Despite 22 million units sold, Nintendo’s GameCube was, in a sense, unappreciated.
It debuted in 2001, during a transitional phase where consumers demanded more from their consoles, be it DVD support, more mature rated entertainment and later, online connectivity, three things the system either lacked or had in short supply.
The majority of gamers didn’t want a tiny machine with a handle. They wanted something edgier. The Nintendo generation had grown up, and the only party still trapped in the 90s was, sadly, Nintendo.
On that note, we loved the machine. The system played host to a variety of classic games, some of which were unfairly neglected by consumers more interested in Halo.
Thankfully, we have the 3DS, a portable system with plenty of horsepower. With some technical wizardry, Nintendo could probably port some of the GameCube library to the handheld, giving new players the opportunity to experience some of the best titles the purple lunchbox had to offer.
That said, these five GameCube classics belong on 3DS.
We don’t care what anyone says. Luigi’s Mansion is a wonderful game that was unfairly criticised for one asinine reason: you can’t play as Mario.
Was it different than the usual Nintendo fare? Absolutely, but that’s what makes the game unique. Searching the haunted house for clues and busting ghosts with a modified vacuum cleaner was a blast, while the slick looking graphics and spooky music made us happy to own a GameCube. It’s a very underrated effort that proved Luigi can carry a game without his more popular sibling. A 3DS revival makes perfect sense.
Super Mario Sunshine
Mario’s first and only GameCube adventure is sort of an oddball. Not only does it take place outside the Mushroom Kingdom, at the tropical Isle Delfino, but the bulk of the game involves using a water gun to clean up sludge.
Critics immediately pounced on Nintendo for not falling back on the usual “stomp the goomba” style of play that helped make its mascot a household name. We, on the other hand, had fun exploring the gorgeous island levels, tightrope walking hundreds of feet in the air and speaking to the locals. Sunshine’s uniqueness, coupled with its beautiful graphics, make it an ideal fit for 3DS.
Talk about unappreciated. Pac-Man Vs. seemingly landed with a thud, partly because you needed a Game Boy Advance, a GameCube and multiple controllers to enjoy the full experience, which is essentially a cat and mouse affair. One player, as Pac-Man, attempts to consume a set number of power pellets while the other gamers (as the ghosts) try to catch him. When that happens, someone else becomes Pac-Man and the process repeats. It’s good old-fashioned arcade fun with a twist, and it would find a loving home on 3DS, which could run both local and online multiplayer matches. At least this way, you would always have someone to compete against.
While not big enough for a retail release, Pac-Man Vs. could make some noise as part of the 3DS’ eShop, which launches this spring.
Star Fox Adventures
Haters slam Star Fox Adventures because it plays more like Zelda, instead of featuring the intense space battles fans know and love, but it’s still a wonderful effort. In it, hero Fox McCloud explores a planet teeming with angry lizards, solving puzzles and battling enemies with a mystical staff. At the time of its release (2002), it was praised for having some of the best graphics in a console game, especially with the use of fur shading on Fox and his female counterpart, Krystal.
It’s been a long time since we’ve played Adventures, and Nintendo would be wise to re-release it on 3DS, allowing longtime fans and newcomers a chance to play this unappreciated gem.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Just in case you didn’t recognise the pattern, the GameCube was all about Nintendo experimenting with different franchises, and no game stands out more than The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. In fact, we’re willing to bet that it’s the most controversial Nintendo title in history.
Fans didn’t know what to make of Wind Waker the first time they laid eyes on it. Nintendo shocked the gaming world by ditching a more mature-themed Zelda in favour of a cell-shaded adventure that resembled a Saturday morning cartoon. People despised it on appearance alone.
Bottom line, they missed out, because this is one of the greatest adventures in the history of gaming. First, the “toon” graphics hold up eight years later, and Nintendo did an outstanding job capturing the feel of sailing through the ocean. That, combined with the excellent animation and traditional Zelda gameplay, makes this one of the company’s biggest achievements.
With Ocarina of Time hitting 3DS this summer, we’d love to have Wind Waker make an appearance.
Which GameCube hits would you like to see on 3DS? Resident Evil 0? Battalion Wars? Eternal Darkness? Let us know.