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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.