: GameCube And GameBoy Advance, My Opinion.

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GameCube And GameBoy Advance, My Opinion.


Ever since those 8 Bit days of Nintendo and the never forgotten 16 Bit days of SNES, Nintendo has left such a great mark in my videogaming heart that I will never forget. NES brought me games like Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, Mario 1-3 and Zelda. Those were some of the best 8 Bit videogames that I have ever played. Then Nintendo made a big leap to the 16 Bit world with their undefeatable Super Nintendo. The Super NES brought us the games that defied the pinnacle margin in their respective category. Zelda: A Link To The Past is without a doubt one of my top ten most memorable gaming experiences ever, as well as one of my favorite games. Street Fighter 2 Turbo was one of the best fighting games and most memorized fighting games that I have played too. Chrono Trigger was the mother of RPG's and is said by millions to be greatest videogame ever made. The Final Fantasy series kept on moving on the SNES and sold as crazy as ever. Mario even saw his very own RPG game produced by SquareSoft. Killer Instinct was the one game that pushed the SNES to its boundaries along with the unforgettable Donkey Kong Adventure that was the very first SNES game to use pre-rendered backgrounds. For years and years Nintendo was on top of the videgaming industry, even though the industry was mostly constructed of Sega and Nintendo. Sega Genesis and SNES were neck and neck, both systems offered tons of great games but after Sega's maniacal peripheral scheme Genesis quickly lost it's edge and sank like the Titanic.

Nintendo was on a power trip of their lives, nothing could stop them now. That is when they decided to reveal their new machine the Ultra 64 (later renamed to Nintendo 64). This gaming machine was capable of doing 180,000 polygons, 64 Bit power, CD quality sound, and used 35 Meg cartridges. N64 saw a lot of delays that caused furious gamers to drop their cash and purchase another system but they were still confident that this new 64 Bit powerhouse would do the job especially because Final Fantasy VII was being planned to be created on N64. The N64 launched in October of 1996, frantic gamers picked the system up along with a copy of Mario 64. After the holidays, gamers quickly were bored of their "fun machine", why is this happening, why are gamers using their beaten Mario 64 game as a hockey puck? The answer is easy, Nintendo's first-rate third party publishers dropped to single digits, because the N64 was expensive to develop for, and the cartridge gave developers only 35 measly megs to work with. Companies like Capcom, Namco and the other big boys boldly left development for N64 (with the exception of one to two games) and went to the CD medium based consoles the Sega Saturn and Sonly Playstation. As publishers left so did the many Nintendo fans, and very quickly N64 could be found in the used bin for around $165. 

But where is Square, are they still with Nintendo or not? The answer to this question is not! Square barely got 5% of Final Fantasy VII developed for the N64 and left Nintendo for good and made the choice to program for Sony over Sega. But Nintendo loyalists were still keeping faith that maybe one of these days a miracle would occur and Square would still do something. A just few months later (around December 96) Square finally revealed their brand new Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy VII and it would be coming exclusively to the Playstation. "Bye bye" were the words Nintendo was hearing from their former fans who have traded their N64's for a shiny new Playstation and a reserved copy of Final Fantasy VII. I'll admit that I wasn't a Sony fan from the start and I first fell in love the console around May of 97 when Final Fantasy mayhem was sweeping Japan. But anyways, Sony's CD system the Playstation quickly became the most popular system on the market while Nintendo was sniffing Sega's butt in third place. Final Fantasy VII launches, Sony gains lots of fans and PS units sell like hot cakes. Year after year after year the number of Playstations shipped around the world grew rapidly until Sony's numbers reached 80 million units and most of them sold. Meanwhile Nintendo had around 30 million units shipped and Sega's Saturn was out of the race selling only 20 million units in total. 

Sony quickly replaced Nintendo's fame and pride by being the most known videogaming console in the world and was also graced the title as best selling video console ever, having NES in second place. The tables have turned as Nintendo has quickly been "kicked off the island" and Sony has risen and became the "survivor" (sorry about the puns). After all the success Sony hints that a new Playstation is the works. Months pass by and September 17 hits when Sony reveals their new Playstation 2. Audiences all over the world were speechless, the PS2 was capable of producing 77 million polygons, 20-25 million with effects turned on. Everything is about Sony, as the media were all talking about Playstation 2 and its raw power. The PS2 hype has now officially started as the system is planned to be released March 4, 2000 in Japan. The Japanese launch was less than extraordinary to say the least, but the future games like Tekken Tag, Dead or Alive 2, FIFA World Soccer, Armored Core 2, Gun Griphon Blaze and Dynasty Warriors 2 would soon be available, so there was no worry. The PS2's DVD player helped Sony sell nearly one million Playstation 2's in two days, no system was ever capable of doing that and it seems as if the only company that can do that is Sony themselves. After E3 many new revelations to the US PS2 were made, but Nintendo still didn't showcase their new machine code named the "Dolphin". Nintendo says that they will reveal their new console at the Space World exhibit this year.

August 23rd hits and Space World arrives, Nintendo reveals the new and anticipated Game Boy Advance, personally I liked what I saw, I think it looks great. But lets focus on another unveiling that Nintendo made and that was their new system called the Game Cube. Gay Cube... ahem excuse me Game Cube is about the size of two Dreamcasts stocked on each other and about as wide as one as well. The Game Cube is a 6x 6x 3.3 system that is in the shape of what else, a cube. What I want to know is what the hell was Nintendo on when they decided to design this horribly ugly looking console that is in the shape of a SQUARE! You've got the stylish looking PS2 and the thin and compact Dreamcast which can fit into almost any standard backpack. Then we have this monstrosity here that is the Game Cube, which is without a doubt aimed at young children primarily because of the system's fruity color choices. Black, Gold and Silver are okay but Pink, Red and Purple spell D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R. The visuals are nothing that I haven't seen done before on Dreamcast or Playstation 2, the tech demos that they showed didn't wow me as much as Sonic Adventure, and Soul Calibur did on the Dreamcast did, and those visuals didn't come anywhere near visuals of Dark Cloud, Kessen, Dynasty Warriors 2, or Summoner. Besides, Nintendo says that their system is capable of doing 10-12 million polygons with effects turned on, and Playstation 2 can do 20-25 million polygons, you do the math folks. If any Nintendo fans are reading and are even thinking of e-mailing about anti-aliasing, someone help you that I don't come after you with an ugly stick. The PS2 can do anti-aliasing, games like The Summoner are already running with AA turned on. There I probably saved myself a couple of dozen of E-mails. 

Nintendo seems like they have blew it already, their console hasn't hit markets yet but their Game Cube will again suffer from lack of space. Nintendo's medium will be mini-DVDs, while that may sound cool and all think again. These mini-DVDs only hold 1.5 gigs of memory which is a mere 500 megs above Dreamcast and around 4 gigs less than what standard DVD discs can do. There is even a bigger problem and this one is a financial one, to my knowledge mini-DVD discs are not available on any market today and that means that Nintendo and Matsushita (Panasonic) have exclusive holds to the mini-DVDs. This is where the money part comes in, the N64 was a cartridge based system and the only company that manufactured cartridges was Nintendo, so that means in order to create a game for N64, publishers would have to license "X" amount of cartridges only from Nintendo, and cartridges are extremely expensive because of what they contain. So when a game doesn't do well on the market and the publisher has all of these un-needed plastic boxes they have lost thousand of hundreds of dollars. This is the very same case with Game Cube, game companies again may have to license out these mini-DVDs in order to create a game and yet again if all doesn't go well they [the companies] have left over coasters with holes in them. Nintendo has once again screwed up, is it me or do I sense some deja vu? Just like Nintendo 64, Game Cube will be lacking in storage space and will once again force companies to license out the medium. 

Nintendo not only revealed the atrociously looking Gay Cube... damn it, Game Cube but they also revealed the incredibly slim and Game Boy Advance. Game Boy has sold nearly one hundred million units and I'm pretty sure that 50-60 percent of you gamers reading this own or have owned a Game Boy in the past. Game Boy Advance really surprises me with its great looking graphics, size and most of all large screen. The Game Boy Color's screen was a bit petite and Nintendo seems to have fixed that by making the screen a lot bigger and detailed. I'm really looking forward to Game Boy Advance because it finally gives me the chance to play games with better graphics, 3D visuals, and best of all the power is not matched by any other handheld out there. Take a look at Mario Kart Advance which is currently 55% done, the graphics may be a step behind the N64 version's, but they are far ahead of SNES'. The GBA cartridges will be nearly the same size as the regular Game Boy's now. I have played every handheld, Lynx, Game.Com, Game Gear, Game Boy (Pocket and Color) and Neo Geo Pocket Color, I have always loved the incredible color of Game Gear but it was a battery gobbler and pretty large, the Game.Com had horrible games for it, Game Boy's games were too plain and boring, the one handheld that is amazing is the Neo Geo Pocket Color. The handheld system had far better visuals than Game Boy Color, the batteries had a better life span and the games were trei bien. Pocket Color right now sells for about $60-65 and has a great variety of games for it even SNK vs Capcom and Sonic Pocket Adventure. The only handheld that I have actually enjoyed was the Neo Geo Pocket Color and it seems as if the handheld may have some sturdy competition because Game Boy Advance may be every bit as good as Pocket Color. 

The point of this article was also to talk about PS2's future and how Game Cube will affect it. I think that Game Cube won't even get near PS2, not only in terms of sales, but performance wise as well. The Game Cube has only one advantage over the PS2 as far as I know, and that is that Game Cube is 400 MhZ and PS2 is 300 MhZ, not a very big or important factor at all. Future PS2 owners don't worry, the PS2 has everything it takes to be on top of the gaming industry once more. I hope you guys enjoyed this little piece of writing, if you have comments send them over and I'll hook you up on the next letters page.

8/26/2000 SolidSnake

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