I had a poignant relationship with our Gamecube. We had some absolutely wonderful times together, filled with sailing, slaying, and sleuthing. But it also rendered one of my biggest gaming disappointments in the form of Super Mario Sunshine. (I tried, I really did, but it turned out to be one of the few Mario titles that just didn’t resonate with me. And that made me very sad. However, spoilers, I try to rectify things as you’ll see below.) I had very few titles for the system, which made making choices both easy and hard. Some were shoe-ins, while other required a good bit of mental debate. Among some of our stored electronics, our Gamecube still sits. Waiting for its chance at resurrection! (Or, morbidly so, the death of the Wii.)
Nintendo released the Gamecube in 2001 as the follow-up to the N64, and it was quite unique compared to other consoles. It was square, purple, and it only accepted cute, little mini-DVDs. Despite its quirkiness, system felt like a step up from Nintendo’s cartridge consoles – and it was, mostly. The graphics were better and the mini-DVDs held more information than the old cartridges (though nowhere near as much as a regular DVD. Oh, the joys of all things proprietary.) But at the time, the Gamecube was a good thing, a cool thing. Did we know it was going to go extinct before the decade was out? Nope. We just played.
Super Mario Sunshine
So as with my last list, the choice of including a Mario game here came down to Super Mario Sunshine vs. Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door. Though I thoroughly enjoyed Thousand Year Door, it wasn’t much different from the original Paper Mario. Because Super Mario Sunshine introduced some new stuff to the Mario Universe, and because I have yet to actually complete it, it made the list. Plus, it took place on an island, which seems fitting. Yes, the Isle Delfino was Mario and Peach’s vacation spot was their gateway to adventure…and kidnapping…again. Your main goal was to rescue Peach and save the island and its inhabitants (Piantas) from the clutches of Shadow Mario and his dirty “graffiti” by using the F.L.U.D.D. (a super-powered water shooter) in different ways. Like I said, I was truly excited by this title. But I got annoyed by the controls (or rather, my inability to really control the F.L.U.D.D.), and I went just short of rage-quitting. But since my island is free of rage (seriously, only smiles here please), maybe I’ll have a better go with it here.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
I enjoyed the Ocarina of Time. I loved Majora’s Mask. But I simply adored Wind Waker with all my life hearts. Some of that had to do with Link’s wonderful, new, cel shaded look; some of that had to do with exploration; and still some had to do with its great story. Despite its visual departure from the the N64 Zelda games, Wind Waker contained most of the elements of any Zelda game: Link and his little green suit, Zelda (eventually), the triforce, rupees, Hyrule, a form of Ganondorf this time called Ganon, a special sword of sorts, and plenty of enemies. What really hooked me was the sailing; and I can’t even really explain why I enjoyed it as much as I did. But I looked forward to discovering new islands almost as much as I liked setting off from them. I didn’t even mind encountering the occasional enemy boat – they were fun to pick off with Link’s boat canon. Oh! And the treasure hunting! I definitely enjoyed treasure hunting by sea.
When I first attempted to play Metroid Prime years ago, it didn’t go so well. I got frustrated, and…yada yada yada, I stopped playing. This year, I resolved to make up for that mistake. I’m now slooooowly playing through it, and it is fantastic! While it took me several scenes to get used to controlling Samus in the first person, the game is turning out to be everything it should have been the first time round. And I’m loving that the game contains a great mix of action-filled scenes and quieter, discovery scenes, just like in Super Metroid. And I know there’s plenty that I’m missing (either on purpose or just because I can’t figure out a certain puzzle yet), which will surely lead to many a replay. A space opera led by my favorite video game character with worlds to explore and enemies to shoot and things to save? Sounds like just what my island needs!
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
I first met the Prince of Persia during my early PC days, and he’s stuck with me over the years. His games are kinda like the precursors, or maybe the older siblings to the Assassin’s Creed series. The Prince of Persia games are generally fun and fast-paced, and The Sands of Time was no exception. It was a little more refined than a simple hack-and-slash game, and it included plenty of puzzles that provided welcome breaks from the fighting. Plus, it had the added element of being able to control the “sands of time” by briefly rewinding any action scene. The Sands of Time might be one of the most enjoyable PoP titles – it’s neither overly difficult nor extremely simple. Balanced. Like an hourglass….filled with sand…the sands of time! (Okay, sorry.)
Mega Man Anniversary Collection
Am I cheating by picking a game collection? Maybe… But it’s my island, and one disk equals one game…so there. Besides, Mega Man Anniversary Collection might be one of the best game compilations ever. With Mega Man 1-8 all in one place, there’s no way you can be bored with this game! Sure, Mega Man masters could probably complete the all the games in a matter of hours, but I’m no master. Yet, on my island I’d have plenty of time to become one! Early Mega Man games are notoriously difficult for the less-than patient gamer (a.k.a. me), but they’re also extremely satisfying in their simplicity. And I use “simplicity” lightly because behind the simple run-shoot-collect premise are eight games that require a good bit of strategy in determining the order in which to tackle the levels. Plus, it’s impossible to not enjoy the cornucopia of Mega Man bosses. Guts Man! Wood Man! Napalm Man! Top Man! Uh…Top Man? Yes, Top Man. Just roll…or spin…with it (haha).
Oh, the Gamecube. It was a system that was not meant for longevity, though I promise to take very good care of mine on the island. Yeah, I know the sand is everywhere and it just gets in anything, but I have…ways. Next week, I’ll be moving up to the DS, and I’m not really looking forward to it. Making the game choices, that is. I had tons of games for that great handheld. How will dozens and dozens become only five? Come back next week to find out!