[Review] Mega EverDrive Pro Deluxe (Retro Space) + Camiseta Stone Age Gamer

The Mega EverDrive Pro Deluxe (Retro Space) was acquired in Stone Age Gamer. It is a cartridge for the Mega Drive that allows you to run all the games on the Mega Drive, the Master System, to Sega CD (without needing the hardware), 32X (only with the hardware), and even some Nintendo games 8 bits from a microSD card.

This is possible because inside the cartridge we have an FPGA Cyclone IV, where the necessary hardware to run all these games is implemented, including the Sega CD hardware, the FM chip of the Japanese Master System, the SVP expansion chip used in Virtua Racing, and the NES hardware itself.

Here are the highlights of Mega EverDrive Pro:

  • Cyclone IV FPGA
  • 16MB PSRAM and 1MB SRAM memory
  • PCB of 6 high quality layers with hard gold surface finish
  • Supported ROM formats: Genesis (Mega Drive), 32X, Sega-CD, Mega-CD, Master System, NES *
  • RAM cartridge for Sega-CD and Mega-CD
  • CD bios exchange function that disables region locks for Sega-CD games / Mega-CD
  • MegaKey hardware disables region locks for Genesis and Mega Drive games
  • YM2413 core for Master System games
  • SVP core support (Virtua Racing support)
  • Support for mapper by Pier Solar
  • In-game menu (in-game). You can save the game or return to the system menu without a physical restart.
  • The game menu is compatible with Genesis modes (Mega Drive) e Master System
  • Full support for EEPROM rescue
  • Real-time clock to record the date and time of rescues
  • Input / output coprocessor 32 ARM-based bits for accelerating SD and USB operations
  • To 1024 files per folder or unlimited if file sorting is disabled
  • Save states multiple slots. 100 slots de Save states for each game.
  • Instant ROM loading
  • USB port for developing and updating the system without removing the SD card
  • Battery voltage monitoring. The battery can be replaced before it runs out
  • Support for Game Genie tricks

* 32X games require the 32X add-on to be installed.
* The NES core has limited compatibility. Refer to the user manual for details.
* The NES core is currently only supported for NTSC systems.
* For the Mega-SG, the option “Zero lag” must be turned off for NES games (Accurate Mega Drive timing is required).

Motivation

Those who follow the Blog Skooter know I'm a fan of these cartridges FPGA. In the case of Mega Drive, I had the first Mega Everdrive in 2013, I have Mega Everdrive X7 from 2018, and the Megas from 2019. For the Master System I had the first Master Everdrive in 2015 and also Master Everdrive X7 from 2019.

When the Mega EverDrive Pro was released I soon put it on my wish list, but it was not a priority, because I already had most of their functionality in my other FPGA cartridges. I decided to wait for a good promotion, what usually happens in black friday.

The Save states for Master System games is a particularly interesting feature for me, until then I was only able to use it with the Master Everdrive X7.

Purchase of Mega EverDrive Pro Deluxe (Retro Space)

Got the Mega EverDrive Pro Deluxe (Retro Space) in Stone Age Gamer, as I already did with my other FPGA cartridges, because I appreciate the extras they offer in relation to Krikzz's own versions. In this case it’s a nice label for the cartridge, a little box, a printed manual and stickers. Furthermore, the Stone Age Gamer warranty works, as I have shown here in Skooter Blog. It is a pity that they have reduced the warranty for the Deluxe 3 years for 2 years.

A Stone Age Gamer has several color and label options for the cartridge. I am traditional and I chose the black cartridge, how were the official cartridges of the console. But on the label I opted for Retro Space, that costs $ 5,00 the more than the most basic (Base). Not opted for microSD card, because I will use the same one I already use with Megas, that I bought it on AliExpress and I already showed it here on the Skooter Blog.

The discount black friday was $ 24,99, leaving Mega EverDrive Pro Deluxe (Retro Space) for $ 195,00, as the original price is $ 219,99. The basic version (not Deluxe) costs $ 204,99. Shipping costs US $ 17,99.

I exchanged a couple of gift cards of Amazon by in-store credit to make the purchase, through the exchange system that the store offers. Because of a system failure I was not notified that the exchange was complete and in the meantime the cartridge ran out. But the people at Stone Age Gamer it was really cool and offered me the same discount to buy the cartridge in the pre-sale that would start right after the black friday. As I was in no hurry I accepted. I was also offered a free t-shirt to make up for the inconvenience..

With the black friday, credits from cashback from previous purchases, and gift cards of Amazon exchanged, I paid only $ 58,31 in cash, which have been converted to R $ 310,89 by Banco Inter and added to other R $ 19,83 IOF.

The t-shirt offered as a gift is the Stone Age Gamer Entertainment Shirt-stem T-Shirt which has a cost of $ 19,99 the store. It has the design of an NES cartridge with the logo and mascot of the store on top. It is available in sizes Small, Medium, Large, XL, 2XL, and 3XL. I ordered 2XL right away (blogger size), better to be wide than tight. Anyway I like wider t-shirts.

Unboxing

As praxis, a Stone Age Gamer sent the order in a custom box, declared value of US $ 21,99. The package was sent in unregistered mode (code starting in UA) and, therefore, I had to pay R $ 15,00 to the Post Office. Even charging this abusive fee the damned state-owned company took more than a month to deliver the package after confirmation of payment.

Check out the photos and video of the unboxing and testing of the Mega EverDrive Pro Deluxe (Retro Space):

Cartridge and canister have an excellent finish as usual. Excellent label printing, stickers and manual too. Ultimately, the cartridges from Stone Age Gamer are really differentiated.

The shirt is 52% cotton and 48% polyester. It is comfortable, but I like my t-shirts in 100% cotton. I think polyester does not “breathe” so well and I feel more heat.

Tests of the Mega EverDrive Pro

All my sessions with Mega EverDrive Pro were broadcast live on our YouTube channel. Made a playlist with all of them here and I will add more videos as I record more:

Master System Games, Mega Drive, Sega CD, everything worked perfectly in my first tests, including Save states of Master System and Mega Drive, which are my main reason for using the Mega EverDrive Pro instead of simply using the MiSTer.

At the time of writing this article I’ve also tested three NES games: Ninja Gaiden II, Mega Man 2, Super Mario Bros. The first works with a series of glitches, especially at the train stage, famous for being problematic in old emulators. The other two worked well. The color palette is kind of weird and the sound too, but fully playable. NES support is a curiosity, but to play NES myself I will continue to use the MiSTer. I didn't expect anything other than that and I knew that the NES would be just a curiosity.

The implementation of the Master System FM chip is very good. The implementation of Analogue Mega Sg still in trouble, so it’s best to open the cartridge’s analog sound channel on the Mega Sg and use the sound of Mega EverDrive Pro.

Por fim, tested hacks using MSU-MD. It's cool, but I don't see myself playing much that way. I don't like it when the soundtracks radically change. When they just put the original soundtrack in better quality I even like it. But, often these best tracks come from the arcade version, and then I think: why not play arcade at once? What I really like is the idea of ​​putting the original soundtrack with samples for best quality. But this is more for the Super Nintendo, that has all the audio based on samples. No Mega Drive, with an audio chip, makes less sense.

Tracing

The package was sent in the “First-Class Package International Service” and “International Letter”, whose code starts with UA and ends with US.

These are the tracking information package, obtained in the USPS Web site:

January 17, 2021, 9:15 am
Departed
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
Your item departed a transfer airport in GUARULHOS INTL, SAO PAULO, BRAZIL on January 17, 2021 at 9:15 at the. The item is currently in transit to the destination.
January 16, 2021, 8:33 pm
Departed
HOUSTON, UNITED STATES
January 16, 2021, 6:20 am
Departed
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES
January 15, 2021, 9:01 pm
Arrived
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES
January 14, 2021, 9:39 pm
Processed Through Regional Facility
CHICAGO IL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER 
January 14, 2021, 5:24 pm
Processed Through Regional Facility
CHICAGO IL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER 
January 12, 2021, 8:50 pm
Departed USPS Regional Facility
CHICAGO IL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER 
January 12, 2021, 8:50 pm
Arrived at Regional Facility
CHICAGO IL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER 
January 9, 2021, 4:14 pm
Arrived at USPS Regional Facility
CHICAGO IL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER 
January 9, 2021, 3:16 pm
Departed USPS Facility
AURORA, IL 60502 
January 9, 2021, 1:25 pm
Arrived at USPS Facility
AURORA, IL 60502 
January 9, 2021, 5:30 am
Departed USPS Regional Facility
WARRENDALE PA DISTRIBUTION CENTER 
January 8, 2021, 11:44 pm
Arrived at USPS Regional Facility
WARRENDALE PA DISTRIBUTION CENTER 
January 8, 2021, 5:04 pm
Departed Post Office
SALEM, OH 44460 
January 8, 2021, 3:32 pm
USPS picked up item
SALEM, OH 44460

These are the tracking information package, obtained on the site of the station:

15/03/2021
16:08
[REMOVED] / SP Object delivered to the recipient
15/03/2021
09:48
[REMOVED] / SP object out for delivery to the recipient
12/02/2021
10:11
CURITIBA / PR	Pagamento confirmado
Consulte os prazos clicando aqui.
12/02/2021
09:11
CURITIBA / PR Waiting for payment of postal order
12/02/2021
09:10
CURITIBA / PR	Liberado sem tributação
Aguardando pagamento do despacho postal.

It is noted that to come from the United States to Brazil it is fast, but arriving here the post office and the IRS hinder everything. Correios still charges that abusive fee of R $ 15,00 and yet still roll another month to make the delivery. Then he has the face to announce that he delivers 97% of orders on time. It is clear, with deadlines of months like this, it's easy to deliver “on time”.

Table-Summary

Check out the table-summary of purchase:

Product Name: Mega EverDrive Pro Deluxe (Retro Space)
Name Original: Mega EverDrive Pro (Retro Space) – Deluxe Edition
Store: Stone Age Gamer
Value: US$ 195,00
Current value: US$ 219,99
Payment Method: Credit Card Mastercard International + Gift Cards da Amazon
Shipping Type: Flat Rate (Basic Int’l – 14 to 45 Days)
Shipping Fee: US$ 17,99
Package Home Country: U.S.
Purchase Data: 01/12/2020
Submission Date: 08/01/2021
Data Delivery: 15/03/2021
Time in Transit: 66 days
Declared content: video game accessory
Type Marked Content: Merchandise
Declared Value: US$ 21,99
Taxed: Not
Taxable Value: -
Tax Value: -

Final Considerations

The Mega EverDrive Pro is an evolution of Mega Everdrive X7, with lots of interesting extras, in particular support for the Sega CD and Save states para Master System. For those interested in the new features, it is worth doing the upgrade, not least because Mega Everdrive X7 has a legal resale value, mainly here in Brazil.

For those who already have the Megas the news is few. Of really interesting and novelty for me are just the Save states para Master System. Others may also like the NES core, the possibility of converting and playing videos on the console, the traditional cartridge format (the Megas uses a larger cartridge in the cartridge format Virtua Racing) among other characteristics.

Who still doesn't have any FPGA cartridges for Mega Drive, I think the Mega EverDrive Pro is the best choice. It is cheaper than the Megas and has practically all the features and a few more. I see no reason to choose the Megas.

Naturally, anyone who doesn't want to play Sega CD and the new features can buy any of the Mega Everdrive non-Pro (X3, X5, e X7), that continue to be sold at Stone Age Gamer and has prices starting at US $ 48,99.

I was satisfied with the Mega EverDrive Pro. I will not say that it is the definitive FPGA cartridge for the Mega Drive because there is still room for improvement, like 32X support, that should not be possible with current hardware. It would also be interesting to have Save states in Sega CD games, but I believe that there are technical limitations that prevent this.

On the other hand, I have played a lot more Mega Drive, Master System e Sega CD no MiSTer than Analogue Mega Sg or on my original Mega Drives. The Mega EverDrive Pro is already underutilized and if the MiSTer gain support for Save states on the Mega Drive and the Master System and start supporting the Master System BIOS, i'll probably leave the Mega EverDrive Pro sideways once.

Now I must sell my Mega Everdrive X7, as I already did with the first Mega Everdrive. Maybe sell the Megas, I don't see much reason to stay with him. A TerraOnion tem sido um tanto decepcionante e não atualiza o firmware há mais de um ano. Nem o suporte aos Save states de Master System eles implementaram.

Antigamente eu pensava em guardar esses cartuchos FPGA de reserva, pois eventualmente esses cartuchos podem parar de funcionar e não se sabe até quando o Krikzz vai continuar na ativa. Se ele resolver parar, o preço dos usados vai aumentar bastante. Hoje já me parece bobagem, a comunidade tem sempre encontrado alternativas para produtos descontinuados, muitas vezes até melhores.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.skooterblog.com/2021/04/28/review-mega-everdrive-pro-deluxe-retro-space-camiseta-stone-age-gamer/

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