I was in one of my FAVORITE stores in the world today … “VIDEOGAMESNEWYORK” in the East Village.
There’s literally EVERYTHING you could possibly want from Pong to Famicom to WonderSwan to Wii to PSP … classics, handhelds, imports, out of production controllers, accessories … um, import out of production classic controllers …
but I digress.
While I was browsing, trying to make a decision on what to purchase to make the trip in worthwhile, I spied a device that I had previously SCOFFED at back in the grand days of Gamecube (hey, there might have been a grand day or two).
Datel (aka Code Junkies) ADVANCE GAME PORT “Gameboy Advance Player” for Gamecube.
Now, when this thing was initially released, it came out (I think) AFTER (or pretty damned close to) the OFFICIAL Nintendo Gameboy Player for Gamecube … and was only about $10 less.
It plugs in via the memory card slot and boots off a disc that basically has a GBA emulator on it which loads the rom directly from a real cartridge.
Not rocket science, but, again, when the Cube’ had a REAL GBA player … what the hell was the point??
Enter the Wii … one gripe I had with it’s backwards compatibility was the lacking ability to play GBA games via the Gamecube Gameboy Player.
So I found myself asking the clerk if the Game Port Advance would do the trick.
Unfortunately, he didn’t know, and said that he had even checked some forums and could never find an answer. Fortunately, this kind of stuff always intrigues me, so I dropped the cash, bought the last one they had in stock, and took it home to experiment.
After setting it up in my Wii via the Gamecube ports, I popped in the boot disc … and … no dice. The Wii said “can’t read disc”.
So I went to my shelf and pulled out my Gamecube / Wii “Action Replay / Freeloader” disc which I KNOW bypasses Gamecube region / lockout coding.
After booting that up first and selecting the “Freeloader” option … I was thrilled to see that the AGP BOOT DISC loading up perfectly!
Now, as much as I love my GBA, I must admit that I only own a few ACTUAL retail cartridges … I spent a LOT of money on a “Flash Cartridge” for GBA back when 256 Megs of Flash Memory cost a hell of a lot more than it does now … and I downloaded roms like there was no tomorrow.
The Flash Rom cartridge does NOT work with the AGP … but, the actual cartridges do!
River City Ransom EX and Defender of the Crown both played graphically excellent … however, and this is the sad part … both suffered from some audio stutter in game.
I wouldn’t call the games UN-PLAYABLE, muting the audio didn’t take away THAT much from the experience … and the device isn’t rated to play ALL GBA games perfectly … I believe it’s optimized for some of the most popular GBA titles like Pokemon Ruby / Pearl, Zelda 4 Swords, Super Mario Advance 1-4, etc. And those titles likely don’t suffer from the audio issues that my two favorite GBA games did.
In any case, I figured that the Nintendo / Wii / GBA community would like to know this info, and as far as I can tell, I’m the first person to report on this (correctly) on the web.
No need to thank me
I’ll even provide some links to the device on eBay … the starting price(s) couldn’t get any better!!
Remember … you need an ACTION REPLAY / FREELOADER disc like the one pictured above to get the AGP BOOT DISC TO LOAD!!!