Hello there, everyone. Today, I’m going to do another first for Happy Katana. This is Happy Katana’s first reaction article. The person I am reacting to is my buddy, Jew, from Robot Boombox. A while ago, he wrote an article titled The GameCube Wasn’t That Great, Bro, which you can read here: http://www.robotboombox.com/blag/the-gamecube-wasnt-that-great-bro/
Ironically, his article was a reaction to my Nintendo fanboyism. Now, his article was great, don’t get me wrong. It was really well written, and he actually gave reasons as to why he’s not a big GameCube fan instead of just flat out bashing the system or giving stupid reasons, like “Hurr durr, it’s a purple cube,” or “its a kiddy system nintendo sux sony and microsoft rox!!!!!11” However, I couldn’t just take that lying down. As a lifelong Nintendo fan and a HUGE GameCube fan, I felt the need to defend my beloved Purple Lunchbox. So, in this article, you will get nothing but love for the Cube as I tell you just why I love this system so much and feel that it is underrated. So without further adieu, let the GCN lovefest begin.
What better way to start said lovefest than sharing a personal story? A story about how my love of the GameCube started. To do that, I will briefly tell you how my Nintendo love itself started. The thing is, I was raised on Nintendo. As a child, I was happy growing up in my little Nintendo bubble. My grandparents had an NES, and I had an SNES and a Game Boy when I was little. Then I got an N64 Christmas of 1998, and I loved it. I also had a GBC and GBA before I got my GameCube, and I loved all those systems.
The story of how I got my GameCube is similar to how I got my N64. I first found out about the Cube in 2001 or 2002 in some video game magazines. And I liked what I saw. I loved Nintendo already, so to see new games in my favorite series with better graphics got me extremely excited. I knew that the GameCube was awesome, and I wanted it bad. Games like Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Mario Sunshine, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Luigi’s Mansion, and more just looked so awesome, and I knew I wanted to play them.
Cut to Christmas of 2003. Five years after that legendary (for me at least) Christmas day when I got an N64 and Super Mario 64. After months of begging for a GameCube, I opened my gifts, and wouldn’t you know it, I got a GameCube, along with The Legend Of Zelda: Collector’s Edition. And though my first game was merely a compilation, I loved it. Over the years, my brother and I would get many games for Nintendo’s Purple Lunchbox. And we loved it. Our collection would steadily grow over the next few years, and we amassed quite a large library of games.
I’m glad I grew up with the GameCube, just like I’m glad I grew up with the previous Nintendo systems. While the PS2 and Xbox were indeed quite awesome, I’m happy that I had a GCN, and if I had to make the choice today, I think I would still choose the Purple Lunchbox. It’s just that damn good.
Before I talk about the games, I’d like to talk about the hardware. First of all, the design of the system needs to be addressed. Yes, it was a little purple cube (and other colors later on), and it was mocked relentlessly. But in retrospect, I feel that it was a good design choice. It was compact, and the handle, coupled with its light weight, made it easier to carry. This came in handy when you wanted to take it to your friend’s house to kick his ass in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
The controller design was also ridiculed, but I actually like it. Everyone said that games that were on multiple systems were worse on the GameCube due to the controls, but I never noticed it. Once you get used to the odd design of the controller, it really doesn’t make a difference which version you play. Also, if you ask me, the GameCube controller is very comfortable to hold in your hands. I love the rounded edges especially. The GameCube controller is one of my favorite controllers to this day. Oh, and the WaveBird wireless controller is simply awesome! Provided you can get the right number on the controller and the receiver.
Then there’s the system durability. To put it bluntly, the system is a fucking brick! Seriously, this is one of the most durable consoles I’ve ever played. It can take an ungodly amount of abuse and still work. Admittedly, sometimes the button for the lid can get stuck, but overall, if you want a reliable console that will last and provide you with fun for years to come, you can’t go wrong with the GameCube.
Another oft-ridiculed feature of the GameCube are the discs, more specifically, their tiny size. I’ll admit, this is a mixed bag for me. Yes, it’s unique, and I like the look of it. But at the same time, the small size meant that the CDs couldn’t hold as much storage as a PS2 or Xbox game. Now, that’s not to say that the games weren’t as graphically impressive as the other consoles. They were pretty much equal. Well, the GameCube had slightly better graphics than the PS2, and the Xbox was the most technically impressive and most graphically advanced of the bunch, but it wasn’t a big difference. The point is though, less storage meant either smaller games or more discs. Though I love the look of the discs, I would have preferred them to be the same size as the PS2 and Xbox.
One thing hardware wise about the GCN that I dislike outright are the memory cards. To be fair, though, it isn’t just the GameCube, it’s memory cards in general. They never held enough save data and their small size made them easy to lose. Thank god they’re a thing of the past and hard drives have replaced them. Actually, I’d prefer it if companies could go back to the old school system of cartridge saving, only the games save on a CD instead of a cartridge. That way, you can save as many games as you want, and the hard drive can be used to download games, rip music from CDs, etc. Anyways, yeah, I hate memory cards.
And now I talk about some of the miscellaneous accessories that the GameCube had to offer.
First is the Microphone. While it was an innovative piece of hardware, just like it’s predecessor, the N64 Microphone, it wasn’t very popular, and it was only used in four games. Still, I had a hell of a lot of fun talking into the microphone in Mario Party 6.
The DK Bongos are a prime example of Nintendo and control innovation. Sadly, this wasn’t supported by a lot of games. In fact, the only games that used the Bongos were Donkey Kong Jungle Beat and the Donkey Konga series. It’s a shame, too, because they were very fun. I can tell you that I had a blast beating on the Bongos and clapping my hands in Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.
The GameCube Broadband Adapter and the GameCube Modem Adapter allowed for online and LAN play on the good ol’ Purple Lunchbox. Okay, so it wasn’t as good as the PS2’s online capabilities, and it definitely wasn’t as good as Xbox Live, but it was still cool that Nintendo fans got to play LAN or online.
Another cool piece of hardware, the GameCube-Game Boy Advance Link Cable connected your GBA to your GCN, and you could use it as a controller, another screen, to download games, or any number of features. For example, it was the only way to play four player on The Legend Of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. Unlike the previous accessories, this was actually supported by quite a few games.
The Game Boy Player was truly awesome! It allowed you to play Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games on the big screen. How cool is that? Not only is it easier to see the games on a bigger screen, but you also used the GameCube controller, which was nice. Add to that the fact that the three Game Boy systems have an absolutely huge library on their own, let alone together, and the Game Boy Player became a huge reason to own a GameCube.
Well, shit! I know this was going to be a loving tribute to the GameCube, but I didn’t know it was going to be this long! For that reason, I am going to split this article into two parts. I’m going to talk about the many awesome GCN games in the second part. Until then, I hope I made you appreciate the Purple Lunchbox just a little bit more.