June 2007
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MK5 review from ndsrlz.online.fr

I've finished my review.

It's now available at this adress :

This product is quite good. I'm waiting for the DLDI update.


This card was released some times ago under many names (DSLinker, N-Card, Express Card, DSCard 2, UltraFlashPass EX, DS Fire Link and maybe more…).
NeoFlash also release its clone product called NeoFlash MK5. The kit contains a Slot-1 card, and a Slot-2 card used for transfers. First tests give it a nice mark, now let's see if the product does it well.

First, the sample card I received from Dr. Neo @ neoflash.com (thanks by the way) has a 1 GByte internal memory.
Here are the features listed on the packaging (English errors left as it is) :
– Support clean rom, not need any patch, just need drag and drop,
– Huge memory space, from 8Gbit upto 64Gbit,
– USB 2.0 high speed data transfer,
– USB Disk function, compatible with any operation system,
– Build in the last MoonShell v1.5 and upgradable,
– Support homebrew,
– Build in SMS multi save function and auto save,
– Menu upgradable, just need drag and drop the new core to MK5,
– Multi-rom support, media play support,
– MK5 Turbo Engine, 100% full game running speed, without any delay,
– Build in PassMe function, can boot almost GBA flash cart perfectly.

Like the some other products from NeoFlash, MK5 comes in a nice little plastic package. It's also bundled with an USB cable.

In the package, you will find :
– MK5 cartridge, the Slot-1 cartridge with 1 GByte of internal memory,
– Link Cartridge, the Slot-2 cartridge used to transfer files to the internal memory. It has a USB plug to connect the DS to your PC.
– CD-Rom, that contains drivers and some homebrew games.

First launch
The MK5 is preformated and already contains some software. There are some homebrew games from a previous NeoFlash compo (a tetris clone, Aztec Challenge…) as well as some useful applications.
There's a PassMe rom that allows you to boot a Slot-2 cartridge such as a SuperCard etc. MoonShell is also present on the card. Therefore, you can play mp3s, DPG video files and view pictures on your DS.

When I received the MK5, I downloaded the latest firmware update available (v1.23a) which you can download HERE.

Now let's talk about using the linker.

First, plug the Slot-1 and Slot-2 cards in their respective slots.
Then plug the USB cable in the linker and in a PC USB port.
Finally, start your DS and the MK5, you will see a message in blue : "MOUNT FLASH DISK USB DISK PROGRAM(8G_256K)".
The font should turn to green and your PC will recognize a Universal Massive Storage Drive. Now you can copy anything to your MK5.

Transfer were tested under Windows XP and the latest Linux Ubuntu distribution and it worked perfectly.

I copied the update file to the MK5 and started it like any rom. Then I got a confirmation message, launched the update and everything went ok.

So that's all for the update. Now let's deal with running files.

Running Games
As described in the previous part, it's really easy to copy games to the MK5. Use both cartridges and a PC to transfer .nds files and relative files to your memory card.
Now start the DS, launch the MK5, and you'll be taken to the menu.
Games from every directory of the memory are listed there. They're represented by their icons in 3D. It's not really easy to choose game when you have much and the GUI isn't charming.
However, it works great and you get details of the game on the upper screen when you select it.

You can use the stylus to point icons and start games.
Loading a game usually takes 3 seconds so that's quite fast.

Homebrew work just like commercial games, now let's deal with compatibility.

The compatibility of MK5 with commercial games is great. Every game that I tested worked, including :
– Age of Empires,
– Castlevania : Portrait of Ruin, which causes problems on M3 Simply, R4DS,
– DSBrowser works together with a SuperCard SD,
– Mario Kart,
– Ultimate Spiderman, which hasn't been working on several devices …

Now concerning homebrew games, they just work fine on MK5, except the ones that uses DLDI write (DLDI library doesn't yet support writing on the MK5).
So here are some of my results :
– Aztec Challenge works,
– Drug Wars DS works,
– DSLinux fails (it needs to write a file at boot),
– MoonShell works,
– PassMe works.

MK5 has a DLDI library, but it only supports reading now, and I guess this is the only bad point of this linker.

+ Great commercial games support
+ Great homebrew support (DLDI read only)
+ Works on any OS (Windows, Linux, Mac…)
+ Works with clean dumps
+ Low cost

– DLDI write support missing
– Cannot add external memory
– Needs the DS on to copy games

To my mind, MK5 and its clones are the greatest linker released right now. It has a great support for games and is easy to use.
The price is also quite interesting. The only drawback of the product is there's no DLDI write support, but it should be corrected very soon.

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