CycloDS Evolution Review
ARCHIVED VERSION

Written by Zombie_X
June 2007

 

INTRODUCTION

NOTE THAT THIS IS THE ARCHIVED VERSION OF THIS REVIEW. THERE IS A NEW ONE GOING TO BE WRITTEN SOON TO REPLACE THIS ONE.

Before I begin I must extend my thanks to Team Cyclops for supplying me with this review sample. Thanks Team Cyclops!!

Team Cyclops is known for making some good Slot-2 NDS carts as well as their WiFi Mod-Chip. They recently leaped into the Slot-1 market with the CycloDS Evolution. This card promises much but can it deliver?

 

FEATURES:

  • Completely plug & play - no FlashMe, PassMe or PC software required
  • 100% game compatibility, supports clean ROM's - works on any OS
  • Full NDS download play support, including problem games such as Mario Kart DS
  • Action Replay compatible cheat code engine, comes bundled with cheat codes for over 300 games!
  • Uses MicroSD card, both FAT16 and FAT32 supported
  • Supports the MicroSDHC specification, allowing for high capacity memory cards
  • Save type is automatically detected, no need for a save type database
  • Save directly to MicroSD rather than onboard flash
  • User friendly, easily skinnable interface. Both touch screen and button operation supported
  • Multi-lingual user interface
  • "Enhanced Mode" which provides powerful, unique features during game play. Enhanced features are activated through an in-game menu. Enhanced mode features include:
    • Adjust LCD brightness during game play (NDSLite only)
    • Slow Motion mode which can be used to slow down game play to make fast paced action sequences easier to master
    • Return to CycloDS Evolution Menu (aka soft reset)
    • More features to come!
  • Excellent homebrew compatibility thanks to the DLDI auto-patcher
  • 2 megabytes of onboard flash memory which contains the CycloDS Evolution OS and will be utilized in the future to add exciting new features. A recovery mode is also included.
  • Autoboot mode which when activated will directly boot into the last ROM or homebrew application executed
  • Moonshell included to provide media playing functionality
  • PassMe function (boot from slot 2)
  • Supports rumble and memory expansions
     


CONTENTS:

  • CycloDS Evolution
  • TF Reader

 

INSTALLATION:

Unlike most Slot-1 cards, this card it fully plug&play. That's means that It won't need anything to be on the MicroSD that is required for operation. No system files will ever be on the MicroSD, except for Moonshell. It sorts all the information on the onboard memory. All the Slot-1 card should be like this!!

 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:

When I got the CDS-EVO in the mail it was in a UPS envelope that was sent from a Chinese factory. After opening the envelope I was greeted with a small, square metal tin. In the tin was the CycloDS Evolution and a TF reader. The CDS-EVO build quality looked quite good, except for the chip under it's sticker. I thought that we outgrew those chips? The menu for the CDS-EVO looks like that of the R4DS/M3DSS and games seem to run just as good as those. I wouldn't be surprised if they make the CDS-EVO. Another misleading aspect of the CDS-EVO is that it states it can run media files. This is true and isn't. You need Moonshell to launch media. The box should say "Can play movies, music, and view pictures using moonshell".

The TF reader is utter crap in every aspect. It is the same used by the R4DS/M3DSS and I warn you not to use it. These ones are known for corrupting/killing your MicroSD card. I tried mine out once and it got very hot, I mean blazing hot. Not only that but I don't think it uses the USB 2.0 standard. It transfers files very slowly.

The cart is the same size as a original NDS game but just bit off. It tends to get stuck in my NDS from time to time.

 

USAGE/WHAT CAN IT DO?:

Well the CDS-EVO can be used for a number of things such as reading eBooks, listening to music and viewing images. Most people would buy this for Homebrew and Games though. I used my review sample mostly to play some games I have. The menu is broken up into 3 sections: Games/homebrew, Media, and Settings/Misc. I will cover the Games/homebrew section first.

  • The Games/homebrew section can be accessed by clicking on the NDS game icon. Once in the Games/homebrew screen you will notice that the games are displayed using their internal names and also show the games icon. Pressing the Y button allows you to switch between File and ROM view. File view displays the file size/name of file. ROM view displays internal name of the file. Unfortunately you can't launch any music/and pics from the browser. You have to use Moonshell which available from their web site.
  • The Media section is just Moonshell media player. Moonshell is located in the "moonshl" folder in the root of the TF card. Moonshell can Launch an array of picture, music, and videos.
  • The Settings/Misc menu let you change whether you want to use enhanced mode, adjust backlight settings, enable cheats function, changes OS language, and boot a Slot-2 cart. The cheat enable function just lets you decide if you want to use cheats or not. The brightness adjust just raises/lowers the backlight of the ds lite. the Enhanced mode let you use extra options in game, this will be covered later though.

 

PERFORMANCE:

There is no slowdown at all. From what I can see is that all the download play games work fine. Homebrew support is great due to the CDS-EVO built in DLDI patcher.This allows you to put any homebrew on the card and the CycloDS EVO will automatically patch the .nds file so it will work with the CDS-EVO. The CycloDS EVO wasn't always picked up by the NDS and required several restarts.

Download play is perfect from the few games I tried. I tried Mario Cart DS and Metroid Prime Hunters, which worked flawlessly. That's a feat that no other flash cart has pulled off yet.

Another cool find is that the CDS-EVO can use R4DS/M3DSS saves. I found this out cause I use an R4DS everyday and for this review I popped it into the CDS-EVO and boom the saves worked.

The Enhanced mode offers a Slow-Motion option which allows you to slowdown game play at any point. This is a good features but caused "Brothers in Arms DS" to crash. Otherwise it works good. It didn't work with "Resident Evil Deadly Silence" though, the game wouldn't slow down at all.

The Real time Save/Load option doesn't work for some reason. In fact I don't know how to even activate it. I' am unable to select it from the Enhanced Mode menu.

***TO ENABLE ENHANCED MODE, IN GAME HOLD L+R+A+B+X+Y AT THE SAME TIME.

 

TESTS:

I performed some tests on the card to see it it can do what it says:

  1. TESTS:
  • Action Replay Codes = PASS
  • SDHC = PASS
  • Castlevania DoS Intro= PASS
  • Download Play = PASS
  • WiFi = PASS
  • Slow Motion Test = Not Implemented
  • Real time Save/Load = Not Implemented
  • Multimedia  = PASS
  • Durability = PASS
  • Homebrew Comparability = PASS

      2. EXTRA INFO:

  • The Castlevania test just is playing the intro video and playing a little bit of the game. I played fine.
  • Real time Save/Load doesn't seem to work at the moment so I couldn't say if it passed or failed.
  • For Durability test I twisted the card a little bit and dropped it a few times. Needless to say it held up.
  • The TF Reader is crappy as I stated earlier in the review. Seems to be from the R4DS/M3DSS.
  • Download PLay test was carried out using Mario Cart DS and Metroid Prime Hunters games and both worked.

 

CONCLUSION:

The card does what it says, and it does it rather well. It played every game I tried and there was no slowdown or skipping. The price is a bit steep for me but this is my opinion and not yours. I leave it up to you on what to do but I would just get it for the perfect Download Play.

  1. EXTRA INFO: I used used a Kingston 1GB MicroSD card for this review. You can purchase them from NewEgg for $10.00.
  2. The SDHC test was carried out using a friends 4GB MicroSD card. There was very minot slowdown but it worked. The slowdown is so minor you won't even notice it.

 

JUDGEMENT:

PROS:

  • Can use SDHC CARDS
  • 100% Download Play Support
  • Action Replay Cheats
  • No system files on TF card
  • Fully PLug and play
  • 100% Game Support
  • No in game slowdowns
  • Very User Friendly
  • Works as PassMe
  • Comes in a Metal Tin
  • Comes w/ TF Adapter
  • Can Use R4DS/M3DSS save files without any need for conversion.

CONS:

  • Relies on Moonshell to Play Media
  • Not Always Recognized by NDS
  • TF Adapter is crappy
  • No Included Instructions
  • Moonshell is not included with it

 

LINKS:

Team Cyclops Homepage
CycloDS Series Homepage