By:James Stevenson
Review Date: Thursday, June 19, 2003

Back in the days of the Super Nintendo, Nintendo brought out a peripheral that allowed you to plug a Game Boy game into a cartridge, and thus allowing you to play Game Boy games on a much bigger screen without wasting the battery of your Game Boy system. Nintendo has done it again, but this time with the Game Boy Player, a hardware add-on for the GameCube that allows you to play any Game Boy, Game Boy Color, or Game Boy Advance game on your GameCube (the sole exception would be a game like Kirby's Tilt and Tumble).

The unit comes in Jet Black (which is probably the most common of GameCube colors) and attaches to the bottom of the GameCube via one of the expansion ports, along with a couple of screws. The most difficult portion of the installation of the unit is probably taking it out of it's bubble packaging (I hate bubble packaging... whoever invented it has to be some sort of sadist). Afterwards, you just have to remove the expansion port cover, plug the unit in, and screw it on to make sure it's secure.

To play a game, you'll have to plug the cartridge into the front of your GameCube unit (note that the E-Reader can also be plugged in). For ease of removal, there is an eject button on the side of the Game Boy Player unit that can even spring your cartridge right back at you. There is also a GameCube boot-up disc that comes along with it that has to be in the console for the player to operate.

I've tried out a variety of games and had no problems with the unit. There are a couple different control schemes that relocate the select button on the GameCube controller, or you can pop in a GameCube Game Boy Advance link cable to use a GBA as a controller. There are plenty of settings inside the gameplay itself, regarding screen size, filters, borders, etc. Most of these don't really mean much unless you want to tweak it some, and won't effect gameplay.

In a lot of ways, having this unit feels a lot like having a Super Nintendo again. I popped in SUPER MARIO WORLD, DONKEY KONG COUNTRY and it did my heart good to see this games on my TV again. Eventually I got down and dirty with ADVANCE WARS 2, which made the game a lot easier to play just because the screen and unit looks so much bigger. With the massive library of excellent Game Boy Advance games out there, it's a no-brainer for you to add one of these to your home-setup.

As an additional bonus, for a limited time, Nintendo will give you a Game Boy Player for free with the purchase of a GameCube (instead of taking one of the four free games Nintendo is offering). That's a fifty dollar value for free, along with that, you get the preview disc. There is no better time to buy a GameCube. And if you're already a fan of the console, you probably have a GBA and many games, so picking up a player is a no-brainer.

For Nintendo fans the Game Boy Player is an obvious buy. Fans should pick one up next Tuesday when they officially hit retailers.

Mania Grade: A
Platform: GameCube
Manufacturer: Nintendo
Description: Attaches to the bottom of your Nintendo GameCube and allows you to play Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy games on your TV.
Price: $49.99 (free with purchase of GameCube for limited time)