History Behind GameCube Purchase
For multiple reasons, my Nintendo GameCube purchasing experience was never quite right. First off, because I landed my first job out-of-college literally weeks before GameCube was scheduled for launch, I didn't believe I would have enough money to purchase it, especially because I was relocating to a different city. Whether it was impulsive or not, I decided that I could afford GCN just mere days before it came out.
Secondly, because Nintendo 64 released early, I had assumed GameCube that would come out early, too. Nope. Then I had heard that Wal-Mart would start selling the system at midnight on Saturday night. Since I wasn't in a large city, I figured I would arrive around 11:30 p.m. and snag one. Wrong. When I arrived, I saw a line that was over a hundred deep. At midnight, an employee said over the loudspeaker that there were only 57 systems available. D'oh! That ticked me off. I quickly came up with the idea of going to Target on Sunday morning. I had remembered that it opened at 8 a.m. seven days a week. I arrived at Target around 6:45 a.m., and there were two people waiting at most. Score! Eventually, the line built to over a dozen people, but the line didn't get too crazy. After standing outside in 30-some degree weather for about an hour, the store finally opened—and I was able to acquire my GameCube on Sunday, November 18, 2001. However, Target had some great deals that caused me to spend more money than originally intended!
Finally, and most interestingly, I had to re-purchase GameCube only a few weeks after I originally got it. Why? My first GameCube, including several games and controllers, were stolen after my place was burglarized. Fortunately, nothing else valuable was stolen, and I was able to find a replacement quickly despite being it was almost Christmas.
Over its lifespan, I was a lot choosier when it came to adding GameCube games to my game library, and I did not play the system anywhere near as much as the others. Whether it's because GameCube was released during my transition into working adult/husband, or if it's just because the system really didn't have that many special games, I'd have to say that Nintendo GameCube was a disappointment.
Retrospectively, the Nintendo GameCube is still my least favorite Nintendo home system. The system just wasn't that special—and, ultimately, I think that's a reasonable statement and fair rationale. Although its technical prowness was comparable to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, Nintendo tried to differentiate its system with a toy-ish design and a focus on mostly family-friendly games. Aside from an excellent 3D representation of Metroid and some Resident Evil exclusives, however, the games just weren't there. Even Nintendo's first-party heavy hitters—Mario (Sunshine), Zelda (Wind Waker), Star Fox (Adventures), Wave Race (Blue Storm)—didn't elicit the accolades of prior or future generations. Only Super Smash Bros. Melee was beloved.
In my opinion, the Madden series was the "killer app" of the PS2/Xbox/GCN generation. For starters, the game's presentation and graphics were phenomenal. Once the awe factor wore off, you realized that the play-by-play, gameplay, control, and intelligence were incredibly authentic, too. Madden NFL 2004 set new benchmarks with its deep Franchise mode and versatility for years to come.
Mario Kart Double Dash!! almost seems a little slower and dumbed down, yet it is hard for any fan not to enjoy the multi-player races. Fresh dual-character and kart combination strategies, interesting special weapons, less blatant AI cheating, smooth frame rates, and nifty course design commingle into classic Mario Kart chaos. Warning: The Battle mode is a stinker.
Everyone knows that this game is not the Halo series on Xbox. Paying homage to GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark, however, is a good thing. Stealth and action are blended seamlessly in TimeSplitters 2, with tight control, rock-solid frame rates, and very well-designed levels. Now add a sweet two-player cooperative mode and tons of multi-player options. Oh yeah.