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I don't want to go on a rant here, but I thought the N64 wasn't too bad with its first-party games. But I do agree that the Gamecube and Wii U felt the weakest and least creative from a first-party standpoint. Granted, neither console was terrible, and IMO each had one of my favourite Nintendo games of all time: Gamecube with Animal Crossing and Wii U with Xenoblade Chronicles X. But neither console had much else appealed on it.

Sure I see fans that claim Celda, Mario Cart Cubed, and Sunshine were great games, to each their own; but, I didn't find them to be such. Something about them felt very monotonous and lacking variety compared to the bigger games in their respective franchises. They each focused on a gimmick that wasn't particularly compelling. For some people, Zelda's art style is the reason they like it best, fair enough, but IMO: incredibly shallow and one-dimensional reasoning. Similarly, on Mario Kart 8 on Wii U was simply a decent Mario Kart upgrade over the Wii version, but something about it Wasnt enough to replace Mario Kart Wii as the Mario Kart game of preference; it took the Switch to do that, the portability of the Switch made it a killer app.

Part of the flaw of the Gamecube was that its library was a decline from the N64. Celda was no Ocarina of Time; it wasn't even Majora's Mask. Mario Kart Cube failed to replace Mario Kart 64 as the Mario Kart game of choice. Sunshine was a joke compared to 64. Meanwhile, looking forward to the Wii, while Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword each failed to impress, Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 became the new main 3D Mario games, Super Mario Kart Wii became the new Mario Kart game, and then there was a wave of old and new games coming to the console to really fill out the genres and in a way not before seen on a Nintendo home console.

Calling Gamecube, N64, and Wii U narrow consoles... I can agree with that. The experiences weren't as varied, fresh, or exciting as the NES, SNES, Wii, or Switch. I am finding the Switch has become Nintendo's most software-robust console of all time, and I was a man who was once a kid who got very excitable around NES, SNES, N64 (at first), and Wii.

For the record, I think cartridges were the primary issue with N64: it made for long dev times around space constraints, hefty expenses (N64 games routinely cost 2-3X more than PSX games, and even Dreamcast games when it came out), alienating third parties who needed the extra space (notably Square, Enix, and Konami), many games ended up with ugly compression issues (see Shadows of the Empire, gross!) and audio suffered: in most cases SNES games had superior sound to N64 games.

One other issue I had with both Gamecube and Wii U were the controllers. They are the only two controllers that seemed to constrain gameplay more than add news ways to interface with it. Gamecube took away a functional D-pad, ruined the face buttons, and that Z-trigger is more difficult to find than a bra hook; not to mention the controller was small and crampy on action games (I always got these pains in the side of my hand when playing Mario Kart for more than 15 minutes). Wii U, that giant gamepad, had a screen that added nothing except a gimmicky touch interface that was incredibly intrusive, it was like DS done terribly. Also, with the Gamepad, asymmetric gameplay was never going to work; it was a one controller console.

In the end, and I experienced all of these generations first hand, I think there wasn't much excitement around Gamecube or Wii U, while all the other consoles (including N64) had a lot of excitement around them. I will note, that the enthusiasm for the N64 died out within a year, that system had other issues that weren't entirely apparent yet (cartridges!). In my opinion, the second most exciting game for N64 was never released.

Anyway, that was a rant. I'm done.

Last edited by Jumpin - on 15 October 2019

I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.