R4i Save Dongle Review (apskats angļu valodā)

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R4i Save Dongle Review (apskats angļu valodā)

Postby DSguru » Dec 28th, '11, 13:06

R4i Save Dongle Review

Have you ever wanted to back up your precious DS save games from cartridges or have you ever burrowed a game from someone just to find out that it only has one save slot that you shouldn't overwrite? If these problems concern you, then the R4i Save Dongle might just be the device for you. Read further to find out what are my thoughts on it and how well it does its job.
The R4i Save Dongle is the latest product from the company which brought us the R4i-SDHC flashcart. This little device allows users to download and upload save files to and from DS, DSi and 3DS cartridges' EEPROM memory. This means that we can back up our save files or replace them with other people's data or exploited data. It is a very useful thing for some games like Pokemon which have only one save slot.

Usage of R4i Save Dongle is very simple. You need to have the correct drivers installed in Windows (no other OS is supported at the time of writing this review). They can be found here. I already had them so I just plugged the device in a free USB slot and it automatically installed its own driver. After that was done, I inserted a DS game cartridge and launched a software program called R4i Save Dongle V1.1 that can also be obtained in the link I provided, and a window like this opened:
As you can see the GUI is very simple: cartridge's save file size and its ID are shown at the top; below there are two buttons that are self-explanatory - the one labelled “PC -> CARD” let's users upload a .sav file to a game cartridge from their computer's file system, but the other one which reads “CARD -> PC” does the opposite. I found the software to do its job properly and it is simple to understand, but there are problems. Firstly, in case of an error it stops responding and I have to terminate the program. Secondly, I think that its pop-up alert boxes are a bad design choice because all the relevant information could be displayed in the program's window itself. It is also unfortunate that R4i Save Dongle currently works only on Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Downloading and uploading save files from many of my DS games (I don't have any 3DS ones) worked as expected, if a little slow (a 256 KB .sav transfer takes about 20 seconds), but I was very disappointed that Daigasso! Band Brothers DX, a Japanese game known for its massive 8 MB save file, wasn't recognized and gave errors, so I couldn't back up my precious save game that has had years of work put into it. Since the R4i Save Dongle is upgradable, I hope to see this flaw fixed sometime soon. There is also a website http://www.games-engine.com that has a section dedicated to sharing users' save games.

In the end, I find that the R4i Save Dongle does what is advertised and would recommend it to anyone who needs it. There are some shortcomings that I would like to see fixed sometime soon like support for operating systems other than Windows, better designed software and compatibility with Daigasso! Band Brothers DX/Jam with the Band.

Thanks to http://www.r4i-sdhc.com for supplying me with a review sample.

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