Nyko brings us another excellent
accessory, and one of the most creative available for the GBA, the Shock and Rock. If you
remember the Shock and Rock from the Game Boy Color, then you pretty much know whats
in store. But if you havent experienced the contentment of the Shock and Rock, then
now is the perfect time. Combining a rumble pack, rechargeable battery, enhanced grip, and
better sound, this is an all-around good idea to go with your GBA.
The Shock and Rock
plugs into your battery compartment (say goodbye to that stock battery cover), and
enhances the grip on your GBA by adding extra bulk below and behind it. The extra bulk is
welcomed, as it makes the GBA feel more like a regular controller. Some gamers will like
the ergonomic changes more than others, but I felt like it made the shoulder buttons
easier to use. It also gives a little more to grab onto during those sweaty-palmed
sessions on THPS2.
The recharging function is very good on the Shock and Rock. The battery gives you about
10-12 hours of play time, which isnt bad. What makes it an even better rechargeable
battery than many others, though, is that you can play while the unit is charging. There
is no reason to stop playing your GBA, even to recharge. Charging takes about eight hours
or so, and youre cautioned to not leave the unit plugged in for more than 12 hours,
but those are standard stipulations for rechargeable batteries.
The Shock and Rock also gives you a new set of stereo speakers for your GBA as well as
an amplified headphone jack. The auxiliary speakers sound better than the GBA speaker, but
you wont notice a lot of stereo effect until you plug in some headphones. It does
amplify the headphones a bit more than the GBA does on its own, but this is the least
impressive aspect of the Shock and Rock. To compliment the enhanced speakers is a
force-feedback rumble system. This is a very minor rumble, more like a DC rumble pack than
the Dual Shock system. It also sounds a lot like a vibrator when rumbling, which is mildly
embarrassing. Still, if youre into rumble the Shock and Rock allows you to adjust
the force-feedback to fit your mood.
The Shock and Rock is just a beautiful piece of accessory manufacturing. It has a host
of switches and dials that allow you to use only the functions of the unit you want at the
time, and to adjust how loud or rough your play is. Of course, turning off the rumble or
sound lengthens the amount of gameplay youll get from the battery. With the added
comfort and excellent recharging capabilities, I can recommend the Shock and Rock
wholeheartedly. While it does add some bulk to your GBA, its not obscenely bulky,
and the $24.99 price tag is worth it. Besides, youll want to let people know
youre playing with the Shock and Rock.