Wednesday night I picked up my very own Nintendo GameCube. I should start the story a tad earlier than that... Tuesday nights are my regular bowling night, but everyone else had something else to do. So instead of being the lone bowler, I went to my local Best Buy to check out the GC for the first time. They had a sale going on where if you buy 3 games you get $20 off, so I thought to myself, "you know you're gonna get this one day, pick up some games while they are on sale." So I walked out with three games: Luigi's Mansion, Star Wars: Rouge Leader, and Tony Hawk 3. That night I read the reviews of my choices (on IGN.com) and decided I should swap out the one player Luigi for the multi-player Super Monkey Ball.
So the next night (back to Wednesday) I went out for an evening with my wife, and while at dinner I convinced her to go to Best Buy again with me and exchange games. And then while in the store I win her over to the idea of getting the whole system as well. But just my luck they are sold out.
So then we try Electronics Boutique (no link for them, just read on...). No luck there either because they are sold out as well. While there the sales clerk alerts me that if they did have some in-stock that he would not be able to sell me just the console. That I'd have to purchase one of their bundles. So what's in a bundle? GameCube console, 3 games (of my choice), Controller, and Memory Card. That would be perfect because I do want all of those item if it wasn't for two things. 1) Price. You get no discount for buying all the items together, and compared to some stores regular price you are even paying $5 more for their bundle than if you bought all items separately. For the 3 games alone Best Buy gave me a discount. I like that. 2) This big problem for me is that the bundle *had* to include an InterAct controller. I don't want to have the red-headed-step-child of controllers! I want standard everything. One well put comment on IGN's Letters page referring to this bundled controller is "I have no intention of playing 'who gets to use the weird controller' with all my friends". That comment states exactly how I feel.
So out the door we were and onto the local game store Games For Less (support your local game store!). They are a bunch of deadbeat and close early so they lost our money.
So we hit Toy's R Us next. And I go in and ask the kid at the video game counter, "Do you have any GameCubes for sale?" And his response was, "Well, we have some in the back that I'm not allowed to sell. But I'll sell you one. What color do you want." "Black" was my obvious response. Now looking at this kid I think to myself, "yea right you are selling me something you are not supposed to. You're only like 16. You've been working here for *maybe* a week because you don't even have an official name tag yet." None the less it was funny that he tried to impress me. I did get the Cube so I am all set.
If you care for my thoughts about the GameCube, here they are: It's rocks. But all new game systems rock because they are each better than it's predecessor. The GameCube system is 10 times quieter than my Sega Dreamcast (which is a great system, especially when you take into mind it's only $50 now). It's small too! I can palm the GC no problem. Have you seen the Xbox? It's huge, about the size of a VCR. A friend of mine who has it says it's heavier than his VCR as well. The GC has great graphic and the load time isn't bad. Much better than the Dreamcast. One gripe I have about the GC is the power cord. The old NES's power cord had the big black box on the end right as you plug it into the wall. I'm sure, like myself, many people hate those black boxes due to how troublesome they are with fitting well with other plugs on power strips and such devices. So the big N switched the design on the N64 and had the black box on the back of the system. I think this was a great idea, but it makes the system a little larger. Not a bad drawback though. Well, with the GC and it's extreme smallness they couldn't have a bit black box plugging into the back of the system (even though they can have a handle (&$%@!???)), so what they did was put a big black box right in the middle of the cord. I've seen this done with other devices such as printers and such, but Nintendo's black box is about 3 times the size of the other's I've seen, which is about twice the size of the old NES black box. This black box may not be a problem for all, but with my entertainment center setup it's in the way. The controller for the most part is cool as well, but it has two faults. 1) It's rumbles all the time, I think it should have the ability to turn this off (some games might have this option, but it should be at the hardware level as well). and 2) The controller has 4 main buttons for the right thumb to use: A (large and round), B (small and round), X and Y (small and kidney-bean-shaped). The A button is the main focus and primary button in most games. The B button is the secondary button, with the X and Y as extra buttons (the B, X, and Y buttons all surround the A button). But with games like Tony Hawk 3 the B, X, and Y buttons all function at the same level (all three are trick buttons, each used to perform different styles of tricks), but the B button just doesn't feel the same, so I ignore it and sometimes hit the X button instead. I just need to adjust to this.
Another grip I have is not about the GameCube, but one of it's games. Tony Hawk 3. First let me state that if TH3 was not for sale for GC that I would not of bought my GC. And possibly of never of boughten a GC. That's how much of a fan I am of the series, I own both TH1 and TH2 for Dreamcast. But with this latest edition to the game series I have one problem. Each time you set a high score, complete and objective, or set a record the game asks you if you would like to save your progress, and after you select "Yes" (default) the memory card is accessed and then you are prompted asking if you want to overwrite the current saved information, but this time "No" is the default response, so I can't just hit my button through all these steps, I have to make sure I change the selection to "Yes" each time. Not a big deal, but it has gotten to be a nagging process. Other than that, great job Neversoft!