4X Nexus Memory Card w/PC Link
(August 1st, 2001):
When I originally reviewed this
card back in January, 2001, I was sent a defective card by Level Six that
did not work out of the box, but they sent a new one right away, and I
just thought that the non-functional card was a fluke. Well after using
this new card over the past 6 months, it stopped working yesterday, and
I cannot explain why. The 4X Nexus memory cards seem to be unreliable,
and I recommend that you seek another brand. Note that the SEGA VMU which
I bought on 9/9/99 has worked just fine since the day I bought it.
Click to Enlarge
||There are quite a number
of memory cards available for the Dreamcast, and here is one that is much
cheaper than the one's sold by SEGA, and provides the added benefit of
being able to upload game saves to your computer.
As you can see with the picture on
the left, the card does not have a screen, and is designed only for game
Memory Size: 4 Megabits (512
KiloBytes) or 800 Blocks
Page Size: 200 blocks
No. of Pages: 4
Size: 18.2 cm x 8 cm
The product being reviewed was purchased
through Level Six's website by mail-order, and was shipped to my location
in Canada from the US. Level Six sent the product in quite a fair size
box with lots of styrofoam. They obviously care about the product arriving
safety through the postal system. I also communicated with Level Six twice
by email on two different occasions, and both times they responded within
hours of my sending an email. Very good customer service. They were also
never aware that I was going to write a review on the card while dealing
800 blocks of save space with no compression
connect to computer with parallel port
cable (PC Link)
software available that works with Win
can share your save files with others
on the internet, or download saves to the memory card
compatible with any region Dreamcast
micro switch on left side of card, allows
for easy switching of pages while card is in controller
no batteries needed, as it gets power
from the controller
The Nexus memory card is very light,
and at first I was a bit put off by it's light weight, as your expectation
is that it would be as heavy as a regular VMU. The advantage of the light
weight is that it adds no discernible weight to the controller when playing
It's a bit longer than the standard
VMU sold by SEGA, and that works to it's advantage, as the button for changing
pages, it located on the top left side of the memory card, and you can
still access that button easily while it's plugged into the controllers
second slot, while a regular VMU is in the first slot. Changing pages is
quick, and only takes a fraction of a second. Also changing pages can be
done while in a game, so page switching is very flexible.
A couple complaints of the card centers
around the PC Link for transferring game saves to your computer through
the parallel port. You have to have the memory card plugged into the controller
when doing the transfers, as the memory card can only be powered through
the controller. Very inconvenient if you do not have your Dreamcast near
your PC. What is needed is a memory card with a USB connection, as USB
can also provide power while allowing data transfers. Hopefully such a
memory card will be released soon.
Click to Enlarge
||Another complaint centers
around the software you install on your PC, called DC Linker (ver. 2.3b).
This software comes from EMS Production Ltd., who are the manufacturers
of the card, and has a very ugly interface, as seen on the left. This program
is not an easy program to figure out how to use, as it's not intuitive
with no menus present, and there is no help file present in the program!
I recommend reading the instructions at Level Six's website, in order to
figure out how to use this program. They at least explain how to use the
program quite well.
Click to Enlarge
||Instead of using EMS's
transfer program, I highly recommend you use this program, called VMS Linker,
as shown on the left, which can be downloaded from the website here.
It has an intuitive interface, and works just fine (ver. 1.6.1 tested).
Only works with Nexus 4meg memory cards though. A program written by somebody
who obviously did not like the original program.
Another feature of the card is the
ability to have each page formatted to 240 blocks instead of the regular
200 blocks. It does this also without compressing the data. It seems even
SEGA's regular VMU's have a memory "hole" of 40 blocks, that is not used,
and the EMS people are making use of this space. I have not tried this
option yet, but others have used it with no problems. This essentially
gives you another 160 blocks of extra space on the card.
I like to use this card for backing
up my game saves off of my regular VMU. Especially after an extended play
session, for peace of mind. This card is for those who want a cheaper alternative
to SEGA's more pricier and less featured memory cards.
Level Six website
EMS Production Ltd. website
VMS Linker program for 4X Nexus
memory card website