Turbo Link & XG2turbo Flash Card Review
Recently we had a chance to test the latest linker and flash card
from the XG-Flash family. It is called XG2 Turbo or for short XG2T
(XG2turbo). The set that we were looking at had 256M flash card
but sets with 512M and 1G XG-Flash 2 cards are available.
XG-Flash 2 Turbo Linker Set
Comes packaged in a nice looking gift box with:
- 1 x USB XG2 Turbo Linker II
- 1 x XG-Flash 2 Turbo
- 1 x CD with Software
- 1 x GBA Crystal Lens& 1 x GBASP Crystal
XG2 Turbo Link (version II)
This USB link cable connects PC USB port to GAMEBOY
ADVANCE or GBA SP Link port [EXT.1] and is used for
writing GBA ROMS from PC-to-GBA, Backuping Game roms
from Nintendo made Gameboy cartridges to computer
and managing SaveGames - .sav files.
Writer and XG2 Lite the TURBO version doesn't use
an external writer - all the read and
write operations are performed to a cartridge that
is inserted in the Gameboy same as with F2A USB,
EZF Advance and X-ROM linkers.
XG2Turbo Linker version 2 of has been designed
taking in account the suggestions from users. Of
course the main function of the linker is to connect
a computer to GBA so that you can write roms
to the XG2Turbo flash card but this linker does more
than that. 2 additional cables that come out of the
XG2T can be used for charging GBASP or GB ADVANCE
batteries drawing the power from the USB port. You
could buy a separate adapter for charging the SP
from USB but now you don't have to. It is possible
to Write GBA Roms and ReCharge
Game Boy batteries
at the same time!
XG2 Turbo Flash Card
XG-lash 2 Turbo Flash Card that we tested was nice
black - matching the color of my GBA SP. Other colors
are avilable The physical size of the XG2Turbo flash
card is the same as any other Nintendo GBA
cartridge so it fits in the GameBoy perfectly. The
main characteristics of the XG2T carts:
- Flash memory size 256M - 1G for storing gba game
- 2M separate SRAM Save Game memory for .sav files
- Built-in Super Memory Stick (SMS) save game
manager with additional 28 mem slots!
- Real-Time Clock (RTC2) that supports Pokemon
and Our sun games
- Built-in Boot loader that doesn't take up any
of the Flash Memory space and lets it all be used
for game ROMS.
- Lowest GBA battery power consumption to date.
11 mA (XG1 - 80mA)
(That is even lower than using EZ2 PowerStar)
as mentioned before we tested the 256M cartridge.
Byte on PC = 8M bits in GBA) so it can hold anywhere
from 2 to 8 commercial gba roms.
8 x 32M gba games / 4 x 64M roms
/ 2 x 128M or a mixture of games up to 256M in size.
cartridge can also be used for playing emulated
NES, SNES, GB, GBC, Z80, SEGA roms
ect. as well as specially encoded MPEG and AVI video
files, MP3 files, Slideshows and e-Books. The cartridge
we got came pre-Flashed with XGflash Power Viewer
- windows like application for GBA that had some
instruction TXT files and pictures of the cartridges
that we could view on GAMEBOY.
All the different save game
formats are supported
by hardware without rom patching:
SRAM, 1M SRAM, Flash, 1M Flash, EEPROM,
v1244 EEPROM so you will not have any problems with games not being able to
save your progress.
What is different from other carts is the built-in
Super Memory Stick (SMS). This feature lets
you backup / restore game saves in separate memory
so that you can have more than one save file for
any game. Or you can hold gamesaves for roms that
are not on the cartridge but you plan on playing
later. For example, I and my brother are playing
Bayblades Vforce but the game has only one save game
slot so after I play I backup my sav and my bother
can play and save without worrying that he will overwrite
my save. I can even erase the game from the flash
card, play and save some other roms and a month later
when I put the Bayblades back on the cart I can restore
the save game and continue from where I left off.
Something that you wouldn't worry about if you had
a separate cartridge for every game but it is important
if you have 8 games on the cart. Plus SMS memory
doesn't use any battery power so savegames will never
be lost because of the battery running out.
Real-Time Clock version 2 (RTC2)
- works just like it does on Nintendo cartridges
plus it is fully compatible with all games that have
time related events (Pokemon, Our Sun, Gba PDA) and
again there is no need to patch.
Another thing that s different and better than on
other flash cards is that the Boot
Loader - that
is the menu where you can see and select the games
that you have on the flash card doesn't use Flash
Memory. On other cards this menu takes up ~25KB or
the memory That is not much but it means that if
you have 2 x 128M roms on the 256M card one of them
would have to be reduced in size to fit the loader
but that can not be done with all of the roms so
sometimes you couldn't fit these 2 128M games on
the 256M cart because of the loader! With XG2Turbo
carts you don't have to worry about it.
In the Boot menu of the XG2T you have 3 options:
- [Start Game] - select and start playing
one of the game roms
- [Manage] -
SMS save game manger Backup / Restore or Delete
- [Clock Adjust] - set or reset the RTC
clock time YY/MM/DD
XG2 Turbo Link v1.22 - The software supplied allows
you to read / write roms to the cartridge
and also save games from and to SMS.At this time
English and Chinese languages are supported but support
for more languages can be added using plug-ins. Its
fairly simple but has all the features needed.
What we especially liked about writing roms to the
cart is that if you like you can manually edit the
Game Title that you will see in the Boot
More details about XG2 Turbo Link
GBA & GBASP Crystal
As an additional bonus you get free replacement
screen lenses with XGflash2 logo. One for GBA and
one SP. If not now they surely they will come in
andy later when the original gba screen inevitably
Turbo Linker II installation.
Software and Drivers for the XG2T come on a 3½ diskette
(or mini CD). It is always the best to check online
to see if a newer version has been released.
SHORT XG2T installation instructions.
Install the software [Install -> Next
-> Next -> Finish]
Plug in the
USB linker and browse to the drivers located in the
XG2Linker to GBA/GBASP EXT. port
down START+SELECT and turn on the GAMEBOY
XG2Flash client ad you are ready to go!
- Latest generation linker kit
- Hardware compatible with all save game formats
- Only linker that can be use
for charging GBA batteries
- USB 2.0 and USB 1.1
- Rechargeable 3.6v save game battery
Realtime Clock (RTC version 2)
- Inbuilt 4Mb Super Memory
- Very low power consumption - 10h+ play time
flash cart can hold 8 gba games
- Simple to install
- Free GBA and GBA-SP crystal lens
- Slower rom write speed from PC to cartridge than
with other linkers - because XG2 verifies the data
after sending it to the cart.
(I would say that
it is compensated by the fact that you can be charging
the batteries wile witting roms)
- No inbuilt support for Cheat Codes (could be
added in the new software version)
- GBAnet can highly suggest this GBA Flash Linker
& Card set as one of the most advance, compatible
and feature rich linkers on the market.
XG2Turbo Drivers & Software
more & Buy at Linker4U.com
List of stores selling GBA Flash Cards