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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Nintendo's least successful consoles all have one thing in common

They also have another thing in common: Underrated amazing games that were better than their Mario counterparts:
Ogre Battle 64, Bayonetta 2 and Eternal Darkness.



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I always thought Eternal Darkness was one of the most overrated pieces of crap I have ever played. Did not like. Ogre Battle 64 was great. The best game on the N64, IMHO, was Banjo Kazooie.

Personally I think different things killed Nintendo's consoles.  

N64: pricing was the main driver.  ps1 games were $40, N64 launched at $70.  That is almost double.  I bought way more ps1 games because they were cheaper, and only hit Nintendo's big hitters.

Gamecube: launch lineup was very weak, and I say this as somebody who loves Luigi's Mansion.  But LM isn't a system seller.  The lack of DVD playback played a massive role, that was a big selling point for the ps2.  

Wii U: Terrible controller, terrible price, terrible name, terrible launch lineup.  It had nothing going for it.  

Last edited by Chrkeller - on 15 October 2019

I second that, eternal darkness is very overrated being a horror fan I wanted to love that game, but the combat is very boring the levels are very small and generic, I still don’t get the high praise it got and still gets, overall Nintendo was at their worst with the GameCube and rare wasn’t there anymore to save them. On the contrary I think nintendo’s And rare’s output was great during the n64 era the problem was the 3rd party support, zero fighting games like street fighter alpha or kof, no rpgs which were very high on demand during that time, no arcade ports, no mature games like mgs ,etc, you basically only had 3D platform and adventure games.i never owned a Wii U so I can’t say why it failed.



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.

On the other hand, the most successful Nintendo systems don't have Mischief Makers, Tales of Symphonia or The Wonderful 101.



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gamingsoul said:
I second that, eternal darkness is very overrated being a horror fan I wanted to love that game, but the combat is very boring the levels are very small and generic, I still don’t get the high praise it got and still gets, overall Nintendo was at their worst with the GameCube and rare wasn’t there anymore to save them. On the contrary I think nintendo’s And rare’s output was great during the n64 era the problem was the 3rd party support, zero fighting games like street fighter alpha or kof, no rpgs which were very high on demand during that time, no arcade ports, no mature games like mgs ,etc, you basically only had 3D platform and adventure games.i never owned a Wii U so I can’t say why it failed.

Street Fighter Alpha wasn't able to be put on the console due to the controller. The transitions on the face buttons weren't possible because that big green button was in the middle. You can see this even with the most basic Street Fighter 2 game on the SNES Virtual console using a Gamecube controller plugged into the Wii.

I concur with your opinion on Eternal Darkness. It was a fascinating concept, but the game failed to capture the spirit of the periods it tried to cover. The sanity meter was a tacked-on gimmick at best (there's a game called Don't Starve Together that does it MUCH better). Gameplaywise apart from the terrible controls, it had some of the most horrendous balancing I have ever seen outside of a Marvel 2D beat-em-up game.



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

Offtopic but I'm surprised to see so many people here bashing Eternal Darkness. I actually never beat that game to be honest, a friend lent it to me but I couldn't finish it by the time he wanted it back. Still, I thought it was amazing. Coming from RE 1-3, I thought the scares and the ambiance of the game was just superb. Maybe it's just my nostalgia speaking but I would love to play it again and beat it. Too bad Nintendo owns it and they've done nothing with it for years and years.



Partly agree with this notion, but I tend to think there are a few bigger key reasons these consoles failed relatively speaking:

- Just a lack of software of ANY kind

- Much of the software that DID exist tended to have a limited appeal

- Odd hardware with odd controllers

It's a shame because I actually really like the N64 and GameCube (not so much the Wii U). 64 is still the best machine when it comes to local multi IMO, and I like the Cube for all its more obscure 2nd and 3rd party titles in additon to it still having probably the BEST version of Smash. 



 

"We hold these truths t-be self-ful evident. All men and women created by the.. Go-you know the.. you know the thing!" - Joe Biden

I think N64 had the best local multiplayer until the Wii came along. Games like Warioware Smooth Moves, Rock Band, Guitar Hero, and Just Dance redefined the idea of “party game” and took local multiplayer to levels not seen before; and those were just some of the front runners. There was also a significant rise in co-op multiplayer (Lego games, Mario Galaxy, Monster Hunter, and New Super Mario Bros), while the competitive gaming experiences remained: updates of Smash, Mario Party, various sports games (Wii Sports, Mario and Sonic, Tiger Woods, etc...), and more FPSs than any Nintendo consoles to that point.

That said, I think the Switch is on track to beat the Wii. It’s lacking in some fields (it doesn’t have a robust party game lineup) but co-op and competitive multiplayer games have had nice updates - Stardew Valley, Minecraft, and the upcoming Animal Crossing game (local co-op on handhelds only to this point).

Not to mention DS and 3DS also outclassed the N64 for local multiplayer IMO. I think Dragon Quest 9 might have been the first local multiplayer game I exceeded 100 hours on for one save (and I ultimate passed 250). Not to mention each had 8 player Mario Kart (Switch can do up to 8 or 12 depending on if you have a dock or WiFi present). There’s also Pokémon coming to the Switch. Splatoon, Fortnight, and Overwatch. Etc... Switch is on a roll.



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

There's not really much correlation there.

If the N64 had used CDs + carts, it would have outsold the NES and SNES ... take away virtually all of the 3rd party content from the NES and SNES and neither probably sells even 33 million units.

Those are three different systems that had three very different sets of problems.