The Good Ol’ GameCube

Posted in games at 12:33 am by wingerz


With the Wii &PS3 launches less than a month away, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding the new hardware and games. There have been quite a few blog entries about saving yourself some money by waiting for the first round of price drops on both the consoles and the games. Of course, that isn’t going to be a lot of fun. At the same time, a Wii, extra controller, and two launch games will set you back about $430. Fortunately, nearly all of the great GameCube games can be purchased for $15-20, so you could put your money towards Zelda (it’s the only game guaranteed to be awesome at launch, though Rayman, Monkeyball, and Red Steel could potentially be good) and 3-4 spectacular GameCube games. So, here are some suggestions.

GameCube Exclusives

  • Mario Kart: My favorite GC multiplayer game, which basically makes it my favorite GC game overall. Grant and I played through all of the courses together and have enjoyed many, many hours of racing against Jess, Cy, and Nick.
  • Donkey Kong Jungle Beat: One of the most creative, colorful, fun games I’ve played, with its own innovative controller. Use the bongos to navigate DK through beautiful 2D environments.
  • Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures: A 2D Zelda in the style of A Link to the Past, but with four players. Solving puzzles together is great, but making platforms disappear while your teammates are standing on them is much, much better. It isn’t easy to track down four GBAs, but Jen, Grant, Joe and I found it to be well worth the trouble.
  • Metroid Prime: Captures the wonder of exploring the Metroid world in 3D. You’ve seen it all before: tight controls, huge bosses, collecting upgrades, but now from a first person perspective.
  • Luigi’s Mansion: Critics slammed it because it wasn’t a Mario platformer at launch. It’s a bit on the easy and short side, but it’s incredibly charming. Watch out for fake doors!
  • Cross-platform Gems

  • Resident Evil 4: Creepy, beautiful, amazing. I hate survival horror games in general, but loved every second of this game. It helped that Jen would sleep on the couch while I played until 5am. One of the best games I’ve ever played.
  • Viewtiful Joe: A 2D beat-em-up that looks like a comic book and oozes energy and style. VJ2 is more of the same, so you really only need to pick up one.
  • Soul Calibur 2: My favorite fighting game, by far. Great controls and a ridiculous number of moves. The GC version features Link, who can annoy people with his bombs, boomerangs, and arrows.
  • THPS4: Grant and I were pretty much addicted to THPS3 and THPS4, which we liked a lot better than THUG. A lot of fun goals and a rewarding combo/trick system.
  • Honorable Mentions

  • Eternal Darkness: Play as characters scattered across the world and through several hundred years of history united by an intriguing story.
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee: This would have been higher up if we had adopted this as our multiplayer game of choice over MK.
  • Star Wars Rogue Leader: Challenging, compelling missions featuring rebel spacecraft.
  • Pikmin 2: I never really got into Pikmin but Cy and Grant did. Fun RTS-style gameplay featuring cute little colored aliens.
  • Super Monkey Ball: Control monkeys in balls through a series of courses. This game demands ridiculous manual dexterity, which Matt certainly possesses.
  • Paper Mario: A fun RPG bursting with creativity and fun graphical effects based on the premise that everything in the world is constructed of paper cutouts.
  • Ikaruga: Shooter nirvana. The core gameplay element (aside from millions of bullets and enemy ships) is being able to switch the color of your ship (which is invulnerable to bullets of the same color).
  • Look out for sales and pick up a few of these games to keep you busy until the release of Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3.

    Overall, it’s been a great run for the GameCube. It may not have been the most popular or most powerful console, but it certainly had its own charm. Writing this brought back a lot of fond memories of living with the guys of 21r and gaming sessions here at home. Like the time I lightning’ed Jess off of Rainbow Road a few weeks ago – being able to see each other’s screens does have its advantages.

    [Update: I need to thank John, who left me all of his GameCube games when he went to grad school, and Jen, who buys me new games and doesn’t make me feel guilty for playing them. And also my friends, because playing alone just isn’t as fun.]


    1. brandon said,

      October 25, 2006 at 4:21 pm

      You know, I still haven’t gotten or played RE4. I should do that. I also need to finish up my SH2 Pyramid Head costume. And since I’m on a survival horror tear, GO ETERNAL DARKNESS WOOO! The end.

    2. wingerz said,

      October 25, 2006 at 5:50 pm

      Yeah, the best thing about RE4 is that you feel like a badass – no more awkward controls to get in the way of killing zombies and some awesome weapons. Switching from a non-fixed camera was a great idea.

    3. John said,

      October 25, 2006 at 10:01 pm

      Did you play through metroid prime?

    4. wingerz said,

      October 27, 2006 at 1:09 pm

      playing through it now, actually. i think i’m over halfway done. love it so far.

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