Lately facebook has been a great source of inspiration for coming up with ideas for articles, Which is strange, considering the fact that half of the reason that I never get around to writing is because I spend too much time on facebook. It’s also why I’ve been slacking at Dat Mahvel, and now get blown up by Wolverine douchebaggery on a constant basis. I’m not here to lament my inability to keep Logan from getting in up in dat azz today, however. I’m here to finally explain, once and for all, why I dislike the Gamecube. Shoutouts to a different Logan, of Happy Katana, for making me do this via his blatant Nintendo fanboyism. Don’t worry, this is an actual dissection of the console’s strengths and weaknesses in my eyes, and not a hateful rant. You’d have to mention Double Helix to get that out of me right now.
Gamecube’s strengths were in it’s First Party titles, and Exclusives such as the WWE games. I totally respect that, but many other parts of the console were lacking due to odd design choices. This means that Third Party titles that were on other systems usually got inferior ports for the Gamecube. I would have to own TWO consoles if I Enjoyed my Mario (which I didn’t) and my Splinter Cell (which I also did not). For the types of games that I normally enjoy playing, the Gamecube was simply not an appealing choice. Ironically enough, it was the first of the three consoles that I bought, but I did that because it was a hundred dollars cheaper than the other two, and I really NEEDED to play soul Calibur II. After running through Weapon Master Mode in a record time due to a leg injury putting me up on the couch, I didn’t have anything to play with my new console that wasn’t titled “Resident Evil”. Nintendo accomplishes this more financially appealing price point by cutting features from their console that they deem unimportant to the goal of playing videogames. This is the reason that a set of component A/V cables will run a collector upwards of $200 nowadays. They didn’t include the hardware to handle Progressive output in the console itself, instead adding that functionality to the actual cable.
Another point of contention with the console is it’s media drive. I know that Nintendo stated that the console didn’t need DVD playback functionality, since most consumers already owned a DVD player by the time of the console’s release, and I completely agree on that front. However, the DVD functionality isn’t as important for watching movies as it is for the storage space of the games themselves. Games that would fit on a standard DVD for the other two consoles would simply not fit on a tiny Gamecube CD without splitting it into multiple discs. This is strange, considering the discs were designed in such a way to prevent piracy, yet people could use the official Nintendo Broadband Adapter to stream .ISO files off of their PC and achieve the same effect. Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to buy a used Resident Evil game from a video store, only to discover that you’ve just payed twenty bucks for half of a game because some imbecile messed up and didn’t include both discs? On the topic of the Broadband Adapter, I wish it actually served a purpose aside from piracy. Because online play wasn’t a big issue yet, most Gamecube titles simply did not support it, rendering a legitimate purchase of a Broadband Adapter pointless. Official Nintendo titles weren’t designed to take advantage of online functionality, and even worse, games that were online capable on other consoles (Mortal Kombat Deception, Marvel Nemesis, Capcom Vs. SNK EO, and the aforementioned splinter Cell, to name a few off the top of my head) were denied this functionality for their Gamecube ports. Why?
The system also had an odd controller that made playing more “traditional” types of games difficult. Sure, it was comfortable and cozy for the beloved Mario and Metroid titles that were designed with the controller in mind, but I cannot tell you how much permanent damage I must have done to my wrist and fingers, holding the controller at a strange angle so I could play Soul Calibur II efficiently. This made some games (Capcom Vs. SNK 2 EO, I’m looking at you) entirely impossible to play altogether. The console was also underwhelming in the specs department. While it had a fantastic ATI video card that displayed bright and pretty colors, the processor was lacking. This is why Matt Hardy’s entrance in WWE Wrestlemania XIX actually purposely stopped and started the CD drive sporadically and eventually burned out some console’s motors instead of using the CPU to process the “choppy” effect that it so desired.
Nintendo’s console strength has always come from the fact that they support their shit, however. The utility of the GBA player, and the fact that the Gamecube Exclusives and First Party titles mentioned previously are all still holding a high value on the collector’s market are a definite testament to this. There is no reason not to own a Gamecube nowadays, since consoles of that generation are often cheap and accessible. The $150 price tag on the console when it first came out was also a huge selling point, but I would hardly call it the best console ever. I wouldn’t even call it underrated. I would say that it catered to a niche market, and those are the people who appreciate it today. My gamecube sits in my game room collecting dust, while I play the PS2 or X-Box versions of most of it’s games. Perhaps if I enjoyed the Metroid Prime or Zelda games more, This would be different.