Famicom N8 is the weakest Everdrive. (A mini review.)

ki_atsushi

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After buying and loving the hell out of the Mega and Master Everdrives and having ZERO problems with them, I decided to take the plunge and Get the Famicom version because I've been missing playing a bunch of my favorite NES games.

I love these flash carts because I don't have to keep an expensive collection, but I'm pretty disappointed in this one. There's so much shit that can go wrong with the Famicom/NES version.

First, I hear that it's picky about operating voltages, so you either have to have a good official power supply (which is usually not the case for Famicom importers), or you have to try replacements until you get one that works. Fortunately, I have a power supply that seems to give a good and steady voltage.

Secondly, many users reported having a difficult time getting this cart to boot due to dirty contacts, right out of the box. Why are these PCBs so grimy straight from the manufacturer? I experienced this one firsthand, it took me 3 q-tips to get rid of the green hued crap that was covering the connectors and I finally got this thing booted.

And then there's rom compatibility. From what I'm reading, there's a lot of roms out there with incorrect file headers or none at all, and they cause problems with this thing. I can't find a working Zelda II rom to save my life. I hear that different versions of the internal OS fix or break roms, and even the latest version (v11.1 as of the time of this writing) fixes some things but breaks others. This is yet another problem, an OS has to be loaded by the end user on an SD card opens up room for more problems such as card compatibility, speed (yes, I hear this is an issue with loading some games even on something as slow as an NES, due to the lockout chip in the system), and formatting problems that can inherently arise with flash media.

Expansion audio chip emulation and Famicom Disk support are in their infancy, so expect wonky sound and compatibility problems there too. I played Akumajou Densetsu (JP Castlevania III) and that music is just off. Some of the notes hold too long and others are incorrectly pitched.

However, when the games actually work, they work great. I'm currently playing through Destiny of an Emperor again and loving it, I just wish I could play Dragon Warrior fucking ONE on this thing. :very_ang:

Also, there are reports of Chinese ripoffs that are EVEN WORSE with these problems, which is hard to believe. (And yes, my copy is legit.)

Anyways, there's my little mini review/rant. I just can't recommend this thing because there's so many variables, so many problems right out of the box. This product feels unfinished, like a beta test that you pay to play. Just look at krikzz's support forums, it's full of people complaining of these same problems over and over. I have a feeling that in a few years this product will be great if it continues to be supported and updated, but it's a complete mess right now.


P.S.- Does anyone know where I can just get a big ass zip file full of roms that are tested for this thing? Don't say good rom or no intro, those sets still have a bunch of games that don't work with this thing.
 
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BanishingFlatsAC

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Ninjaspandex posted a link to his ED files..Id send him a pm. Its basically a download, unzip, and put on the card kinda deal. I didn't have any issues with my N8, sorry you're having a rough go man.
 

Opethian

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FWIW the expanded audio sounds fine on my sharp twin. it did sound pretty bad on an AV famicom. if you have an expanded audio modded NES variation I guess your milage may vary?
 

GohanX

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The thing with the roms isn't really the Everdrive's fault. Most roms are made for emulation, and they have been fucked with and won't run on real hardware. It doesn't matter if you used an Everdrive, a Powerpak, or burned it to an eprom and made your own. I have a program for repro use that cleans and strips the roms, otherwise they won't work. The best thing to do is go in isozone or something and download a no intro romset.

The expanded audio is pretty bad though. Some types are better than others, but the FDS audio is whack, yo.
 

ebinsugewa

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The thing with the roms isn't really the Everdrive's fault. Most roms are made for emulation, and they have been fucked with and won't run on real hardware.

This. You'll have the same issue if you try to rewrite FDS disks, the headers are a pain.

I've had a bunch of annoying issues with the Turbo Everdrive myself that no one else seems to have gotten, and the support forums are laughable.
 

GohanX

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Yeah, Turbo is bad for that too. No intro rom sets are what you need.
 

Beelzebub

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Yeah, Turbo is bad for that too. No intro rom sets are what you need.

I have to second GohanX on the NoIntro romsets. They're specifically put together with the idea of getting rid of any excess data added by "scene" releasers and rom dumping hardware, such as headers, trainers, scene intros, etc. which might create incompatibilities, ending in a clean and consistently compatible ROM. That's what I've gone with for all three of my Everdrives(N8, Turbo Everdrive, and Mega Everdrive) and I haven't really had any issues at all. Other than some not all too frequent mapper incompatibilities.
 

Danthor

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Ninjaspandex posted a link to his ED files..Id send him a pm. Its basically a download, unzip, and put on the card kinda deal. I didn't have any issues with my N8, sorry you're having a rough go man.

^^ 100% I grabbed that same link when he posted it for my Fami ED. No issues at all. I'm using a standard Fami that's been A/V modded.
 

Skips

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When I used to have it mine came working fine out of the box, never had an issue with it however the Famicom audio channels do suck shit pretty hard. As for the power supply that's not really the everdrive's fault, most third party power supplies are utter shit. I've been using RGB mods for the Famicom/NES since the PC10 PPU days and those shitty power supplies would even fuck with the RGB mods. If you want a good quality power supply for the NES/Famicom nab this one. I used to have a few of these and its a nice clean power supply that works great with both the n8 and the NESRGB. Its actually better than the stock power supply that comes with the NES and Famicom and is cheaper as well.

The OS updates are pretty freaking irritating, for example I remember one of them making CVIII sound a little bit better but completely breaking the explosions in Doki Doki Panic. As others have said though, a lot of the problems stem from the ROMs themselves and not the everdrive.

I honestly have since moved on from using the N8, not because I dislike it but because I wanted ONE game console I could have real carts/disks for. Since the Famicom is my favorite console and is pretty cheap to collect for still I decided to go with it. I ever drive the shit out of my other consoles though.
 

Alpha Skyhawk

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I've had great luck with many ROMs when used with the PowerPak from RetroZone. I've run across very few ROMs that didn't work. I even Famicom modded my NES, and while I don't really have anything to compare the sound to, Famicom Castlevania 3 sounds fine to me.
 

K-2

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Ninjaspandex posted a link to his ED files..Id send him a pm. Its basically a download, unzip, and put on the card kinda deal. I didn't have any issues with my N8, sorry you're having a rough go man.

Not sure how to post a link directly to his post, but it's post number 90 HERE
 

julencin2000

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^ omg fantastic post Ninjainspandex, thanks xsq for retrieving it.

Do you guys have a preference about which kind of data card use or have you any bad experience about brands or characteristics?
 

Jon

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Just click on the #90... here you go. Great packs btw. Ninjainspandex rules.

Downloaded the same files when I got my N8. I'd just like to thank Ninjainspandex for keeping those files active...months after posting that link.

As for my experience with the N8, my biggest gripe was it not really supporting expansion audio in FDS games and, in particular, Gimmick! for Famicom. Let's just put it this way, it sounds so awful, a friend of mine is getting me a loose Gimmick!, which is, unfortunately, hundreds of dollars...I had hoped I could just flat out avoid having to spend that much money on one game ever again.

As for the voltage issues, I've never had that problem.

Jon
 

ki_atsushi

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Nice, gonna have to give Ninjainspandex's stuff a try when I get home tonight!

I can't remember where I downloaded it, but I already had a pre-made set on my computer in anticipation of getting an n8 and it didn't work either... for some reason the os file was an .ape and the maprout file was a .7z and even renaming them to .bin like they should be didn't get them to work.

EDIT: LMAO, just opened the zip up and it turns out the set I was using was indeed ninjainspandex's.... why are the os file extensions wrong? It's not playing in my everdrive like that...
 
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GohanX

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Castlevania 3 on the Powerpak is pretty much perfect. It's not good at fds though.

Personally, I'll take that trade.
 

T.A.P.

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Does this mean I can't use flash carts to play translated versions of Japanese only games? Because that's pretty much the only reason I wanted those in the first place.
 

T.A.P.

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And while the NES PowerPak doesn't have compatibility with the US NES mapper used in Castlevania 3, who gives a crap? The Famicom version is better.

I think the version I can actually read is better.
 

ChopstickSamurai

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I think the version I can actually read is better.

Oh snap.

I love my Everdrive N8. I have the famicom version and haven't had any problems. Check out the Everdrive support forums for tips on what ROM sets to use and other helpful tips.
 

ki_atsushi

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Anyone who's used ninjainspandex's files: did they work right away? My n8 seems to want OS.bin and maprout.bin, but in the files he posted I have os.ape and maprout.7z, which don't work and changing them to .bin doesn't work either.
 
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