Platform: Gameboy Advance| Release Date: 2002
Oh, Nintendo. Yes, they’ve released plenty of trademark titles and have developed characters with household names. Sure, they’ve broken boundaries with their innovative systems that combined family oriented play with the hardcore games of today. One thing though that Nintendo can’t seem to let go of are their gimmicks. Back in the late 90’s / early 2000’s, Nintendo’s gimmicks were probably at their peak, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. One of their funny little add-ons was for the Gameboy Advanced. Dubbed the “eReader”, this interesting device was the pre-curser for now wifi and downloadable additions of games that we use today in the form of online Mystery Gifts and QR codes.
Why it was great
While being “great” is a stretch, the eReader was a pretty cool idea that would eventually be taken over by the more prominent and accessibility of online functionality. Basically, the eReader would attach to the cartridge slot of your Gameboy Advance. A small card slider on the top allows you to swipe different types of cards. These cards had various functions; they loaded old NES titles, accessed secret levels, or unlocked bonus content in their respective game titles. Sound familiar? The addition to Pokemon games sounds the most interesting to me, though. Swiping an eReader card would allow access to secret trainers for players to duke it out against. However, these trainers would not yield any type of rewards for beating them. Players can also use an Eon Ticket eReader card to gain special access to the rare Latios and Latias legendaries in Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire.
Us humans are natural collectors of things. Having essentially what was a physical, collectible DLC interests some folks who at time were more into the hard copy of things. It’s a shame that things like this are more-or-less nonexistent, but other forms of content (albeit more expensive forms) are gaining popularity via Nintendo’s Amiibo figurines. If it’s up to me, though, keep it digital!