#1 Edited by Mysterysheep (365 posts) -

So recently I had some thoughts on the Gamecube and the general opinions I tend to hear from people regarding it. This was spurred on in part by a passing comment Jeff made on last weeks Bombcast. Needless to say, it wasn't read on this weeks Bombcast (They can't handle the truth!) which is why I'm making this thread right now.

I thought I might as well just repost the email itself rather than rewrite it:

On last week's podcast, some fairly dismissive comments were made about the Gamecube, much to my confusion. The Gamecube has always been a favourite of mine for many reasons. Here are just a few:

  1. It was a Nintendo console that launched with a Luigi game instead of a Mario game. It wasn't even a platforming game, but a ghost-busting adventure.

  2. Several new IPs were introduced on the console, such as Pikmin and Animal Crossing (both games that were pretty unique in concept, with the original Pikmin still remaining one of my favourite Nintendo games to this very day).

  3. Existing franchises received sequels with interesting twists:
  • Wind Waker offered a new art style and sea-based overworld, featuring new traversal and combat with the boat (This is before adding a new means of traversal became a kind of gimmick for the series. See Twilight Princess's wolf and Skyward Sword's bird-thing).

  • Super Mario Sunshine, while certainly not one of the best 3D Mario games (sorry, Dan), offered an interesting mechanic in F.L.U.D.D.. Coincidentally, the most frustrating sections of the game were those that stripped you of this mechanic. (As a side point, I'll admit that having Bowser speak actual English words at the end of that game was super dumb, but whatever!)

  • While there are varying opinions in the office over the Mario Kart franchise, I still consider Double Dash!! to be my favourite. It introduced two characters per kart which added an extra layer of depth and strategy onto item management during a race. Combined with the improved sense of speed and control when compared with 64, you were left with a very solid and unique Mario Kart game.

These are just a few examples of what I feel makes the console most interesting, at least in terms of its catalog of games.

--

It always perplexes me that in a time when Nintendo are so harshly criticised of sticking to fairly familiar formulas in sequels to existing franchises that, oftentimes in the same breath, people throw aside the Gamecube as being a not-so-interesting console. If anything, I feel like Gamecube-era Nintendo is the one that best suits what people currently want from the company. Ironic then that, at the time, it was such a commercial failure. Maybe modern-day, conservative Nintendo is partially our fault...

Here's hoping that this past E3 will be representative of a more interesting Nintendo going forward, even if they still haven't properly taken advantage of the WiiU's most unique feature: its gamepad.

Thoughts?

#2 Edited by BigSocrates (401 posts) -

The Gamecube gets overlooked because the system itself looks like a toy for children, it lacks a proper Mario game, and it was the console where Nintendo truly lost third party support. There were many long gamecube game droughts and many multiplatform games were worst on gamecube (though some were best on the Gamecube.) It is also competing against the Playstation II, an all-time powerhouse system in terms of games, and the original Xbox which was significantly more powerful and marked the first serious American made console since the heyday of Atari.

Taken on its own merits the Gamecube is a nice little console with some very good games.

Also you failed to mention the Gamecube smash brothers, which many to this day consider the best iteration of the franchise.

#3 Edited by Mysterysheep (365 posts) -

@bigsocrates: All those points are totally fair. I also managed to forget Metroid Prime somehow...

It's just when you think of the love for things like the Dreamcast that it makes so little sense that the Gamecube is tossed aside more often than not.

EDIT: Also, I'm not sure I'd be so bold to say Sunshine isn't a "proper Mario game". I mean that game certainly has its problems but it certainly wasn't terrible either. I guess it comes down to a matter of taste.

#4 Posted by BigSocrates (401 posts) -

I don't hate Sunshine but it's not a proper Mario game because it features a unique control scheme and abilities that were never seen again. Mario doesn't control like Mario except in a small subset of levels. Compare that to Galaxy and 3D land, which both control pretty much like Mario 64, and Sunshine is definitely the odd one out.

It should be noted that while Pikmin is nice and Animal Crossing is fine, the Gamecube lacks powerhouse debuts for franchises (most of its top games are just iterative) and doesn't have many huge culutrally defining hits like Mario 64 or Goldeneye from the N64, or a billion games from the NES/SNES era. When you think Nintendo you think of the 2D games, followed by the first 3D iterations of those games (Mario 64, Ocarina, etc...) and the N64 rare games (Goldeneye, Banjo-Kazooie) and then the popular appeal of the Wii. What defines the Gamecube? The weird controller? The minor hits? Good iterations of Nintendo franchises like Mario Kart and Zelda (All Nintendo systems have good iterations of those franchises.)

Once again, it's not a bad system at all. I had one. I like Super Mario Sunshine. I liked a lot of games for that system. But it was third fiddle during its lifespan and it lacks megahits. It's just an understated pleasant little system. And that's why it doesn't get attention.

AND THE DISCS ARE TINY!

#5 Posted by MormonWarrior (2617 posts) -

GameCube>PS2>Xbox

I stand by that, I will forever and ever! Wind Waker, Metroid Prime, RE4, Smash Bros Melee, Viewtiful Joe, Double Dash, Animal Crossing, Paper Mario, Pikmin 2...I could go on. It's so great! I liked Mario Sunshine at the time, but Mario Galaxy has basically erased that love because it just pales in comparison.

#6 Edited by Mysterysheep (365 posts) -

@bigsocrates: Hey man, those mini-discs are awesome and you God damn know it!

While I still consider the original Pikmin to be deeply under-appreciated (Sorry @mormonwarrior, but Pikmin 2 just ain't the same in spite of what every damn critic seems to think!), you're right in that a Nintendo take on the RTS genre isn't gonna turn the most heads. Especially when you consider it was being billed as the newest creation from Miyamoto at the time. It's definitely a niche thing, which I guess the whole system could be considered as a whole as well.

Still man, niche things still deserve credit where credit's due and you would've thought the Giant Bomb crew would get that. Especially when you consider all the other weird niche shit Jeff tends to be so into!

EDIT: Also, it should be noted that I'm not so much talking about its lack of mainstream appeal here as I am talking specifically about a lack of appreciation from those who actually owned and played the Gamecube.

#7 Edited by MooseyMcMan (11306 posts) -

The GameCube doesn't need defending. It's an indigo cube of great video game magic.

Moderator
#8 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11306 posts) -

@mysterysheep: The GameCube's Min-discs were great, but Nintendo's round-edged Wii U discs have surpassed them as the best Nintendo Disc technology.

Moderator
#9 Posted by Mysterysheep (365 posts) -

@mooseymcman: Hmm, good point. Nintendo also just tends to do some great disc art.

#10 Posted by Ruukie (45 posts) -

Hey @mysterysheep I agree the Gamecube was awesome but Animal Crossing came out on the N64 first in Japan anyway I believe it was called Animal Forest

#11 Posted by Mysterysheep (365 posts) -

@ruukie: Yeah, I was gonna take that into consideration but this whole talk is generally from a western perspective anyway. It being released on N64 in Japan first doesn't really change that it was still a cool, original Gamecube game in the US and Europe.

#12 Edited by believer258 (11999 posts) -

But Super Mario Sunshine is the best 3D Mario game and you didn't even mention Metroid Prime...

The Gamecube gets a bad rap because it had to compete with the PS2's mind-bogglingly vast and varied quantity of quality games (say that five times fast) and the Xbox's vast graphical advantage. It's also the era where the attitude that Nintendo is for "kiddie" games started popping up quite a bit. That's an attitude that I think is pretty silly, by the way. I like my mature stuff, both the gory pulp and the more serious stuff, but "bright and colorful" doesn't need to mean "for kids only".

The Gamecube has a selection of high-quality games and some pretty creative stuff, but it is reasonable to complain about the comparatively small amount of great games for it. Still, the great games that it does have top almost everything else released that generation as far as quality goes. I'd definitely say the Gamecube is a really good console, all things considered.

#13 Posted by GunstarRed (5305 posts) -

As a newish owner of a Gamecube. THOSE DISCS ARE SO TINY AND ADORABLEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

#14 Posted by Slag (4615 posts) -

I loved the gamecube, preferred it to the Xbox uhhhh 1 and the PS2.

Luigi's Mansion, MK: Double Dash!, Eternal Darkness, Wind Waker, Sunshine, RE4 (for awhile), Metroid Prime, Pikmin,etc there was some amazing exclusives on that system

I liked the controller better than the Dualshock2 as well. And well it felt like the gasp for the Nintendo's core franchises that I knew and loved before they got altered by motion controls (and thus adopted to controllers I didn't like).

#15 Edited by SumMexican75 (17 posts) -

Damn, now I want play all those games again.

#16 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3429 posts) -

Gamecube is a master class system, needs no defense. I even made a list about awesome GC games once! Easily among my favourite libraries.

#17 Posted by stryker1121 (1527 posts) -

GameCube>PS2>Xbox

I stand by that, I will forever and ever! Wind Waker, Metroid Prime, RE4, Smash Bros Melee, Viewtiful Joe, Double Dash, Animal Crossing, Paper Mario, Pikmin 2...I could go on. It's so great! I liked Mario Sunshine at the time, but Mario Galaxy has basically erased that love because it just pales in comparison.

I'd add Eternal Darkness to that list, along with ResiRemake. Prime and RE4 are two of the greatest games of the generation, even if they weren't new IP. Pikmin 2 was excellent. GameCube was a quality console, and let nobody tell ya different!

#18 Posted by Robsamuel (74 posts) -

The Gamecube was a fantastic system, with a pretty good exclusive lineup.

I've been listening through the old Bombcasts and found that Brad has referred to the GC as being the least powerful / capable of it's generation a couple of times, which confuses me.

#19 Edited by Yummylee (22064 posts) -

I'm surprised that the Gamecube is a console that even needs defending in the first place. I only had a handful of games for it, but a lot of those are still some of my favourite games of all time. Funnily enough many of them are now available on other systems, but at the time I loved my Gamecube just as much as I did my PS2. Probably has the best console start-up sequence ever.

#20 Edited by meteora3255 (132 posts) -

I can't believe no one has mentioned Rogue Squadron II yet. I remember getting 2 games for my GameCube at Christmas; Pro Skater 3 and Rogue Squadron II. Rogue Squadron II is probably still my favorite Star Wars game. It also got the fantastic Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 & 2 re-release (although I think the Xbox did as well).

#21 Posted by BradBrains (1069 posts) -

The GameCube is the same as every Nintendo system after the Snes.. They're are great games for it but when you compare to it competition it's limited . But man those first party games..

#22 Edited by MillaJ (41 posts) -

I really loved and enjoyed my Gamecube. At the end of the day, I probably liked the PS2 (and some of the PS1 games I played on it) more, but I loved both. If it hadn't gone up against the hugely successful PS2, it might've fared better, but it had its fair share of problems regardless. The "it looks like a kid's toy" comments seemed to be very popular among the teen and young-adult crowds as I recall, especially when compared to the Xbox's more adult-oriented image.

#23 Edited by ArbitraryWater (11918 posts) -

GameCube doesn't need a ton of defending. Like every Nintendo console from the N64 onward, it has its exclusives (That resident evil remake is pretty fantastic and I even have nice things to say about RE0) and not much else. Personally, I think some of those treasured exclusives have held up... less well for me than they have for others. Luigi's Mansion is cute but it's 4 hours long, Pikmin and Animal Crossing were never my thing and I consider Super Mario Sunshine to be a bit of a bummer. On the flip side? Lemme tell you about Fire Emblem, or maybe Wind Waker. Heck, I have positive memories of Pokemon Colosseum if we want to go that far.

EDIT: I have vaguely positive memories of Lost Kingdoms as well. Not sure if they would hold up...

#24 Edited by Giantstalker (1690 posts) -

Nintendo's Gamecube was the home of the last major F-Zero game; for that alone, it is a superior platform to anything Nintendo has deigned to release since.

#25 Posted by darkvare (771 posts) -

i played more gamecube games on my wii than i ever played wii ones still have my survival horror games re 0 re 1 re3 eternal darkness i love them

#26 Edited by TechnoSyndrome (942 posts) -

@giantstalker said:

Nintendo's Gamecube was the home of the last major F-Zero game; for that alone, it is a superior platform to anything Nintendo has deigned to release since.

That game is so fucking good. I would sacrifice half a dozen first party Nintendo games for a new F-Zero from the GX team.

#27 Edited by mason20 (159 posts) -

Whoa, whoa, whoa.. I am finally glad we have a bombcast member that that not only recognize the best 3d Mario (Simple history: I love SMB1 and SMB3 but SMB2/Doki Doki Panic is garbage. Appreciate Mario 64 but believes Sunshine is best and Galaxy filled with fail proof boredom... Granted that's what I thought. )

The Remake of RE1 and prequel RE0 is fantastic, which is sadly followed by what use to say it to be.. "I considered The Worst RE" RE4. If people wish to know more of my opinion I'll elaborate then. MGS: The Twin Snakes is actually pretty good regardless of the hate. Mainly of the same voice actors/actress not using thier original accents and over-the-top cut scenes but, it seems that people forget that this was considered cannon/video direction approved by the creator of the series of himself.

I must have played at least,... At least 75-100 hours on Phantasy Star Online V1/V2... Offline. I have never played PSO online but have maxed a few characters offline?

Metriod Prime is absolutely superb, well, the first one was great. I never did play 2/3 or snes just the gamboy/nes/GC game. It's got Windwaker which is the second best Zelda game after Majora's Mask. Would have been the favourite if it didn't Have Tingle and his damn maps in Windwaker.

Melee is still the best Smash bros game of the series.

Eh,... =the Gamecube or Xbox could've stood out more if it weren't for the marketing dominance of the PS2. If I remember correctly, the Xbox and Gamecube were basically on par and the PS2 was the under performer of that generation but regardless it was the main platform which meant games were constantly built for the least powerful and ported up from there?

#28 Posted by pyromagnestir (4327 posts) -

Fire Emblem Path of Radiance was a hell of a video game and more people should be mentioning it.

#29 Posted by csl316 (8982 posts) -

I remember when I first saw the screenshots for Rogue Leader in EGM. Blew my freakin' mind, man. Even better than the Jin one from Tekken Tag on PS2. I figured Gamecube was unstoppable after that reveal.

I only have 11 games for my Gamecube, but they're all fantastic.

#30 Posted by alien_balls (10 posts) -

I may be biased since I only had it for that generation, but the Gamecube was fucking great. Some really great games on that thing. Only problem at the time was what others mentioned, which was that at times there were just droughts of good games out for it due to kinda lackluster 3rd-party support. Other than that, really good system, though.

#31 Edited by AndrewB (7669 posts) -

The Gamecube was the first console I bought with my own money... ever. Of course part of that can be attributed to the timing of me getting a job and not having my parent(s) spend way too much money of video games, but it does still speak to how awesome I thought the Gamecube was. Super Mario Sunshine and Wind Waker were enough for me. I later bought many more games. Tales of Symphonia was GC exclusive for some time, as was RE4. Animal Crossing may have begun life as a Nintendo 64 game, but in America it came out straight to GC.

Also, the Gamecube controller was my favorite controller ever until the 360 pad came along. It fit my hands perfectly and I loved the button layout. Only thing that maybe wasn't so great was the overall plasticy feel, especially on that Z trigger. Also the first official wireless controller, although the tradeoff without rumble was actually a bummer.

#32 Edited by billymagnum (837 posts) -

@mysterysheep said:

So recently I had some thoughts on the Gamecube and the general opinions I tend to hear from people regarding it. This was spurred on in part by a passing comment Jeff made on last weeks Bombcast. Needless to say, it wasn't read on this weeks Bombcast (They can't handle the truth!) which is why I'm making this thread right now.

I thought I might as well just repost the email itself rather than rewrite it:

On last week's podcast, some fairly dismissive comments were made about the Gamecube, much to my confusion. The Gamecube has always been a favourite of mine for many reasons. Here are just a few:

  1. It was a Nintendo console that launched with a Luigi game instead of a Mario game. It wasn't even a platforming game, but a ghost-busting adventure.
  2. Several new IPs were introduced on the console, such as Pikmin and Animal Crossing (both games that were pretty unique in concept, with the original Pikmin still remaining one of my favourite Nintendo games to this very day).
  3. Existing franchises received sequels with interesting twists:
  • Wind Waker offered a new art style and sea-based overworld, featuring new traversal and combat with the boat (This is before adding a new means of traversal became a kind of gimmick for the series. See Twilight Princess's wolf and Skyward Sword's bird-thing).
  • Super Mario Sunshine, while certainly not one of the best 3D Mario games (sorry, Dan), offered an interesting mechanic in F.L.U.D.D.. Coincidentally, the most frustrating sections of the game were those that stripped you of this mechanic. (As a side point, I'll admit that having Bowser speak actual English words at the end of that game was super dumb, but whatever!)
  • While there are varying opinions in the office over the Mario Kart franchise, I still consider Double Dash!! to be my favourite. It introduced two characters per kart which added an extra layer of depth and strategy onto item management during a race. Combined with the improved sense of speed and control when compared with 64, you were left with a very solid and unique Mario Kart game.

These are just a few examples of what I feel makes the console most interesting, at least in terms of its catalog of games.

--

It always perplexes me that in a time when Nintendo are so harshly criticised of sticking to fairly familiar formulas in sequels to existing franchises that, oftentimes in the same breath, people throw aside the Gamecube as being a not-so-interesting console. If anything, I feel like Gamecube-era Nintendo is the one that best suits what people currently want from the company. Ironic then that, at the time, it was such a commercial failure. Maybe modern-day, conservative Nintendo is partially our fault...

Here's hoping that this past E3 will be representative of a more interesting Nintendo going forward, even if they still haven't properly taken advantage of the WiiU's most unique feature: its gamepad.

Thoughts?

i dont dislike the gamecube, but i feel like what you have written are not examples in defense of the console, rather they are all about the software. i think if you were looking at the console itself and its specs at the time, it was not exactly jaw-dropping.

#33 Posted by white_sox (210 posts) -

It was a nice little system, but I played it significantly less than the other two. I didn't get my Xbox until very late in the generation, but I found much more to play on it than on the Gamecube. I didn't have a capable PC at the time, so the Xbox offered experiences that neither the PS2 nor Cube could provide.

That's not to say the GC was bad though. It had its fair share of exclusives that I enjoyed. I particularly enjoyed the Resident Evil Revival and the other Capcom support it got. Besides that though, there wasn't a lot for me. I found most of Nintendo's first party games weren't as good as the prior generations.

PS2 > Xbox > Gamecube

And if I had to throw the Dreamcast in there, I might just put it in front of the Cube too.

#34 Edited by hollitz (1560 posts) -

It's my favorite non-handheld Nintendo console and I've had all of them except the Wii U.

#35 Posted by Elwoodan (843 posts) -

Don't forget Super Monkey Ball and Battalion Wars.

Also Lost Kingdoms and P.N.03, which I will defend as awesome ideas, if not perfectly executed.

#36 Edited by Corevi (3973 posts) -

Gamecube had TWO DIFFERENT TINY MECH GAMES (Custom Robo and Gotcha Force), which makes it the best system.

It also had Viewtiful Joe which while not my favourite Clover/Platinum game is still pretty damn good.

#37 Edited by Daveyo520 (6862 posts) -

The Gamecube had RE4 on it. (I kinda like RE4)

#38 Posted by Mysterysheep (365 posts) -

@billymagnum: I'm of the mindset that technical specs don't make a console but the library of games it has does. Think about how minor the technical differences between all three of those consoles were and how little those differences contributed to the quality in games.

As many have pointed out, I was only really scratching the surface with that original email (largely because I didn't want to take up all of the crews time reading it).

#39 Posted by Gamer_152 (14091 posts) -

I loved the Gamecube. Maybe it's because it was the first home console I got properly invested in and discovered a lot of genres of gaming on for the first time but at some level our appreciation of media is always subjective. I have very fond memories of Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi's Mansion, Wind Waker, Mario Kart, and the Pikmin games. Playing those games on that machine was a big part of my gaming experience, even if Microsoft and Sony were in many ways pulling away from Nintendo in terms of console power.

Moderator
#40 Posted by sfighter21 (798 posts) -

You spelled defense wrong... ;)

I've only owned like 4 games on GC. Twilight Princess, Wind Waker, Melee and NBA street v3... so, I'm probably not the best advocate for it. Lol.

#41 Posted by Corevi (3973 posts) -

You spelled defense wrong... ;)

British English

#42 Posted by BisonHero (6674 posts) -

I feel like the GB staff gives the Gamecube more shit than the OG Xbox, even though the Xbox was almost Dreamcast levels of failure, and Halo 1 and 2 were kinda the only must-own games on the system. Or like, PGR if you're into racing.

The Gamecube actually had a pretty interesting library of first and third party games, though I guess that was the last time that a lot of third parties gave Nintendo a chance with exclusives. My only complaint with the controller was that it only had 3 shoulder buttons, instead of 4. It's otherwise basically a Dualshock (with a way too small d-pad).

#43 Posted by Morningstar (2192 posts) -

The Gamecube had Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and The Lost Ocean, so it's OK with me.

#44 Posted by Conker (784 posts) -

Resident Evil 4 though...

#45 Posted by Nictel (2429 posts) -

I think the Gamecube had a huge image problem being a cute purple cube. They should have made it silver to begin with. I honestly think it would have improved the third party support then as well.

@conker said:

Resident Evil 4 though...

#46 Posted by hollitz (1560 posts) -

@mysterysheep:

The Xbox was more powerful than the GC, but it sure as hell didn't look like it was. Nothing that gen looked better than the Resident Evil remake and Resident Evil Zero.

#47 Posted by Jazz (2289 posts) -

I'm completely bemused by the idea that the gamecube needs to be defended..it's a great machine.

#48 Edited by Doerr007 (22 posts) -

One of may favourite systems Dreamcast is still my number 1 favourite though.

#49 Edited by Belegorm (462 posts) -

It was my first console, when I finally made a jump from the PC to console gaming, for several years (then ironically made the jump back later on).

I remember from the first time I played the GC I thought it was amazing. The game was SSBM. It was me and 3 friends and it was an awesome experience. Later on I got my own GC and I loved wind waker a lot, along with the GC version of OoT.

I think that I definitely enjoyed a much larger number of great games on PS2 than on GC, but my first great console game experiences were on the GC for sure.