on November 20, 2002
I haven't owned a Nintendo product since the Super Nintendo many years ago, when Sony introduced the original PlayStation they won me because of the CD-ROM media format, excellent graphics (at the time) and the support for well known third-party developers. But the second time around Sony hasn't made the splash with me they did years ago, don't misunderstand, the PlayStation 2 and the XBox have some incredible titles, but these systems are bulky and cost a lot more than I'm willing to pay. Also, I have small children and I want a system that's kid friendly, but also has a game catalog to support my taste. Gamecube was the only one that fit that bill.
To me Gamecube has the most compelling exclusive titles, trademark games like: Metroid, Mario, Zelda, etc.. are being done justice on the new platform, the GameCube Metriod game is the most outstanding console game I've ever played. In addition to Nintendo's exclusive's Sega is porting more exlcusive titles to Gamecube than any other system they develop for. True it doesn't have a DVD drive, but the truth is, DVD doesn't do much for games, it just provides more storage space (mostly wasted on prerendered movie scenes). The inclusion of the DVD drives on XBox and PS2 are keeping their prices up and their systems bulky. Consider Gamecube.
on June 3, 2003
With great frustration, I find the overabundance of misguided preconception and unsubstantiated opinion surrounding Nintendo's Gamecube too much to keep quiet any longer. First and foremost I would like to concede to the fact that I am 22 year old, multi-platform gamer. Since my very early introduction to gaming with my first console, the Atari XE, I have been fortunate enough to have experienced nearly every other console that subsequently followed. Included in this list are the NES, Sega Master System, Turbo Graphics 16, Game Boy, Genesis, Sega CD, Sega 32X, Super NES, 3DO, Jaguar, Lynx, Gamegear, Virtual Boy, Saturn, PS, N64, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast, PS2, XBox, Gamecube and Game Boy Advanced. In addition to all that, I have a background in PC gaming that began all too fondly with the likes of ID's original Wolfenstein 3D and Lucas Arts' original X-Wing. Now for the breakdown:
The first somewhat obvious advantage of the Gamecube is its sheer processing power. The processing architecture is more sophisticated than PS2, making Xbox the better comparative rival. With the help of hardware development giants like IBM, NEC and ATI, Nintendo was able to assemble a very powerful machine that is cost effective from a manufacturing standpoint as well as from the perspective of the software development life cycle. The beauty of the Gamecube's hardware design is in it's high emphasis on multi-processor resource sharing or multicore processing. With a CPU developed by IBM, a main graphics processor developed by ATI and a slew of other hardware components dedicated to graphics shaders like environmental effects, dynamic light sourcing, bump mapping, tri-linear vector shading, DLPII surround sound, resource bottle-necking is minimized. Couple this with super-high-speed DRAM (best showcased in the loading-time-free Metroid Prime), and you've got the potential for more performance than you could ask for. Keeping all of this in mind, let us first take a look at PS2 when making comparison. The PS2's general processing scheme is dependent on 3 separate processors: the CPU and two "Emotion-Engine" co-processors. At first glance one may look at this layout and think, "that's not so bad, sounds like Nintendo's design." The truth is, although the intention of the 3 processors was to share processing burden, only but a handful of software titles for the PS2 have effectively been able to pull this off. A cursory Google search in the matter will yield that realization that the common, major complaint stemming from software development houses is the relative difficulty associated with maximizing output for each of the PS2's processors. Rather than being an automatic component of the hardware (e.g. one processor starts to lag so it automatically routes data crunching to the next processor), whether or not the co-processors go to work is dependent on whether or not that instruction is explicitly stated in the software engine architecture (source code). In most cases, software development houses (especially those who specialize in making cross-platform software) will simply limit processor utilization to the CPU. Take a second to consider how much needs to be processed by the CPU: polygon draw, dynamic light sourcing, shadows, environmental mapping, reflections... this list goes on. Now, to something a little harder to see is the Xbox architecture. Being the fair an honest critic that I am, I have been quite impressed by the visual and audio processing of the Xbox. Coupled with the fact that it has a built-in hard drive and ethernet card, its clear that Microsoft is really thinking ahead here to the future of mutiplayer gaming. However, what turns me off about the Xbox is its incredibly striking resemblance to a PC (e.g. CPU, graphics card, sound card, hard drive setup) and the sheer redundancy of it all - especially as the platform is nearly devoid any real console-specific killer apps. In fact, in many cases PC games have been ported to Xbox. For those of us who already have PC gaming rigs capable of much better graphical experiences than Xbox can offer, the value is just not as compelling. I have enjoyed Halo, but I've enjoyed UT 2003 on my Pentium 4 1.4Ghz / Nvidia GeForce 4 Ti a lot more... especially with my mouse and keyboard.
This is where the debate can truly get ugly. It's my subjective opinion that Nintendo's Gamecube has the best and most diverse software catalog among all three next-gen platforms. When considering this statement you've got to look at console-specific games. Sure, the PS2 may have a ridiculous slew of games over both Xbox and Gamecube, but consider the fact that you can attribute this to PS2's earlier launch. Generally speaking, the majority of PS2's console specific games were developed from launch through to the first year of release and in many instances have been ported to both Gamecube and Xbox. If there is credit to be had on the PS2 side of things, it's that of the Grand Theft Auto franchise, the Gran Turismo Franchise, and a couple of good RPGs like Suikoden and Zenosaga... but beyond these IPs, there isn't much else in terms of exclusives. Both Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy are coming to the Gamecube, so both of those franchises can no longer be used as bargaining chips. Also, consider that Grand Theft Auto exclusivity expires in 2004 - If I'm Rockstar, I follow the money and port, port, port. As for Xbox,, well, one word comes to mind: Halo. That's it. Literally everything else at this point in time is multi-platform. As far as Ninetendo is concerned, you have many more notable exclusive franchises: Metroid, Zelda, Mario, F-Zero, Starfox, Resident Evil, to name only a few.
$... plus a free game? Are you kidding? Need I say more? Buy it now, you will not be disappointed.
on February 17, 2003
I was doing research on game consoles and I felt that the reviews for the Gamecube were very limited in scope. Yes, every system has its pros and cons, but where do they stand and more importantly why.
Of the current game consoles (2003) this is my ranking for them:
1. Nintendo's GameCube
2. Sony's Playstation 2
3. Microsoft's XBOX
The biggest advantage of the PS2 is its library. PERIOD. Due to backward compatibility with the PS1 it has the most games available. Some will tout PS2's ability to play dvds a reason to buy, but it isn't a "dvd player". What does that mean? It means it won't replace any decent dvd player. If you want it for that reason you will sorely be disappointed when you discover it wont play certain dvds to the fact that it doesnt have a real remote.
~Remember... you are in the market for a "gaming console"
The Xbox is by far has the best and fastest hardware. Some people will say it is a pc in a box, and they are pretty much right. Xbox does have some impressive games, but the word that comes to mind when I think Xbox is "limited". Everyone I know who owns an Xbox really isn't getting *excited* about anything anymore. Get an Xbox if you plan to *hack* it. I know people who have done this to create a multi-functioning device that does many-a-things. Very cool... but again I repeat:
~Remember... you are in the market for a "gaming console"
Why does the GC come up on top? Quality. It does not have the fastest processor onboard like MS's solution nor does it have a library of games like Sony's, but where Nintendo innovates is in its quality of games. Sound trivial? Look up any Gamecube game on Amazon and read the reviews, compare with any other system. Nintendo is very picky about who they let develop games for their system. And on top of this the Nintendo franchise has alot of VERY promising games coming out from the new Zelda to Soul Caliber II. And now is the time to get a GameCube... Why? because they are offering one of their hot titles for FREE w/ the purchase. This brings the console price drastically!
There are imperfections with every system, but the GameCube holds its ground. The only STRONG reason to not buy the GC right now would be Sega's recent announcement of not supporting its line of Sports Games for the GC (only applies to sega sports). If you primarily play Sports games then you may want to go with a PS2.
Other than that... claims such saying the GC is a "kid's system" really are weak arguments. We all become kids when we play anyhow. And there are alot of games coming out from Nintendo that are not intended for children.
All in all... I prefer the Gamecube and the PS2 over the Xbox. Get the GC if you want a system that will last you 2-3 years w/ quality games before the next generation comes out.
So if you are in the market for a "gaming console"...
on November 14, 2002
I bought my Gamecube a year ago, they were all out of the black ones so I had to settle for indigo. Anyway, this new color is arguably the best and makes the GC look a little more sophisticated and cooler. But that's just on the surface and rather superficial. I'm not writing this to convince you to get a GC based on a color, but rather what the machine has going for it.
Last year, I would've rated the GC only 4 stars at best due to the lack of great games and no built-in cd/dvd player to tide me over till the great games came along. But this year, with all the games available and coming up, to use a game machine for anything other than playing great games is ludicrous. Seriously, if you bought a next-generation game machine to mainly play your music cd's or watch a movie, you basically bought the wrong machine to play games with didn't you? But I'm not here to put down the PS2 or X-Box, just to point out why you'll be too busy playing games to worry about anything else.
Here's why it's essential you pick up a Gamecube this year if you didn't last year:
* There are more games available this holiday season than last, from ports(Tony Hawk, Madden, X-Men, college sports games, etc) to exclusives, the GC will have most of your needs.
* Nintendo carries on the tradition of fun multiplayer games: Godzilla's Destroy All Monsters Melee, Super Smash Brothers Melee, Mario Party 4, Bomberman, etc, not to mention upcoming ones like Mario Kart for GC(you know you want it)
* Powerhouse exclusives like the Zelda, Metroid, Resident Evil franchises not to mention certain specific Star Wars and Sonic games.
* Bigger emphasis on more 'mature' oriented games like Eternal Darkness, Biohazard, Killer 7, etc.
* recent announcement by Capcom that they have 5 exclusive games that seem to be more mature-oriented for the GC(check their web-site out for proof)
* Online rpg's like Sega's PSO(although on-line games are still rare and new to the GC, it is possible), excellent fighters like Soul Calibur 2, racers like 1080 and F-Zero X(Sega's doing this one!), and while Rare says goodbye Namco will take over and make the next Star Fox game, a new Final Fantasy-esque game from Square for GC, plus popular ports of games once thought exclusive to other systems like Capcom vs SNK 2, Medal of Honor, Baldur's Gate, Wreckless, Splinter Cell, Dead to Rights, Blood Omen 2, Red Faction 2, etc.
* The GC has the first major wireless controller(the wavebird) available for any system and works perfectly.
* Certain GC games can be connected to or interact with certain games on your GB Advance(i don't own a GBA so i haven't even enjoyed this aspect yet)
* Also, I've noticed the fan-noise is a little quieter on the GC and the load times are a little shorter on the games(on average, generally speaking). Plus, the durability of a Nintendo built product(one year with my GC, no problems yet; and I'm sure a few of you still have working NES's and Super NES's to back up my claim of Nintendo-made durability).
* recent announcement of a Gameboy adaptor that allows you to play thousands of Gameboy/color/advance games on your GC!!
In closing, if you thought the GC was just a toy, or just for kids, think again. Some great games are here, and some even better ones are around the corner. To be honest, I'm very pleased to see Nintendo trying harder to build up their game library(already more varied than the N64's imo) and working hard with some major companies to get some quality games(Capcom's 5-game deal, Sega's ports of their major franchises, joint effort with Namco on Star Fox, ports of rpg's and fighting games--both genres of which suffered on the N64, and the return of Squaresoft incl. an exclusive rpg). But I bought the GC mainly for their world-class exclusives that only GC owners can play. If you can go one-generation in the gaming world without revisiting Link and Hyrule, holding those hours-long multiplayer sessions of Mario Kart or SSB Melee, or finally getting your hands on the new adventure in Metroid Prime...then you have much more restraint than me. But if you want pure gaming addiction, memories, and fun, do yourself a favor and pick up a great system, at a great price, for great gaming value.
on April 12, 2004
Okay, first off, I'm a girl. I know a lot of people are under the impression that that piece of information excludes me from being a serious gamer, but come on... welcome to the year 2004! That aside, I must say that I have had experience with all three consoles. Here's my comparison.
X-box: by no means can you bash the graphics or the innovation behind this system. The games, while usually featuring unfamiliar characters, are superb. My own personal favorite was the X-box version of Prince of Persia: Sand of time, which I have played for every system available. The disadvantage: for a 20 year old out on their own, the price can be a bit steep for a system rivaled by two others with their own pros and cons. Rating: 3 stars.
Playstation 2: best value for someone looking for options outside of the gamers world. Like other reviewers noted, has the only rights to the GTA series, and in my opinion has a superior controller setup to the other two. Graphics are excellent, but not as good as Gamecube or X-box. Pricing is midrange, and also is compatable with most DVD's, making it space and money efficient. Rating: 4 stars.
Gamecube: easily portable, excellent graphics and game selection (Zelda, Mario, Starfox... the list goes on and on), and lowest priced game system available. While the game selection is not as large as with the other consoles, the selections available are sure to keep you occupied for a while. Overall, pricing and other factors considered, I rate this 5 stars.
While I would have purchased this console solely for The Legend of Zelda: the Windwaker (which was slightly disappointing compared to Ocarina of Time), I find it the best value for what is available.
on April 5, 2004
This is a quality system. I have all 3 next-gen consoles and I find them to be very equal. They all have their pros and cons. Here are the pros and cons for the gamecube followed by a list of quality titles with brief descriptions:
-Good first-party games
-Lots of classic franchises (Metroid, Zelda, Super Mario)
-A carrying handle
-Has a cool logo
-Is made by Nintendo. you can't diss Nintendo.
-Fun offline multiplayer games
-4 controller jacks
-Can hook up to Gameboy Advances for extra features/is necessary to play some games (Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, Four Swords Plus)
-Fast Load times
-Barely any/no online support.
-No DVD player
Games to buy for Gamecube:
Metroid Prime: A fun first person shooter based on the classic Metroid franchise. It's basically like they took Super Metroid and made it 3-D. Quality game.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Once again, you take on the role of Link in this epic quest to save your sister and weild off Ganondorf. Probably the second best zelda game next to Ocarina of Time.
Soul Calibur 2 (available on other 2 systems): A sequel to the classic fighter Soul Calibur for Dreamcast. This game is a very good fighting game, is fun in multiplayer, and has Link (the main character from The Legend of Zelda series) as a playable character which is exclusive to Gamecube. Xbox has Spawn and PS2 has that old guy from Tekken 3.
Viewtiful Joe: The story of an average joe who, while at the movie theater with his girlfriend, gets sucked into the movie as his girlfriend is taken away by the bad guy in the movie. He then gets powers such as slow motion, fast motion and zoom in. The graphics are very unique and beautiful in this game. Also, the camera is set so the game plays like a 2-D sidescroller but it is actually 3-D...well, sorta...Just play it, it's great.
Super Mario Sunshine: A lot of debate and harsh words are said about this game because people think the idea of the game is to clean up pollution. Although this is part of the game, it is in no way ALL of the game. Aside from having to occasionally clean up some crap this imposter Mario leaves around, it plays similar to Super Mario 64. It's very fun.
Super Mario Bros. Melee - Probably one of the most fun multiplayer games out there next to Bomberman 64, Goldeneye and the Super Mario Kart series. This game supports 4 simultaneous players and if you get you and 3 friends playing this game at the same time it's hours of fun.
Resident Evil - basically a rehash of the PS1 classic. I've never played it but I hear it's very scary and very fun. Unfortunately, it costs more than the PS1 version which is why it recieved lower scores.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Reqiuem: A fun horror game for Gamecube. You take on the role of a girl whose grandfather is mysteriously decapitated in his mansion with no sign of intrusion. It's up to his grandaughter to search the mansion for clues. What she uncovers is a book called "The Tome of Eternal Darkness" which tells a very unique story of the universe which spans through many different characters from various time periods who all have a role in the story, which you all play as. A very fun gaming experience.
Mario Kart Double Dash: Although mediocre in singleplayer, multiplayer in this game is very fun.
Games to look forward to:
Metroid Prime 2: Nothing is really known about this game yet except that it is a sequel to Metroid Prime.
TLOZ: Wind Waker 2: A sequel to Wind Waker.
TLOZ: Four Swords Plus: You and your friends take on the role of little Links (the character from Legend of Zelda) and use puzzle solving and classic zelda items to get through levels with each other. So far, it's shaping up to be a very fun looking game.
If you had to choose between one of the 3 systems to buy, I'd say they're all pretty equal. I would base your decision on which pros and cons you care more about.
on December 26, 2002
When PS2 came out, it was sold for a long time, and was overprised and auctioned at very high prices.
A year later, two new consoles came out, Xbox and GameCube. Everyone thought that GameCube was a little kid system and the games were for little wussies. Everyone thought that the graphics were kiddish. This is what Xbox and PS2 owners thought. They were obviously jealous. Here are reasons why it's not a piece of [junk].
1. Kid games? Eternal Darkness, Metroid Prime, BMX XXX, Dead to Rights, Resident Evil 0,1,2,3,and 4, Red Faction II, Mortal Kombat:Deadly Alliance, Die Hard:Vendetta, Bloodrayne. Convinced?
2. It's more powerful than PS2, yet smaller.
3. Graphics are the same as Xbox.
4. It doesn't break, like Xbox.
5. It hardly freezes.
6. It has the fastest loading times.
7. The best controller and wireless controller.
8. It has a built in fan so it doesn't overheat.
9. GameCube is really durible, it doesn't break that easily.
10. Really compact (It even has a built in carrying handle).
The only really bad thing about GameCube is that there aren't that many online games.
on December 5, 2002
The GameCube reflects the philosophy of having a system do just one thing, but do it well. The GCN is built solely as a gaming machiene, and in my opinion, one of the best avaliable on the market today with the most promise.
There is a wide selection of games for the GameCube ranging from those targeted towards "mature audiences (read: insecure 15 year olds) such as Eternal Darkness, Dead to Rights, and Resident EVil, as well as fun games that are suitable for all ages, i.e. Super Smash Brothers, Metroid Prime... etc., with plenty more on the way.
An added incentive is the presence Nintendo's excellent first party titles and franchises, such as Mario, Zelda (coming soon), Metroid Prime... etc.
The hardware itself is well built and comes with a one year warranty for peace of mind. Fortunetely I've never had to make use of it, but from what I hear from those who have, Nintendo's service is first rate. The controllers are hands down, the most comfertable ones I've used on any console, though your milage may vary. The small size of the console also comes in handy if you live in a crowded dorm room or if you enjoy hauling your Cube to a friend's place.
Graphicswise the Cube is on par with the other next generation systems. Most games run smoothly at framerates of 30-60 fps, with virtually no slowdown whatsoever even when you have four people playing multiplayer.
Overall, an excellent system, if you're in the market for a gaming console, I'd reccomend the Cube for your consideration. I've had mine for over six months now and am quite pleased.
Now if you'll excuse me, my Cube is calling....
on November 20, 2003
As a games retailer, I have become keenly aware of the assets and drawbacks of each game system. The Nintendo Gamecube is often given short shrift when compared to the PS2 and the XBox. It's often seen as a "kiddy system," appealing only to children and preteens. But when stacked up against the other two systems, it is second (barely) to the XBox in overall quality. The Gamecube features excellent graphics (a 485 MHz aluminum processor and an IBM CPU, second only to the XBox's 733 MHz) and smooth, even gameplay thanks to a three linked processors and twin Emotion Engines. This keeps framerates smooth, load times to a minimum, and allows for gorgeous graphics. Its hardware isn't as complex as the XBox's, but it makes better, more efficient use of what it has. Like the XBox, it has four controller ports for mulitplayer use (the PS2 has but two, and requires a separate multi-tap for extra players), and two memory card slots. It does have a couple of drawbacks when compared to the other systems, though: It won't play DVDs (Cube games are minidisc-based, not DVD-based) and currently there's no online play to speak of.
In terms of games, the Cube does have a smaller selection of titles than the other two systems. However, this is largely due to the fact that Nintendo keeps most of its gaming licenses in-house, doling out a few to select companies. This means that although there are fewer games, the ones available are of good quality (unlike PS2, which will license anything, no matter how bad). Certainly, there are some bad games for the Cube--just a lot fewer than the other systems. Plus, certain titles and characters are Nintendo exclusives; you won't find Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Starfox, or Donkey Kong anywhere else. They also have exclusive rights to the excellent Star Wars: Rebel Strike. Plus, one can get Madden, Medal of Honor, NBA Street, and other popular titles for the Cube. Also, Nintendo has recently released a nice piece of hardware that expands the number of games available: The Gameboy Player (about fifty dollars) hooks up to the Cube and allows one to play Gameboy games on the television. Nintendo has often been criticized for having few Mature-rated games; this is largely due to their focus on keeping games kid- and family-friendly. Between the quality of games and the first-rate graphics and gameplay, I have to say that this system is an exceptional value, and is highly recommended.
Suggested games: Mario Party 4 and 5, Luigi's Mansion, Metroid Prime, Animal Crossing, Mario Sunshine, Super Smash Brothers Melee, Starfox Adventures, Legend of Zelda: Windwaker, F-Zero GX, Soul Calibre, Mario Kart: Double Dash.
Suggested accessories (when possible, stick with the Nintendo brand. They're the best quality): Memory card 251 (a must-have, as this is the only way to save games); a second controller (available in blue, black, and spice orange); for wireless play, get the Nintendo Wavebird, an excellent controller at a great price; the Gameboy Player (for playing GB games on the TV); if you have an older TV without RCA A/V jacks (red, yellow and white) that has a cable jack in the back, you'll need an RF adapter (about $15); racing wheel (I recommend the Logitech brand); if travelling with the system, I recommend the Intec gamescreen, which includes everything you need for portability.
on January 28, 2003
Well, I am a self-proclaimed Nintendo fanatic and could never pass up a new gaming machine from them, but how can anyone pass up on such a cool videogame system? There are tons of amazing games to attract a multitude of gaming tastes. Everything from simple games for kids to role playing games, action adventure, sports and first person shooters. Add into that mix the unsurpassed franchises Nintendo supports that rarely fail to rock the videogaming industry to it's foundation and you've got a system that has appeal to all gamers.
But Nintendo doesn't stop there. With this gaming machine you can add adapters for online play (broadband or dial up) and connect your Game Boy Advance (GBA) to it for trading gaming information between the two devices, opening up hidden ares and expanding your gaming experience. Soon, you'll even be able to play your GBA games on your TV through your GameCube with the Game Boy Player!
The Nintendo GameCube is quite simply a gaming powerhouse! Expanding our ideas of what videogames can do and where they can take us. It's designed from the ground up to take us into the next level of gaming. Join the fun! Don't miss the ride of a lifetime!