Haven’t got a Wii, with its no-questions-asked backwards compatibility? Then have you considered Nintendo’s GameCube machine, a fine console whose thinking laid the foundations for the revolution that Nintendo is currently enjoying?
The console as it stood was cheap from day one, but these days the eBay price for the machine is temptingly low. £25 including games seems to be the going rate, and while the fact that the Wii can play GameCube games is keeping the second hand market live and kicking, do be wary that it’s also artificially inflating one or two of the prices.
That said, if you’re looking – following the Dreamcast – for another underappreciated games console with plenty in its corner, then consider the following ten reasons to jump aboard the GameCube bandwagon…
Donkey KongaIt never got great reviews, and that’s because the core game has some problems. But Donkey Konga and its sequels are nonetheless an absolute hoot, courtesy of them being rhythm games where you sit in front of bongo drums. In multiplayer, the game is a screaming hoot, and it’s well worth seeking out.Pikmin/Pikmin 2Devilishly taxing strategy game, albeit in very cute clothes? That just about sums up the ingenious Pikmin, a tightly designed game about little critters who, depending on what colour you grow, are able to do a variety of different things. We saw the thinking of Pikmin in last year’s underrated Overlord game on the Xbox 360, but rarely has it all been wrapped in such accessible clothes as Nintendo managed with the Pikmin duo.
Legend Of Zelda: The Wind WakerYou can’t leave a Zelda game off the list, and the GameCube’s own version was The Wind Waker. It’s not the most popular in the franchise, and makes a couple of interesting style choices, but there’s little doubting it’s a superb action adventure, with real replay value.
Super Mario SunshineAgain, not the pinnacle of the franchise, but the GameCube’s own Mario game has plenty in its camp, not least the fact that the infamous plumber spends much time cleaning up graffiti. Moments of ingenuity, a bastard-hard challenge and simply shedloads to explore make this a firm recommendation.Viewtiful JoeOkay, it made it onto the Playstation 2 in the end, but Capcom’s Viewtiful Joe could, if we’re not careful, be yet another terrific franchise from the firm that disappears into the ether (Power Stone, anyone?). Action-packed, stylish and a bona fide gaming challenge, that’s far more creative than 99% of the other stuff on the shelves. Result.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s RequiemI adore this, warts and all. A densely plotted, time-travelling adventure where you control differing characters in similar scenarios over different parts of time. Ingenious in places, and making the most of its structure, it has problems, but it also has staggering ambition. Brilliant stuff, that was quite happy to send you insane in the game, and then pull all sorts of tricks on you.Sega Soccer SlamAnother Cube game I had a bit of a soft spot for. In the midst of all the FIFAs and Pro Evos, a couple of companies have tried to do something different with the football game. Red Card from Midway was one attempt, but Sega’s ultra-violent, smack-the-shit-out-of-each-other extravaganza is the one to get.
Mario Kart: Double DashPerhaps this one’s in the list out of obligation, because Mario Kart has had better days than its Cube outing. There’s little doubting the multiplayer prowess on offer here, though, even if it’s not much of a jump on the brilliant N64 take on the franchise. Ho hum.
Super Smash Bros MeleeA far easier inclusion, and another classic Nintendo franchise getting its Cube outing. A huge fighting game, with plenty to do and lots to discover, it finds its place on this list by being insanely good fun to play. Hurray!
Metroid PrimeA brilliant, brilliant, brilliant reinvention of a gaming franchise, that’s gone on to kickstart two further sequels. Metroid Prime is a pretty bloody brilliant mix of action, puzzle solving and adventure. It’s one of the machine’s better looking games, and could put up a sporting fight at being one of the best ten games of the decade. Blimey.
Resident Evil 4The definitive edition of arguably the best Resident Evil game. End.
Agree? Disagree? Help yourself to the Comments box…