ONM: The History of Nintendo GameCube

By the time the Nintendo 64 had reached the end of its life, Nintendo was all but ignored in the console market. The PlayStation had become the first console to gain proper mainstream acceptance and Sega's Dreamcast was offering next-gen graphics before its competitors, making the N64's games visually unappealing. So when Sony announced in March 1999 that it was working on the PlayStation 2, a far superior version of its original console, it was time for Nintendo to fight back.

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Picnic3362d ago (Edited 3362d ago )

'It could also be argued that although the N64 revolutionised gaming with classic titles such Super Mario 64 and Ocarina Of Time, the GameCube never had a 'killer app', a title that people would buy a GameCube for in order to experience something innovative.'

It seems to me that lots of people, even if they first played it on PS2 rather than its launch console the Gamecube, still think about Resident 4. Some people say that they weren't scared by that game but there were definitely scary parts, mainly when you were in cramped confines, including with some bosses and the sheer visceral violence of some of the attacks upon you was scary. There were many parts of RE4 that annoyed me though- it's not a game given to a lot of detail, unlike the pre-rendered Resident Evil remake or some later atmospheric action games and its arguably difficult to feel too scared for the main character Leon when he looks like he's been taken from the Devil May Cry series and capable of executing elaborate gymnastics to finish off his enemies. I also didn't like the sometime kitchness of the game - the (unintentionally? It's difficult to say) comedy trader and the voice acting in general for instance.

Apart from the Resident Evil remake, which I rate for its character models, cut scenes and attention to detail, I think that Metroid Prime was the Gamecube's best game.

If the lack of DVD or CD capabilities resulted in the Gamecube selling less than it could have done then it's not that important to the success of a Nintendo console anymore as the sales success of the Wii shows.

The Wii looks inoffensively minimalist enough to be a permanent fixture under traditionally non-gamers TV sets whilst, it has very straight forwardly practical uses, like physical exercise and brain exercrises, which soothes people's fears of gaming's uselessness and taps in to the kinds of lifestyle concerns long mentioned in Sunday tabloid newspapers and the celebrities featured in the Wii adverts further soothes the buyer. It's all about making the maximum number of people as comfortable as possible so the likes of the edginess of the Dreamcast takes a back seat. The Wii won't have quite the cult like the N64 or the Gamecube.

The Gamecube was too much like having a child's toy in one corner of the room for many people - ironic really because if they'd picked up the controller and tried to beat 5 bosses in one level on Viewtiful Joe they may have been crying like a child.

It was easy to develop for but rarely utilised to its full by third parties because they felt that it was more profitable to make the PS2 version approximately just as good. It definitely seems true that, Capcom aside, the Gamecube had a noticeably much worse third party line up than the PS2 or Xbox. As an Edge book on the Gamecube says, the architecture of the Gamecube meant that many games looked relatively similar to each other, as opposed to the PS2 and Xbox.
But I never doubted that the quality of the Gamecube hardware was the highest standard and the launch price £129.99 was an absolute gift- I even like that it launched with more low key, small games like Luigis's Mansion- that game showed off the Cube's graphics about as well as many others did in its history.

I also like the Gamecube controller - it sinks in to your hand like no other, maybe too much for some people.

The Gamecube probably didn't seem that epic on the whole to some people. Even Rare's Nintendo swansong on it, Starfox Adventures, despite some good graphical effects, seems a bit empty. The N64, in comparison, was full of Rare epics. But Viva Pinata might have been valuable to the Wii and Donkey Kong Racing looked great. The N64 had innovated, the Gamecube was polishing its franchises (as well as some SNES ones), sometimes making the games a bit easier or shorter. Miyamoto certainly seemed to have a love of the holiday life, with Super Mario Sunshine and The Wind Waker having an island theme. The Gamecube did a very solid job but I'm glad that I hadn't owned a N64 beforehand because the Gamecube felt completely fresh to me. I still think that it's between the N64 and the Gamecube as to what is the best Nintendo console. Lastly, I like that it is completely devoted to gaming. No matter how good the PS3 or Xbox360 game, you're still playing it on a machine that may be wrongly thinking that it could be doing something better and is twice the size that it could have been as a result.