First off, I’d like to thank Adam Turek for being a lamb and making the logo for me. He also made the Rings of Saturn one for me as well, so let’s all take a moment to thank him.
For those of you who actually like reading the slop I regularly slap onto this here site, I’ve been hyping for the last few weeks or so that I’d be debuting a new Retro feature next year to go alongside the Retro Respawn, Rings of Saturn and Fitzgerald Scale features already in my locker. The reason why I’m waiting till 2017 to roll this one out? Well, there are two, actually.
Firstly, it’s taken a few eBay auctions to get this one in the bag, owing to some agonising last second defeats that slowed the progress of getting this off the ground considerably. There’s nothing more irritating than having an eBay auction well in hand before some tosser swoops in at the last second to beat you by 12 pence and scupper all your plans, let me tell you!
Secondly, I felt that seeing as this was a brand new feature and we were getting near to the end of the year, it only seemed proper to welcome in the said new year with a said new feature. Therefore, commencing on the 3rd of January 2017 will be a new feature called “N3” where I take a look at Nintendo’s often maligned, sometimes unfairly and sometimes appropriately, entrant into the sixth generation known as the GameCube.
The GameCube, originally known as “Project Dolphin”, was Nintendo’s attempt to claw back some of the market share they lost to Sony’s PlayStation during the fifth generation and represented an important milestone for the company, as for the first time it abandoned cartridges and opted for discs instead.
There was no doubting that this was a decision Nintendo simply had to make. Aside from being cheaper than cartridges, discs also allowed more to be squeezed into a game and could also support full FMV and CD quality audio. It is often stated that Nintendo’s failure to equip its fifth gen N64 Console with a CD drive played a big contributing factor in its heavy defeat at the hands of the PlayStation during the aforementioned generation. Going with cartridges over discs not only made N64 games on the whole more expensive, but it also hamstrung any multi-plat games, which angered developers, most notably Square Soft who went off in a huff to Sony, taking Final Fantasy VII with them and essentially handing the console war to Sony on a plate in the process.
Despite the N64 remaining a very popular console amongst Nintendo aficionados for its excellent run of first party releases, its comparably lacklustre showing against the PlayStation seemed to drill some sense into Nintendo, and they decided to go with discs in the sixth gen. However, once again Nintendo made a mistake, opting for mini-discs over the DVDs that Sony and Microsoft were using with their PS2 and Xbox machines.
This immediately meant that GameCube games were already inferior in comparison to their PS2 and Xbox peers right out of the gate before a ball had even been kicked. This didn’t mean that there weren’t some excellent games released on the GameCube, far from it, in fact. When it comes to its list of first party releases, the GameCube has a very impressive library to show off, with all the favourites such as Mario, Zelda and Smash Brothers delivering strong outings. In addition to this, Nintendo also showed it wasn’t afraid to get competitive by securing a period of exclusivity on Capcom’s highly popular Resident Evil series, which led to the very well received remake of the original game as well as the often praised Resident Evil 4.
With the WrestleMania and Day of Reckoning wrestling game series, Nintendo also produced the only real challenger to the SmackDown series for a very long time, along with a host of other vibrant and exciting games like Pikmin and Super Monkey Ball. So, the console was hardly a failure when it came to producing good games, even if when it came to multi-plats it was a distant third.
When I bought the console, it came with some games as well, so I’ll start working my way through them over the coming year. I don’t really know what to expect, as the GameCube is a console I have never really invested any serious time in. I had the version of the Wii that supported backwards compatibility for the GameCube, but during my time playing the Wii, I was never really moved to build much of a GameCube collection. I have played some of the wrestling games quite a lot, as they’re very enjoyable, but haven’t put much time in elsewhere to the console.
I felt it was high time I gave Nintendo’s sixth gen device a bit of attention, so hopefully I’ll have some fun with it over the coming year!
If you’ve been reading my work all year, thank you very much, and if you’ve only recently discovered me, please stick around for next week as I get stuck into some delicious GameCube action!
Until next time;