While not all database password cracking challenges are this easy, you should have enough foundational knowledge to do fairly well. I fully expect you to get all the answers for the Easy and Medium challenges from this guide alone!
The retro gaming community never rests, continually coming up with new and exciting adaptations of our favourite games, bringing out sequels, prequels, and add-ons faster than Game Freak and The Pokemon Company ever could!
Pokemon Pheonix Rising is the first and possibly most well known game in our list of the best Pokemon Nintendo DS ROM hacks. Using The Pokemon essentials engine, this fan made game takes place in the brand new region of Hawthorne.
There are a whopping 649 Pokemon to capture and train in this hack. All of the trainers from the original game have had their fighting teams mixed up and swapped around, making for a brand new challenge for those that are incredibly ofay with the classic DS title.
The video game industry is barely half a century old (though you can argue it stretches back around 60-70 years), but is running into serious issues around preservation. Yet when we talk about problems keeping games alive we often refer back to the NES era or earlier, or the dreaded 'disc-rot' of early systems that used that particular technology. It's becoming increasingly apparent that our physical copies of games, which we likely think of as 'permanent' in our own minds, are vulnerable to eventual wear and tear.
In case you missed it, this has come into rather sharp focus with talk online of numerous PAL copies of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire starting to fail, with some players stating their copies have long since died. It seems early for these games to be failing, and seemingly in reasonable numbers; one possibility is that a specific PAL manufacturing run had either cheap or faulty components in the process, as even the memory associated with DS and 3DS cartridges shouldn't be dying this early.
So what sort of lifespans are we looking at? Well, it depends. There's a tendency, especially in debates between those that prefer digital game purchases to physical copies, for collectors to suggest their copies are 'forever'. In the case of the physical box and cartridge existing, yes, that could be true to a degree, but the functionality of the technology is something else entirely.
With DS and 3DS cartridges, it's worth highlighting that doomsday scenarios of swathes of game copies dying imminently seem very unlikely. However, the perceived make-up of those generations of cartridges seems to vary depending on source, without a great deal of clarity; in any case both generations of the cartridges / memory were supplied by Macronix. It seems that DS cartridges may have a form of masked ROM for media up to a certain size, which is non-writable, with a small amount of flash memory at the very least for save data. In the case of the 3DS it appears to be purely flash memory, albeit with different types handling game and save data, for example.
In terms of flash memory it can be prone to accelerated deterioration or wear, so the aforementioned ORAS issue could be down to a poor batch of memory, and if the component failed it could take the game's functionality with it. This, in reality, should be a rare issue that will nonetheless disappoint anyone affected.
[UPDATE - 6th May: With regards to the ORAS issue, we had a reader reach out to us, @Voultar, who may have identified the cause of the cartridge problem, and it may explain why it has seemingly affected a particular batch in meaningful numbers. It is anecdotal of course, but you can view the video below, in which re-soldering the chip seems to get the game working again. It's an interesting potential fix, even if it's not possible at this point to confirm it as a 100% solution.]
There can be some scary statistics thrown around about memory lifecycles, but the reality is that the range is extremely broad. A lot depends on the quality of materials and manufacturing, and flash memory in particular degrades at varying rates with each read/write; in other words, every time you save and load a DS / 3DS game you take a tiny amount off its life. Major players in the space continue to develop and enhance the number of 'cycles' before their memory degrades, and this includes progress from Macronix. How long, though? Only time will ultimately tell, and guesswork based on cycle-data can give you estimates from 20-50 years, potentially longer. But the key point is that it is a lifecycle; just like retro game media, it'll eventually stop working.
As for the Nintendo Switch cartridges, it's early and difficult to say as, again, they're bespoke cartridges. The memory is provided by Macronix once again, and in the case of Switch rather than store save data on the cartridge itself the games put our saves on the system memory or specified MicroSD. An extra back-up is cloud storage for saves, but of course this is behind the Nintendo Switch Online paywall at present. As for the lifespan of the game cartridges themselves, it's hard to say, though progression in technology and approach will hopefully make them even more reliable than their predecessors.
In summary? Though there'll be outliers and some scary tales, your DS and 3DS games are likely to be fine for the foreseeable future; they may even outlive the actual gaming systems themselves. The worry, of course, is that like all hardware they will eventually degrade and stop working, it's inevitable. It's a challenge for all modern media, arguably, not just games - finding sustainable solutions to secure and store games for future generations should be a priority. Anyway, game preservation is a topic all of its own.
This kind of sucks.... Although, disc-based games will eventually as well. This isn't uncommon. It's kind of crazy that NES cartridges are still being played fine 35+ year later, but DS carts are already failing...
Digital is the way games will be preserved forever. And not at the hands of the companies. As taboo as it is and as much as many people don't like it, the emulation community has done more for game preservation than anything else ever will. And not just released games...we've seen prototypes, alphas, betas, cut content and much more preserved.
Great article and poignant as I have been collecting up 3DS games of late. I think Nintendo software is also a difficult topic for game preservation - the generational innovation with devices mean that with touch, giro, 3d etc, its going to get hard to get these to run as intended on other systems.
@Whitestrider When the alternative is games disappearing forever, then yes. Is it the best way? No, but no legitimate company is stepping up to preserve this software. It could be done legitimately as well and set up in a multitude of ways. But until someone does this, shady emulation is the only way many games will ever be preserved.
This is the main thing I don't get about the digital vs. physical debate. It's really anyone's guess whether the physical copies will start to fail first, or if the digital store the games are being sold on will go down first. Either way, the odds are quite good that your game collection won't last for decades, so why do some get so up in arms about being purists for physical media?
Also, why should I want to play PS3 games emulated on a PC? Most games of that generation were just stripped down versions of PC games. I could play the originals. But there is a reason why I prefer consoles over PC (besides the crappy GPU in my Apple computer)
But my physical game collection will also not last forever. And with digital games, you are only buying a license for the game, that can be altered or be withdrawn afterwards. So what is really the difference here?
My SMS Card games and Turbo Grafx-16 HuCard games still works, I assure those DS and 3DS card games will still work just fine 30 years from now too. In comparison some of my PS1 and PS2 disc had loading issues or disc read errors now, even if I try to buff them the errors are still there.
This is a flaw that many people don't make note of when they say "I buy physical so I can keep it forever." Fat lot of good that game will do once it eventually dies. Ah but you might be able to keep it working...if you don't use it. Defeats the point though, huh? Let's see where things stand in another 10 or 20 years.
@SwitchVogel Yeah, and as long as you still have a game downloaded on your system, the only way you'd lose access to it is if you lose or break the console after the eShop (or equivalent) is shut down. So, given that cartridges/discs can easily be lost or broken as well, the argument that physical media lasts longer doesn't really hold any water.
Regarding patching: I could already patch my Wii games on the Wii, before the Wii U was anounced. I can play translated SNES games on my SNES, and Mario 64 in 16:9 on my Switch. Why should I need emulation for that?
It seems like the old fashioned cartridges like the NES, SNES, N64, Game Boy, Genesis, and so on are by far the most reliable. As a collector I have long known how disc drives are typically the achilles heel of most game consoles, it's always been by far the least reliable component that is the most prone to going wrong. Discs have also always been notoriously delicate, and classic disc drive consoles are always at risk of developing issues.
It seems like for some reason 3DS cartridges are by far the least reliable as far as cartridges go. I'll put it this way, I have a 3DS game with a dead cartridge and by all appearances it's in flawless condition, when I had N64 games stop working it always seemed to come down to dirty contacts and with a bit of cleaning I could get them working again. With the failed 3DS cartridge however, the contacts look perfect so it's something else that is making it not work. Despite collecting cartridges for pretty much every platform on earth, the 3DS is the only platform where I have had them fail and I could never get them to work again. 2b1af7f3a8