Opinions on the Everdrives?

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Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by roadking02 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:53 pm

I've thought about grabbing one of these up, specifically the MD version. To anyone that has used any Everdrive no matter which system what are your thoughts and opinions on them?
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by |darc| » Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:58 am

I have the Everdrive N8 (the NES version) as well as the SD2SNES. Both of them are fantastic. There are a few compatibility issues, but those are listed on the website. Everything else pretty much works perfectly.

In the future I plan on getting the Mega Everdrive as well as the Everdrive 64, I just don't have the extra money right now.
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by DaMadFiddler » Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:45 am

I'm planning to get both of the cartridges |darc| mentioned in the not-too-distant future. I'll likely also pick up a Mega Everdrive at some point, but since there isn't a ton of Genesis homebrew, that's lower on the priority list.

I was originally leaning toward the PowerPak for NES, but it sounds like the Everdrive N8 is better supported and has functionally surpassed it as a result.

For Genesis, one thing to note is that there are two version: the Everdrive MD and the Mega Everdrive.

The Everdrive MD is less expensive, but the Mega Everdrive adds a number of extra features:

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/127752 ... try2498499
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by |darc| » Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:45 pm

DaMadFiddler wrote:I was originally leaning toward the PowerPak for NES, but it sounds like the Everdrive N8 is better supported and has functionally surpassed it as a result.
I would just look at the compatibility lists and compare which games you're most likely going to be playing, and which games you'll want save state support on, because that varies between the two as well. Make sure you look at an up to date list because Krikzz has recently done updates.

Also keep in mind some of the games incompatible with the Everdrive can be hacked to work too.
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by Matisfaction » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:09 am

I'm eyeing up the N8, Everdrive MD and Everdrive 64, but they're quite expensive..
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by |darc| » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:12 am

They're quite expensive for sure, but for what you get out of them, they are worth it IMO.

I'm not too snobby to play games on emulators on my Wii or whatever, but I really enjoy playing games on the original consoles with a Framemeister upscaler. Like 2 or 3 years ago I started putting together a classic gaming collection (for me that is 8-bit era through DC/PS2/GC/Xbox era), but I quickly realized that software for classic consoles is expensive, and prices seem to be on the rise. Investing in the consoles didn't make sense if I couldn't afford any games. So I altered my goal: I started collecting classic consoles and modding them for RGB output (and if possible SPDIF audio) and getting Everdrives for the cart-based consoles and doing modchips and region free mods for the disc-based consoles.

Having the Everdrives makes classic gaming so much better being able to use romhacks on the original consoles. Want to play one of those classic brutally tough JRPGs but don't want to spend your entire Saturday night grinding your character in an 8-bit video game from 30 years ago? Apply a patch that gives you double experience points. Or hack back in the Japanese uncensored graphics from some Nintendo games that were censored for violent or religious reasons in the US. Update old sports games rosters to 2015 versions. etc. etc. all possible on the original system.

Not to mention, of course, you have access to put the entire library of games for the console on one single SD card...
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by DaMadFiddler » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:05 am

My primary interest is homebrew, ROM hacks, and unreleased (at least in the US) titles. That's why I'm most interested in the NES--it seems to have the most robust homebrew and ROM hacking communities.

I will actually buy the occasional new release (e.g., the Battle Kid games), but I don't really want anything to do with "reproduction" carts of unreleased/imported/modified games (or especially of games that WERE released, but are just a bit expensive/hard to find); they're expensive (especially considering the fact that you're essentially buying a pirated copy), they're hacky, and most of them are made by cannibalizing vintage hardware. An Everdrive costs the equivalent of buying two or three repros, and lets me load all the content I want.

I still use the "real" cartridges when possible, though. I like being somewhat of a media archivist; I also have extensive book, DVD, LP, and 78 libraries, and even a handful of Edison cylinders. I was fortunate enough to start building my collection just as prices were bottoming out. By the time prices started shooting up a year or two ago, I'd already found the vast majority of the titles I wanted. The only major exception is SEGA Saturn--those things are expensive and difficult to find, regardless of what the economy is like. The only thing I have for Saturn is Castlevania.

So: Everdrive N8 first. Maybe some day a SNES card will appear with Super FX support; I'd really love to play Star Fox 2 on hardware. The SD2SNES can be updated to support it in theory, but the creator has had trouble implementing it, and the project is stalled. I'm less interested in cartridges for other systems, as the NES seems to get most of the worthwhile homebrew and the SNES seems to have the most interesting unreleased/import-only games. Doesn't really seem worth the investment for Genesis, N64, etc., as there isn't as much available in terms of homebrew/imports/ROM hacks. But that's just my perspective.
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by Matisfaction » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:03 pm

|darc| wrote:They're quite expensive for sure, but for what you get out of them, they are worth it IMO.
Oh, I'm not implying that they're a rip off or anything, I think it's a worthwhile investment. especially with all the fan translations of Japanese games that never made it out of Japan, being able to play all those on the original hardware would be awesome. It's just that £80.00 a time is quite a chunk out of my bank account.
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by |darc| » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:49 am

DaMadFiddler wrote:So: Everdrive N8 first. Maybe some day a SNES card will appear with Super FX support; I'd really love to play Star Fox 2 on hardware. The SD2SNES can be updated to support it in theory, but the creator has had trouble implementing it, and the project is stalled.
The reality of SuperFX though is that most of the games for it were pretty crappy. The only games I would consider worthwhile are Star Fox, Star Fox 2, and Super Mario World 2. Rand Linden's Doom port is pretty good too but with all of the consoles and devices Doom is playable on, SNES is not exactly the one I'd choose to play on. And those games are all pretty cheap.

Of course the exception is Star Fox 2 which is unreleased. But it's not difficult to purchase a different SuperFX cartridge and convert it to a Star Fox 2 cartridge. I bought a copy of Stunt Race FX to do this with myself, but I haven't gotten around to it. I don't like destroying vintage stuff, but seriously, Stunt Race FX was a shitty fucking game, and that SuperFX PCB has a much better quality of life being Star Fox 2 instead. I do object to people buying up the cartridges in mass quantities and creating a bunch of fake repros and selling them though. But I don't think people doing it for their personal use is a big problem.
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by Matisfaction » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:07 am

My brother has the Super UFO 8, which allows you to plug in an SFX game on the top of the cart and use that to run roms that require the SFX chip. Always thought it was a cool feature.
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by Eviltaco64X » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:46 am

|darc| wrote:I do object to people buying up the cartridges in mass quantities and creating a bunch of fake repros and selling them though. But I don't think people doing it for their personal use is a big problem.
It has it's advantages. If you could, would you convert a beat up copy of Madden into an Earthbound cart?
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by DaMadFiddler » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:08 am

Matisfaction wrote:My brother has the Super UFO 8, which allows you to plug in an SFX game on the top of the cart and use that to run roms that require the SFX chip. Always thought it was a cool feature.
That's an interesting way of addressing the problem... but from what I've heard, the UFO carts have some rather annoying issues. For example, they're still limited to 8-character file names.
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by DaMadFiddler » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:18 am

|darc|... I've thought about a modified cartridge just for Star Fox 2, but I don't think I could pull it off myself (not good at soldering) and I really hate to give money to a repro shop. Guess I'm stuck with emulators for that one.

Rose Colored Gaming actually just did a run of Star Fox 2 that's pretty impressive--they know how to put together pretty packages. However, it's still essentially for-profit piracy (I'm a bit surprised they haven't been shut down yet), and since a big part of their focus is the artistry of the physical product, their prices are always sky-high.

Nice eye candy, though. And yes, the label is LED-backlit:

Image

They also did a rather pretty version of Mother/Earthboud Zero for NES a few years ago:

Image
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by Matisfaction » Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:10 am

DaMadFiddler wrote:
Matisfaction wrote:My brother has the Super UFO 8, which allows you to plug in an SFX game on the top of the cart and use that to run roms that require the SFX chip. Always thought it was a cool feature.
That's an interesting way of addressing the problem... but from what I've heard, the UFO carts have some rather annoying issues. For example, they're still limited to 8-character file names.
They do require a bit more work, I think that those issues can be fixed with a little googling. The UFO's do have advantages, not only are they cheaper than the Everdrives, they're multiregion and you can also rip your own carts to the device.
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by Calavera » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:11 pm

I thought about getting one awhile back, but just couldn't justify spending that much cash on something I wouldn't end up using much. Does the Genesis one allow playing of 32X and SegaCD? If you have the add-ons of course, that would be pretty cool.
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by Matisfaction » Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:14 pm

I think the Everdrive MD allows 32X (Obviously you'll need a 32X), but it also plays SMS and GG games with no additional hardware required. The Megadrve/genesis actually has an on board SMS chip, all the powerbase converter acted as was a passthrough device, so essentially you're getting 3 consoles in one which is a pretty good deal.
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by DaMadFiddler » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:55 pm

Calavera wrote:I thought about getting one awhile back, but just couldn't justify spending that much cash on something I wouldn't end up using much. Does the Genesis one allow playing of 32X and SegaCD? If you have the add-ons of course, that would be pretty cool.
You can play burned CDs directly in a Sega CD; no need for special hardware or hacks. If you have a Sega CD, you should try out Sonic Megamix.

(But if you're asking about playing Sega CD games on just a straight Genesis without the CD hardware present, that's not really possible.)
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by |darc| » Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:37 pm

DaMadFiddler wrote:|darc|... I've thought about a modified cartridge just for Star Fox 2, but I don't think I could pull it off myself (not good at soldering) and I really hate to give money to a repro shop. Guess I'm stuck with emulators for that one.

I have an EPROM programmer, a desoldering gun, and all the other tools necessary. If you provide me with money to buy the stuff, or buy the stuff and ship it to me, I don't mind making you one. I've been wanting to do one for myself so it'll be easy to do two at a time. I would need a sacrificial game cart, blank EPROM, and an EPROM adapter PCB. I've actually been putting off playing this game until I do this project, so I haven't even played it. I want to play it on the real console first.
Eviltaco64X wrote:
|darc| wrote:I do object to people buying up the cartridges in mass quantities and creating a bunch of fake repros and selling them though. But I don't think people doing it for their personal use is a big problem.
It has it's advantages. If you could, would you convert a beat up copy of Madden into an Earthbound cart?
I actually own a legitimate Earthbound cartridge (top 3 all time game IMO), so no, I wouldn't do that. And Earthbound is playable on the SD2SNES anyway, which I also have. :P

...but if I didn't love Earthbound so much to have a legit cart, and if it weren't playable on my SD2SNES, I would sacrifice a Madden to make an Earthbound.

Hell, I sacrificed a Madden because it was a few bucks cheaper to buy the SD2SNES PCB bare and take the plastic shell off of a Madden cart than it was to buy the SD2SNES with a plastic shell from the vendor. :P

Sports games are typically pretty forgivable to sacrifice IMO. They are rarely notable or interesting, their gameplay has often been far surpassed by modern games, there are shittons of copies out there, and their price reflects that.
Calavera wrote:I thought about getting one awhile back, but just couldn't justify spending that much cash on something I wouldn't end up using much. Does the Genesis one allow playing of 32X and SegaCD? If you have the add-ons of course, that would be pretty cool.
The Mega Everdrive does allow you to play 32X games (if you have the 32X installed between the Genesis and Everdrive of course).

You can't load SegaCD ISOs from the Mega Everdrive cartridge, but the SegaCD does not have copy protection so you can burn the ISO to disc and play on the SegaCD anyway, and you can use the Mega Everdrive as a RAM cartridge to save SegaCD game files to. You can also play cart+CD games by putting a disc in the SegaCD drive and loading the Genesis/32X cartridge ROM from the Everdrive menu.

If you have a console that supports Master System backwards compatibility (Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 did, the Genesis 3 and a lot of clones do not), the Mega Everdrive will also let you play SMS ROMs too.
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by DaMadFiddler » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:11 am

|darc| wrote:
DaMadFiddler wrote:|darc|... I've thought about a modified cartridge just for Star Fox 2, but I don't think I could pull it off myself (not good at soldering) and I really hate to give money to a repro shop. Guess I'm stuck with emulators for that one.

I have an EPROM programmer, a desoldering gun, and all the other tools necessary. If you provide me with money to buy the stuff, or buy the stuff and ship it to me, I don't mind making you one. I've been wanting to do one for myself so it'll be easy to do two at a time. I would need a sacrificial game cart, blank EPROM, and an EPROM adapter PCB. I've actually been putting off playing this game until I do this project, so I haven't even played it. I want to play it on the real console first.
Tempting. About how much would that cost?

I haven't played it either, for largely the same reason. I keep telling myself I'll find some way to play it on actual hardware first. But I don't want to give my money to places that make a living off hacking up "donor" cartridges, and my soldering skills are crap. (That's part of why I love working on vintage audio gear; everything is point-to-point, and the most delicate components--the tubes--are all socketed.)
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Re: Opinions on the Everdrives?

Post by |darc| » Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:40 pm

DaMadFiddler wrote:Tempting. About how much would that cost?

I haven't played it either, for largely the same reason. I keep telling myself I'll find some way to play it on actual hardware first. But I don't want to give my money to places that make a living off hacking up "donor" cartridges, and my soldering skills are crap. (That's part of why I love working on vintage audio gear; everything is point-to-point, and the most delicate components--the tubes--are all socketed.)
Turns out I won't need adapters. Maybe just a socket for the first one as I test it out. Should only cost a few bucks.

The donor cartridge, you'll need to decide which game you would want to sacrifice.

EDIT: I wrote a bunch of stuff here about the pros and cons of which cartridges to sacrifice, but after reading some information from someone who really knows their shit, the majority of the info on the net is incorrect and Stunt Race FX is indeed the best cartridge to use.

Buy a copy of Stunt Race FX (for yourself, I already have one) and have it shipped to my address, and Paypal me $30 (marked as a gift, so you pay fees instead of me) to cover the costs of a few EPROMs, lunch for that afternoon, and the shipping costs for me to get it back to you, and I'll ship you a copy of Star Fox 2 in a cartridge that looks like it's Stunt Race FX. You can remove the label and design/create your own label however you see fit yourself. How's that sound?
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