I’ve wanted to do this Game Boy Everdrive X3 review forever now. It’s almost a miracle that I’m finally getting to it. Since things are finally slowing down in life, I can get finally get back to more consistent blog writing! So that means more retro game reviews, tech reviews, and more!
The particular Everdrive I will be reviewing today is the Everdrive GB X3. This Everdrive supports the original Game Boy and Game Boy Color. Since I don’t have a Game Boy Color lying around (I need to get one!) I’ll be showing off my modded blue backlight original Game Boy.
We should ask one simple question first though…
What is an Everdrive?
The Everdrive is a popular brand of flash cartridges that allows you to load original software from an SD card on a real game console such as the Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis. It can be used to play original ROMs, homebrews, ROM hacks, and even new translations of games that were never released in a particular region. You can store every single game ever released for the system on an SD card and have the entire library at your fingertips at any time. A menu screen lists all of the games on the card and allows you to select and play any game you wish, and as far as the console is concerned it is just like playing from the original cartridge.
Everdrive GB X3 Review
Below is where I will begin the Game Boy X3 everdrive review. While overall I think it is a great product there are some quirks and stuff I do not enjoy with it. Alas, if the quirks bother you, it might be wise to just go ahead and get the higher version.
EverDrive GB X3 Setup
The Everdrive is one of the simplest flash carts I’ve ever seen to set up. Format your SD card as FAT32, create folders for your ROMs and copy your games to the card. Then simply plug the cartridge into your Gameboy, select a game, and play.
You may need to update the operating system for the Everdrive. Krikkz, the author of the Everdrive, regularly releases updates to fix bugs or add new features. (X3Updates).
Saving on the GB X3 Everdrive
The Everdrive GB X3 does NOT automatically save your SRAM (save data).
This means even if you save your game progress through the game’s menus, the cartridge will not automatically save it to the SD card. This can be kind of confusing and in the manual it tells you that you have to press a button. Now looking directly at the GB Everdrive you might be confused. I know for one I was really confused. There was no BUTTON that I could see, I’m thinking I should be seeing a little red button or something. Something that really sticks out like a button.
So for the first time using the Everdrive X3, I was unable to save. I decided to check out the internet and do some research and found out that the CARTRIDGE is actually the button.
Ok, let me explain: The top part is actually a button you PRESS. Again, this is only for the X3 VERSION of the GB Everdrive.
So don’t feel bad if you cannot figure it out, I know I couldn’t at first. This is really the only complaint I really kind of have with this flash cart, and it was simply because I really didn’t know what to do. Pressing the button DOES restart the game and takes you back to the menu where you can select a new game to play. This is kind of similar to the Easy Flash IV method of saving. Only on the Easy Flash you must turn off the system and turn it back on to save your games.
Hopefully, this can clear up the saving process for this Everdrive and maybe for some others you might be having issues with.
GB X3 Has NO Real-Time Clock or Save States
There is no real-time clock available in the X3 version of the Everdrive GB. However, that really only affects a few games. Really the only games it can truly affect are some of the Pokemon games. I believe only certain Pokemon can be caught at certain times and this will affect that. That doesn’t mean you still can’t get them, for certain games like Pokemon that require an RTC, you can simply patch the ROM and it will fix most if not all of your issues.
If you don’t want to deal with any of that mess (although it is usually not hard to patch) you can purchase the more costly versions of the GB Everdrive which I really think is unnecessary. But I’m all about saving money whenever I can and I don’t think it’s THAT important since I rarely if ever want to play Pokemon games. However, if you do want the real-time clock feature look to the Everdrive GB X7.
The Everdrive GB X3 does not support save states. That is, saving your game at any point bypassing the game’s own save system. For this feature, you would need the Everdrive X7.
X3 Game Compatibility
This Everdrive really supports just about any game you would want to play. Including some hacked ROMs even; you’ll have to test them for yourself though and I can’t promise that they all will work. Most if not all the retail Gameboy and Gameboy Color games will work on this. Like I said above VERY FEW required an RTC to “100%” complete them.
You really shouldn’t have any issues with this device as I haven’t, of course, this was after FIGURING out how to really save with this device. I’ve tried most of the USA versions of games including even different versions and they all seem to work just fine for me. I haven’t noticed anything out of the blue or weird going on. Everything really works as intended and it’s great to be able to carry around the full GB library in your pocket if you want.
List of Everdrive GB X3 features from the website:
- Max ROM size: 8MByte
- Max SAVE RAM size: 128KByte
- Instant loading
- Low power consumption
- High quality 4-layers PCB
- Game Genie cheat codes
- Soft reset to menu
- Supported mappers: MBC1, MBC2, MBC3, MBC5
- SDHC/SDXC support
- Compatible with all systems which support GB and GBC cartridges, including Super Game Boy*
- OS supports up to 1000 files per folder
- PCB Rev.B (Fixed compatibility problems with Game Boy pocket)
Some games do take a little while longer to load and flash to the cart; that is because the Game Boy really isn’t a super-fast device. So bigger games might take a little bit longer but for the most part, it all works pretty quickly and almost instantly.
I’m still waiting for a Super Game Boy for my Super Famicom so I can enjoy these on a nice TV!
Everdrive GB X3 Design
The Everdrive isn’t hard to get out or anything either. I really dig the see-through look of the Everdrive as well, letting you see all the circuits and electronics going on. You can see a red LED light-up whenever it is flashing the cart so you know not to try to jerk the cart out and brick it. This is a terrific design and really mimics a real and authentic Game Boy Cartridge with a little extra flair for being transparent.
Everdrive GB X3 Review: Conclusion
The Everdrive GB X3 is a solid flash cart. I don’t regret purchasing it at all, it is a very handy Everdrive and for the price point, it is really worth it. I really wish stuff like this was available whenever I was younger and able to CARRY AROUND the whole Gameboy library on one single cart. The only real concern is not having an RTC and like I’ve said It literally doesn’t bother me at all. It’s easy to access, it is easy to add ROMs, and it is easy to update. What more could you really ask for? If you are looking to bring back that dusty ol’ DMG-101 out of the closet and see if it still works. Then you should totally get the Everdrive GB X3. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to relive some of their Gameboy childhood.
The button can be quite annoying when trying to save in a hurry you might be better off saving up some extra money and getting the X7.
Purchase the Everdrive GameBoy X3
There are several places where you can get the Everdrive GB X3 as well as Everdrives for many other systems. Please stay away from websites like Aliexpress for flashcarts like this as they are often fake and don’t work most of the time. Some of the bad flashcarts have been known to completely ruin hardware. So just fair warning.
The first place I would check is directly from Stone Age Gamer. This is where I purchased mine and it is a great website for flash carts. You can also buy the carts directly from Krikkz, though shipping from Ukraine may be slow depending on where you live.
- Stoneage Gamer (Recommended Link) – https://stoneagegamer.com
- Amazon Link for GB X3 – (https://amzn.to/2AcSOt9)
Also, this is 100% totally legal to own. ROM distribution is what is illegal whenever it comes to retro gaming but there is nothing illegal about owning flash carts.
After you get a nice Everdrive you should Mod Your Original Game Boy.