Chapter 4 : Pros & Cons of the Nintendo GameCube

The Nintendo GameCube has been around for quite some time now.  It has never gained the popularity of some of its rival game systems.  This should not steer you away from this game system.

The Nintendo GameCube is the predecessor of the Nintendo 64.  This system would be a perfect gift for that first time gamer.  This game system is on the leasexpensive side of video game systems currently out on the market.  You can find the Nintendo GameCube at several retail stores for an average price of $99.99.

Although this system does not have the high tech qualities of the Playstation or Xbox, it does offer some quality games and accessories to add to on once you have purchased the video game.

If your child is too old for the Vtech or LeapFrog video systems, this would be a great choice for them.  It is a simple gaming system that is basically built for playing games and that’s it.  It does not play DVD’s or CD’s and is not compatible with your MP3 player.  This is one of the reasons the price is so reasonable, you get what you pay for.

The GameCube is very compact and plays a unique 3.5” game disc.  This provides a minimal amount of load time.  This proves to be popular with anxious players.  The GameCube’s mini compact discs have 1.5 GB of storage.  The disc drive and the processor work together with such a fast speed the load time is hardly noticeable.

The GameCube comes with four controller ports plus expansion ports for add-ons.  The basic package for the Nintendo GameCube includes:

  • Nintendo GameCube (generally comes in black, but does offer a blue system and currently out is the platinum GameCube).
  • AV cables
  • Power Cord/ AC adapter
  • One controller

There are GameCubes that can be purchased in bundles.  These usually come with two games of the same background and two controllers.  Presently Nintendo is offering a gamers bundle with a sports theme.  The price range for the bundles can cost around $120.00.

The Nintendo GameCube controller provides the crucial connection between the player and the game.  Two analog Control Sticks, a built-in rumble feature and an awesome design will ensure the controller plays and feels perfect.

There are several accessories that can enhance the GameCube.

  • 56K Modem Adapter
  • Broadband Adapter
  • Nintendo GameCube Memory Card
  • Wavebird Wireless Controller
  • Different colored GameCube controllers

With these many accessories the Nintendo GameCube can be fully capable of supporting online play.  The Broadband Adapter can also be used for LAN play in games that have been designed with that feature.

Nintendo also offers a handheld game system called the Game Boy Advance, which you will be learning about in a different chapter.  If you were to purchase the Nintendo GameCube and the Nintendo Game Boy Advance, you could have endless possibilities of play.  The Game Boy Advance can be used as a controller with a private screen on it.  This would be used with games that support this capability.  The Game Boy Advance is easily connected directly into the GameCube.

With a younger age group of children using the Nintendo GameCube you can be sure there are a number of child friendly games available.  Good games without violent or questionable content are out there, but they are sometimes hard to find.  These games are labeled E for Everyone.  Here is a list of child safe games along with a brief explanation of them.

  • Pikmin- This game puts you in control of a tiny alien trying to rebuild his crashed spaceship with the help of little creatures.  Pikmin is simple enough for the younger children to enjoy and deep enough for an older child or an adult to play.
  • Pikmin 2- This game is similar to the first but adds a couple of extra features.  Pikmin 2 adds a multiplayer mode that does not exist in the first.  This is excellent for parent and child to play the game together.
  • Animal Crossing- This game will appeal to any age group.  Animal Crossing makes a member of the town where you can send letters, fish; decorate your house, and plant trees.  The seasons change is this real life game, which keeps your child interested in the different settings.
  • Super Monkey Ball- You guide a monkey in a ball through several obstacles.  The concept is easy and is available in multiplayer.
  • Super Monkey Ball 2- This version of the game comes with different levels.  This offers a different level of play and they will have fun challenging themselves through the new obstacles.
  • Mario Kart Double Dash- This is a racing game that is very easy to control and learn.  You can use turtle shells to knock your opponent off the course.  This game also can be played in multiplayer mode to include parent and child interaction.
  • Donkey Kong Jungle Beat- This game comes with a set of bongos you can plug into your GameCube.  Your child must beat on the drum to play the game.
  • Super Mario sunshine- Mario is one of the most popular figures in the video game industry.  In this particular game Mario is forced to use water cannon to clean up mud at a beach resort.  This game is one of the more challenging, due to the fact of Mario having to jump from one platform to another while performing his tasks.
  • Legend of Zelda- The Wind Walker- Your child’s character will battle monsters with his sword.  This game has a certain level of violence, but there is no blood.  This may be geared toward an older child who wants a little more depth in his gaming.

For the more experienced gamers the recent announcement of the Nintendo Wii is just in time for the holiday season.  This next generation game console will officially be released in the United States on November 19th, 2006.  This console is selling at a retail price for $249.99.

The Nintendo Wii will be bundled with a copy of Wii Sports.  This bundle will include:

  • One white Wii console
  • Cables
  • Sensor bar
  • One Wiimote
  • One Nunchuk
  • Wii Sports- which includes versions of boxing, bowling, tennis, baseball, and golf

The Wii games will sell for an average of $49.99, and you can also purchase extra controllers for the game system.

The Wii will have up to date features to serve different purposes.

  • Wii Channels- the Wii will have access to weather and news broadcast.  You can download additional game content, with a small fee.
  • You can also send and receive messages for other Wii users.

Nintendo expects to release 30 titles at the time of the launch of the Wii.

For the parents who have older children that crave a more exciting game to dominate, there is a list of the top ten GameCube games available now.

  • Zelda:  Twilight Princess- The princess returns to a darker atmosphere during the era of Ocarina of Time.  This game is said to be the best Zelda game on the market.
  • Fire Emblem:  Path of Radiance- A classic game that can intrigue even the most experienced gamers.
  • Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix- This is a physically active dancing game that will offer several mini games.
  • Killer 7- This game offers distinct graphics with an unusual experience.
  • Harvest Moon-Another Wonderful Life- This game takes you through a farming and life simulator as a female.
  • Yoot Saito’s Odama- This is a mix of pinball, puzzle games, and strategy.
  • Geist- This game it from a rat’s point of view, jumping from person to person.  The graphics and concept are very well put together.
  • X-Men Legends II- Rise of the Apocalypse- This game contains deep combat and a very interesting story.  This also has a great co-op multiplayer.  The game allows up to four players to play simultaneously.
  • Battalion Wars- This game offers real time strategy with action.  You can control individual units or command squads.
  • Prince of Persia 3- This is a classic game that comes back for round three.

There always has to be long awaited new releases just in time for the holidays.  Here are a couple of the hottest titles and anticipated release dates.

  • Madden NFL 07- release date: 8/22/2006
  • Lego Star Wars II The Original Trilogy- release date: 9/12/2006

Nintendo always seem to know when it is the right time to release their newest high tech game systems.  Whether you decide to purchase to GameCube or the Wii, you will get your moneys worth.

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