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PharaohsVizier
08-15-2008, 11:50 PM
Special thanks to the <a href="www.ndstt.com" target="_blank">DS Top Toy team</a> and <a href="http://minionlinestore.com" target="_blank">www.MiniOnlineStore.com</a> for providing the sample used in this review!</strong><br>
<a href="http://minionlinestore.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/minios_banner_400_55.jpg"></a></p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1357.jpg" width="300" height="225"></p>
<p class="style21"><strong>- Introduction - </strong></p>
<p class="style21">The team responsible for the DS Top Toy is still quite unknown, most likely they are a brand new team.&nbsp; Thankfully they seem to have shown plenty of support, they have even created quite a nice website, as well as shown support for their product by creating many updates.&nbsp; Usually a good way to check if a team is confident in their products is to see how many they have given out, there have been numerous DS Top Toy contests and giveaways sponsored by the DS Top Toy team, including one on our own forum.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1368.jpg" width="300" height="225"><br>
<em>And obviously this review has been provided for.</em></p>
<p class="style21">The OEM of the DS Top Toy is the Neoflash Top Toy DS.&nbsp; They are interchangeable.&nbsp; Their firmware, their skins, everything can be switched from the DS Top Toy to the Neoflash Top Toy DS and vice versa at any time.&nbsp; It is nice to know that if one team drops support, we can rely on the other.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1339-1.jpg"><br>
<em>This is great, they are the same cart, I guess we can always opt for the cheaper one.</em></p>
<p class="style21"><strong>- Design -</strong></p>
<p class="style21">The DS Top Toy came in the mail one day, the packaging was somewhat squished, but still presentable.&nbsp; The packaging was very professional.&nbsp; It has a nice and simple logo, the back has a long list of claims that are written in decent English, but still not perfect.&nbsp; The box was made of cardboard and basically was quite presentable, and it told you everything you needed to know about the DS Top Toy.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1384.jpg"><br>
<em>Nice box, I was sad that the sides were damaged by the post office.</em></p>
<p class="style21">Inside was a plastic tray holding a bunch of stuff.&nbsp; The DS Top Toy package I received was the deluxe package, therefore it includes the standard DS Top Toy, the MicroSD reader, the USB-DS charger, and a disk, as well as the non standard Rumble Pak and the GBA &amp; Explorer cartridge.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1360.jpg"><br>
<em>Now that is a loaded box, it comes filled with goodies and they are quite useful too.</em></p>
<p class="style21">The MicroSD reader was very nice and small.&nbsp; It was fast and very useful.&nbsp; However, it was almost impossible to remove the MicroSD during the first use, afterwards it loosens quite a bit.&nbsp; The reader is perfect for carrying your spare MicroSD cards arounds with your, it has a nice shell to protect it, and is small enough to clip onto your DS.&nbsp; The USB-DS charger charges your DS.&nbsp; It is nothing special, just a retractable cord that provides power from a USB source.&nbsp; It comes in handy, and is definitely welcomed.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1342.jpg" width="300" height="225"><br>
<em>I raved about this MicroSD reader in the Neoflash Top Toy DS review, so why not here? I love this MicroSD reader, it is one of the best and handiest I've used, although it might, and probably will get lost eventually.</em></p>
<p class="style21">The two lite sized expansion packs are just OEMs of the eWin GBA Expansion Pak and the eWin Rumble Pak, both of which are great products.&nbsp; The build quality is great, they are exactly the same as the DS Lite dust covers except they aren&rsquo;t glossy.&nbsp; In my package one came in black and the other in white, I am aware that you are able to get both black or both white, unfortunately I cannot confirm anything about any other colors.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1361.jpg"><br>
<em>The two expansion packs are quite well known already, and you can find reviews of each of them individually at <a href="reviews.html">DSDatabase.org</a>.</em></p>
<p class="style21">The actual DS Top Toy is quite well made, unfortunately the retail carts are not the same as the carts that have been shipped out to the reviewers.&nbsp; My cart was very solid, it was surrounded by thick plastic, and the spring loaded slot was extremely strong.&nbsp; The sticker has a slight shine on it, and obviously sported the beautiful DS Top Toy logo.&nbsp; Unfortunately it has a chip sticking out underneath the sticker, however slight, it did cause a few issues sticking it in and out.&nbsp; However, the retail carts, to my knowledge, keep most of the attributes, but no longer have the chip sticking out, instead it is completely smooth.&nbsp; I would assume that it is similar to the Neoflash Top Toy DS I have received and reviewed.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1358.jpg"><br>
<em>It might be a bit hard to make out, but you can make out a slight chip sticking out. Thankfully this is no longer an issue in the newest batches of the DS Top Toy.</em></p>
<p class="style21"><strong>- Software -</strong></p>
<p class="style21">The Top Toy DS is a cart that uses drag and drop and auto-DLDI patching.&nbsp; Therefore, all homebrew and games can be pasted into the MicroSD memory card without the need to patch, which means that there is no software included.&nbsp; On the official DS Top Toy forum however, they do provide various homebrew files, including the homebrew file that burns GBA games from your DS Top Toy to the GBA &amp; Explorer cart.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1365.jpg"><br>
<em>They have even updated the eWin GBALDR themselves!</em> Please note that this is not the latest version.</p>
<p class="style21">The firmware used with the DS Top Toy is stored on the memory card, and is quite simple.&nbsp; Once again, you simply download, unzip and drag it into the root of the memory card.&nbsp; This is the same for skins.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1363.jpg"><br>
<em>Every picture on the DS Top Toy is skinnable, including all the little icons.</em></p>
<p class="style21"><strong>- Use -</strong></p>
<p class="style21">The DS Top Toy is very simple in design, you see the Health and Safety screen when you first boot it, and then you get taken to a list of games with a whole bunch of icons.&nbsp; As well you get the file name and the file size.&nbsp; More detailed information is available on the top screen.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1371.jpg"><br>
<img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1370.jpg" width="300" height="225"><br>
<em>This is somewhere in the middle of my list of games, top and bottom screen included.</em></p>
<p class="style21">On the top left hand corner under SysOption, you can turn on soft reset for all games, boot a slot 2 cart in passme or GBA mode, power off the system or change the brightness.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1372.jpg" width="300" height="225"><br>
<em>These features are standard on most flash carts.</em></p>
<p class="style21">Another set of options is available, this is for each individual game, by clicking the blue cross by a game, or clicking the select button, you get to the game&rsquo;s options.&nbsp; You see a few options, DMA fiddles with compatibility, it should not be touched unless the game does not boot, soft reset turns soft reset on or off for the game, which means that in game you can get back to the DS Top Toy menu by clicking <strong>L+R+A+B+X+Y</strong>.&nbsp; The other setting is to turn cheats on or off for the selected game.&nbsp; These cheats can be seen by clicking the right D-Pad button in this menu, and basically whatever you select turns on.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1373.jpg" width="300" height="225"><br>
<img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1375.jpg" width="300" height="225"><br>
<em>Here are the possible options for Final Fantasy XII.</em></p>
<p class="style21">The DS Top Toy is quite fast, the first time you boot a game, it takes about 2-3 seconds to create a save file, after that boot, every time after takes at max 2 seconds to boot.&nbsp; The menu also loads incredibly fast, it takes almost no time to load into the menu, and all the parts of the menu change very smoothly.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1378.jpg" width="300" height="225"><br>
<em>It loads incredibly fast, probably the fastest in comparison to all other flash carts.</em></p>
<p class="style21"><strong>- Functionality -</strong></p>
<p class="style21">The DS Top Toy is amazing.&nbsp; With a 2GB Japanese Kingston MicroSD memory card, all roms ran at full speed, and of course they played and saved fine.&nbsp; I am very impressed because there is virtually zero lag.&nbsp; It ran both Castlevania games without a hitch, and their intros ran smoothly.&nbsp; Even though <a href="http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=69748" target="_blank">GBATemp&rsquo;s review of the DS Top Toy</a> claims that Contra 4 does not run properly however I have not been able to reproduce this problem.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1355.jpg" width="300" height="225"><br>
<em>Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow's video is used as a benchmark test for lag on flash carts, the DS Top Toy plays it full speed with no stutters.</em><br>
<br>
The DS Top Toy uses autoDLDI patching for homebrew files.&nbsp; Each and every single&nbsp; homebrew file ran fine with the exception of Starlite, which has problems with multiple major flashcarts.&nbsp; The autoDLDI patcher was very fast and it worked fine, so I give it the thumbs up.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1365.jpg"><br>
<em>Obviously their own provided homebrew files work too.</em></p>
<p class="style21">In terms of download play, the DS Top Toy works perfectly.&nbsp; Here are the test results, I think they speak for themselves.<br>
<br>
<span class="style25">Working</span><br>
Tetris DS <br>
Mario Kart DS<br>
New Super Mario Bros.<br>
Bomberman Land Touch<br>
Elite Beat Agents<br>
Meteos<br>
Quickspot<br>
True Swing Golf<br>
Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!<br>
Winning Eleven Pro Evolution Soccer DS<br>
Super Mario 64 DS<br>
Mario Hoops 3 on 3<br>
Nanostray<br>
Metroid Prime Hunters<br>
Club House Games<br>
Big Brain Academy<br>
<br>
<span class="style27">Not Working</span><br>
NONE<br>
<br>
The DS Top Toy Rumble Pack works great with all roms, it rumbles very silently yet it gives great feedback.&nbsp; There is no patching required, it runs just like the official expansion pack.<br>
The GBA Explorer is a different story, it uses a homebrew file to burn GBA roms from the DS Top Toy to the slot 2 cart.&nbsp; It runs fast and works just fine, and it is the same as the eWin Expansion Pak after all.&nbsp; Some people have found roms that do not work, for the 50 I randomly tested, it worked fine.&nbsp; The GBA &amp; Explorer works fine for its purpose, it plays most GBA games at full speed and burning them onto the cart is fast. </p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1382.jpg" width="300" height="225"><br>
<em>The two expansion packs are incredibly easy to use.</em><br>
<br>
<strong>- Conclusion -</strong></p>
<p class="style21">The DS Top Toy is a great flash cart, and because of the fact that the price of the flash cart is under $30 with a rumble pack, it is a great deal that many people are taking.&nbsp; With lots of people, we see lots of support, already we have seen skins, mods, support for different languages, even programs to make the process easier.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1362.jpg" width="300" height="225"><br>
<em>The rumble pack is great!</em></p>
<p class="style21">This flash cart supports all NDS games and most NDS homebrew with no lag and no problems.&nbsp; It has perfect download play compatibility.&nbsp; The cheat files can be stolen directly from the many databases that the R4 has to offer.&nbsp; The cart is speedy, and the menu is easy to navigate through, and as mentioned before, the price is what will sell the cart.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1380.jpg" width="300" height="225"><br>
<em>Here is a game of Bleach: The Blade of Fate running full speed on the DS Top Toy.</em></p>
<p class="style21">It is hard to think of the flash cart&rsquo;s shortcomings, there are two minor problems.&nbsp; The first is that the list is not alphabetically sorted, so organization might be a little fuzzy if you don&rsquo;t use sorting programs such as FATsort, and the many icons shown on the cart are very confusing, and getting them mixed up could waste a few seconds.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1376.jpg" width="300" height="225"><br>
<em>I used FATsort to organize this list.</em></p>
<p class="style21">The DS Top Toy is great, I would not hesitate for a moment when asked to recommend it.&nbsp; It is a clear choice for best flash cart for its price.</p>
<p class="style21"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/IMG_1383.jpg" width="300" height="225"><br>
<em>Even the loading screens are a joy to look at!</em></p>
<p class="style21"><strong>- Score -</strong></p>
<p class="style21">Design &ndash; 5/5<br>
Software &ndash; 2/5<br>
Use &ndash; 5/5<br>
Functionality &ndash; 18.5/20<br>
Tilt &ndash; 5/5</p>
<p class="style21"><strong>Overall &ndash; 35.5/40</strong> </p>
<p class="style22 style21"><span class="style21">Get your own DS Top Toy at:<br>
<a href="http://minionlinestore.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r98/PharaohsVizier/minios_banner_400_55.jpg">