GameCube Launch Today

By Steve Gibson, Nov 18, 2001 4:21am PST Well, today is launch day for the GameCube system from Nintendo. We'll most likely see a few reviews / impressions showing up today and a mad rush of them showing up tomorrow. The Cube is $100 cheaper than the XBox or Playstation2 at launch, but honestly from my perspective doesnt really have a very strong launch title lineup with the exception of Tony Hawk 3. (Which rocks). I dont think I'll be going out to get one just yet, but when Zelda, Mario, Metroid, and Soul Calibur 2 all get closer... well it'll be time to reconsider.  Here's my oh so accurate predictions of how the games will go:

- Tony Hawk 3 - rocks
- Rogue Leader - good, pretty...
- Luigi's Mansion - mixed, average
- Super Monkey Ball - mixed, good for friends/groups
- Wave Race - N64 rehash, not much new
- Madden 2002 - No idea.
- Future releases list

note: If you get a GameCube, feel free to post your impressions/reviews of games in the comments. Will pick through them at the end of the day and highlight the good ones for the Monday morning update. Thanks for the idea tomservo :)

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  • Ok. I'm kinda late on this, but i'm always like that. I just picked my GC up around 9:30 PST from shopko (what a horrible store). They had like 40 gc's and like probably only 3 of them sold at the time that i was there. 9:30 being PM not AM.

    On from that i picked up Indigo GC (...... i swear... I'm NOT GAY.... i love how they make Indigo not Purple, i've seen indigo, my watch glows indigo, this is NOT indigo.... its purple to me), controller, Rogue Leader, Lugi's Mansion, and mem card (sold out of THPS 3 and low on $$ for Super Monkey Ball... as of now).

    Rogue Leader is pretty cool, although i haven't hooked it up downstairs to our 5.1 home theatre, which is, from what i hear, the most amazing part of the experience.
    Luigi's Mansion is different, it seems to thrive on the idea that its "innovative". I've seen innovative before, this is just weird. This game seems to thrive more on the learning curve of fucking weird controls than anything.

    With both games i've only given them 30 minutes a peice. not neerly enough to decide if they are good, those were initial impressions.

    Onto the controller:
    The controller is neat and fits the hand great. Nintendo (as with everything with the gc) went for small. Nintendo FINALLY got the joystick right (only after taking from sony/dc and their ball shaped stick instead of an actual stick thus...... no white resedue and fucked up controllers 1 month later or in case of mario party, 2 hours later). The buttons are nice and it fits both games well. The controls feel very anti dpad (hell its the size of the gameboy dpad..... if that). I personally love the dpad for fighters and almost any platform game, but my days are numbered for dpad loving. The L and R buttons have this "oh god i'm gonna break something" feel when you press on them. They are pressure sensitive (like the dc controls only no annoying spring sound whne you press them, now only an ackward 'click' feel taht makes you say "oh shit what have i done!?!?!?!". The z button is like the select button for all i care and imo nintendo should've put triggers underneath the controller as well, but hey what the fuck do i know?

    I'm overal rather satisfied with the controller as it is of nintendo quality and improves 400 fold ont he n64 controller flaws. (namely the joystick). For fighting games, i am worried that i'll have to just buy arcade sticks for the system (please someone....... nintendo....... oh hell even interact make one.)

    I'll post my final impressions as of tommorow when i have some time to sit down and soak up the idea that i just spent 375$.

    Both x-box and gc are in my eyes and i look forward to both. Sony seems worried, ps3 announcement, and i fear that after owning my playstation i will never buy another sony console for a long time to come. X-Box has put forth somewhat of a more 'adult' feeling. But i would say all the skepticism of the GC and its 'childish' feel is coming forth way too soon.

    The hardware on the x-box is amazing and i have my money down on that system as well, however hardware/graphics haven't always made a system suceed. Atari Jaguar anyone?

    Oh yea....... and is it just me or did x-box realize come 2 months ago that their system didnt have many exclusive titles so they just bought out rights to games? Not to bitch or sound like a fanboy, but it really pissed me off to find that Munch would be an XBOX only title. Although now that i read reviews and get impressions i'm seeing that it was a shitty title anyways.

    Both consoles are currently upsetting me as they lack amazing launch titles (lets not forget the first time we popped mario 64 into our n64 and were blown away). I'll let next year decide for me which console is super console no. 1. Just let it be known that i consider ps2 out of the running completely.

  • My quick take on some games after playing all day yesterday:
    Rogue Leader: the only launch game that has made my palms sweat. Unreal looking. Hard as heck (sometimes frustrating as Xian pointed out).

    Tony Hawk 3: I don't even like skateboarding and once again I'm hopelessly addicted to this game. The level design is the best of the series.

    Madden 2K2: NFL Fever has better player models, but Madden has a better overall presentation of the game. Plus it plays infinitely better than Fever (90 yard pass plays as about as common as they are in real life).

    WaveRace: Basically WaveRace 64 with better graphics, better sound, and the yellow pylons moved 3 feet to the right. So why the heck am I playing this one so much?

    All in all I love my cube - I think I'm having more fun with it than the X-box so far (except for Halo). I'll take 'fun' gaming over 'elite' gaming anyday.

  • Well I lucked into both the GC and Xbox today... Target had some GC's in stock, and I just happen to go into a Circuit City to see if they had Halo in stock, and as I was buying the s-video for the Xbox, I saw a stack of 10 sitting by a stack of PS2's... I ran over and started picking one up with a very surprised look on my face (as everybody is/was sold out and had no idea when they were getting more) and the SA was like "yeah, they're for sale"... so I got Halo and Project Gotham Racing for the Xbox and Rogue Leader and Super Monkey Ball for the GC... I didn't play 3 games all that much, but for a few minutes of playing, Rogue Leader was alright and looked pretty... really didn't seem all that different from Rogue Squadron on the N64... Super Monkey Ball was fun single player, but I can see single player getting old fairly quickly... good thing I bought it for multiplayer... PGR looked really good and played pretty well... but I just couldn't stop playing Halo... that game's pretty incredible... good graphics and good gameplay... controls incredibly well for a console FPS... driving the Warthog is a little crazy though as it tends to slide everywhere...

    I didn't bother with Madden or anything like that, since I have it on the PS2 and there's no point in getting the same game for several different systems...

  • Wow, so that day flew by like nothing.

    Aveil and I picked up a GameCube at Meijers here in Columbus last night at 12:05. She picked up a mem card and a controller, while I bought THPS3. They had 60 GCs, and did a raffle for them... It was pretty cool. Happened to meet some friends there, so we had 4 chances to get a GC with 2 people that wanted to get them. It was pretty funny, because my friend that wanted to buy one was called, then Aveil was, as I was leaving I handed my ticket off to some kid there with his mom... Then saw him in line next, my ticket having been called, then my other friend's ticket was called. He handed his off and we all went home happy. They were out of Super Monkey Ball, so we had to drive the way heck out to Reynoldsburg on the other side of Columbus to one of the few 24-hour Walmarts for that. For some reason Columbus only has like 5 Wal-Marts, only 2 of those being 24 hour... I guess because Target got here first. <shrug> Got that, finally made it home at like 2am.

    We set things up... It was so cool to pull it all out of the box. Pretty darn heavy compared to what you expect. Inside there were composite video cables, the system and the power supply. Allow me to note what they did with the power supply, rather than making it a wall-wart which none of us ever has enough room for, they moving the bulk of the power supply halfway between the wall and the system. That made me happy. Turned the system on and it asked to have the date set, so we did that. The system menu is drawn really neat... Like little boxes or checkers that flip over to make an image. Think a non-lcd stadium/arena banner board that announces coming concerts. (The Nutter Center in Dayton, OH? Yeah, only like 2 might get that...) <<trimmed, see first reply>>

  • I got my Gamecube this morning from the local Fry's (pretty big line waiting), and picked up an extra controller, Rogue Leader, and a Memory Card (They didn't have THPS3).

    As soon as I got home, I opened up the boxes, plugged it into my TV, and popped in Rogue Squadron. The first thing that surprised me was the noise made by the system. I always go to my friend's house and play his PS2, and I have a Dreamcast at home. The Gamecube makes such little noise, it's hardly noticable. From where I sat I couldn't hear the system seeking whatsoever. Also, the system is tiny, making placement very easy (aka. you don't have to worry about it taking much space). The handle on the back (yes, handle on a console) seems like a joke, but I guess it can be usefull if you're like me and constantly going from TV to TV because your parents want to watch a movie when you want to play games. Nothing spectacular but I have to say I am impressed with Nintendo's construction of this system.

    Nothing too exciting about the memory card. It holds 59 blocks, and is even smaller than the size of a gameboy advance cartridge. 59 blocks isn't a lot, so I am disappointed in their decision on that, considering PS2's is 16+ mb and Xbox has a 6gb Hardrive. Hopefully the SD Card adapter will help remedy this problem.

    The controller, as everyone has been saying, is very comfortable. I don't like where the Z button is, but I'm not going to complain because it's just an added button. Otherwise, the button placement is fine. The controller seems well suited for most genre's except fighting (I really can't imagine myself playing soul caliber on that controller.) The other complaint I can think about the official pad is the digital-pad. The pad is tiny, roughly the size of the Gameboy Advance's, which is too small for my hands.

    As for Rogue Squadron, all I have to say on the graphical and audio side is, wow. Even on my pretty old 36in rca tv, the game looks beautiful. In the teaser (from the options menu-->special features) you can view that infamous image of the red planet and the squad of fighters, with yavin in the background, sequence. It has to be seen to have the full effect. On the gameplay front, I didn't find any problems with the game being too difficult (except for getting the gold medals). The gameplay is fast and fluid, and who would give up the chance to take out those imperial bastards? :)

    For $200 for the system and $50 per game, I think the Gamecube is an awesome deal. The graphics (even though the specifications might seem weak compared to xbox's) are beyond what I thought could be done. First generation games like Rogue Squadron and Tony Hawk 3, and even Luigi's Mansion all look beautiful, and are only the first generation of many, so it can only get better.

    Comparing this to Xbox, not on bias, I would still go for a gamecube. Why? Sheer value and future potential. Xbox can play DVD's, so can my computer...Yes, Xbox has a hard drive, but also costs a whole $100 more. There are some killer games out for Xbox (Halo and DOA3) but there are some killer games for gamecube out too. And with Super Smash Brother's Melee and Pikmin on the horizon, as well as Mario, Zelda, Fox, and Metroid in the coming year(s), I would go with Nintendo in the long run. Also, consider the fore-mentioned games are from 1st and 2nd party developers. Nintendo has been gaining 3rd party support as well (Resident Evil for one)...I don't see many Xbox "killer-apps" on the horizon either. Most of their 3rd party games are not exclusive, as many are coming to PS2 and Gamecube.

    My 2 cents

  • I got a gamecube today (friend got me one at kmart this morning). So far i've played a little Luigi & have yet to really try Rogue Leader. My friend picked up Luigi since it was the only game they had and to my suprise after all the lackluster reviews, it's pretty fun. I'm hoping to finish it though and return it for something like SSBM or Pikmin when those come out soon.

    I'm pretty happy with the system, games seem fun, the controller is the best out there (imho) and the power of the system is great.

    -The SAMe

    p.s. Oh and the 9er's comeback victory today fuckin ruled!!!!

  • Well I went into EB this morning and picked up 'the goods', thank heavens for no waiting in line :>.

    Stuff: Jet Black Gamecube, Component Cables (imported), Memory Card 59, [ Rogue Leader, THPS3, Wave Race: BS ]

    Hardware: Wow, this thing is small(!), even more amazing I was shocked by how small the discs looked in person.
    The black GC is very sleek, it blended in nicely with my home theater setup (love the orange LED). The bootup is really very quick (from power to the menu), and the menu is functionally adequate if not as flashy and cool as the Xbox one. After a quick adjustment of the calender and time we were ready to go. I would have liked to see the cube
    auto-load the games without having to hit 'gameplay' from the menu. You can manage your memory cards, set options for sound and controller as well as intiate the games from the main menu. Load times for games were very fast (compared to a PS2, I haven't had enough time with the Xbox to make an accurate comparison so I won't).

    Video Quality: The GC was connected via component video to a Pioneer Elite widescreen HDTV. I like the fact that games allow you to select progressive/interlaced from the menu as it lets me fiddle with the display modes on my TV (otherwise the TV automatically locks into 'full' when it detects a 480p signal). Popped in Rogue Leader for a quick test run.. wow very impressive visuals.. I did a quick switch back and forth between prog/interlaced and noticed far less jaggies and a much more 'stable' picture with the progressive mode - very pleasing. The colors seemed a little tame (not as vibrant as I hoped for), in particular on the training mission (not sure if is the game or the cube rendering but I noticed the colors were a little passive in THPS3 as well).

    Audio Quality: I connected the analog out to my processor using the standard cables (Damn them for not including an optical out). I don't have PL II capability on-board so I set it to decode using DTS Neo:6 (DTS's versin of PL II more or less, takes the incoming signal and processes it as 5.1 (or 6.1) sound with special processing for the surrounds - it's not just 5 channel stereo). Popped in RL2 and wasn't really expecting much but the sound was pretty amazing on the death star run. Tie fighters wizzing behind me and stuff blowing up, I was pretty impressed at how well it worked out in 5.1. The low-end was a little lacking (understandable I guess, plus no dedicated LFE channel :().

    Games: Just quick impressions as I've only played each for around 30 mins. THPS3 was very good (as expected), I was dissapointed that it didn't have a progressive mode (or I couldn't find it) and the colors were again a little on the passive side. Gameplay was pretty cool, I've only been mucking around with the GBA version so this was a whole new ballgame (good on them for adding those tutorials too, pretty useful feature). Wave Race has some really stunning water (I know it's been said over and over again but both the visual look as well as the behavior is just spot on). Very crisp graphics and physics are accurate in that everything you do is reflected accurately in game. I haven't played the N64 version at all so this was all new to me... I liked the inclusion of the tutorials, took a little while to get a feel for the physics but it was a lot of fun. Look forward to a lot of time practising this one :). I'm a SW fanboy I guess so RL didn't dissapoint me at all, very immersive and lovely visuals and sound, from what I saw it brought back memories of playing it on the PC (Beggar's Canyon!) and then some.

    That's it for now (damn that's long), sorry it's more on the technical aspects but that is what excited me having just brought this home.. haven't really had enough time with the games to post anything more in-depth. Worthwhile purchase? well I think so, for the money I paid I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I look forward to seeing how the 2nd generation titles evolve.