So the GameCube is 15 years old. And there I was, amazed at the Nintendo 64's 15th anniversary all those years ago. My personal history with this console begins from the ages of eight to 13, a time when a child starts to development their tastes and interests. So it's safe to say that the GameCube is the console that began to form my gaming habits.
The first console I ever played was the SNES, but the N64 was the first console I truly had my first gaming experiences with. What made the GameCube special for me was the fact it was the first console I got to follow announcements for and feel the excitement building for its release. I actually remember when this console came out, and the games I got with it that momentous Christmas morning of 2001 — Luigi's Mansion, Pikmin and Super Monkey Ball. It's the console of my favorite game of all time, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. It's a special console for me and for many others, because we were there for all of it.
Nintendo Took Gambles And Was Innovative
I love the GameCube's history with the fans and the experimental phase Nintendo went through during this era. Between a Luigi game, Pikmin as a whole, Mario cleaning up an island with a water device, and Link with a cel-shaded look, there were many interesting — and at times controversial — decisions made with the GameCube.
Some things I can't avoid mentioning are the unfortunate low sales of the GameCube, and that it was hated back then but is now generally viewed with deference and nostalgia. This was intrinsic to developing my gaming practices, and I feel was also important to Nintendo's developmental practices. And this nostalgia is something I'm confident will also happen with the Wii U down the line.
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It Was Powerful
You see, every game company (particularly Nintendo) creates industry-defining work. The NES created a whole new way to play video games, and it was the SNES that perfected this style with a huge boost in power that increased possibilities. While the N64 is the console that modernized the gaming world with the advent of 3D gaming, it was the GameCube that played the same role the SNES did for the N64.
Fun fact: The reason Super Mario 64 used the paintings mechanic to select worlds was to save cartridge space; the developers originally wanted Mario to travel place to place. Well, fast forward to the Wind Waker, featuring Link sailing all around vast seas to numerous islands. This has always been the best example of what the GameCube did other than Melee.
GameCube Held A Mirror To Gamers
The GameCube really illustrates the nature of the stereotypical gamer. The gamer who complains games don't change, then grows angry at games that make changes — "No Mario launch title? But Luigi?" and, "What did they do to Link?!"
These risks, which many argue Nintendo needs to repeat, were worth it in the long run, and I do believe were attempted with the Wii U (i.e., Pikmin 3 and Game & Wario). It's a shame the Wii U didn't sell well enough to maintain these risk-taking measures; while Nintendo still took healthy gambles, it also held back in the hopes of gaining traction.
True, this console has its faults — like the limited memory disc format — but there were amazing accomplishments as well, like the Game Boy Player and Melee. It amazes me how 15 years went by and there are still people asking what GameCube title will get another remake, or when will Nintendo make a DSPlayer, or even why is there more connectivity with the Game Boy Advance and GameCube than there is with the 3DS and Wii U.
The GameCube started many things that many gamers didn't experience at the time, yet now here they are. I for one am glad I went through it during its lifetime.
What's your opinion on the GameCube? Tell me in the comments below.