While the GameShark was the most widely used cheating device in the late '90s, it was actually a rebranded Action Replay. However, Interact, the company who distributed GameSharks, went bankrupt. After that, Mad Catz bought the name GameShark, and Action Replays were then sold to the public by their original name. There are currently three different models, the original DS version, the DSi version, and the more current version, the newly released 3DS version. All three versions are compatible with all Generation IV and Generation V games released for the Nintendo DS.
Use and function
Cheating devices such as the Action Replay are primarily used to enable, disable, or modify sections of a particular game's code. By intercepting game code transmission between the game's software and the system's hardware, Action Replay devices can change the gaming experience. The use of cheating devices to modify Pokémon games has been a popular practice since the games' release in the mid-nineties. Popular applications of the device include capturing unobtainable Pokémon, acquiring normally unobtainable items or mass quantities of items, and modifying Pokémon stats.
Although Action Replay can be helpful, it is also known to freeze the game occasionally and to cause minor problems. Codes that simply allow users to change Pokémon, levels, or stats tend to be harmless, however, others like walk through walls or codes rewriting major events in the storyline may result in minor game glitches or corrupt the entire save file.
If one uses too many codes at once, the probability of freezing rises. If one encounters freezing, it is recommended to disable recently added codes before starting the game up again. Having fewer codes enabled decreases the likelihood of improperly set flags and coding, thus decreasing chances of freezing. When the user turns the game back on, the trigger which prepares the execution of the code may not cause the game to freeze, and if successful, the user will be able to resume play. If the user has used an Action Replay and wishes to play their game without the use of codes or to fix problems and glitches caused by the codes, they can restart their game file.
Incorrect codes may also cause Bad Eggs to appear in the games.
In 2005, Datel released a new device for use with both the Nintendo Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS called the Action Replay Duo (also known as the Action Replay Max). This new device enabled users to modify GBA games like the ordinary Action Replay for GBA; however, it also had the ability to save DS games onto a computer using a USB cable. Using this method, users could backup and restore saved game files. However, the device does not recognize any Pokémon save data located in its slot, and has caused much outrage among fans for this reason. Despite numerous updates to the device, there has been no explanation given as to why the device ignores Pokémon games.
- Newer DS Action Replay packages have miscolored Pokémon featured on them. These include Piplup, Chimchar, Hippopotas, Mime Jr., Dialga, Palkia, Charizard, and Giratina in its Origin Forme.