20 years of Gamecube: Our big birthday review on the cube!

20 years of Gamecube: Our big birthday review on the cube!

20 years of Gamecube

The older ones among you will remember: Until 1995, Nintendo seemed to be unbeatable in the highly competitive console market. With the 8-bit NES console and the 16-bit successor Super Nintendo, the Japanese quickly established themselves as a fixture and benefited significantly from an outstanding game library - led by ingenious in-house productions such as Super Mario Bros. or The Legend of Zelda and garnished with excellent third-party titles from Konami's Castlevania to Mega Man by Capcom.

Table of Contents

Page 1 Retro Special for the 20th Anniversary of the Nintendo Gamecube, Page 1 1.1 Everything under control 1.2 A bumpy start 1.3 Back to the roots page 2 Retro-Special for the 20th birthday of the Nintendo Gamecube, page 2 2.1 Children's stuff undesirable 2.2 Sporadic flashes of light and technology goodies 2.3 Conclusion: unfortunate third 2.4 Excursion: Six highlights from six years of Gamecube page 3 Picture gallery to "20 years of Gamecube: Our big birthday review for ... Many were sure that the triumphant advance with the Nintendo 64 would easily continue. However, it turned out this turned out to be a fallacy: Nintendo was far too self-confident, still demanded high license fees from third-party game developers and should bitterly regret sticking to the expensive module technology. At the latest when long-term partners such as Enix or Squaresoft switched sides and preferred to publish their hit RPG series such as Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy for the first Playstation, Sony was suddenly the winner of the fifth generation of consoles.


20 years of Gamecube | Nintendo's little cube is celebrating its birthday loadVideoPlayer ('84400', '& sAdSetCsategory = article_featured', 12, '16: 9 ', false, 1379597, false, 18122, 260, false, 0,' ',' ', false); GameCube Nintendo did not let the setback get them down and set the course for the next hardware attack. Initially known under the project name Dolphin, the Gamecube (buy now) should convince in every respect: with technology, price and of course exclusive game smack.

Everything under control

The Gamecube was made for a lively, bizarre action adventure like Chibi-Robo !, in which you, as a miniature robot, make an entire house unsafe. Source: Nintendo If you take a closer look at the history of video game consoles since the turn of the millennium, you will notice one thing above all: The devices have become bigger and bigger and bigger. Only Nintendo drifted in a completely different direction in 2001 with the Gamecube, true to the motto: practical, square, good!

The shape of the Gamecube already looked extremely unusual: The Nintendo designers had chosen a small, cube-shaped box that was easy to lift thanks to its wide handle. If you opened the flap in the middle of the case, a small drive was revealed. There was no space for CDs or DVDs, instead the games slumbered on tiny game discs. Such a disc was basically a miniature DVD, which with 1.46 gigabytes of storage capacity could hold almost a third of an ordinary single-layer DVD.

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In The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, one could get up to Connect four Game Boy Advance handhelds to the Gamecube. Source: Nintendo At least as idiosyncratic was the Gamecube controller, which at first glance was rather unpleasant due to its brightly colored design. The case was based on the console and looked like a matt indigo. The large, central A button was colored turquoise, while the small B button to the left of it was bright red. Around it were a few light gray buttons as well as one digital and two analog shoulder buttons.

The control crosses also did not correspond to the usual norm: An analog stick was "stuck" on the left side and a digi cross underneath looked smaller compared to a Playstation controller. To the right below the buttons, another stick shone in bright yellow. Due to its pimple shape, it consciously felt different and played a special role in many games - for example, to switch through menus or to adjust the camera.

F-Zero GX was one of the best machine implementations that the Gamecube had to offer. Source: Nintendo In general, the ergonomics of the controller was remarkable: It felt light and, thanks to its many curves, nice and smooth. The analog shoulder buttons were so big that you could put your index fingers in their hollows. In addition, they could be pressed differently, which some games such as Super Mario Sunshine (2002) used to handle the water syringe was and visually reminded of cheap children's toys.

A bumpy start

In contrast to its predecessors, you steered in Mario Kart: Double Dash !! always a team of two instead of a single character. Which items were received depended on the choice of driver and passenger. Source: Nintendo Nintendo has often had a lucky hand with the launch titles of its consoles, thanks to Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda. But again the Gamecube proved to be an exception: The first games for the cube were anything but bad, but somehow not what many Nintendo fans had imagined September 2001 and sales start with just three games: Luigi's Mansion, Wave Race: Blue Storm and Super Monkey Ball. The fans preferred to hop from platform to platform with Mario as usual, instead of going on a whole adventure with a vacuum cleaner and a frightened Luigi on ghost hunting.

Wave Race turned out to be a pretty and playable jet ski Racing game that did not generate the same wow factor as the technically revolutionary N64 predecessor. And Super Monkey Ball? Well, it was Sega's first game for a stationary Nintendo console after its longtime competitor had to admit the commercial failure of its own console called Dreamcast.

No matter how much the Metroid series changed over the decades: It was also possible to transform into a handy sphere in Metroid Prime. Source: Nintendo As I said: These are all good games ... but not Super Mario Bros. (1985) or Super Mario World (1990)! While we Europeans had to wait until May 2002, the Gamecube came to North America on November 18, 2001 and was provided with significantly more software there from day one. In addition to 08/15 sports games like Madden NFL 2002 or NHL Hitz 20-02, Star Wars Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader by Factor 5 caused a sensation. The successor to the N64 hit consistently exploited the console's strengths and was one of the technically best games for the console cube until the end of the Gamecube era.

Just a few weeks later, Super Smash Bros. Melee followed the most commercially successful Gamecube game. And by the way, Nintendo surprised everyone with two brand new projects, namely Pikmin and Animal Crossing. The former was a mix of strategy and puzzle in which you directed a little astronaut over an alien planet and commanded dozen of pikmins. They could do all sorts of tasks in a team, including moving thick stones or beating up larger opponents.

Everything listens to your command! The cute Pikmins were used to solve puzzles as well as to fight big opponents.

Source: Nintendo Animal Crossing, however, debuted on the Nintendo 64 in early 2001 and appeared eight months later in a technically enhanced version for the Gamecube. Unfortunately, interested gamers outside of Japan had to wait a long time before they were allowed to try out the innovative social simulation: Animal Crossing was sold a year later in the USA and not even in Europe until 2004. Despite this, Nintendo had Right from the start a few titles in the luggage that demonstrated both the advantages of the hardware and the continuing creativity of the developer to the test. And yet the lineup felt strangely unspectacular, precisely because big names like Mario or Zelda were missing.

Back to the roots

Of course, this deficit did not last forever: many followed in 2002 of the long-awaited sequels, with Nintendo having an unusually large amount of courage for new concept ideas and not always meeting with approval. For example, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2002) caused controversy because of its cel-shaded graphic style; some blasphemers even denigrated the action adventure as "Celda".

Protagonist Link finally resembled a little boy in green pajamas instead of a courageous hero who rescues the princess from the clutches of the evil Ganon. Mario, on the other hand, got the aforementioned water injection in Super Mario Sunshine (2002), which he needed to clean up the sun-drenched island of Delfino. On the one hand, the gadget enabled a complex level design that skilfully stood out from the well-known hopscotch, and on the other hand sacrificed the accessibility of the predecessor thanks to a relatively complex control system.

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