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Action Replay
Score: 95%
Developer: Datel



Function:

I remember when the Game Genie came out for the GameBoy (that's right I said GameBoy, not GameBoy Pocket or GameBoy Color. I said GameBoy, you know that large gray block of plastic and circuits that worked your upper body every time you wanted to play a game on it), and I thought that this large device that almost doubled the weight of the GameBoy was a marvel. 'Now I can win all of those games that I keep dying in', I said. Well, there is a new game enhancement system out for the GameBoy Advance and GameBoy Advance SP, the Action Replay by Datel.

This device plugs into your GameBoy Advance where you would normally insert the game cartridge, and then you insert the game into it. While playing the game of your choice, provided it is one of the hundreds of games supported by the Action Replay, you can open up all levels, play with infinite health or never run out of ammo. This is a great advantage in many games or a good thing to use in an area that you are finding unusually difficult.


Performance:

I was amazed by the wide range of games that the Action Replay supports. I found that most of the games in my GameBoy Advance collection were on the list. And after ripping open the package and playing with those for a few hours, I went to the product's website, www.codejunkies.com to see if there were any codes that weren't in the database that came with the Action Replay. Low and behold, I found several more games that I had, like Metroid Fusion, a game that has been thoroughly whipping my ass when I go up against the final boss.

I took the opportunity to try the Action Replay out on Metroid, and was quite pleased. I restarted my saved game and went after the SAX (the evil copy of Samus and the main villain in this game), and before long I had beaten the beast (something I was only able to do once before). When I went to the final boss though, a fully-grown Omega Stage Metroid, I was caught in a dilemma. I had to lose almost all of my health to actually beat the game. So after some deliberation I turned off the Action Replay, took the hit and dropped down to one unit of health, but I was surprised when turning the Action Replay back on. I then regained every drop of life and beat the game.

I also tested the Action Replay on games like Sonic Advance and Bionicle, and was very satisfied by the variety of codes and how well they worked in the games. There are also codes for games like Pokemon Sapphire/Ruby, as well as the many Yu-Gi-Oh games out there.

The Action Replay adds very little weight to the hand-held (unlike the original Game Genie) and will stay out of the way, well mostly. If you are using a GameBoy Advance, then you won't have any problems, but if you are sporting an SP, then the Action Replay cartridge might get in the way a little, but not enough to pose much of a problem.


Features:
  • Preloaded with loads of cheats for the latest and greatest games
  • New cheats can be easily added and saved
  • Colorful hi-resolution graphics
  • Includes link cable and software - download new cheat codes and games via the Internet

Drawbacks & Problems::

I only had a couple of irks with the Action Replay and they can mostly be attributed to my personal impatience. The software that is available with the device, a database system for managing your codes and making sure you have the most updated versions, was fairly straightforward. But I found it slightly annoying that every single time I wanted to view the GBA's database of codes, (not the ones stored on my PC, but the ones inside the Action Replay cartridge itself), the software had to download all of the information from the cartridge which would take several minutes (even over the USB link cable provided by Datel).

My advice to keep this from becoming too much of a problem is when you first start up the GameBoy Advance with the Action Replay inside it, delete the codes for the games that either you don't have or don't ever plan on getting. After doing this, the amount of time it takes to download the code information from the cartridge is greatly reduced.

Another annoyance with the system, and again I think this has more to do with impatience, was when manually entering a code (on the GBA) it became very tedious having to move around the virtual keyboard to enter names of games and codes. This was very time consuming.

Also, Action Replay works only with GameBoy Advance games, the system does not recognize GameBoy Color or original GameBoy games (that isn't to say that it won't allow you to play them, it just won't have any cheats for them), but according to Datel, this is 'to make the experience all that better for the GameBoy Advance gamers.'

If you have a wide variety of GBA games, and many of them are beating you to a pulp, the Action Replay is a good buy. It will allow you to get past many of the difficult parts of games, and it can be turned on and off if you feel you want to make it through a certain area without the crutch.


-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Microsoft Xbox Control Pad Pro Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Player

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated