNES Game gestartet wird. Bei kurzem Drücken des SNES Reset Buttons startet das Game im PSRAM automatisch wieder; bei langem Drücken gelangt man wieder in den Boot Loader des NEO Myth SFC/SNES Modules.



WICHTIG: Ultra16 ist kein Neoflash Produkt sondern eine limitierte Homebrew SNES Konsole mit extra Funktionen welche ich für die Tests verwendet habe.








Fazit:
Grundsätzlich ist die NEO Myth Cart SFC/SNES ein wirklich gelungenes und durchdachtes Device. Die Bedienung ist schnell gelernt und für Casual Gamers eine ideale HW Lösung ohne sich noch um Parallel Port Settings und veralteten Betriebssystemen kümmern zu müssen.  Jedoch kann man bei der zum Test verfügbaren Programmer Software (V 2.99) nicht auf weitere Tools verzichten um z.B. Region bzw. Copy Protection im Original ROM zu entfernen. Besser wäre auf jeden Fall sein SNES mit einem 50/60Hz und CIC Lockout Schalter zu versehen (sofern noch nicht angebracht).

Die Kompatibilität der Games ist bereits sehr hoch, dennoch sehe ich noch Probleme in der aktuellen Programmer Software. Leider hat diese Mühe ROMs richtig zu erkennen; so werden z .B. HiROM Games als LoROM bzw. umgekehrt erkannt und durch dieses Problem kann der ROM Header nicht korrekt gelesen werden. Dies führ unteranderem dazu, dass keine oder die falsche SRAM Grösse erkannt wird. Zum Glück ermöglicht aber das GUI der Programmer Software das Umstellen des ROM Types bzw. der Speicher Funktion, was aktuell bis zum nächsten Software Release als gangbarer Workaround akzeptiert werden kann.



Zurzeit buhlen verschiedene Anbieter mit SFC/SNES Flash Carts im selben Preissegment und dennoch sind alle unterschiedlich. Für einen Sammler von Flash Devices und Copy Stations gehört das Modul einfach in die Sammlung. Dennoch sollten sich Besizter eines PowerPaks mit kleinem Budget eher die Anschaffung der NEO Myth Cart zweimal überlegen, da das PowerPak z.B. auch das inoffizielle 96Mbit StarOcean unterstützt sowie eine GameGenie Funktion bereits integriert hat.

Toll für Besitzer anderer NEO2/NEO Myth Produkte ist sicherlich, dass die NEO2 Flash Carts vollumfänglich kompatibel mit der NEO Myth SFC/SNES Cart sind. So kann man z.B. wie bei meinen Tests die GBA/NDS NEO2 Flash (1024Mbit) Cart ohne Einschränkung verwenden.

Sobald der Core Upgrade auch weitere Games mit Spezialchip zulässt (z.B. SA-1) kommt man um die NEO Myth SFC/SNES Cart nicht herum, da diese Funktion aktuell noch nicht einmal vom PowerPak als zukünftiges Feature angekündigt wurde.

Auf diesen Upgrade bin ich persönlich sehr gespannt, obwohl dazu vermutlich ein weiteres NEOFLASH Produkt notwendig sein wird (siehe Contra Punkte).

Aktuell sind folgende Updates noch zu erwarten:
  • Action Replay Funktion
  • SA-1 Chip Unterstützung
  • Programmer Software für bessere ROM Erkennung (Lo/HiROM; Header; SRAM)


Pro:
  • Einfache Bedienung der Windows Software
  • Gute Handhabung im Boot Loader Menu
  • Sehr gute Hardware Verarbeitung
  • Schnelle Ladezeiten im Boot Loader Menu
  • Sehr hohe Kompatibilität (Details dazu im NEOFLASH Forum)
  • NEOFLASH Team ist sehr an Verbesserung interessiert
  • Community unterstützt Software Entwicklung und gibt gerne Support

Contra:
  • Aktuell nicht mehr als 64Mbit unterstützt (Programmer/Loader)
    (wobei dies dem Maximum eines offiziellen ROM entspricht)
  • Noch nicht alle Funktionen verfügbar (Action Replay und SA-1 Unterstützung)
  • Proprietäre Flash Cart (NEO2 Flash)
  • Programmer Software benötigt noch eine Copyprotection Fix Funktion
  • Core Upgrade nur mit Extra Device möglich (nicht im Lieferumfang)

« Last Edit: February 21, 2010, 06:12:01 AM by ~tak »

Offline ronaldo_76

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Re: ~tak's NEO Myth SFC/SNES Review
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2010, 05:14:28 AM »
nice one ~tak

 8)

Offline ~tak

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Re: ~tak's NEO Myth SFC/SNES Review
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2010, 03:51:25 PM »
thanks! with finalizing my review I have now more time to offer for development issues such as programmer software and/or boot loader menu optimization  ::sm-21.gif::

Offline sanni

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Re: ~tak's NEO Myth SFC/SNES Review
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2010, 05:28:41 PM »
Nice review  ~sm-42.gif~

Offline xfx9500

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Re: ~tak's NEO Myth SFC/SNES Review
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2010, 05:09:31 AM »
very Nice review 8)
I love neo flash

Offline Dr.neo

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Re: ~tak's NEO Myth SFC/SNES Review
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2010, 03:13:11 PM »
can't wait to see the english version  ~sm-41.gif~
In my world,have 0 and 1 only ......Matrix World......

Offline xfx9500

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Re: ~tak's NEO Myth SFC/SNES Review
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2010, 07:42:47 PM »
@Dr.neo  sucht  their yet tester   for the flashcards?
I love neo flash

Offline ~tak

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Re: ~tak's NEO Myth SFC/SNES Review
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2010, 11:12:16 PM »
can't wait to see the english version  ~sm-41.gif~

hope I do not let you to long wait since I've got a quite busy week. however I've got plenty time this weekend for a nice English translation





Offline ~tak

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Re: ~tak's NEO Myth SFC/SNES Review
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2010, 06:01:34 AM »
** ENGLISH **
(please excuse typos and wrong word order, I'm not a English native speaker)

Neoflash was working for a while on a SNES cart, which is finally available! The expectation for the NEO Myth SFC/SNES Cart was quite high, even without knowing the exact specification. Within the last few weeks the elation was very high due to screenshots and posts on the neoflash forum even though the first release is somehow disillusion. Anyway, the windows application and the cart software will get continuous updates to improve the quality. More regarding that topic later :-)

I used for every test my existing GBA/NDS NEO2 Flash Cart (1024Mbit) together on a Ultra16 and Super Famicom console.

Included in Delivery:
  • NEO Myth SFC/SNES Cart
  • USB Cable (A to Mini B)
  • NEO Myth 256Mbit Flash Cart (aka NEO2 Flash Cart) = 32Mb
  • Mini CD-R with the application and driver




Hardware Specification:
  • NEO  Myth Cart with NEO2 Cart Slot
  • Cart casing as original JPN/EUR Cart with cut-out for US console
  • 64Mbit PSRAM (!)
  • Integrated Slimloader IV with USB Port (to write the NEO2 Flash Cart)
  • Integrated T-Connector for Boot Modul (for e.g. Mario Kart/DSP Chip)
  • Switch (on/off) for the ActionReplay function (?)
  • Internal port for future Core Upgrade






Software Specification:
  • Windows application to write the NEO2 Flash Cart (Windows7/64bit compatible!)
  • On the Cart: boot loader with OSD menu


Boot Loader Menu Function:
  • (UP/DOWN)   Game Selection
  • (B)            To start the selected game
  • (Y)            To start the T-Connector attached game
  • (START)    PSRAM Check




Handling:
The programmer application needs to be used in dependency to use any ROM with the NEO Myth SFC/SNES Cart. With the programmer application and the USB attached NEO Myth Cart will the NEO2 Flash Cart be formatted and the selected ROM(s) be written. It's a clear advantage of not using an additional device for the flash operation.



The programmer software gives the opportunity of changing/overwriting the ROM and Save type in case of wrong detection. This means that we can change from Lo to HiROM and vice-versa if the detection fails (you will usually notice it only if a game without special chip doesn’t start).



The NEO Myth cart and a T-Connector attached boot game can be pushed into the console after the NEO2 flashing operation. The boot game is quite important in case of using a ROM with DSP chip support. I'd like to recommend for e.g. Mario Kart attached to the T-Connector since some tester gave negative feedback with Pilotwings as boot cart.

After turning on the SNES can a game be selected from the OSD and started by using the (B) button on the controller. Before the game starts, it will be transferred with the Cart internal software from the NEO2 Flash Cart into the build-in PSRAM (very short loading time!). As soon the game has been loaded into the PSRAM, it will act as an original game cart. In case of pressing the Reset button on the console it will start directly since it’s still available in the PSRAM; the NEO Myth boot loader menu will be started by pressing the Reset button for a longer time and the PSRAM is empty again.



IMPORTANT: Ultra16 is not a Neoflash product; it's a limited homebrew SNES console with many extra functions and features which I used to perform all my tests.








Conclusion:
First of all I would say that the NEO Myth Cart SFC/SNES is a very well developed and designed device. The handling can be learned very fast and it's a perfect hardware solution for casual gamers without the need of dealing with parallel port settings and legacy operating systems. However the current programmer application (V 2.99) has still the need for additional tools, such as to remove in the original ROM a region and respectively copy protection. It would be recommended anyway to modify the SNES/SFC console with a 50/60Hz and CIC Lockout switch (if not yet done).

The compatibility is already very high for games without additional chip support, however I really see the current issue with the programmer application. Unfortunately it does not detect all ROM correctly; this means it detects a HiROM as LoRom and vice-versa. Due to this fact can the internal ROM header not be read in a correct manner and the negative side effect is a not or wrong detected save type. Since the current programmer application allows to change the ROM and Save type manually, I would say that this is for the moment a reliable and acceptable workaround.



Currently are different manufacturer courting with SFC/SNES flash carts in the same price range nevertheless is still every device very different. Anyway, the NEO Myth cart is a must have for every flash cart and copy station (backup unit) collector! Still, an owner of a PowerPak with a small budget should consider to buy a NEO Myth cart at the moment. This only due to the situation of the current functions of the PowerPak; such as the possibility of playing the unofficial 96Mbit StarOcean ROM and the GameGenie function which it has already build in.

As soon the core upgrade for the NEO Myth cart will allow/support further games with special chips (for eg. Mario RPG / SA-1 Chip) everyone will need a NEO Myth SFC/SNES cart as an all-in-one solution! The PowerPak has not even announced such a feature on the future release list.

For owners of existing NEO2/NEO Myth products is for sure the compatibility and possibility of using the NEO2 flash carts cross devices. In my case I was able to use for all the tests my existing GBA/NDS NEO2 flash cart (1024Mbit) without any limitation.

Personally I'm so exciting to see a core upgrade, although it will need probably another NEOFLASH product (see contra list).

Currently we can expect following updates:
  • Action Replay Function
  • SA-1 Chip Support
  • Programmer Software with better ROM detection (Lo/HiROM; Header; SRAM)


Pro:
  • Very easy to use programmer application
  • Boot Loader Menu is simple to use
  • Excellent Hardware manufacture
  • Fast ROM Loading Time on Boot Loader Menu
  • Very high compatibility (see NEOFLASH wiki and forum)
  • NEOFLASH Team is always interested in improvement
  • Community helps software development and deliver user support

Contra:
  • Currently not more than 64Mbit possible (Programmer/Loader)
    (which is anyway the maximum size of all official ROMs)
  • Not all expected function available (Action Replay and SA-1 Support)
  • proprietary Flash Cart (NEO2 Flash)
  • Programmer Software needs a ROM region and copy protection removal function
  • Core Upgrade only possible with an extra device (not included in delivery)

Offline xfx9500

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Re: ~tak's NEO Myth SFC/SNES Review (GERMAN/ENGLISH)
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2010, 06:18:19 AM »
I we course try to develop some nice apps for it.. (emulators, homebrew games, etc.) if the cards is capable to do so.

please give me a flash card Dr.neo ::sm-21.gif::
I love neo flash

Offline Conle

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Re: ~tak's NEO Myth SFC/SNES Review (GERMAN/ENGLISH)
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2010, 08:58:04 AM »
Very nice review.  ~sm-36.gif~ ~sm-42.gif~

Offline Live_Steam_Mad

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Re: ~tak's NEO Myth SFC/SNES Review (GERMAN/ENGLISH)
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2011, 12:39:12 PM »
Hi, can you tell me please - I know that the SNES Powerpak requires you to hold reset down for 5 seconds if you want to save your game progress to the CF card (which sucks IMHO) instead of just being able to save "normally" in e.g. Zelda A Link To The Past when played on a SNES with just the original game cart, but with this Neo Myth SNES cartridge can you save your game "normally" in the same way, or is there anything else that you need to do? And does it save games reliably in this way? Have you tried it in Zelda ALLTP yet? Both NTSC and PAL versions? 

I am interested to know as I plan to buy one ASAP.

Cheers,

Alistair G.

Offline Conle

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Re: ~tak's NEO Myth SFC/SNES Review (GERMAN/ENGLISH)
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2011, 03:15:40 PM »
Mic_ plans to implement this and it will work just like the n64/md menus which all the job is done "transparently"  :)

Offline mic_

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Re: ~tak's NEO Myth SFC/SNES Review (GERMAN/ENGLISH)
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2011, 03:41:16 PM »
Saving should work, but you'll have to take care of backing up the SRAM yourself before you play some other game that also uses SRAM. There's no Backup-SRAM-To-SD functionality in the menu (yet).

Offline Live_Steam_Mad

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Re: ~tak's NEO Myth SFC/SNES Review (GERMAN/ENGLISH)
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2011, 03:50:57 AM »
When I got my Netmars brand GameBoy E-Merger, which is a no-longer available flash cartridge for the GameBoy and GameBoy Color, I found that every game that I tried allowed you to save your game as "normal" like using a stand-alone GameBoy and the original game cart. The same was true of the unbranded "Firelinker 128Mbit" cart that I bought from DealExtreme, which is a no-longer available flash cartridge for the GameBoy Advance (and AGS001 SP and AGS-101 SP), GBA games were able to be saved as "normal" like on a real original cart. Same is true of my original genuine R4 and my Acekard 2i. All of these also allow me to backup my save games to my PC via parallel port or USB.

However when I read that the SNES Powerpak and NeoMyth cart cannot do this I was rather suprised. So apparently therefore there was more effort and development put into the above GBA etc. flash carts that I at first realised?

I do know that someone has managed to implement Save STATES (a different thing, like you can do in emulators) in the NES Powerpak by implementing the ROM mappers and now some common games like Super Mario Bros 1 allow you to save the STATE of your game (but NOT like a normal save to a stand alone NES + original cart), without resorting to IMHO sillyness like pressing reset for 5 seconds etc.  EDIT: OK I just checked and the guy now covers 95 per cent compatibility of NES games for save states.

When the SNES Powerpak or NeoMyth SNES cart' gain this functionality mentioned in the first paragraph of my post today (i.e. like a normal save to a stand alone SNES + original cart), without the save game SRAM being overwritten next time I play a different game, and without having to hold buttons down on the cart', or if either SNES Powerpak or NeoMyth SNES cart' get the "save states" i.e. Real Time Save capability on any game (again without the save state being overwritten next time I load a different game) I will be the first in line to buy one as I personally feel that these are the Killer features and is at the moment a deal beaker for me.

Also need SD card support and Game Genie support which NeoMyth SNES cart hasn't got!

Guess I'll have to buy a DSi XL instead or some other gaming thing for my birthday then LOL.

Cheers,

Alistair G.

« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 07:38:01 AM by Live_Steam_Mad »