Ranking Nintendo’s Consoles #4: Gamecube

Nintendo_game_cube

Nintendo_game_cube

GameCube (2001)

Charm can go a long ways. Just ask the average-looking person dating someone out of their league, or the not-so-smart guy at work who somehow got the promotion you know you’d be more qualified for. Nintendo’s Gamecube may have lacked some of the more obvious desirable video game console traits, but it more than made up for it with quirky appeal and some of the most offbeat and memorable risks of Nintendo’s long history. Right off the bat you couldn’t help notice that this adorable little box was purple, with a handle on the end that made it seem more like a portable toy than a high-powered gaming machine. There was a choice immediately to be made, and you either walked away, or (like myself), not only rolled with it but cracked a big smile. The Gamecube may be the most “Nintendo” console the company has ever made, and those who stuck around were treated to the kind of fun magic not to be found anywhere else. Experimentation like a cel-shaded Zelda, Marios’s FLUDD, and the very idea of a 3D Metroid game not only working but blowing people away, cemented Nintendo’s desire to innovate. The mood was contagious, with companies like Capcom pushing the limits of weirdness with titles like Viewtiful Joe and Killer 7, and Resident Evil 4 took the series in an awesome direction that would shape the franchise for years to come. The Gamecube may not have had the packed library of its competitors, but what it did have were destined to become classics. Even the controller has garnered its share of fierce loyalty, with many Smash Bros. players (loads of whom still put Melee at the top of their list) preferring its eccentricities to a more standard device. The Gamecube didn’t try to be cool; it was comfortable with what it was, and from the moment the iconic startup screen sounds its familiar tones (unless you found one of several easter eggs), one can’t help but be endeared all over again. (Patrick Murphy)

#11  #10  #9  #8  #7  #6  #5  #4  #3  #2  #1 

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