The Nintendo GameCube
The Nintendo GameCube
Was it a fail in the history of gaming…? Was it Nintendo’s weak point…? Let’s delve into the personal history of the GameCube and find out…
The GameCube… Where do I start on this subject? The GameCube was simply great and a credit to Nintendo’s history. It was the companies peak in console producing, so many people were sitting blinded to the reality of the consoles greatness, including Nintendo themselves, and they all still are thinking the same. The GameCube gives you a sense of what it’s like to be playing with true power; every single aspect of the GameCube is simply wonderful. It gives you infinite years in gaming and a hell of a lot of awesome titles that just don’t grow old. This is one console that you will not want to miss. Remove all your current thoughts and opinions on the console right now, forget Sony, forget Microsoft, and just read my thoughts.
Let’s begin with the history: The GameCube was released in Japan first as per usual on September 14th, 2001 to compete with its enemies; the Dreamcast and the dreadful PS2. Nintendo, like Sega was really trying to recover after the onslaught of the PS1. Both Sega and Nintendo had lost tremendously to the PS1 back in Gen 5, which I believe is a load of crap. I won’t start on my personal feelings and confusion against Sony and their success… all that I can say on that topic in absolute crap. Anyways, the PS2 had already beaten the Dreamcast down in respects to better graphics, and the feature of the DVD player on the PS2. That was the big thing with the PS2; it was the cheapest DVD player out at the time. “Why not buy one” is what people thought. I just shake my head at that… Now here it comes, Nintendo with the powerhouse GameCube, without a DVD player, shades of the Dreamcast now suggest that nothing good can come of this.
The GameCube launched, it had trouble grasping on to the competition when the Xbox & PS2 were out. Again & again, game after game, Nintendo released great titles that just were overlooked because no one wanted the GameCube… It was considered a console for kids. Why was this? Maybe it was because everyone just adores FPS games. The GameCube had those; it had some of the best FPS games that were out there, but I suppose that it lacked some of the popular game series’ like Grand Theft auto & Halo. Not enough reason in my opinion, but people was persistent. Every one that I knew had a PS2. The GameCube struggled continually until it was discontinued in 2007.
Some Release Titles:
The overall design of the GameCube was sleek, compact, attractive, convenient and comfortable. Let’s start with the console, it was everything said above. The part that I most enjoyed about it was the compact and strong design. The console was a tank, much like the SNES, it was hard to break. I remember reading about people dropping a GameCube off a Skyscraper, and the dang thing still worked to an extent where as the Xbox & PS2 broke off impact. My brother’s friend also dropped one down a flight of stairs and it still worked as good as new, if that doesn’t say great design, then I don’t know what does?
The GameCube had many expansion ports on it for many things, unlike the history of these expansion ports being for an exclusive add-on, they were used for other means. Some were add-ons, but only for things that already had their own console, and for once… for once you didn’t need the GameCube and the add-on, to play the add-ons games (You could still play them on their original console). The first add on, was the Game Boy Player, this came in two different forms. One was an attachment that went on the bottom of the GameCube; allowing you to play Game Boy Advanced games through your GameCube, on to the TV using a GameCube controller, how cool is that? (The N64 & SNES had similar cartridges that allowed you to do the same for Original Game Boy games). The other device was similar; it was like those retro ports you see today, a cord would be attached to the back of your Game Boy Advanced and the other side of the cord would be your average GameCube controller jack to hook into the Controller slot, this version of the add-on however, allowed you to combine your GC & GBA games in unique ways to get different items, game modes, etc. Pretty nifty I say. One of my personal favorite ways to utilize this was on the Pac Man vs. Pac Man World 2 game. It is about the only game that I can think of that allows you to play as the ghosts. That’s right, in this game, the people with the GBAs control ghosts on there GBA screen. They get limited visibility with the ghosts to make it harder for them to track the person playing as Pac man. Where as the person playing as Pac Man gets full visibility like your usual Pac Man game. It is a must try game to anyone with the GBA controller attachment.
In my opinion, it was a nice touch and these add-ons definitely targeted it right and if you’re interested in it; then all power to you! It was a great touch.
Unlike Popular belief, the GameCube was capable of online play. This is what the other port on the bottom of the console was for a Broadband adapter or a Modem Adapter. This was only available for a short time and unfortunately, only four games were compatible…
This can actually still be used offline with other games and more than one GameCube on certain games like Mario Kart: Double Dash and two other racing games, 1080 Avalanche & Kirby Air Ride. Although I have never tried that, nor do I really believe that I could get more than three other people to play games with me, I would most definitely want to try it, and would try it without hesitation.
The Controller is actually my personal favorite controller over any console, and I have this issue, where I just can’t stop buying them… I’m serious, I have 5 GameCube controllers and I usually play by myself! But really, they are great, even… no, especially the third party controllers, I could go on explaining why certain ones, but all I can say is that I’d recommend Intec & i-Cons controllers to anyone any day. The controller that I would say is my personal favorite is MadCatz controller; it’s available in many colors, wired and wireless. Bottom line, the controllers are magnificent!
I think I’ve explained enough on add-ons & controllers, and I promise I will get more interesting after this, but bear with me here and read a little more on third party support…
This was one of the GameCube’s biggest struggles throughout its life. Like I have said before, the GameCube did not get some of the more popular titles like Grand Theft Auto, but this was not the only thing. While The Xbox & PS2 had over 1000 games. The GameCube had about 600 games only, but as my saying goes; if you can find a handful of games that you can enjoy, the console is worth it, and that isn’t to say the 600 games it has are your average “B Games” no, far from it! In fact, most of the games Nintendo did get on the GameCube; they had to fight for, and why would you fight for a mediocre game. No, Nintendo got all the top notch games that they could get their hands on. This is why I call the console a fighter. It fought for good games, and good games is what it got! Quality over Quantity people!
I personally always wanted a GameCube, I loved the N64 and the SNES, so on & so forth. Of course, like anybody, my brothers wanted a PS2; I was only 10 when we were thinking about getting a new console. So we got the stupid PS2, I let them “Settle” for a PS2, at least that’s how I looked at it. We rented a GameCube when it first came out… well, soon after it came out, and I loved it, I was astonished by it. We rented Pikmin & Gauntlet Dark Legacy (We were big fans of this series at the time…) Pikmin was amazing at the time, of course most things were amazing to a kid like me that was that young, but something about the GameCube was just great. I didn’t like the idea of switching over; I never liked PS1, what would change things now?
Life with a PS2 was okay, I mean. The games were good, I liked Time splitters 2 at the time, but the other Ps2 games just weren't fun really. It was a mediocre console; it’s even mediocre to me now. You might just say “Pssh! that’s because you’re a retro guy” okay, I am retro, I like the SNES & the N64 more than anything but truthfully, The GameCube is the newest console that I enjoy at a high level. So just rule that out.
After a while we decided to sell the PS2, for an Xbox… okay, I liked this Idea a bit more, so I went with it. Eventually, finally my brother got offered a GameCube for 60 bucks from his friend in 2004. I begged him to just get it; I wanted him to so bad. When he did I was working my ass off to buy accessories, memory cards and whatnot for the GameCube. We already had Super Smash Bros. on the GameCube, I particularly enjoyed that, but the first day that he got the GameCube, and I mean the very first day. I walked to the video store and rented Pikmin and Super Monkey Ball 2. I loved the games, it was wonderful to play Pikmin again and I’m a sucker for party games. I was out week after week, renting games for the GameCube. The console rocked. Now, you are probably saying “Point proven, you’re a kid, GameCube was for kids” Well, no. If that were true, then why am I still playing it to this day? And a lot I might add.
Despite all that, the bigger issue started with my brother. The console was his; he didn’t want me using it, buying stuff for it. I just got fed up and I bought my own GameCube in 2006. I still have it to this day, but he sold his after I bought mine and then he expected to play mine, Irony anyone? Ugh... that is just funny, but I’m nice unlike him, so I let him play it. I choose to play GameCube games on the actual GameCube over the Wii any day, so a brief history for my experience there.
Having the GameCube is just wonderful. It gives you a feeling of power. You’ve got a great console. It’s unparalleled to the PS2 and Xbox. It stands above most other consoles for me. It’s amongst my top 5 game consoles of all time and why shouldn’t it be? It was a tremendous shoot and a miss, which as you know, I feel is unfair. So why should it be “spat on” so to speak. Just having the console feels way better than anything else. It’s the console you have to just pick up and play a great game like Time Splitters 2, Monkey Ball or Mario Sunshine to play, to re-play and to have for a long time with its unbelievable reliability. The GameCube, is something that you can’t go wrong with, why? Need I explain more? For those that are still in disbelief to the GameCubes greatness, then read on sucka.
Another thing that the GameCube seemed to have held against it was the graphics… Again with the graphics people… Its 3D graphics, it’s decent at that, and who gives a crap? Is Time Splitters 2 any better on PS2 just because it’s slightly better visually? I say not, the triggers alone on the PS2 are not like realistic triggers, and the overall controls on the PS2 are crap compared to the controls on the GameCube, and how about SSX Tricky on Xbox? Okay, need I shed some light on the controls again? Let’s just say I’ve been through 7 Xbox controllers and the 3 I still have left are iffy on working. I’m dead serious on this. Why are graphics so important to people? What is this ongoing trend that says “better graphics = a better game?” I can’t even comprehend why it is so important to people, and this is the main reason people don’t like GameCube. It has more of a cartoony look than realism, to be honest; I like that cartoony look better than the realism look anyways. It appeals more to me but that is not why I like the GameCube, its games a special sparkle to them that just rules, I can say that all I want but come on people! Get over your expensive PS & Xbox consoles, they aren’t better… of course, that is an opinion of my own and I can’t really change peoples minds if they got it set.
One more thing I’d like to pit a battle on is Reliability. Take this, GameCubes rarely, rarely break. I’ve had to open up my Xbox six times to fix it; I sold my PS2 because I was so pissed off at it being broken. So I again compare consoles. If you want an inferior console that will give you 5-10 years of entertainment, sure, buy a PS2 or an Xbox. Now if you want a long term 15-possibly 100 year deal on a superior gaming machine, a GameCube is ideal. It’s superior in every way to other consoles in its gen, and in this gen. Yes the Wii is where I believe the blame should be. Like, Nintendo was so blinded by the fact that people have bad personal preference that they changed everything that they had done with GameCube… Hold on, hold on! Something aint right here, Nintendo had done everything right with the GameCube, they had put out their best efforts to make the GameCube what it was, and how many times should I say?; Dang it, the GameCube is good! But, it is kind of hard not to blame Nintendo on that one, fans were looking the wrong way when the GameCube was out, they were looking at the PS2. So who’s to say if they did everything the same, like they had with GameCube, and improved on it, like Sony & Microsoft had, that this other console that would’ve been in the Wii’s place, wouldn’t have flopped again from Sony fanatics. So, I guess you cannot really blame Nintendo on that one. But this just shows, in my opinion. That the GameCube was like the Climax of Nintendo’s book. I’d say. If we are going to take a metaphor of a book, that the Wii is starting its own book broken off as a counterpart, I say this because the Wii is nothing like its predecessors. The GameCube is really just the unfinished legacy of Nintendo. Should it ever be finished? Or are we doomed to always have over thought, over-creative consoles that involve things like motion and pens? That is my personal outlook on Nintendo today. They aren’t the same. I’m sorry to disappoint some, but that is my bit on the Wii in all of its glory. It seems now, that the standard is set on the wii for one in twelve games to be good. I’d say on GameCube, that one in two games is great. Who’s to change my mind? How can I change Sony Fanatics minds? You can’t. My review is meant to show the GameCube in it’s entirety for those who aren’t seeing the bigger picture here. I’m not set out to mock or beat down the fans of other consoles. Hell, I like the Xbox and few PS2 games, but often the GameCube doesn’t get much attention and deserves to be talked about. So there you have it! The GameCube, reviewed. For once, it will have its fleeting moment to shine in my review!
You've read the review. Now, why don't you experience the gameplay in all it's glory with sound, graphics, whatever you pick up and tell me it isn't good.
I sincerely hope that you enjoyed my review. I put out days and days of work to put out this review for your peoples reading pleasure, to be my big Grande Finale for the year. So please, please comment on any of your concerns, disagreements and personal likes/dislikes. Happy 2009 and to a better Decade!!!