With the Nintendo Switch newly upon us and rightfully distracting us all, I thought it may be the right time to reminisce into Nintendo’s past starting with (in my opinion) Nintendo’s best and most underrated games console: The Nintendo GameCube.
If you are a frequent visitor to my blog, then you will be aware that I have a rather soft heart for the home console shaped like a cube. The GameCube, for myself, was the initial introduction I had into the creative, dynamic and colourful world of Nintendo.
The GameCube introduced my young self to various franchises such as The Legend of Zelda, Mario and so on. Therefore, it was the GameCube that ignited my life-long obsession for both Nintendo and Japanese video game titles.
Even now, I still find myself returning to my trusty GameCube to play the games I once did as a child. The overall nostalgia gained re-playing these titles is priceless, however, it is clear to note that the titles themselves were way ahead of their time, and could potentially stand amongst current titles today.
OK, Enough of my sentiment. Let’s count down my top 5 Nintendo GameCube titles.
5. Starfox Adventure
I believe it’s safe to assume that those familiar with the Starfox franchise, would agree with me and say that Starfox Adventure was the best title within the entire series. Starfox Adventure was the 4th in the Starfox series and unlike its predecessors was categorised as an action-adventure game, rather than a ‘shoot-em-up’.
This new dynamic allowed players to explore and interact with the game’s environment, much similar to that of The Legend of Zelda’s. Starfox Adventure, at the time, was highly praised for its high-quality graphics and beautiful landscapes.
Starfox Adventures was released in 2002, so those of you thinking these graphics are mediocre need to be aware of the fact that graphics this clear and ‘realistic’ were almost unheard of at the time.
The game’s setting took place of Dinosaur Planet, a world inhabited by (yes, you guessed it) dinosaurs. A cute little dinosaur by the name of Prince Tricky (and heir to the throne, if you couldn’t guess) accompanies Fox on his adventure around Dinosaur Planet to free it from an unnecessary evil.
I totally recommend Starfox Adventures to anyone who enjoys a classic action-adventure game.
4. Pokemon Colosseum
Pokemon Colosseum is a 3D RPG, published by Nintendo themselves.
Pokemon Colosseum was a GameCube exclusive, so those of you who do not/did not own a GameCube, unfortunately, wouldn’t have had the chance to play this gem of a game.
Like Starfox Adventures, Pokemon Colosseum drifted away from its original play style seen in earlier Pokemon titles. Random encounters with Pokemon just didn’t happen in Pokemon Colosseum, instead, players would have to steal Pokemon during confrontations.
You play as bad-boy-turned-good, Wes (who can be renamed), as he tries to destroy and bring down Team Snagem, which he was once a member of. Accompanied by his trusty Umbreon and Espeon, and side-kick and occasional clutz Rui, Wes makes it his mission to become the best in order to bring down the malevolent Team Snagem.
Cities, villages and locations are free to explore in 3D, which had not yet been seen in the Pokemon Franchise. Pokemon Colosseum will forever be one to remember.
3. Super Mario Sunshine
Super Mario Sunshine is the game I speak of most when discussing Super Mario titles. Sunshine has to be my all-time favourite Super Mario title to date, however, that position may be contested with the release of Super Mario Oydessy later this year.
Super Mario Sunshine is platform video game set in an open-ish world, much reminiscent of Super Mario 64. You play as Nintendo’s main man Mario as he tries to clean the world of a gooey substance (whether it’s slime or ink is up for debate) left by the game’s antagonist Shadow Mario. Mario and FLUDD (Flash Liquidizing Ultra Dousing Device) team up to take down the pesky Mario look-a-like.
The open world aspect is what I love most about Super Mario Sunshine. Unlike other games in the Mario franchise, Sunshine gives players much more freedom to play how they want to play. Sunshine has many different lands and worlds to visit, all of them unique in their own way. However, the game’s hub location, The Isle of Delfino, has to be my all-time favourite followed by Pianta Village, Hotel Delfino and Sirena Beach.
2. Harvest Moon a Wonderful/Another Wonderful Life
Harvest Moon a Wonderful/Another Wonderful Life is rather underrated. The farming RPG or sim (simulation game) was published by 505 Game Street for Europe in 2004.
If you’re not a fan of slow-paced, time demanding and repetitive games then the Harvest Moon franchise is not for you. However, I for one love a steady simulation game for when shooters and RPGs get a bit too much.
Harvest Moon a Wonderful/Another Wonderful Life is set in a quiet village located in Forget-Me-Not Valley, and much like its name, the valley feels somewhat forgotten by the outside world. You play as either a male or female protagonist (depending on what title you purchase) taking over his/her grandfather’s derelict farm, after a hectic life in the big city.
Your sole mission is to rejuvenate the farm. This can be done by purchasing animals, crops etc. turning them into produce and then selling them to invest back into your farm. If this starts to get repetitive you can cook, dig for fossils and fish too!
Later on in the game, you’re required to get married and have children, who then grow up to make your life a living hell! But hey, we can’t have it all, can we?
Harvest Moon a Wonderful/Another Wonderful Life is a great game for those who want to slow it down.
PS. Those wanting to play as a female protagonist in Europe (Another Wonderful Life) must use a free-loader, as this specific title is exclusive to North America.
Last but not least we have. Drum roll, please…
1. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Did you really think I would forget to put this game on the list? If you did, then shame on you! Not only is the Wind Waker my favourite game ever to be released on the GameCube, it is one of my favourite Legend of Zelda games of all time. I have been hooked on its cartoonish, bright coloured art-style from the very start, however, it’s the game’s plot that kept me playing, even to today.
Like every other game in the Zelda franchise, you play as Link (although he can be renamed, but who on this earth renames Link?!) as he takes down villain Ganondorf while trying to save Princess Zelda and his sister Aryll from Ganondorf’s dirty mitts.
The game starts off on Outset Island, a small beach village where Link lives with his Grandma and Sister Aryll. However, Link’s life gets turned upside down when his sister gets kidnapped by the nasty Helmaroc King, a giant hawk-like creature. Link then makes it his mission to rescue his sister and joins a bunch of swash-buckling pirates (one being Princess Zelda in disguise) to do so.
Like Majora’s Mask and The Orcania of Time, The Wind Waker is set in an open world environment. However, in this game Link uses The Winder Waker’s power (a magic wand) to control the direction of the wind to get himself from island to island on his talking boat, the King of Red Lions. There are many islands to explore on your journeys, all filled with peculiar and interesting characters.
If you haven’t managed to play The Wind Waker, you really must.
There are many great games that I didn’t get to include within the post, given I can only select 5. However, I’d like to now give some honourable mentions to titles that didn’t make the list:
- Super Smash Bros. Melee – Fighter
- Bloody Roar – Fighter
- Sonic Adventure DX Directors Cut – Action-Adventure
- Luigi’s Mansion – Action-Adventure
- Pikmin – Strategy
- Skies of Arcadia – JRPG
If you haven’t played any of the above-listed titles, please do check them out as they’re all great games, and don’t forget to stay tuned for any future blog posts.