This week retrobear brings back memories of when he got his launch day Gamecube. Other than lamenting about its overall commercial failure we are treated to an exhaustive list of the retrobear’s Gamecube collection. How many of these titles did you have?

Originally Posted to on July 8th 2010


A purple cube of fun

A Purple Cube of Fun

I’ve only ever purchased one console on launch day. It was time when Mrs Bear and I decided we needed a bit of fun in our lives (stop sniggering at the back, it’s not THAT sort of column), and seeing my PS1 had been stolen a few months before we felt it best to invest in a Gamecube. So we hastily pre-ordered one from Virgin Megastores and counted down the days. We felt best to take a holdall with us in case people were getting mugged leaving the store. I took the day off of work and when launch day arrived we went early to beat the rush.

We were the only people in the queue.

There marked the point of the first and last time I got a console on launch day. The Gamecube went on to be Nintendo’s biggest disappointment since the Virtual Boy. The VB’s red monochrome graphics and headache inducing games did not sit well with gamers, though the console was rushed onto the market to capitalize on the Virtual Reality craze at the time. Virtual Reality? Remember that?? Within 18 months the Gamecube was being sold for 1/3 of the launch price in most high street outlets. My own personal feelings as to why the Cube failed was a lack of good games at launch date, and the trickle of quality titles right after.. Star Wars Rogue Leader and Super Monkey Ball were about it, and when Super Smash Bros came out I just didn’t get it. So we traded it for an Xbox.

Now I own two Cubes – one black and one purple. I always felt it was a great console, and when looking back at Ninty’s history I rate it as highly as the Super Nintendo and N64, You’ll also find, like the N64, that the Cube splits gamers right down the middle. It’s got very small discs in big plastic boxes and it doesn’t play DVD’s or CD”s. Hell, even the PS1 let you play CD’s on it. So for a brief evaluation of some of the games released for it, we take a trip through Retro Bear’s Gamecube collection:

  • Mario Kart Double Dash – I hate Mario Kart with a loathing reserved usually only for Joan Rivers, but this isn’t half bad. The 2 -on-a-kart works nicely and it’s good fun. It also doesn’t make me want to punch the screen unlike it’s previous incarnations. That is a good thing.
  • 007 From Russia With Love – I quite enjoyed this taking control of the originalBond (Guest Voice Artist :Sean Connery), the flash intros and the game plays nicely. I’m crap at games but I quite like this one, even though it’s not regarded as a great game. Easy to pick up and play.
  • WWE Day of Reckoning – Every console in my collection HAS to have a WWF/E game in it. This is one of two I have for the Cube. Great graphics and sound, accurate representation and good fun, though not a patch on the original Smackdown for PS1 or Here Comes the Pain on PS2
  • Die Hard Vendetta – Loved Trilogy on the PS1. Hate Vendetta on the Cube. It’s terrible. Even Apocalypse on PS1 was better than this. Might be something to do with the fact I can’t get off the training level. Like Bruce Willis’ hair, it’s definitely tragic plastic.
  • SSX 3 – Snowboarding? How much fun can it be on a console? Answer – tremendous! Best £1 I ever spent and the old “one more go” factor in full supply. Get it if you haven’t got it and own a Cube. And it’s eyeball crunchingly fast.
  • 007 Everything Or Nothing – An original Bond licence and for me not a bad effort. Not really got into it a great deal though. Nice presentation and Pierce Brosnan does his own stunts. I think, or is it his own voice.
  • Metroid Prime – I have no idea what I am doing on this game and can’t kill the first level boss, but boy oh boy does this game look, sound and feel good. Metroid is a long running Nintendo licence and this is quality gaming. If only I could get off level one. Oh and by the way it’s a woman under that suit. Miranda Hart perhaps?
  • Star Wars Rogue Leader – When I got this on launch day I was rubbish at it. Nine years later I was significantly better, but not much. It’s Star Wars – what’s there not to like about it?
  • Luigi’s Mansion – A Mario game without Mario? Meant to be dead easy but you’ll probably guess how much I struggle with it (How can I review games that I am crap at?) Looks and sounds good too.
  • Medal of Honor: Frontline – I love all MOH games of this era having played the original on PS1. Not quite as good as Allied Assault and probably after those two games the series went downhill rapidly. Still, if your only taste of FPS is from the Call of Duty series, give it a whirl.
  • Super Monkey Ball – The most fun you can have with monkeys, plastic, a maze and some amazing sub games. Trust me; this is very much the kahuna of monkey games.
  • Donkey Konga – Speaking of monkey gaming magic, one of the original music-with-added-musical-peripheral titles. This time you get bongos. Annoy your neighbours – I do. Great, great fun, some wicked tunes but all a bit on the easy side sadly. Yes I can’t believe I typed that – finally a game I can win at. Monkeys playing bongos, I sure hope there isn’t a metaphor in there somewhere.
  • Super Mario Sunshine – Bridging the gap between Mario 64 and Mario Galaxy, the much maligned and adored Sunshine. Mario with a water pack and all the usual Mario bits. Good fun, looks great but a little on the frustrating side for me.
  • WWE Wrestlemania 18 – See Day Of Reckoning: different roster, same game underneath.

I would talk about Zoocube and NHL Hitz 2002, but I haven’t played them yet. If you haven’t got one of these excellent machines, get one now. Unlike some other retro consoles and systems you’ll have to hunt to find cheap games for them. All Gamecube software can be run on the Wii and therefore the second hand value is quite high. It’s well worth it, especially if you ignored it the first time round.

Till the next time – Serve The Public Trust. Uphold The Innocent. Protect The Law.