What We All Have Been Waiting For
The GameBoy Player is a wonderful device that allows users to play every kind of GameBoy game on their TVs. You will never have to strain your eyes again.
The GameBoy Player (GBP) attaches to the bottom of the GameCube (GC) system. It allows every kind of GB game to be played on the big screen. These games include the old GB games, GameBoy Color (GBC), and GameBoy Advance (GBA). Even the e-Reader can be used on it. Installation is a snap as you’ll be up and running in no time. Just flip over your GC and remove the cover to the High Speed Port at the bottom. Then, plug in the GBP. To make it fit snuggly, two screws are included and are already in place. Any coin (penny, nickel, etc?) can be used to tighten these two screws at the bottom. Alternatively, you can just use a good ?ol flathead screwdriver. This device adds about one inch in height to the GC system.
The add-on comes with a Start Up disc. This disc has a nice white label that helps it stick out from all the other GC discs. Once you plug in your GBP, pop in the Start Up disc and you are on your way. The Start Up disc must be used because that is how the GC works. Nothing can start in a GC without a proper disc. The Start Up disc comes enclosed in a clear case that even has a GC memory card holder, which is ideal for travel. Also inside the case are instructions that clearly explain everything. Refer to this if you have any questions. Right when you start up the system, the GC logo will appear followed by the opening GameBoy Advance intro or the blinging GBC logo. Then the game will begin just as you are playing it on your GB system.
Even with the GBP plugged in, you can still play your GC games. There is no need to unplug the device.
CONTROLLERS / OPTIONS
Nintendo thought of everything when they made this device. You can use many different types of controllers to play your GB games. The normal GC controller will work along with the wireless WaveBird. If you use these controllers, the buttons correspond to the buttons on the GBA. For example, “A” on the GBA is equal to the “A” button the GC controller. Since there is no Select button on the GC controller, “X” or “Y” is assigned to fit this need. If you use the GC controller, you can use the D-pad or the analog stick. According to the game you are playing, the analog might be a more comfortable choice. You can even change the buttons to fit your preferences in the Option Menu. To reach the Option Menu, press the “Z” button. It is here that you can change many things to customize your GB experience however you want. When you play GB games on the big screen, the GBP gives you the option to play on the whole screen or have a border. This works similarly to the Super Game Boy (the Super Game Boy was an add-on that let you play normal GB games on your TV through the SNES). The user has 20 borders to choose from. However, you cannot make your own border as you could with the Super Game Boy. Besides changing the screen size and border, you can select a Screen Filter. Some games might appear to be shaking or some sprites may begin to double, but you can adjust this. There are three different modes to choose from: Soft, Normal, or Sharp. Testing is required to find the best possible option for each game.
A Timer option has been included as well. Here, you can set a timer and when the selected time has been reached, a noise will sound. This option doesn’t really serve a big purpose, but it can be handy nonetheless. An extremely useful function is the ability to change GB game paks without turning off the GC power. Just go to the menu and select the right-most option. The screen will give you a warning, asking you if you are sure that you want to change your pak. If you select “Yes,” a black screen will follow. Removing game paks are easy because there is a Release button located on the right hand side off the GBP. Just slide this small lever and the GB game will pop out. The moment you insert a new game pak, the game will start up. No button will need to be pressed.
USING THE GBA
You don’t even have to use the GC controller. You can use your GBA to play your GB games through the GBP. Using a GC to GBA link cable, just plug it into one of the four controller slots on the GC and turn the GBA power on. Then a small program will be sent to the GBA that allows you to use your GBA as the controller for your GBP. On the GBA screen, the GPP logo will appear. Players will want to use the GBA as their controller to get the same feel that they are playing on their GBA. This is good, especially since the GC “L” and “R” buttons are pressure sensitive. If you use a GC controller, you must press the shoulder buttons down about half way for it to register. However, this works very well. You will never feel that you have to press it down the whole way or to little. For example, F-Zero Maximum Velocity makes heavy use of the “L” and “R” buttons as you must use them quickly and often. But the GC controller works just as well as the GBA.
The original GBA or the GBA SP will work with this option. However, keep in mind that there is no “Z” button on any GBA system. Therefore, you cannot access any of the special options that you can using the GC controller. This is bummer, but the GBP will remember what options you chose the last time you played, even if you shut off the power. This works well because if you like a particular border or setting, you can just hop right into the game without spending time in the options menu. It is important to remember to pause your game when going into the options menu because the GB game will keep playing in the background. This can result in a quick “game over” if you are not paying attention.
WHAT WON”T WORK
Despite playing every kind of GB game, there are some games that won’t work properly with the GBP. Perfect Dark, Star Wars Episode One Racer, and Pokemon Pinball for GBC had a Rumble Feature. This feature will not travel over to a GC controller or to the GBA. The games themselves will work, just not the Rumble Feature. Kirby’s Tilt and Tumble is also a very unique game for the GBC. Instead of using the D-pad to control Kirby, the player would physically tilt his or her GB system to move Kirby on screen. Obviously, this will not work in the GBP. However, Nintendo’s e-Reader will work with the system 100% because there is a link port in front of the game slot, just like on the original GBA. So you can use this device to play all your favorite NES games and use it with Animal Crossing, along with other programs. The Game Boy Camera will work in the GBP, but it will only point straight up or down. So if you wanted to take pictures, you would have to pick up your whole GC, which is not encouraged. However, these are rare instances and almost all other GB games will work in the GBP.
Can you play multiplayer games with the GBP player? The answer is Yes, but not how you would hope. The GBP is just like using a GBA. To play multiplayer games, a GB link cable can be inserted into the link port at the front of the GBP. Two people can now play. However, the first player will use the TV while the other will use his GBA. Two or more people cannot play on the TV. Only one person can play on the TV. It would have been great if a split screen multiplayer option was introduced, but would have required some nifty programming. From the link cable that is plugged into the GBP, up to two more can be plugged in to play up to 4 players. This means that one player will play off the TV while the other three will use their own GBAs (or extra TV’s each with their own GC and GBP).
If you love GB, then there is no doubt that you need to pick up this item as fast as possible. For a limited time, Nintendo is giving away free GBPs when you buy a GC system. So if there wasn’t a reason to buy a GC before, now is the time. The GBP makes game play more comfortable. You can now play games on the big screen while sitting in your recliner without trying to find the perfect light source. Games such as Golden Sun and Advance Wars are perfect to play on your TV because chances are, you will probably be playing them for long periods of time. There are only a few negatives about the GBP. First, is the lack of multiple people playing on one TV. However, this cannot really be seen as a negative aspect because it is probably not possible to play off one cart. The only other small gripe is the packaging of the product. The GBP should have came in a box. Instead, Nintendo decided to put it in a clear plastic container that will take you about 10 minutes to get into. You must use a blade of some kind to open this product? so kids, get your parents help. Since they use a plastic container, the label is not very decorative. It is very, very plain and doesn’t stick out in anyway. If you weren’t searching hard enough, you might over look this product because the front label is very bland. Also, because the GB games were designed to be played on a small screen, when you blow it up onto a bigger screen, some pixelation will occur. But again, this is expected and cannot be looked upon negatively. Other than these two very small quirks, the GBP player is fantastic. It surpasses the Super Game Boy in every way and you might not even want to play games on the GBA again. The only time to play GB games on your GBA would be on car or train rides. Even if you don’t want to spend the money to get a GBA or a GBA SP, just buy the GBP or get it free when you buy a GC. The GameBoy is the most sold game system of all time, and now it just got easier to play on it. It is even possible for game developers to make an online GBA game using the GC’s Internet access. Who knows if we will see a game like this in the future.