Game Boy Player Review

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Company: Nintendo
Platform: GameCube

The Game Boy Player brings Nintendo's portable games to your television screen in conjunction with the GameCube console.

Kyle Ackerman

The Game Boy Player is a great device. The question isn't "Is the Player any good," because it is. The question is: "Who should buy one?"

The Player itself is simple – it consists of a one-and-a-half-inch base that affixes to the bottom of a GameCube and connects to the GameCube's High Speed Port. The Player's port and software allow you to play Game Boy Advance (GBA) games writ large on the television screen with the comfort of a GameCube controller (or, if you wish, on the GBA itself by way of a link cable).

As Nintendo advertises, the Player effectively expands the library of games that you can play on the GameCube by thousands of GBA, Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles. At the same time, GBA games are simpler, sometimes even nostalgic re-releases of titles decades old. For most folks, the charm of the GBA is its portability. You can give it to a child for long car rides, or use it yourself on the airplane, in the park, or anywhere your television is inaccessible. To use the Player, you already have to own a GameCube, meaning that you have the option to play more spectacular or sophisticated games on a more powerful machine. Away from home, the GBA is a wonderful platform, but at home it has to compete with other gaming devices like the GameCube, and perhaps other consoles or a PC.

So, what would make a person prefer to play GBA games at home? If you love some of the games only available on the GBA (such as the Castlevania series, Metroid GBA games, or Advance Wars 2), or are a passionate retro-gamer seeking to play older titles that have been re-released, the Player is a great option. You can kick back on the couch, see everything clearly on a brightly lit television screen, and think back on the days when you huddled with cramped thumbs near a bright lamp, trying to play those titles you love. If, on the other hand, you only play GBA games because you can't get to the TV, you would do well to question the point of purchasing the Player.

As for features, the Player does most everything you would expect. You can configure your GameCube controllers so that different combinations of buttons correspond to the GBA buttons. The Z button on the GameCube controller accesses the Player menu, allowing you change settings or set an alarm to alert you when a specified amount of time has passed. You can display the game in you choice of twenty display frames (some of which imitate the GBA design), or play in a full screen mode. Both settings have a choice of three filters to enlarge the tiny screen to display clearly. Original monochrome Game Boy games can played using a variety of colors. You can even hook the Player up to Game Boy systems using link cables (although it can't be connected to another Game Boy Player).

In summary, the Game Boy Player does exactly what it claims – it allows you to play GBA games on the GameCube, and does so wonderfully. If you would prefer to play GBA titles, at times, over GameCube games or other forms of entertainment, there is no question you will find the Player a worthwhile purchase. If you only play GBA games when away from the TV, don't give it a second thought.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on July 20, 2003 7:45 PM.

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