Newest Review: ... Sunshine and Mario Kart: Double Dash!). The console for me is one of the best looking consoles ever as it is simple yet stylish and looks ... more
The JFK of consoles.
Member Name: hamm_sandwich
Advantages: Has a handle! Great games, can be had for literally PEANUTS.
Disadvantages: Range of games much smaller than PS2
As a hardened Nintendo fan from an early age, my earliest and many of my fondest gaming memories involved zapping ducks on my NES, skydiving on my SNES and headshotting Oddjob on my N64.
What surprises me now in hindsight is how slow I was to warm to the GameCube's charms. As a schoolboy, leading up to launch, I followed the progress of Nintendo's latest little warrior with a strong hint of indifference. I smiled at Super Monkey Ball and felt a mild awe upon seeing Rogue Leader in action but nothing compelled me to part with my cash at launch, in spite of its comparatively low price point of £129.
I can think of quite a few reasons for this now and i'm sure i'm not alone. As a Nintendo fan, I had got used to a groundbreaking Mario game launching alongside each home console since the 1980s. With the GameCube the closest we had was the fun Ghostbusters-inspired Luigi's Mansion which demonstrated the technical profficiency of the console but lacked that famous Nintendo magic.
As anyone whose followed the progress of the PlayStation 3 will know, a difficult launch period can be difficult to recover from and this basically sums it up for me. By the time the GameCube hit its stride in 2003 with the launch of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and Metroid Prime the GameCube had lost too much ground, coupled with competition against the most successful home console in history, Nintendo couldn't rely on their famous 'magic' to emulate former glories.
And so this was to prove the case. With the ageing Cube some of the best games of the decade including Resident Evil 4, Pikmin 2 and F-Zero GX were released and enjoyed by disappointingly small audiences where they would have sold many times over on the PlayStation 2 and the Cube was retired by Nintendo ahead of its time with the withdrawl of 3rd party support proving a fatal blow.
As I mentioned before, I was late to the GameCube party and didn't dive in until 2004 but what I discovered went beyond all of my expectations. By this time, the console could be had new for under £80 and what would be looked back on as the greatest games had mostly been released.
At this time I was involved to an unhealthy degree with Pro Evolution Soccer 3/4/5 on my PS2 to a level that people who haven't played the game wouldn't understand. During my ten hour marathon tournaments I knew the game had a strong hold of me and understood it would take a truly great game to distract me from my digital football universe.
That game was the Wind Waker, a game that I appreciated on a different level to games I had played before. It was a thing of beauty. Exploration and experience of the game felt as much fun as playing it and while sailing across the seas in my talking boat searching for treasure, I realised the Nintendo magic hadn't gone, it just took some digging to find.
From here I scanned planets in Metroid Prime, launched red shell assaults in Mario Kart and sacrificed many innocent primates in Monkey Target. For me the GameCube became the perfect antidote to the PS2 or XBOX console's onslaught of graphic shooters and 'mature' focus which kind of makes sense now looking at how people have a Wii to compliment their 360 or PS3 as it might not satisfy all your gaming cravings but does things so differently to the competition that owning only one gives you a very limited perspective on gaming.
Having learnt from my experience, I now own all three of the home consoles and won't allow a great game to pass me by, although it's concerning that like the GameCube; the Wii struggles to convince people to sample fare not advertised by Ant and Dec but it is my hope that amongst all those people who bought the balance boards, plastic wheels and nunchuks that make up the new Nintendo there are enough people who care for the company's gaming tradition and invest in the quality as well as the gimmicks.
Summary: My purple friend.
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