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Xploder Professional
Score: 95%
Developer: Blaze
Device Type: Accessory


The Xploder Professional adds a host of enhancements to your PSX. It allows you to use cheat cartridge -- type game codes, hold up to 10,000 of them, and it comes with hundreds already pre-loaded. The Xploder Professional also allows you to interact with your PSX using a computer. With a printer cable and the free downloadable software, you can save screenshots and even ?xplore? your games to make up your OWN cheat codes -- AND with the included ?X-Assist,? you can make your own codes without a computer! The Xploder Professional also has the ability to be upgraded at a later date via upgrade CDs from Blaze.

Before we get down to anymore details, allow me to explain the score. Those of you who may have seen my review of the Xploder from last year may wonder why I gave that product 100% and the newer, updated, and improved Xploder Professional a 95. First, let me assure you that the Xploder Professional is improved over last year?s model, and looks better AND plays better. There are more features, and future expansion was taken into consideration (hence the ability to update it later with a Code CD). When I tried the Xploder last year, I was blown away! Now, a year has gone by. A device called the Game Wizard came out and offered some different features. Now, the Game Wizard isn?t as professionally put together as the Xploder, and pales beside the Xploder Professional?s beautiful, intuitive, and well designed interface. That said, the very fact that the other features have been introduced raises the realm of possibilities. The nice folks at Blaze decided to target gamers with a variety of needs and incomes. The Xploder Professional is intended to be the top of the line, all-in-one code hacking unit. It comes with the X-Assist which allows you to search for codes the same way you would with the X-Link with one small difference... no computer is necessary. The X-Assist is a self-contained code-finding tool that interfaces with your Xploder Professional to form a pretty lethal cheating weapon. As a high end code seeker, the Xploder Pro?s score only suffers slightly from the lack of a FMV* viewing capability as this can be a nice luxury, although it?s not really a necessity for making codes.

* If you aren?t interested in the ability to view FMVs outside of gameplay, consider the Xploder Professional?s score to be 100%.


Blaze?s Xploder Professional itself is fairly simple to operate. There is only one external control: an On/Off switch. When navigating through the on-screen menus, there is a helpful legend at the bottom of the screen at all times that indicate which buttons to use. The X-Assist takes a little more getting used to, but does have a built-in LCD display and will tell you what buttons to push for different options. The X-Assist also has a D-pad, similar to a standard PlayStation controller, which is used to scroll up and down through options and/or change values, and four buttons, A, B, C, and D. At different times, the buttons will be used for different things, but their actions will always be indicated on the LCD display. (If you?ve used an ATM machine, you?re familiar with this technique...)

A little practice will go a LONG way, and before you know it, you?ll be hacking codes out left and right. Once you?ve isolated a code (or the memory location that is key to a code), the X-Assist allows you to test the code by ?locking? the value while you?re still playing. If the code is correct, you hit ?Reset and the X-Assist retains the code while you?re returned to the Xploder menu. Now, you can go to Select Cheats and name a new slot for your code to go in. When you?re ready to input the code itself, you don?t have to type the whole thing in -- just select ?Grab Code from X-Assist? and then edit the last section of the code to the value desired.

The Xploder Professional is easy to get used to and is a joy to use. The process of locating your own codes with the Xploder Pro hooked up to a PC is a little more involved, but an average computer enthusiast should have no problem. But with the X-Assist, this is typically not necessary.

All you?ll need for the Xploder Professional is a PlayStation with a parallel port. NOTE: I have not personally observed this yet, but I have heard reports that the newest ($99) PlayStations will NO LONGER have this port. Make sure yours does before purchasing the Xploder Professional (or any game enhancement cartridge).

Installation of Blaze?s Xploder Professional is simple. First, turn off your PlayStation. Simply remove the panel covering the PlayStation?s parallel port (that?s the hard part), store the removed cover in the indented slot provided on the Xploder Pro (neat, huh?), and carefully insert the Xploder Professional into the parallel port. Finally, make sure the Xploder?s On/Off switch is in the ?On? position, then turn your PlayStation on. You will be greeted by the Xploder?s on-screen interface.

  • Enhanced menu system
  • Make your OWN codes with the included X-Assist
  • Also use with Xplorer, Action Replay, Equalizer, and Game Shark codes
  • Built-in enhanced memory card manager
  • Screen capture (requires PC and software download)
  • Future upgrades available via memory card or CD(!)
  • CD music player with audio VU meters
  • View hidden game screens
  • Save games to your PC and/or share them (requires PC and software download)

Drawbacks & Problems::

I wish it showed FMVs, but then again, the Xploder Professional is Blaze?s utilitarian model. It IS more ?professional? -- more work, less ?play.? If you want to make your OWN codes and don?t want to hook your PlayStation up to your computer, then the Xploder Professional may be the best tool for the job.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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