Reviewed: January 28, 2004
Type: Cheat Device
I have a lot of GBA games, not nearly close to the 235+ games supported by the new GameSharkSP, but I was anxious to see how many I did have and just how this new cheat device could help me be a better gamer.
I’m not a huge fan of cheating. Frankly, I don’t see the point in it. If a game can’t be won as it was designed and released then I probably shouldn’t be playing it. That’s not to say I wouldn’t mind going back and revisiting a few of my favorite games with some “advanced” tricks and tools at my disposal.
The GameSharkSP comes loaded with 4,000 codes for 185 of the latest GBA games. Using your PC and Internet connection you can go online and find more than 10,000 new codes that you can download and add to your cheat cartridge. Much like the recently released GameSaves for Xbox, this package comes with a cable that allows you to interface your Game Boy Advance to your PC where you can back-up your excess codes and even your saved games. Once they are on your PC you can share them with other GBA players who also have this device.
Installation is a snap. Just insert the cheat cartridge into your GBA or GBA SP then insert your favorite game. The handy power switch will activate the cheat cartridge or if you leave it off the game will play like normal. The GameShark will usually auto detect the game you have inserted and locate any available cheats currently on your cartridge and present them in a friendly menu. You can also force the GameShark to look for cheats using the D-pad and triggers.
You can add, remove, and edit any cheats on your cartridge and when it gets full you can offload the ones you don’t use to your hard drive by using the PC interface cable supplied with the GameSharkSP. Just pop in the CD and follow the prompts and about a minute later you are ready to go. Locate an available USB port and plug in the cable to the PC then into the GBA that should already be running with the GameShark installed and turned on and a game running.
Once its up and running you will be given a simple dual-window interface that has the files on your PC in one window and your GBA in the other. You can view either your cheat codes or your save games, but not both at the same time. You have all the same functionality as Explorer. You can select one or many files and drag and drop between windows to transfer files or you can delete or edit files on either system.
I took a quick inventory of my GBA collection, which now consists of about 60 games. I was pleased to find that almost all of them were supported in some way by this product. I didn’t really “need” to cheat on any of the games but I did find some of the cheat functions fun to play around with.
If you want to share your GBA saved games, or download games from other players or just want the luxury of having access to thousands of cheat codes for hundreds of games then the GameSharkSP is definitely for you. There might not be $30 worth of codes in the initial package but there is three times the content waiting for you online and the community is constantly growing.
This is definitely a nice introductory GameShark product for the Game Boy Advance and I look forward to seeing what Mad Catz has in store for us next.