Tuesday, March 06, 2007


X-Arcade Gamecube Adapter Mark II

Several years ago, in a moment of weakness, I bought myself an X-Arcade Arcade cabinet. It's not the fancy super-unit they have available these days; it was basically an overgrown Ikea kit in the shape of an arcade cabinet. It came with the X-Arcade 2-player joystick set, but you had to supply your own television and game consoles. All things considered, it was probably pretty overpriced. Still, as far as entertainment units go, it's a real beauty, and I can't say I'd trade it for anything. It's completely functional as a gaming center, but it also serves as an acceptable television cabinet or computer desk.

I've only had one gripe. The joystick is meant to be a universal controller. Just buy an adapter for the system of your choice, and plug it right in. My Gamecube is my home console of choice, and unfortunately, the original version of the adapter was designed by people who never played Gamecube games, for people who never played Gamecube games. The default layout was completely wonky, with the Z button tucked away in a most useless position and the analog/digital click shoulder buttons arranged unintuitively. Even in arcade collections that allowed you to mess with the default controller layout, it was taxing to invent a scheme that allowed for the sort of control that you'd expect from a 3x2 button arrangement.

If this wasn't bad enough, the adapter was incompatible with the Game Boy Player. It just wouldn't work. This frustrated me primarily because the Game Boy happens to be the home of so many arcade ports or games worthy of inhabiting an arcade setup.

I was mad because I bought the original adapter at a time when I knew that X-Arcade was aware of the problems with the button layout and were creating a better version. I thought, when I made my order, that they had pulled out the old version in favor of the improved version already. I was wrong.

The guys at X-Arcade do make good products in general, don't get me wrong. But their website has historically been terrible. Confusing, difficult to navigate, and with none of the information that I want in the places where I'd expect to find it. And so I waited years -- years -- to replace my Gamecube adapter because I couldn't find the confirmation I needed that they were selling the joystick adapters I wanted.

This weekend, I just figured "what the heck" and ordered a new adapter.

Lo, after so long, I finally have the Gamecube adapter with the good button layout. But that's not the best part. That's not why I felt compelled to write this article.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the new X-Arcade Gamecube adapter is 100% compatible with the Game Boy Player.

After so many years of waiting, I can finally stick Game & Watch Gallery 2 into the cartridge slot on the bottom of my Gamecube and make my very own Ball arcade cabinet. My mind is still swimming over the possibilities. Wario Ware, Dragon's Lair, Activision Anthology, Donkey Kong '94, Frogger 2, Tetris DX, Ultimate Arcade Games, Hamtaro Ham Ham Games, Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness, Mario Party Advance, Dr. Mario, Game & Watch Galleries -- I'm in arcade heaven.

Also, I broke down and got the Animorphs GBC game. More as it develops.


Only the very first small batch of GameCube adapters ever had the layout that you describe, it was updated eons ago! Not only that, but Xgaming offered me a free replacement when I inquired about it. That had to have been 4 years ago at least!
Yeah. I contacted them about it at one point too, and I even tried to get signed up for the free replacement, but there seemed to be some sort of misunderstanding between me and the customer service rep I talked with (which, I concede, was probably entirely my fault), and the replacement never materialized. It was never really a huge priority for me, so I let it go for a few years.

Glad I have it now though. ;)
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