EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack Review - DS Database

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- Introduction -

The generation of slot 1 carts dominated over the slot 2 market late 2006. It seemed to be the logical step, to rid ourselves of clunky slot 2 solutions, and use the smaller, sleeker, slot 1 carts. However, it was lacking one major function, GBA playback.

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Despite being “last generation”, there are still many classics on the GBA that are well worth playing. From the classic Pokemon series to the more recent Summon Night games, it seems that to this day, the GBA still has some of the greatest games known to handheld gamers. But slot 1 carts cannot play them.

What is EZ Team’s solution to this? They pair up their slot 1 cart with a slot 2 expansion pack that gives not only GBA support, but RAM and rumble. The EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack features 4MB of PSRAM, 32MB of NOR and 2Mbit of SRAM. It also features a battery to hold saves, and a motor that rumbles.

During the initial release, the EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack was limited to EZ Flash V users only. It gave a great boost to EZ Flash V sales as the expansion pack costs almost nothing in a bundle.

However, with the release of standalone EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Packs for older EZ Flash V users that hadn’t had the chance to buy one, users of other slot 1 carts wanted in. Thankfully, patches were made by cory1492, BigBoss and anonYmous. These patches are still work in progress, however, it is well on its way. At this point, the patches allow full support for web browser, GBA functions, and even rumble.

- Design -

My review cart of the EZ Flash 3 in 1 was shipped in a standard EZ Flash V box with a sticker labeled “Bundle Edition”. The box for the EZ Flash V lives up to the other EZ Flash products, it is simple, it is clean, and overall, real sturdy. However, I have been informed by my sponsor, ModMyDS.com that the new batches of EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Packs that they had been receiving were coming with new packaging, which they have taken photos of.

Here is the packaging I received.

And the nicer packaging that ModMyDS.com is receiving.

When opened, the packaging had a nice tray holding the EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack. Impatiently, I popped it out and held it in my hand. It had a very nice feel to it, and it was quite hefty compared to the DS Lite dust cover. I recieved the black EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack, however a white cart and a GBA sized cart as well. I didn"t have a chance to see the white one or the GBA cart, but the black cart is of high quality. It slid in and out quite smoothly, however, it is still no match compared with the DS Lite dust cover.

When inserted into the DS Lite, you will probably notice one thing, the EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack does not have a glossy front. Unlike the previous lite-sized EZ Flash products, the EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack does not have a glossy layer to match the DS Lite. It didn’t matter to me, it looked quite sleek, and either way, it would not have matched my Polar White DS Lite. It would look quite sleek on a black DS Lite. The second thing you may notice is the fact that it sticks out. If you look with your eyes, you would not notice how little it sticks out, however, if you brush your finger through the slot 2, you will notice a slight bump. It is almost perfectly flush, but it does stick out by almost nothing. I can only imagine the other cases being the same quality.

- Software -

The EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack uses the EZ Flash IV patcher for all GBA roms. In general, GBA roms need to be patched, homebrew doesn’t.

The EZ Flash IV patcher is pretty easy to use, and is quite standard. You run the GBA rom through, and then you drag the file into your MicroSD to be placed into your EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack. Personally, I don’t like the software. It is easy to use, and runs relatively fast. However, I have had more than my fair share of freezes using this program, and it gets on my nerve.

- Use -

The EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack has three different features, which are differently implemented depending on the cart you are using.

For the most part, I was looking forward to the GBA functionality of the EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack the most. It works great with the EZ Flash V and any other slot 1 cart. First you must patch your GBA games through the EZ Flash IV client, then you can write the rom onto the EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack. For EZ Flash V, you are able to write the rom and backup the saves directly from the loader. However, with a DLDI supported cart, you must use BigBoss’s patcher. It is fairly simple, and both work well, however, it does take about 30 seconds to write the rom. Once you have written the rom, the EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack acts as a standard GBA game, you have to select it from the menu.

One of my favorite GBA games, Summon Night Swordcraft Story.

You select the GBA game on the DS menu, which can be problematic for some carts.

The RAM function of the EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack is fairly straightforward. There is nothing to comment about it. With the EZ Flash V, you just drag a clean Opera Web Browser rom into the MicroSD and you are set. For another slot one, you have to use cory1492’s patch with the Opera Web Browser before it is compatible. Other than that, there is nothing much to say, it works, and it is the same speed as a normal RAM cart.

It runs tacoemojishirt.com just fine!

The final feature of the EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack is rumble. Only a short while ago, the rumble feature was only fully utilized by the EZ Flash V users, however, now thanks to several new third party programs, slot 1 carts are able to utilize the rumble feature. The rumble patcher allows all slot 1 carts to use the rumble setting, and it supports games that don"t officially support rumble. However, it isn"t perfect, and has glitches throughout. The EZ Flash 3 in 1 Tool allows R4DS and DSLink users to enjoy rumble support for official rumble games. It works quite well.

The vibration is set in the settings panel, which can be accessed by pushing L + R.

Rumble is quite awesome!

- Functionality -

As expected from the EZ Flash team, compatibility is perfect. In terms of GBA games, there is no beating the EZ Flash team. This cart runs everything. Only exceptions are the few games that need special hardware such as the real-time clock, which can still be patched to play the game. I have no problem saying that GBA games and homebrew run almost 100% for this cart, which shouldn’t be too surprising.

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What else can I say about the functionality of the cart? If you talk about the Opera Web Browser, it is definitely working. As long as you patch the web browser, you can run it with any slot 1 cart. Rumble is quite good, a patcher enables non-rumble and rumble games to rumble (even though it doesn"t work properly sometimes) for all slot 1 carts, and the EZ Flash 3 in 1 tool allows R4DS and DSLink users to enjoy full support of rumble.

- Conclusion -

The EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack is a cheap and effective way to run GBA games and GBA homebrew. As a bonus, it also runs Opera Web Browser, and rumble in some cases. The EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack has proven itself to run everything it claims to perfectly on all slot 1 carts across the board. It runs the web browser, it rumbles with games, and it plays GBA perfectly. There is nothing more you can ask for.

Despite looking completely different, both run almost the same, and work perfect.

In terms of aesthetics, the EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack will look great on your black DS Lite. On a white DS Lite, it still looks fairly sleek, however, it is black. The EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack also feels sturdy and fits in great inside a DS Lite. Currently, they are now producing new EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Packs that fit the older DS, a full sized GBA one. It will fit in GBA systems as well.

Looks great on the DS Lite!

Overall, the EZ Flash 3-in-1 Expansion Pack is a cheap alternative for slot 1 cart users, coming in at about $23 to buy alone, and a mere $10 in a bundle pack. It is definitely well worth the money if you want to play the occasional GBA game or run Dipstar. I have had lots of fun playing some old classics again on my DS Lite without a huge cart sticking out. All the stores seem to have the exact same prices, our sponsor has them for sale at a cheap price. The EZ Flash 3-in-1 is a great buy, and the homebrew developers working on making this cart better keep dishing out new things.

- Score -

Design – 5/5 Software – 4/5 Use – 3/5 Functionality – 18/20 Tilt – 5/5