A dedicated games console. Not a CD player, DVD player, or even a Blu-Ray player were part of this console’s repertoire. It was a videogames console through and through, and this is why it will outlast all others on the shelf, will never be traded in, and outlast me.
The console may never go down in history as being one that achieved a victory in its time but it is one that produced some classic gaming experiences. From Mario Sunshine to Star Wars Rogue Squadron and Super Smash Bros Melee, it provided the world with some unforgettable experiences. On top of this, it pushed forward with remakes of certain games that will withstand the test of time.
For me, the Gamecube is an unsung hero and one that is the remnant of a bi-gone era, one in which an item was used for one purpose and one purpose only. The humble videogame console, for example, was used for just that, playing videogames and phones were used simply to call people.
Super Smash Bros Melee
A simple yet addictive fighter. For those like me who have never gotten the appeal of Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, then this is just the game for you. Who hasn’t imagined what it would be like to pit Mario against Pikachu and Link against Samus? It’s a gamer’s dream and love affair to generations of Nintendo games wrapped up in a simple fighter. One that has more layers than you might think.
Star Wars Rogue Squadron: Rogue Leader
A remake of sorts, as it is the reinvented version of the Nintendo 64 game by the same name. It takes the original and supercharges it to take you beyond the films and into the battles in a way that had never happened before or since. Many have tried to create that ultimate space shooter for Star Wars but most have fallen by the wayside into an average pool of mediocrity. This game succeeded, where others had failed.
Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes
Another remake but this time it was of my favourite game of all time, Metal Gear Solid, a game as confusing as it is addictive. One that has a plot more complicated than the average Christopher Nolan film. If there was ever a remake that would hit the spot for me, then it is this one. A game that blends the first two together into the most joyous of smoothies and still to this day, looks pretty good. A game that has aged well.
Terror cubed. One in which inspired my love of the series. A game that despite its age, still looks rather pleasing on the eye. Much like the best relationships, the cracks may be evident at the side but the core is still as ridiculously addictive and jump-filled as ever. A game that will keep you going in those darker moments. Once you make the connection between puzzles and turning items over, then this mansion is a challenge to unnerve even the sturdiest of us.
Every Nintendo console should have a Mario game and the Gamecube was a sunny affair that had the tough task of following on from Mario 64. A hard challenge but one in which Mario triumphed. It is an unappreciated affair and one in which inspired my love for the little Plumber in a way not seen before. This is in no way an innuendo but to say that Mario games were played but never completed by myself until the arrival of sunshine. A glowing performance from the plumber.
Mario Kart Double Dash, The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker, Metroid Prime, and of course Resident Evil 4. So many great games, each of which deserves its own column but that’s for another day. The main consideration to take away from this entry is that the Gamecube was a dedicated games console with many five-star gaming experiences. Yes, there were those games that should be left unsaid such as Shrek’s Super Party but every console has these.
The GameCube held on to those principles that have kept Nintendo strong all of these years. Games need to be first and foremost. They need to be left, front and centre, or else, you should simply purchase a PC and seek out the best graphics card.
The discs were unique and there were no other applications for the system. By investing here Nintendo was able to focus on the controller, the games, and the memories, of which there are so many locked away in my mind. To this end, it will be one console that will always have a space on the shelf. Addictive as they are unique, the GameCube deserves more than being remembered as the loser of its generation.
The Gamecube had one focus and that was producing great gaming experiences and it did just that. With increasing levels of backwards compatibility and games being lazily remade, with a simple HD sign on the side, this console is the last of its kind. You can make comparisons to Google Stadia as that is a console only, but as it is available via your phone and projected onto other devices, it is in a separate league.
One of the slightly shallower regrets in life for me is the fact that my original GameCube was traded-in. Whether it was from social pressures or the desire for the latest and shiniest console, the fact remains that it was a mistake. That and trading in the original versions of Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow that contained Pokemon at or above level 95.
The GameCube was purely a games console and whilst Nintendo has carried on that tradition, it has done so through increased web access and the addition of apps such as YouTube. Limited, yes, but the fact remains that the GameCube is one of the last gaming consoles to focus solely on gaming. For that reason, it will outlast all others on the shelf.