Ten Reasons to Get Connected
"Connectivity." Remember that? Truly, it was a dark time to be a Nintendo fan, but it wasn't ALL bad. We take a comprehensive look back...
Ahh, the year of 2002... a time when Eminem was eating up album sales with his distasteful lyrics, when The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was telling an epic tale and claiming the top of the box office charts, and of course a time when Nintendo claimed they would not support online gaming with the GameCube and instead focus on none other then Game Boy Advance connectivity. Four years later it's quite clear things have changed; the best selling album is the kid friendly "High School Musical Soundtrack" (what the hell is wrong with people?), the epic tale of The Lord of Rings has been told with its creator now trying to back the Halo movie, and Game Boy Advance connectivity is all but dead and Nintendo is embracing online gaming in full force. What a difference a couple of years can make, huh?
Like many others, I was extremely disappointed by Nintendo's initial stance on online gaming, especially considering some of Nintendo's properties seem almost made for the online scene. So while I sat and salivated at the beauty of Xbox Live (and laughed at Sony's attempt at online gaming) I said to myself, maybe, just maybe Nintendo could be right about this one. We all know Nintendo has been notorious for not giving us what we want, but rather what we don't know we want, so maybe GameCube to Game Boy Advance connectivity would follow that trend as well?
After four years it's quite apparent that that really wasn't the case, as support has all but fizzled away. But was support really the reason for its demise? Hardly. With big name companies such as SEGA, Ubisoft, EA, Konami, Capcom and of course Nintendo incorporating it into a handful of their games it had the chance of really taking off; the real problem in lied with the fact that it wasn't at all consumer friendly. Typically in order to take advantage of the connectivity options you were required to have a GameCube, Game Boy Advance, GCN to GBA cable, and a game for both GameCube and GBA, even in some of the most extreme cases you needed four Game Boy Advance's as well as four of the connecting cables. All of that combined is a huge chunk of change, and wasn't logical by any means.
But I stuck by Nintendo through thick and thin, from when the concept was first introduced with Sonic Adventure 2: Battle to the final game to support it - Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness and everything in between. While my buddies were combating against people from all over the world in Halo 2, I was getting exclusive collectable items in Disney's Magical Mirror Starring Mickey Mouse. They laughed. I cried. It wasn't all a waste however, in fact there's a handful of interesting concepts that surfaced out of the idea and made all that time and money worth it. Nintendo might want you to forget about the train wreck that was GameCube to Game Boy Advance connectivity, but I say forget them, here's ten reasons you need to get connected (and waste hundreds of dollars in the process.)
[subhead]10) Harvest Moon: A Wondeful Life/Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life[/subhead]
Connects to: Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town
The list starts off with everyone's favorite farming sim series, Harvest Moon. Considering the series is known for its interaction and collection aspects, it's not hard to guess what happens when you link up either of the GameCube games to the Game Boy Advance titles. Some of the more minor unlockables are things such as character biographies from the GameCube games found in the GBA games as well as ten records that hold songs from previous Harvest Moon titles. But what's really interesting is after you link between the games rumors and small talk cross over about characters from the other town. The meat and potatoes of it all however is the ability to unlock an exclusive beach house in the Game Boy Advance titles.
+ Obtain "The Seaside Cottage" after collecting 42 connectivity stars.
+ Unlock exclusive records.
+ Characters from the GameCube games will travel to the Game Boy games.
- Very little benefits for the GameCube games.
- Contrary to popular belief, you cannot visit the other games town.
[subhead]9) Pokemon Box[/subhead]
Connects to: Pokemon Ruby, Pokemon Sapphire, Pokemon Emerald, Pokemon FireRed, Pokemon LeafGreen
It's hard to really call this a game at all as Pokemon Box is much more like an accessory. What it does is it acts as a much larger storage system for your Pokemon games. It connects to any of the main Pokemon titles for the Game Boy Advance, so you can then transfer a mass amount of monsters at one time from game to game. Where it really comes in handy is if for example you want to start new file on one of your games you can simply link up to your GameCube, transfer all of your hard earned critters to Pokemon Box and then when you start a new game you can transfer them all back as if you'd never lost them at all. Without Pokemon Box the alternative would be a grueling process of one by one trading to another game pack which would take hours upon hours. To top it off you also have the ability to play either Pokemon Ruby or Pokemon Sapphire on the big screen (yet for some reason it's not compatible with the other three games.)
+ Includes link cable and specially designed memory card.
+ Stores up to 1,500 Pokemon.
+ Exclusive moves for select Pokemon.
+ Play either Pokemon Ruby or Pokemon Sapphire on your TV.
- Only for the die hard Pokemaniacs.
- More of an accessory then a game.
- Good luck finding it, not sold in stores and eBay prices are through the roof.
[subhead]8) Metroid Prime[/subhead]
Connects to: Metroid Fusion
Upset that Nintendo released the 20 year-old NES classic Metroid for the Game Boy Advance at a price of $20? Stick it to the man and get it for free instead! Well, ok not really, you'll have to own a copy of Metroid Fusion and Metroid Prime but it's a nice extra for those who own them both anyway (and you should because they are top notch games.) After completing Metroid Fusion by linking up to the GameCube you'll automatically unlock the original NES game on the Metroid Prime disc. A nice extra is you'll also be able to play with Samus as she sports her Fusion suit in full 3D.
+ Get the original Metroid for free!
+ Play as Samus with the Fusion suit in Metroid Prime.
- Not a whole lot of extra content (but what it does give you is nice.)
- You'll have to have completed Metroid Fusion to take advantage of any of it.
[subhead]7) Rayman 3: Hoodlum's Havoc[/subhead]
Connects to: Rayman 3: Hoodlum's Havoc
One of the more unknown games that feature connectivity is actually one of the best. If you happen to own both Rayman 3: Hoodlum's Havoc for the GameCube and Game Boy Advance you'll unlock a slew of neat stuff, including a multiplayer mode. With the use of the GBA, one player is able to lay down blocks and obstacles while the other player tries to do a certain objective, such as evade an enemy or collect items. You can even have two people on a GBA and another two on the GameCube and have two on two battles. The kicker is that by linking up you'll discover up to eleven new levels for your GBA cartridge.
+ Eleven exclusive levels for the GBA version.
+ New multiplayer mode.
- Each Game Boy will need a copy of the game.
- The last secret level can only be transferred after completing the GameCube version.
[subhead]6) Sonic Adventure DX, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle[/subhead]
Connects to: Both connect to Sonic Advance, while only DX connects to Sonic Advance 2 and Sonic Pinball Party.
Who would have thought that the first game to feature Game Boy Advance connectivity would hold up as being one of the best? When the original Sonic Adventure titles first appeared on the Dreamcast, SEGA utilized the controllers VMU screen with the ability to transfer over your in game pet, the Chao, so you could then take it on the go, an idea obviously brought to life to capitalize on the surprising success of toys such as Tamogatchi. However when the Dreamcast went under SEGA had to figure out away to carry the idea over when they decided they would port both games to the GameCube. And so they turned to the Game Boy Advance.
The same general concept is present when connecting to any of the three available Game Boy Advance games. Basically you'll be able to move your Chao back and forth from the 3D worlds of the GameCube games to the 2D realm in the GBA titles. A Chao is helpless animal that requires a lot of attention, so it makes sense to incorporate the idea in an on the go fashion. By moving the Chao into any of the GBA games will allow you to give it that much needed attention. Don't have any of the portable Sonic titles? No problem. In fact a GBA cartridge isn't even necessary in transferring the Chao. By hooking it up to an empty GBA you'll be doing the same thing except now you won't have a save feature, so the moment you turn the Game Boy off is the moment your Chao is lost.
+ Take your Chao anywhere!
+ Play a series of new mini-games within the Game Boy games.
+ No GBA pack required.
- Relatively pointless to any part of the actual games, more of just a creative extra.
- Pick up your old Tamogotchi (it's ok, we all had them at one point or another) and avoid the hassle altogether.
[subhead]5) The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker[/subhead]
Connects to: Nothing
Nintendo knew that if they wanted people to understand and believe in the mechanics of GameCube to Game Boy Advance connectivity, then they would have to prove it. And what better way to show it off then in one of the game industry's most recognizable characters? Ok, so it wasn't Mario, but Link and the whole cast of the Zelda universe was the next best thing. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was one of the first games to show off the potential of connectivity and it delivered it when the final product hit American shores back in March of 2003.
Before The Legend of Zelda series had ventured off into the multiplayer universe with the introduction of Four Swords, masterminds Shigeru Miyamoto and Eija Aonuma had a more unique approach on a multiplayer style that only seemed natural with the use of the Game Boy Advance connection. Rather then say having a buddy of yours come over for some head to head intense action, the idea behind the concept was to say have a son playing the actual game while his father would take control of the Game Boy Advance and aide him during his quest. They call it multiplayer; I call it a half-assed co-op mode, but hey, to each his own, and regardless for what it was it was a stand out display of GBA connectivity.
Early on in the game players would encounter the ever-so-queer character named Tingle, a bizarre old man who wishes he was still a kid. Despite his freakish outer appearance, he was in fact a kind hearted man who was determined to help you in any way possible, and so he will hand over his "Tingle Tuner." The only time this item is used is during GBA connectivity, and is more of like a help center then anything. With the use of the in-game currency of rupees, you could then pay Tingle to provide helpful information, plant bombs, sell you healing items and even divulge hidden secrets within the game.
+ Provides items, and helpful information.
+ With the use of the Tingle Tuner and bombs you can uncover secrets that are inaccessible without GBA connectivity.
+ No GBA pack required.
- Almost everything Tingle has to offer comes at a price.
- Makes an already painfully easy game all that much easier.
[subhead]4) The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures,Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles[/subhead]
Connects to: Nothing
Both of these titles can either be considered one of the best reasons or one of the worst reasons to come out of connectivity. On one hand you had a multiplayer design that had unprecedented features never before seen within a game, and yet on the other hand due to it requiring that each player have their own Game Boy Advance it really pushed the idea of connectivity to be more of a gimmick and tarnished the concepts future.
If you want to play either of these games multiplayer modes, each additional player is required to hook up their own Game Boy Advance. In The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures the GBA was used as a control pad for your character on screen, as you and your comrades performed various puzzles and fought an onslaught of enemies. However if you wanted to disperse from the team, to say into a near by house or cave, you could without disrupting the other team members, the action would then be transferred to the Game Boy Advance where you would continue on solo.
The same basic idea is also used within Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, you'll use the GBA to control your character, but the most important part of all of this is what is actually displayed on the screen of the GBA. As anyone who's ever played an RPG knows, you typically have to go into your menu screen and pause the action of the game so you can check stats, or switch weapons, even heal yourself or other party members. Well with the use of a second screen all of that information can be accessed through your GBA and with it you won't have to disrupt your party members with annoying text menus. While again it wasn't exactly all that logical as games such as Phantasy Star Online were allowing the same type of multiplayer action without disrupting party members and all without the expensive equipment. But hey at least it reestablished the partnership between Nintendo and Square Enix, so it wasn't all a waste.
+ Adds a multiplayer mode.
+ A new way to play.
+ No GBA pack required.
- You need a GameCube, a game disc, 2 Game Boy Advance systems, and two Game Boy to GameCube link cables. And that's just to get the least out of its multiplayer option.
- In the case of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles there's no way of playing multiplayer without it.
[subhead]3)Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour[/subhead]
Connects to: Mario Golf: Advance Tour
Being a huge Mario Golf addict this is my personal favorite on the list, and maybe it being at number three shows a little bias, but this is my list so deal with it. At any point during the adventure mode of Mario Golf: Advance Tour you can upload both Neil and Ella to the GameCube version to hit the greens in 3D. By connecting back and forth between the two games you'll transfer data, records, and unlock new characters and courses. Best of all is that once you've uploaded your GBA characters to Toadstool Tour they'll stay in the character roster forever.
I'll tell you right now though, there's no way I could have picked up a -30 under par on Lakitu Valley without connectivity. Both Neil and Ella in my copies of the game can drive close to 400 yards and with the added power of special clubs (unobtainable on the GameCube without the GBA) my performance has gone unmatched. It's this kind of satisfaction that makes me cherish my GameCube to Game Boy Advance cable.
+ Transfer your GBA characters to the GameCube, and gain experience points and special stats while you're doing it.
+ Unlock four exclusive characters within Advance Tour after connecting.
+ Saves character data onto the GameCube version permanently.
- Nearly all of the extras compliment Advance Tour, very few to Toadstool Tour.
[subhead]2) Pac-Man Vs.[/subhead]
Connects to: Nothing
Believe it or not Pac-Man Vs. is indeed one of the greatest multiplayer games to ever grace the GameCube. When it was first shown to the public at E3 2003 many laughed at how Nintendo's main attraction at their press conference was more of a tech demo then an actual game. But like the old saying goes, don't judge a book by its cover, because Pac-Man Vs. is in fact one of the most innovative and creative game designs I've seen in recent years.
For those of you who are in the dark on the title, Pac-Man Vs. is at heart a multiplayer version of the original arcade classic. Three players will take the role of the ghosts on the TV screen, all of which have a limited view of the level, and the forth player will assume the lead as Pac-Man on the Game Boy Advance where they can see the entire level and the positions of all of the ghosts. Pac-Man's goal is of course to gobble up all of the pellets around the board while evading the touch of the ghosts, just like we were doing back in the 80's. Telling someone how it plays though is like telling someone how to ride a bicycle, it just doesn't do it justice, it seems so unnatural at first, but once you get going you'll have a blast.
And leave it to Nintendo to literally give one of their greatest creations away for free. While you won't find them now, originally when it was first released you could simply get a copy of the game by preordering a different game at a retailer. However the other alternative (and best bet now in days) was to buy specially packaged Namco titles that had the game included inside - R: Racing Evolution, I-Ninja and the most common of them all, the Player's Choice version of Pac-Man World 2 all include a copy of this fantastic conception.
+ Basically free!
+ No GBA cart required.
- No single player mode.
[subhead]1) Animal Crossing[/subhead]
Connects to: e-Reader
Is this really a surprise to anyone? The number one reason to start connecting is with of course Animal Crossing, it features a massive amount of extra content that cannot be rivaled by any other game on this list and is the pinnacle of GameCube to Game Boy Advance connectivity. Using the e-Reader (another failed Nintendo project) you'll be able to get the most out what Animal Crossing has to offer, because Nintendo created hundreds of exclusive e-Reader cards dubbed only as the "Animal Crossing e-Series" all of which can be connected to the GameCube version, and close to all of them unlock something within the game. The cards have since been discontinued but tracking down at least some of them as well as one of those pesky e-Readers is worth the investment.
In the shadow of the orgasmic amount of content found through the e-Reader, connecting up to your GBA will also allow you to travel to a mysterious tropical island off the coast of your town. And for all of you nostalgic nuts out there, you can even transport the in-game NES classics on the go to your GBA. Talk about a complete package.
+ Travel to an exclusive bonus island.
+ Unlock hundreds of items and other collectables through the e-Reader cards.
+ Take your NES games on the go.
+ No GBA pack required.
- Hardly any besides the fact that you'll have to track down those ever so rare Animal Crossing e-Series cards.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
The Game Boy Advance will help you get through those tense situations by displaying an overhead map that has details on enemy locations and useful pick-ups.
Pokemon Colosseum, Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness
Take all 386 of your Pokemon into the 3D realm and battle them in some of the most difficult tournaments found in any Pokemon game. Also obtain exclusive Pokemon not found in any of the Game Boy Advance titles.
The Sims: Bustin' Out
Rarely is a multiplatform title better on the GameCube then its counterparts, but when it comes to The Sims: Bustin' Out it's an exception, and all because of its connectivity options. Hook up to the Game Boy Advance title of the same name and take your loveable Sims with you wher