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Game Boy Player
  opened by paleface at 01:37:54 08/20/03  
  last modified by paleface at 20:43:09 04/19/04  
  paleface [sys=GC; cat=Action_Variety; loc=JPN]
The reason why I bought a GameCube, this lovely piece of equipment gives you what amounts to a next-generation SNES with GBA games, plus access to playing all your beloved old GB and GBC carts on the big screen with a real controller--though you'll probably want to get the Hori pad or stick (I have the stick) for real digital control, 'cause at least for me the WaveBird's diminuitive d-pad or soft analog stick just don't cut it here.
The Player latches on to the bottom of the GameCube, making it more cube-shaped, and you stick the cart in the front, upside down. I haven't tried linking with it or using an e-Reader with it but supposedly you can. To run you stick in the special boot disc and power up the Cube.
The player supports progressive scan output, yay! And the screen looks surprisingly crisp even when you have the graphics scaled up to fill the whole screen width--you can keep them at a perfect pixel multiple of the GBA if you like, but this of course means you're using a relatively small portion of your big screen which of course is counter to the whole reason for the Player in the first place, and fortunately the scaling routine the Player uses looks so smooth that you can barely notice it--in fact it kind of anti-aliases what would otherwise be significant "jaggies" in GBA's low resolution output.
The GC's Z-button allows you to pop up a gorgeous little overlaid menu at any time from which you administer the Player's simple functions, such as remapping the shoulder buttons to the X and Y keys, changing the "Sharpness" (this doesn't do much that I can see in progressive scan, aside from changing the translucency of flicker-style shadows in some games), toggling the scaling, swapping a different cart in or resetting the current one, and so forth. With GB and GBC games the shoulder buttons toggle between normal and screen-wide aspect ratios--screen-wide is pretty darn stretched, of course. Also, like a GBC you can hold a stick and button combo to select different color palettes for GB games.
Running GB Tetris on my 19" VGA monitor, pumping those great old tunes through my subwoofer is pretty much a dream come true. Aside from having only two button-remapping options, great execution here by Nintendo.

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