Since Microsoft seem intent on ending this generation a year early with their Xbox High Res™ I figure it’s a good time to look back on the Gamecube up to now. Sure there’s Zelda coming next year but we’ll all be far too elated in the months following its release to look at anything objectively. Not even Linkin Park could bring us down! Er what? Oh yeah Gamecube. Although I’ve had endless niggles, I have four (4) big let downs with this console and I’m going to cry about them here. They are: online, third parties, marketshare and incomplete games.
Ok so, Dreamcast showed us it was possible. PC online gaming was becoming commonplace and Nintendo announced two online adaptors. It was all looking very promising. People on forums were creating Perfect Dark clans, F Zero racing leagues were discussed, MMORPG Pokemon was dreamed about. And what do we get? A crappy Dreamcast port hampered by exorbiant monthly fees and an almost concerted effort from Nintendo to destroy the chances of people obtaining the nessesary adaptors not to mention them maligning the entire concept of online gaming on monetary grounds. I was expecting a lot more and I’ve always been envious of Xbox Live.
These guys are fuckheads. Again it looked promising at first but it wasn’t long before games began to be announced for PS2, Xbox and PC. While we are partly to blame because we refuse to buy their appalling games that sell so well on rival consoles, but we also rewarded them with sales sales when they did put the effort in. And what do we get? Nothing. While PS2 and Xbox get to enjoy Burnout 3, or Pro Evolution Soccer or Soul Caliber 3. Ubi Soft, Acclaim and EA (to an extent) deserve the full fist for continuing supporting us and Nintendo.
Oh and while we laugh about it now, at the time losing Rare did hurt.
Shit we got demolished this time round. The Playstation juggernaught got stronger than we could possibly imagine. And while Microsoft may’ve lost billions of dollars on Xbox, they got what they wanted; our marketshare. Nintendo simply weren’t persistent enough and couldn’t drop the kiddy tag as fast as they would’ve liked. While even without cult game turned biggest franchise in gaming (GTA) the PS2 would’ve still won this generation, Halo carried Xbox far further than it should’ve even been able to. It’s hard to pin exactly where Xbox got the upper hand or all the factors involved but somehow we lost this.
I can forgive Luigi’s Mansion, it needed to be there for launch. But Eternal Darkness, Zelda: Wind Waker, Super Mario Sunshine, Star Fox Adventures… What was going on? This isn’t the Nintendo that polished and cherished it’s games! Eternal Darkness dropped all the really amazing aspects that were planned. Wind Waker dropped countless dungeons and resorted to an elaborate treasure hunt to lengthen the game. Mario Sunshine degenerated into a blue coin marathon. Star Fox just seemed to veer into a wall mid way through the game and never really recovered. The Gamecube library as a whole seems marred by rush jobs, half games and wasted potential.
Mind you, the games I mentioned all stomped weakness wherever it was found.
Ok I think I’ve wasted enough of your time now. Tell me what you were dissapointed with or any particular game that shamed it’s legacy. Or tell me I’m a wanker.