That’s right boys and girls, the purple lunchbox turns ten years old today, and what a joyous day it is. Similar to what I did with the Xbox, let’s take a trip down memory lane and discuss our highlights of one of Nintendo’s most unusual console generations.
It all started with this…
That’s bizarre, am I right? You have to place yourself back in 2001, at a time when Nintendo’s image skewed very young. Remember “Nintendo’s for kids” and all that jazz. Well most of that started towards the end of the N64 era, but honestly, the GameCube’s overall appearance sure didn’t help anything. Even the controller looked like something you’d find in a Fisher Price catalog. What were they thinking?! One shoulder button on the left side of the controller and two on the other, bizarrely shaped buttons and a colour-scheme that was extremely questionable. Right away the GameCube screwed “kiddie,” and because of that many people skipped out on it in favour of the PS2 or the much, much larger Xbox.
For all of you that used to think like that all I can say is, what’s wrong with you? The GameCube was a superb console, one that slowly showed where Nintendo was going to take the industry in the coming years. So many people dismissed the GameCube for no other reason than it looked goofy and featured more than a few games catered to young players. Let’s not forget Eternal Darkness, Twin Snakes, Resident Evil Remake, Baten Kaitos, Tales of Symphonia, P.N03, Resident Evil 4 and many others. This was a kickass console, make no mistake about it. Even its launch title, Luigi’s Mansion remains a superb and innovative game featuring everyone’s favourite brother.
The hardware was extremely powerful, the choice of medium was questionable, but hey, at least we saw Nintendo move into the optical generation. If you really want to see the ultimate GameCube, and no I’m not going to talk about the Panasonic Q, take a look at this…
In my mind this will always be the GameCube I remember…except in purple. The Game Boy Player was without a doubt the best peripheral ever invented. It allowed you play to all Game Boy games up to and including Game Boy Advance on your big screen! It’s the only reason I even kept my GameCube once the Wii launched. The Wavebird is also the first extremely popular wireless controller for a console, and one I use to this very day when I play GameCube games. Then there was the GBA connectivity. Honestly, this system was so underrated for all the good it brought to the industry.
Let’s not forget about the excellent first-party titles Nintendo brought to the table. We had interesting collaborations like with F-Zero GX, we had a brilliant Zelda with Wind Waker although that also hurt Nintendo’s image more than anything. Ironic, because years later it is remembered as being one of the most stunning looking games of the generation that holds up surprisingly well even today. We also had another 3D Mario with Mario Sunshine although not quite as impressive as Mario 64 was before it. The list goes on and on. Even Soul Calibur II was best on the Cube because of Link’s appearance. The GameCube remains one of my favourite Nintendo platforms, that I wish more people got to experience. While I played most of my games on the PS2, and a few exclusives on the Xbox, the GameCube was never unappreciated in my home. It was a superb console that had a bad wrap, a childish image and a parent company that just couldn’t get their cards in order.
What are your favourite GameCube moments?