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Shacknews remembers the GameCube

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the GameCube. To celebrate, the Shacknews team decided to take a look back at our favorite GameCube moments... and there are plenty to choose from.

It was ten years ago today that Nintendo launched the GameCube, a divisive system to some that felt Nintendo had lost its way in the battle against Sony and newcomer Microsoft. Others, like many here on staff, remember the system fondly and, like our Xbox Anniversary feature, have stories to share. Garnett Lee Did I want Indigo or Jet Black? That was the question that confronted me at the GameCube launch. I ultimately chose Indigo, just because, well, it was different. The launch lineup wasn't that long, but I picked up Luigi's Mansion and Rogue Squadron and never looked back. The combination of ghost capturing mechanic and each room as a new puzzle in Luigi's Mansion really clicked with me. As the system aged it followed the now familiar Nintendo pattern of laying fallow in my entertainment center or long stretches, only to triumphantly reawaken for games like 1080, one of my favorite snowboarding games, the quirky fun of Chibi Robo introduced to me by James Mielke, Pikmin, which melded action and strategy together so well, and, of course, the amazing Resident Evil 4. Xav de Matos Last generation was home to some incredible console titles, but my favorite game from that era was an experimental project from an Texas-based studio called Retro. Metroid Prime delivered quality on every level, with gorgeous graphics, incredible sound, and the perfect translation of Samus Aran's 2D sidescrolling moves into 3D. Sadly, Metroid Prime's release (and its sequel) were buried behind the surging hype for titles like Halo and Halo 2 on the Xbox. Still, it's an amazing experience, that begs to be played countless times (especially for Sequence Breaking opportunities). GameCube was also one of the few consoles that I purchased multiple times. I retired the purple system and upgraded to the limited edition silver bundle. Versus the PS2's mechanical design and the Xbox system's plastic mountain, the GameCube was actually nice to look at. And say what you want about the controller, but the Wavebird is still one of my favorite peripherals. Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes helped remind us that while technology evolves, great stories can live on in new generations. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Viewtiful Joe melted hours away from my life and then there were the crazy titles that some adored and others hated like Killer 7 and P.N.03, both of which I loved. It's sad to see people rewriting history and painting the GameCube in a bad light. It had a shaky life sure, but it also introduced us to some of the best games we've ever played. Alice O'Connor I suspect I've never actually played a GameCube (having been deep into PC gaming at the time, not to mention quite poor) but I am eternally grateful that it brought the world Resident Evil 4. Thank you GameCube, whatever you were. Some manner of behandled box for computer and video games, they tell me. I did always want to play Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, though.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

Andrew Yoon Of the three consoles during this generation, GameCube was my favorite. Sure, most people hated the purple lunchbox design of the system, but I actually found use for its portable nature. It was our Super Smash Bros. Melee machine, after all--and I'd bring it to friends' homes, church, school, etc. While all the consoles of that generation had great games, GameCube had quite possibly the greatest games. This is the system that introduced the world to Metroid Prime--still the greatest first person adventure game ever created. It gave us Resident Evil 4, a game that has pretty much defined the current generation of games with its over-the-shoulder third-person perspective. Gamecube is home to so many games that, in many ways, have yet to be improved upon. Zelda: Wind Waker still holds up to this day, and while its controversial art style may have been off-putting to some, I find it to be one of the most gorgeous cel-shaded games ever created. (I'd argue that no game, minus the Naruto: UNS games, have come close to matching Nintendo's effort.) Eternal Darkness introduced us to "sanity effects," a neat gimmick that was memorably used again in Batman: Arkham Asylum. One generation later, it's sad to see that no one has bested Pikmin as the best made-for-console RTS, and no one has created a better futuristic racer than F-Zero GX. It's even sadder to realize that an entire generation has gone by with Nintendo ignoring these franchises. Hopefully, that won't still be true when we're writing about the 20th anniversary of the GameCube. Jeff Mattas I sort of feel like a party-pooper on this GameCube remembrance day. Of all the home consoles that I've ever owned, Nintendo's cubic system with tiny discs was probably the least-played. It's sort of understandable, given that it was competing with the original Xbox and PlayStation 2 (during the waning days of the Sega Dreamcast), but I found its controllers and tiny discs to be the less appealing than its competitors, and games that piqued my interest were few and far between. That said, there was one GameCube game in particular that I absolutely adored: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem by Silicon Knights. Prior to its release, the survival-horror market was pretty much cornered by series like Resident Evil and Silent Hill. Eternal Darkness brought a lot new to the table, not the least of which was a stunningly-clever "insanity" mechanic. As player's witnessed disturbing events in the world, their sanity would drop. If it dropped too low, the game would literally mess with the player by serving up all sorts of different effects. Players might receive a false warning that the controller was unplugged, appear to die unexpectedly, or (my favorite) even receive the infamous "blue screen of death." The game spanned many characters, settings, and time periods, all interwoven into an over-arching story, and was an absolute blast to play. The fact that Silicon Knights hasn't yet developed a current-generation sequel to Eternal Darkness remains one of gaming's greatest missed opportunities, in my opinion.

Nintendo GameCube's wireless Wavebird controller

Steve Watts Since I got my GameCube while living in college dorms, I mostly remember it as a social experience. Mario Kart Double Dash was a crowd favorite, and once a few friends from my hall got into Animal Crossing I had to keep my door unlocked so they could tend to their ridiculous mortgage payments while I was in class. I enjoyed the single-player games too, of course -- Resident Evil 4, Rogue Squadron, and Mario Sunshine were great distractions. And at the time, I seemed to be the only one who preferred The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker art style to Ocarina of Time. Sure, now you all say it's better. The much-maligned controller was actually one of my favorites. It overemphasized one button, but it felt super-ergonomic and the Wavebird was my first wireless. It blew my mind, only to be topped when I got new consoles that allowed the system to be turned on using the controller. What a time to be alive.

Star Fox: Assault

Ozzie Mejia The GameCube came out around the time I started college and I primarily remember it kickstarting my Smash Bros. addiction that still goes on to this day. Sure, the original N64 Super Smash Bros. was fun and all, but Super Smash Bros. Melee improved on its predecessor in every way in terms of controls, fan service, and pure fun factor. Even though I've moved on to Super Smash Bros. Brawl, I can't ignore that the GameCube's entry to the series helped turn it into one of Nintendo's biggest franchises. I also remember the GameCube generation for Nintendo doing their best to flesh out the Star Fox franchise. Star Fox Adventures was a fantastic adventure game. It was a terrible "Star Fox" game, since about 90% of it was played outside the Arwing and the Arwing missions were purely filler, but as an adventure game, I loved the combat and exploration elements. It did its job in terms of creating a memorable experience and pushing the Star Fox story forward by introducing Krystal and bringing Falco back into the fold. I've heard a lot of complaints about Namco's Star Fox Assault, mainly in regards to the clunky on-foot controls, but this remains my favorite entry in the series. Star Fox Assault brought back the on-rails style that I loved so much in Star Fox 64, while also bringing an epic narrative that fleshed out nearly all of the series' characters. Brilliant stories are something I've grown to expect from the Zelda and Metroid franchises, but the Gamecube generation showed me that the Star Fox series carries that same potential to captivate audiences. It's why Star Fox Assault remains in my gaming library to this day.

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

From The Chatty
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    November 18, 2011 12:30 PM

    Shack Staff posted a new article, Shacknews remembers the GameCube.

    Today marks the 10th anniversary of the GameCube. To celebrate, the Shacknews team decided to take a look back at our favorite GameCube moments... and there are plenty to choose from.

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      November 18, 2011 12:38 PM

      Eternal Darkness, Metroid Prime, Wind Waker ... so awesome

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        November 18, 2011 1:20 PM

        and Pikmin - these are the 4 Pillars of the GC.

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          November 18, 2011 1:45 PM

          Why in the hell did we not get a Pikmin for the Wii? It's was MADE for Pikmin!

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          November 18, 2011 3:10 PM

          And SSB Melee. The series came into its own on the 'Cube.

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      November 18, 2011 12:50 PM

      A fantastically under-appreciated gem.

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      November 18, 2011 12:56 PM

      Gamecube will always be the console I hold dearest. I still remember going early in the morning with my dad to pick it up. First console I ever had on release day and I played the hell out of that thing. I started with Rogue Squadron and then sank hours into Super Monkey Ball and Smash Bros. My brother and I would fight over who got to log in first on Animal Crossing holidays.

      I still have urges to go back and play through Wind Waker and F-Zero. Man, Gamecube was great.

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        November 18, 2011 1:07 PM

        Agreed, not to mention it still managed to get a number of good third party titles (though they were pretty much all cross platform).

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        November 18, 2011 1:24 PM

        I bought my friend's GC from him about 6 months ago, and have been catching up on some serious gaming moments. Playing through Wind Waker right now, but to take a break, I think I'm gonna start RE4. It'll be my first play-through!

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          November 18, 2011 3:01 PM

          Play Eternal Darkness. Best game of that console generation, imo. What an amazing game.

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      November 18, 2011 1:15 PM

      LOL @ Alice being too poor for all consoles.

      I was too. The last console I owned before this current generation was a fucking SEGA Genesis.

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      November 18, 2011 1:24 PM

      So many good times playing Super Smash Brothers Melee with friends

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      November 18, 2011 1:25 PM

      We always referred to it as the smash bros machine. That's what it was used for 99% of the time.

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      November 18, 2011 1:26 PM

      No one else probably played this, but Lost Kingdoms from FROM SOFTWARE was pretty good.

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        November 18, 2011 1:33 PM

        I did ;) - 'still, Baten Kaitos is my favorite card battling RPG system on the GC.

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          November 18, 2011 2:21 PM

          I never played that/heard of it. What's different about it?

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            November 19, 2011 12:18 AM

            it was sort of a cross between poker and elemental/weapons summoning, but on top of it, you could hold back from doing damage and instead wait to combine cards to form usable items - such as a rice card next to a fish card next to a vinegar card would give you sushi you could use to heal during a battle, or a fish card you kept in your deck for too long in over-world game time would rot and then you could use it as a poison attack item. Not easy to describe, but super fun and fast paced to play, and the actual story line of the plot was very epic and exciting too (the sequel's story was even better).

            By all means worth digging up and playing even today - not outdated at all.

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      November 18, 2011 1:37 PM

      The GC was awesome. Gaming sites took a dump on it later in its life. I never understood that because as the game releases and 3rd party support faded so did the price. By the time I jumped in circa 2003ish you could get a new GC with Mario Kart included for $99. Plus I believe you also got a few coupons for discounts on other games.

      That and the solid cheap back catalog made it a recommended system in my eyes. I couldn't understand how gaming sites couldn't recommend it. $99 plus a game isn't much more than the cost of a game.

      The last year or so of the GC was pretty barren. But somewhere in there was Chibi Robo which was a great game that no one played.

      Jungle Beat also was released later in the GC lifespan and was another great great game that no one played.

      The GC ended with Zelda, but by that time the Wii was out and that's where I played it.

      I sold my GC because Wii had b/c.

      The fondess for the GC remains. The little system that could. There was something simple and romantic to the GC that was probably the last of its breed. IT just worked. YOu popped in a disc and started it up.

      Now we have consoles that do all sorts of things and have OS's and advertisements and settings galore and they do video etc.

      I miss the simple inexpensive console. Where controls were solid. There was no flakiness.

      Nintendo should just build the fastest $100 console they can that is only a game machine and nothing else. Go back to the GC roots.

      And incorporate local networking back into the equation. Something you started with MK:DD and the broadband adapter but never finished.

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      November 18, 2011 1:38 PM

      Eternal Darkness
      RE Remake
      Rogue Squadron II
      Skies of Arcadia Legends
      Soul Calibur II (with Link)
      Wario Ware Inc.

      All great reasons to own a GC

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      November 18, 2011 1:39 PM

      SSX 3 - The GC game I played the most.

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      November 18, 2011 1:43 PM

      Mario 64 is the game that made me realize that I actually do understand game design and could do just fine making my own. Super Smash Bros. Melee made me realize that I understand game mechanics better than many of my peers. And the GBA player for the GameCube is what my realize that what I really wanted to do was make gaming/computer hardware. Thank you GameCube for being there when I needed a direction to go in life.

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        November 18, 2011 1:58 PM

        GC's Four Swords and the GBA player was a concept that was ahead of its time. I loved it, even if I never could find another player with a GBA to take full advantage of it.

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          November 18, 2011 3:20 PM

          I think I actually ended up buying 4 of those GBA connector cables just so I could force my friends to play Four Swords and the Final Fantasy game with me. Totally worth it for Four Swords though.

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            November 18, 2011 4:10 PM

            I bought a GBA to play Four Swords actually. Or Crystal Chronicles, whichever came out first. We played both a lot.

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      November 18, 2011 1:50 PM

      It blew my mind, only to be topped when I got new consoles that allowed the system to be turned on using the controller. What a time to be alive.

      This. Once I had a Wavebird, all other controllers were cheap pieces of shit. I went through an expensive period of time around then, as I tried to find wireless controllers for the Xbox and PS2 as well. The best were from Logitech, but still felt worse than the 1st party offerings.

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      November 18, 2011 1:56 PM


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      November 18, 2011 2:00 PM

      The Resident Evil Remake is probably still my all-time favorite game. The Rogue Squadron Games were phenomenal. And most of our group bought the GC version of Soul Calibur II. =]

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      November 18, 2011 2:19 PM

      Metroid Prime is one of my all-time favorite games...and Wind Waker was great as was F-Zero GX. The GameCube had quite a few good games for it...they just happened to mostly be first party games (this seems to be the curse of any Nintendo system since the N64).

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        November 18, 2011 2:22 PM

        Also the music from Phendrana Drifts is some of the best music in a game ever. That whole level (and the whole game...but especially that part) just oozed atmosphere. Such a fucking great game.

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      November 18, 2011 3:15 PM

      Many gamers point out that the GameCube had only a handful or so must-have games. Perhaps. But Wind Waker, Metroid Prime, Resident Evil 4, Eternal Darkness, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Pikmin stand head and shoulders above any other game I played on any other system during the 'Cube's era. I still own one and still play it. Long live the GameCube!

      Oh, and fuck the haters: I loved Metal Gear Solid - The Twin Snakes, too.

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        November 18, 2011 3:16 PM

        Oh, how could I forget Mario Sunshine?! A polarizing game for sure, but I loved it. It maintained solid Mario mechanics while adding a few new variables to fit into the equation. I actually preferred it to Mario 64 - not as a groundbreaking title, because M64 obviously innovated more than, well, probably any other game of its time; but as a refinement of what M64 offered.

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        November 18, 2011 3:58 PM


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        November 18, 2011 7:18 PM

        Whole-heartedly agree with this and your following statement. It was an under-appreciated system consider how many of the games on it really were artistic masterpieces. I have all those games you mentioned.

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        November 18, 2011 11:17 PM

        Twin Snakes ruined everything but the gameplay. :(

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      November 18, 2011 5:07 PM

      Hell yeah. Metroid Prime over Halo any day.

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        November 18, 2011 7:15 PM

        Both games were awesome in their own unique way, but Halo definitely got praise it didn't necessarily deserve.

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          November 18, 2011 11:25 PM

          No, it deserved it.

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            November 18, 2011 11:47 PM

            I won't dispute that, but I also would much rather replay Metroid Prime.

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              November 19, 2011 1:13 AM

              I find this reply acceptable.

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          November 18, 2011 11:48 PM

          Dude, Xbox LAN parties. A god damned LAN Party on a console that worked. I remember how much a pain in the ass it was for computers, when one guy was fixed someone else's stopped working.

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            November 19, 2011 7:06 AM

            This, anyone who says otherwise never experienced it.

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      November 18, 2011 6:32 PM

      Not even gonna mention specific games (other than Metroid Prime, which to this day is still one of my favorite FPS titles).

      Gamecube was just a well made console. Fast load times, sturdy construction ... a lot of fun games.

      Oh, I said I wasn't going to mention games, but someone else talked about F-Zero ... that game was incredible.

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        November 19, 2011 3:08 AM

        Fast load times were a huge bonus to the GC. My friend and I both owned a copy of Freedom Fighters, his on the GC and mine on the PS2. I had the advantage of being able to melee with any weapon and he had the advantage of loading levels instantaneously :P.

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      November 18, 2011 7:14 PM

      Nintendo consoles have always been under appreciated by the gaming bros. I primarily game on PC but Nintendo games still have a close space in my heart. GCN definitely had some great games, from Rogue Squadron, Wind Waker, Smash Bros to Eternal Darkness, Metroid Prime, Starfox 64. One particular gem was the very under appreciated Super Mario Sunshine. I thought that most of the complaints against it were petty and it still has some of the most fun and best water effects in it's time. When I was in college, it was Diablo 2 and CS late at night with Wind Waker and Mario Sunshine in the afternoon. I still have all my GCN stuff to this day.

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      November 18, 2011 7:16 PM

      Some of my fondest memories are of playing Zelda on the gamecube.

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        November 18, 2011 11:15 PM

        Absolutely. When we bought our Gamecube, it came with the Zelda Collectors Edition. We still play them.
        My kids (17, 20) also still play Mario Strikers, Mario Party, and Smash Bros.

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      November 18, 2011 8:27 PM

      Gamecube was a great system. I still have mine somewhere - I should hook it up for old times sake.

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      November 18, 2011 8:30 PM

      Pikmin. I loved that fucking game.

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        November 19, 2011 2:33 AM

        I remember seeing that at a friends place and being completely confused as to what was going on

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        November 19, 2011 3:31 AM

        Such an awesome game.

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      November 18, 2011 8:49 PM

      I don't care what Garnett says - I enjoyed Super Monkey Ball 1 AND 2.

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        November 19, 2011 3:30 AM

        Those were some of the greatest games in the monkey-trapped-in-a-plastic-ball genre.

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      November 18, 2011 10:30 PM

      Great great games on this system

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      November 18, 2011 10:47 PM

      The Cube was my favorite system of its generation, though they were all solid buys. But it's hard to argue with its library. Eternal Darkness, the RE re-releases and RE4, Wind Waker, Metroid Prime 1&2, and I could go on. It was solid through and through. Had the GBA Player, too, so I could run through Metroid Fusion and Zero Mission on TV.

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      November 18, 2011 11:47 PM

      My GCN buying story:

      I was tasked with getting a GCN for my little brother. My mom knew someone who worked at Target so she asked her and we were able to get a hold of one. However when we got it, it was the Purple one. I knew my brother wouldn't want it because I wouldn't have wanted purple either. But we didn't want to turn it down so we took it.

      A few days later I go into Best Buy and there was an employee standing there holding a Black GCN. I just straight up asked him if that was for sale and the guy said he was holding it for someone he said was coming in and has been 10 minutes late. I asked for it and he said "Sure!" So I went home with the black one. My dad decided to spoil the birthday surprise and showed my youngest brother both consoles and said he wasn't getting either. One was going to his cousin and the other he was mailing to Vietnam. My brother started sperging like the kid he was hahaha. Anyways we stopped the joke before any permanent harm.

      What happened to the purple one you ask? Well I had a friend who was also tasked with finding one for his brother and so I offered it to him. I asked if he cared if it was purple and he said, "Fuck that, my brother is getting whatever I find even if it smelled like shit."

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      November 19, 2011 5:17 AM

      My love for the GC was the thing that got me excited for the Wii. "Two gamecubes duct-taped together" was a whole extra gc more than I needed for some of my favorite games of all time. (MP, WW, Double Dash, RE4, SSBM) It was the first console I ever bought myself, and the first new one since SNES.

      Nintendo can make some incredible games, but they sure as shit can't run a non-mobile hardware platform.

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      November 19, 2011 11:10 AM

      The GameCube ahh the GameCube I still have one but I dont use it maybe ill use it again

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      November 19, 2011 1:57 PM

      I bought a Gamecube towards the end of it's life cycle. However, I do remember fond experiences with Pikmin 2 and Naruto: Clash of Ninja.

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      November 19, 2011 2:49 PM

      I got mine on launch and really loved the little system. Even now my system still work flawlessly. I played it last night and I was surprised how quick the loading times were even without a hard drive. Lot of games that completely hold up.

      The GC is really when I became a Nintendo fan.

      Pikmin remains one of my all time favorites. SImple, fun and replayable. I've played it many times in a attempt go through it without losing any little guys.

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      November 20, 2011 10:31 PM

      As long as there is Smash Bros to play I will have a Gamecube.

      Playing Smash with anything but a GC controller is awkward for me.

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