Let me start off by saying this:
BUY! BUY! BUY!! BUY!!!!
The PC Engine Flash Cart is as good as it gets. I'll be straight and forward with you on the only real flaw that I see: it is a 64M cart. So... you have to watch what games you put on the cart. If you put Street Fighter on there... it will eat up around 20M of the cart. That leaves you only (Quick... I need a math expert) 44M of space left on the cart. (I'm not all that technical.... so I am not really sure what 64M really means as to what 64 MB is.... Someone else will fill us in on that I'm sure).
Either way... I really kind of wish it had a little bit more space.
The packaging for this item was exceptional! I was impressed. It came in the plastic container that you see on their website. Here's what you get: The PCE Flash Cart, the USB slim reader thingy, and a CD with all of the applications for this product (and others I assume).
When you get everything out of the package... insert the PCE Flash cart into the USB Reader thingy. There aren't too many ways it can fit... so just stick the thing in there and plug it into your USB port on your computer.
That is the proper way to put the PCE Flash Cart in. Also... notice the label. That is the label I have... and it is really shiny! My pictures are below.
Then... pop in the little CD that came with the package... and your computer should say something about finding new hardware. Just go to the folder that has the drivers for the USB Reader thingy. Click on the file and it will load the USB drivers onto your computer. From this point... you can click on the PCE Flash Cart folder (it uses a different name). Then click on the subfolder: PCE Software.
It will start up without any troubles...
This is what you will see:
Now here's all you need to really worry about. Top right hand corner... Where it says get machine status... click on it and make sure it says Connecting Success
After that.... Click the OPEN FILES button. This works exactly like a "Browse Files" button when you are looking for something on your computer. Then go to where ever you store your TG roms. I don't care if they are PCE, or US Released HU Cards... they all work. Click on the ones you want. (you may need to add each one individually). Next step... when you are back to the screen above.... you'll see all of the ones you picked in the bottom portion of the program. Click on the button "WRITE". A pop up will ask what type of system you are using. Most of us here are using the TG-16 Console... or the Express handheld. So of course you'd pick TG-16 as your option. It then writes all of the games so they can play on a TG-16 (US BASED) system. You will still get the Japanese writing and everything... but that is just part of the trade off here. Then just wait it out a bit. Grab a beer or something. It shouldn't take to long.... 5 min at the max (if you are filling the entire card) and you'll be on your way.
Now... I've PERSONALLY tested this on a TG-16 Console... and a TG Express. I was a little worried at first because I first tested with my TG Express (I had never played on the home console until recently... so I was learning a few things). The picture appeared rather grainy to me. The ONLY reason I noticed this... is because I was playing Space Invadeers and Galaga '90 on my PSP the same day. On the PSP... it is very very clear. Going from a PSP screen to a Turbo Grafx Express screen... well... let's just say I noticed that technology has really advanced. So... then I tried it on the home console. And I was very pleased. The quality is great. Just trying it out through emulation on the PSP and then trying it out on the home console really just showed me a flaw in the Express' armor. I didn't think it had any flaws.... until I noticed that.
Okay... off of my little rant there. When you put the card in... you will get this upon the start:
Great stuff I tell ya. Push up and down on the directional pad.... and find witch game you want. I think this is a great menu for the PCE Card. It tells you basically how many games you have on the card... and then it tells you the size of the game. Push a button to start that game! It is that easy!
Here's a tip. Don't be silly like me. I sat there and tried a few games. Each time I tried to reset the Express with the 'Select' and 'Run' buttons.... it returns to the opening part of the game you selected from the menu. Just as though you had that HU Card in the slot reader. It doesn't recognize the other games on the cart. Don't sit there and turn the Express or TG-16 off and then turn it back on to get to the Menu screen. Push the OBVIOUS BUTTON that is labeled 'RESET'
It takes you back to the menu automatically so you can pick a different game. I actually sat there... and said... "Boy... I sure wish this thing had a reset button to take me back to the menu. That would make it really cool so that I don't have to keep turning off the machine"
Yes... I'm a dork... but if you can't laugh at yourself... you may as well just give up!
So that is it. You have about all I can give you when it comes to information. I personally think this is an amazing product. I wish it had a little more room... but beyond that it is amazing. Cosmetically... it is the best out there on the market. Aside from the reset button... this looks like a HU Card. I actually placed it in a spare HU Card holder for safe keeping. I may even make a special CD case for it... that way I can keep track of it all.
I will more than likely get rid of my PCE carts now. There is really no need to own those unless you just have to have them. In my opinion, this product makes them obsolete. So my convertor... and the carts are going to hit the road. I was thinking about getting rid of the others as well (the US HU CARDS)... but I'll hold off for right now. If they can may one of these that will hold all of the US Releases... I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
I hope a few of you take advantage of this! It is a wonderful cart!