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  WiiKey Official Review - Read the official review here
Posted by Vaskituh on Mon, April 9th, 2007 at 20:31 - 6 Comments
 
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Vaskituh Portugal

 
WiiKey Official Review




Introduction and Packaging



WiiKey is the second upgradable modchip to hit the market. Done by the WiiKey Team, WiiKey comes in a small ESD electric black (semi-transparent) bag, and it is small in size.  Just so you know, its smaller than a 1 Euro coin, and most other coins around the world.

WiiKey is known for being an awesome modchip that features both soldering to the Wii's DVD-Rom main board or soldering with wires to points.  The WiiKey is fully upgradable using DVD.

Many Thanks to KickGaming as once again they provided us a sample for reviewing purposes.  Let's go to the review!

WiiKey boosts an impressive list of features:.

    * Direct boot of Wii backups
    * Direct boot of GC backups
    * Direct boot of homebrew in GC mode
    * Supports all currently available console/drive versions
    * Supports D2B chipsets
    * Sophisticated (true) update mechanism via DVD (future proof, expect cool features to come)
    * Direct boot of different NTSC region Wii games/backups on US and JAP consoles
    * Partial support for NTSC region Wii games/backups on PAL consoles
    * Boots different region GC games/backups (partially without swapping)
    * Supports multi-disc games for BOTH Wii and Gamecube
    * Supports DVD-R / true DVD+R and +RW support (no bitsetting required!)
    * Improved readsettings for recordable media
    * Built-in audio fix
    * Supports fullsize 4GB discs for gamecube homebrew
    * Stealth mode
    * 512 byte EEPROM to store configuration
    * Quicksolder interface - no wires required
    * Unique disc backup application via sdcard
    * Compact design, best quality components, rock solid high speed controller
    * Professional ESD packing
    * Recovery mode - Can recover from a bad flash

Sounds pretty awesome doesnt it?  Yes it does... but will it live up to the hype ?


Hardware and Build Quality

Even if the WiiKey seems a lot small (see the Size Comparison), its pretty solid and seems to be made of a very good Pcb. The poor thing about WiiKey is that the Solder points are dumbed down, i mean, if you want to solder it to the Wii's DVD-Rom main board without wires you are going to be pretty mad with it as its extremely difficult cause the solder points dont line up very well...

Size Comparison



Installation

Installing the WiiKey may be a nerveracking experience for the novice solderer.  However, if a person has a basic grasp of soldering, the right tools, and most importantly - patience - he or she can install the WiiKey successfully.  The solder points on the DVD-Rom are tiny and the quicksolder points on the WiiKey do not match up with the points on the drive, which is annoying to say the least.  We chose the wire method for installation and recommend that anybody with limited knowledge of soldering do the same.  Quicksolder with the WiiKey for a beginner is neither quick nor easy, so be wary if you go that route.



The tools used for installation can be picked up at your local electronics store (ex. Radio Shack) - 15-30W Soldering iron, 30AWG insulated wire, .015 diameter Silver-bearing (rosin core) solder, and I would also recommend desoldering braid for any mistakes.  We are not going to go in depth about the step-by-step procedures for soldering the WiiKey.  If you do the installation yourself, take your time and plan ahead.



Wii Game Compatibility

Now that WiiKey is installed, let's try it out.

After installing the WiiKey, we need to download and insert the WiiKey Configuration Disk, but this is only really helpful if you want to enable Region Free mode. Doing that is pretty simple, you just insert the Configuration Disk, access it via the Wii Menu, and use the Reset button on the Wii to choose the options you want on the Configuration Disk.  Basically, you just need to put Region Free On and then Save and never put the disk again.   If you put use the disk again, all the options go to Default, so Region Free turns Off.

After setting the Wii to Region Free, supposedly the WiiKey should run every game!




NOTE! The WiiKey Team promissed to release a firmware upgrade that would boost even better compatibility in regards to Region Free, as Bleach should run on PAL consoles.

Worked on PAL console

Wario Ware (USA)
Excite Truck (PAL)
WiiPlay (PAL)
Need For Speed - Carbon (PAL)
Call Of Duty 3 (PAL)
Cooking Mama (USA)
Rayman Raving Rabbids (PAL)
WiiSports (PAL)
Tiger Woods 2007 (PAL)
FarCry (PAL)
The Legend Of Zelda - Twilight Princess (PAL)
Sonic And The Secret Rings (PAL)
Madden NFL 2007 (PAL)
Prince of Persia - Rival Swords (PAL)
DragonBall Tenkaishi 2 (USA)
Metal Slug Anthology (USA)
The GodFather - Black Edition (PAL)


Did Not Work on PAL console

Pokemon Battle Coloseum (JAP)
Bleach (JAP)
Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen EX (JAP)
SSX Blur (USA)
Trauma Center - Second Opinion (USA)


Worked on NTSC console

Warioware Smooth Moves (USA)
Trauma Center (USA)
Rayman Raving Rabbids (USA)
Cooking Mama (USA)
Dragonball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (USA)
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (USA)
Fire Emblem Akatsuki no Megami (JAP)
Pokemon Battle Revolution (JAP)
Godfather Blackhand Edition (PAL) - Worked but there are many load freezes throughout parts of dialogue sequences
Excite Truck (PAL)
Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII (PAL)


Did Not Work on NTSC console

Prince of Persia: Rival Swords (PAL) - Boots in the Wii menu, but will not load into the game.

GameCube Game Compatibility

Well, actually it ran everything I tried.  Here are the games I used:

Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen (JAP)
Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen 2 (JAP)
Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen 3 (JAP)
Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen 4 (JAP)
Bleach (JAP)
Fifa 2004 (PAL)
Fifa 2005 (PAL)
Fifa 2006 (PAL)
Fifa 2007 (PAL)
NHL 2007 (USA)
The Legend Of Zelda - Wind Waker (PAL)
The Legend Of Zelda - Wind Waker (JAP)
The Simpsons Hit & Run (USA)
Super Mario Sunshine (JAP)
Super Smash Brothers Melee (USA)
Mario Tennis (USA)
Mario Golf - ToadStool Tour (USA)
Animal Crossing (USA)
Resident Evil 4 (USA)
Killer 7 (PAL)


When you put a GameCube Game, you will use Start in the Wii Menu.  It doesn't need Gcos or any bootdisks!

HomeBrew Compatibility

There isnt any Wii HomeBrew at the moment, but all the GameCube HomeBrew runs perfectly:

Snes 9x GX Edition (Super Nintendo Emulator)
FCE Ultra GC (Nintendo Emulator)
NeoCD Redux (Neo-Geo CD Emulator)
Genesis Plus (Genesis/MegaDrive Emulator)
SMS Plus (Sega MasterSystem and GameGear Emulator)
GCOS
Mplayer


Conclusion

You can´t go wrong with WiiKey, It´s one of the best, if not the best solution for you to modchip your Wii. It boosts great compatibility with both Pal and NTSC consoles, and there are Upgrades coming soon so we all know it will be even better, but not only that, but the fact that Region Free is working well on it is pretty nitch!

The only problem in it, is that Soldering to the Wii's DVD-Rom main board is a little difficult as the Solder Points are a little dumbed down!

The WiiKey can be bought from KickGaming for the extremely reasonable price of $34.95 and of course they do ship worldwide.


PROS
+ Plays 95% of backups perfectly for your region
+ Plays all Gamecube games perfectly
+ Gamecube homebrew support
+ Stealth chip, cannot be detected
+ If the Upgrade goes down, it will be no problem
+ Wii performs as normal with no side effects even with chip turned on
+ Upgradable


CONS
- Not very good Solder Points
- Few problems with other Region backups.
- Configuration disc does not work as good as patching isos.
- Audio Fix for GameCube games advertised but still not released months later
- Slow at releasing updates


Overall Score


  83%

Links

WiiKey Team Home Page
KickGaming Home Page




Wii.DS-Scene.net would like to thank KickGaming.com for supplying us with a sample of the WiiKey for Review.


 
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 » Comment on: WiiKey Official Review
#1
 
wizlon United Kingdom

  Tue, April 10th, 2007 at 01:02
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Wow, sounds pretty good, I might have to pick up one of these.

Thanks for the review!
 
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 » Comment on: WiiKey Official Review
#2
 
Shanks Brazil

  Tue, April 10th, 2007 at 06:07
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Thanks for your review man... My Wiikey is arriving tomorrow I guess... So I´ll get someone to install it for me (since I have ZERO soldering skills) ASAP... Just can´t wait^^ But while I do that, can you guys suggest good Wii/GC games for me to "buy"?
 
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 » Comment on: WiiKey Official Review
#3
 
Vaskituh Portugal

  Tue, April 10th, 2007 at 10:02
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Thanks guys, well for starters i think you should "buy" Excite Truck, The GodFather Black Edition, and Wario Ware :D
 
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 » Comment on: WiiKey Official Review
#4
 
Ferretgirl007 Canada

  Fri, April 13th, 2007 at 20:56
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Wow had no idea it was good. Guess u learn something new everyday.
 
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 » Comment on: WiiKey Official Review
#5
 
Shanks Brazil

  Sun, April 15th, 2007 at 06:36
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Yeah, that couldn´t be more true... Yesterday i learned that... IN CANADA, MILK COMES IN BAGS!

Oh my, you silly canadians  blush
 
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 » Comment on: WiiKey Official Review
#6
 
retrohead United Kingdom

  Sun, July 8th, 2007 at 18:57
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I just downgraded this review by 10% as the poor update situation deserves some attention. Yet they still sell this chip advertised with audio fix for gamecube. I will update this again if the update is still not here soon aswell.
 
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