Rayman 3

I recently bought Rayman 3 for GameCube. I paid fifteen euros for it. This is a very nice price and the disc was in good condition. I am also glad that unlike my PS2 and original Xbox consoles my Nintendo GameCube seems to be working at least at the moment. I have owned GameCube maybe for two years already and I haven’t had a critical issue with it.

If you know something already about Rayman series of video games you definitely know that the first game was a pure two-dimensional platformer type of game that also had some medium difficulty level problems or puzzles that you as a player had to go through and solve. The first Rayman game was described to be a hard game to compplete. It was released for Atari Jaguar, PlayStation, Sega Saturn and MS-DOS.

Back in 1995 it was still unclear if video games would actually be fully three-dimensional when it comes to gameplay and graphics. But when Rayman 3 was released for GameCube in 2003 it was clear that it would be a 3D platformer game. This was the direction in which video were clearly moving.

I have to say that this is a very good game. You have some action in it and also some puzzle solving. I haven’t fully completed the game but I have played it for maybe 4 to 5 hours when I’m writing this blog post. It takes about nine hours to complete Rayman 3. So, I have a lot to play still.

While Rayman 3 is a very good game there are some things that kind of disappoint me. This has everything to do with the game being a bit old after all. There have been many advancements in the field of game development since Rayman 3 was released. The camera is most of the time on a nice angle but sometimes it gets a bit frustrating to adjust it. Also figthing scenes are also frustrating since the aiming system is a bit wack. You have to really try and handle the main character when there is a battle going on with some of the game’s enemy characters.

Graphics still look nice. The game is a nice addition to my collection of Nintendo GameCube games. It’s hard to actually realize that the game is now over 20 years old. The GameCube’s controller fits perfectly to the needs of the player that is involved with Rayman 3.

The latest Rayman games I have seen were released as some sort of platformers for PS4. I haven’t, yet, played a Rayman game on the newest consoles, like Xbox Series X or Nintendo Switch. Of course the game is designed also so it can be played also by the youngest players we have – little kids. The game is also suitable for a grown up. This is definitely a plus for this game and it has gained many fans through the years.

Rayman 3 can be frustrating at times but in overall the game feels nice to play. It offers you a decent three-dimensional experience and some nice action that you can be involved in. It is a good buy for a Nintendo GameCube collector and I can recommend it to every retro game fan out there.

A Retro Gaming Book About Nintendo GameCube

Yesterday I got to add a new retro game book to my collection of books. It is the book about GameCube, “GameCube Anthology”. This book is published by Geeks Line Publishing. I was very content when I found out that this book was available very easily from a well-known Finnish web shop. Now, I am not going to advertise here. Let’s just say that it was easily available. The price was 42 euros with the shipping.

There has been a lot of conversation about GameCube lately. It is a very popular console among collectors. This anthology consists of 360 pages. It is written in English. Through these pages the book tells the reader about technology and how the process of developing the console formed. There are games presented. Actually ALL games that were released, that makes the total of 647 games. It includes games that were exclusively released in Japan, USA or Europe. So, this is all good information for a GameCube collector.

I am not so familiar with Geeks Line Publishing. I did find also a book about Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES for short, and a book about Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or SNES. These both are available from the same web shop. I figured I am most interested currently in GameCube, so I picked this one up. Although a book about NES or SNES would sound interesting to me, also. As I browse through this publishers website I find that they have published similar books about other retro game consoles like PlayStation. All these books seem to be targeted for a collector.

GameCube is a very interesting system. It brings me closer to the feel of 2000s retro games that have this particular combination of game play and 3D graphics. I don’t have so many games currently for this system. I have all in all about maybe 15 or 20 games for GameCube. I have the remake of the first Resident Evil and RE zero, Super Mario Sunshine, Need For Speed Underground and Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4, just to name some games. There were several kind of “new” and “wild” ideas concerning the design of GameCube. First of all the controller was something other than those Dual Shock or original Xbox controllers we were used to. It was also something different to have these small 1,4 GB game discs instead of DVD game discs that had 4,7 GB of space for the game. There was no hard disk. You had to use a memory card. There were also four spots for a controller, so, you could play multiplayer on only one screen.

Why Nintendo did these decisions with the design? I think they probably wanted to stand out and create something unique that gaming fans would love. In my thinking this was a success. How otherwise would you still be playing these GameCube’s games after over 20 years since its release. GameCube sold almost 22 million units. It was manufactured between 2001 and 2007. GameCube was facing tough competition from Sony’s PlayStation 2, original Xbox and of course from Sega’s Dreamcast, that sold “only” 9 million units worldwide. PS2 was  the greatest gaming system back then when it comes to sold units. It sold over 150 million units.

I am hoping to read this book soon. I am currently reading some other stuff also. It definitely seems promising. Maybe I even figure some new games that I would like to add to my collection. It’s just that these games prices are a bit high right now. So, it’s not a good idea to spend all your money to GameCube games. Maybe we will get a GameCube mini console, soon, who knows?

Some More Hype for The GameCube Gaming Console

The game I have been playing lately is Medal of Honor – Frontline for GameCube. I managed to get a copy of this game and it’s a cheap purchase. If you consider the hype that surrounds GameCube nowadays the price for this game was low. I have seen many GC games sold for hundreds of euros. I am not going that way…at least not yet.

What do I think about the game? It’s a nice and kind of early first person shooter. There was a  Medal of Honor released also at the same time for PC. They somehow wanted to separate the console version from PC version. This happened in 2002.

GameCube controller brings this games input a bit more sensitive. It is although far from perfect. If you compare this FPS game to what we see and feel today it is not even decent experience. But I am not a person that purely rates games and especially when they are retro games. You got to just give props to the makers. It has been over twenty years and a game that you can play today is valuable in this way in my opinion.

We can take Halo and compare it to Medal of Honor – Frontline. Where Halo wins is the smoothness of controlment. Just the way that your crosshair moves over the screen feels magical. I think Halo was the first FPS that actually worked very nicely in this matter.

I somehow still like the feel of this game because it just brings so many memories to my mind. If the controlling is a bit clumsy there are still elements in this game that I like.

I have many other games for GameCube. It’s a nice gaming console. The controller is unbeliavable especially when you consider that it’s over 20 years old. If you like retro gaming I can definitely recommend for you to get yourself a GameCube.

The Enemy of My Dear Hobby

Where should I begin. Firstly I must admit that I am frustrated with this issue. GameCube seems to be very popular retro gaming system right now. It has been maybe six moths that I bought this console. GameCube was released in 2002 in Europe. So this console might be 20 years old. Who knows, exactly?

Of course the hardware has its limitations. It would be much nicer if I could just rip the games that I have to a rom file and install for example Batocera or some other Linux OS to any computer that meets the system requirements to play these GameCube games. Currently there is no solution like this. There is nobody selling any kind of hardware to ripping your roms to be used by you only…and you already own these games!

Small gaming stores have a responsibility. But that responsibility for me is very limited. I understand that they can only give you a guarantee of one or maybe three months. But where are the experts that are able to repair these old gaming consoles?

What is my issue here? The answer is that my GameCube refuses to handle game discs properly. I have already cleaned the disc reader very carefully. I did that once. After that the console worked just fine…for maybe an hour! I have also unplugged the power and AV cables and plugged them in again. This also makes GameCube do something but it clearly isn’t the right solution.

This is the same problem I had also with my original Xbox and my older PS2. Both of these machines are out of use and I am keeping them in a storage right now. These consoles are definitely of a low quality. If you compare these devices to for example my Xbox 360 or my PSOne you definitely get the picture.

These problems make me think once again if its really comfortable to spend so much effort to getting an old physical device to run your retro games on. It makes me, and maybe even you, consider buying some newer hardware. But why, oh why, aren’t there a solution here for us retro heads? Why can’t you make a new GameCube mini console? Or maybe a device that we could rip our games to another device or computer?

GameCube is right now a popular device. For a while ago I also bought a HDMI adapterto my GameCube. There are plenty of games available right now. Prices of these games are also high. There seems to be a certain appeal to this system. And I defionitely would like to play these types of games.

We are desperately waiting for Nintendo or maybe some other party to release a better console for playing the games of this system. I can guarantee that it would make you some money. And please…make it available also in where I live and that is of course, Finland.

Games That Are Too Repetitive?

There are some good things about Nintendo GameCube and then there are some bad things about it too. I lately got this gaming console. I decided to remove Nintendo Wii from my setup for now. Wii might have been great but I just didn’t have time or inspiration to get into the games that I bought for it deeply. I did play GameCube games on it and went and bought GameCube. Now I have many games, two controllers and a memory card for it.

I absolutely love how the original game pad of GameCube works. The layout is way different from regular PlayStation and Xbox game pads layouts. It’s once again a case of Nintendo being original. I like the format in which games are delivered. GameCube is from the generation of consoles that includes original Xbox, PS2 and Dreamcast.

There are however some things about GameCube that I don’t like. I am not using, at the moment, the digital output of my GameCube since I don’t have the necessary adapters or cables. I have a 4K capable television and I have to say this – the graphics look crappy. I just have to adjust to this. An attitude of not taking it too seriously and thinking that this definitely is a retro console helps a bit. After all it has been twenty years since it was released.

I have very good games for GameCube. If you think about Resident Evil Zero you get how nice games there are for this gaming console. I have a sport title NBA Courtside 2002 that features Kobe Bryant on its cover. Then I have a driving game. That game is Need For Speed Underground. What do I think about this game? There rarely are bad games in this game series. I just like some of them more than others.

Need For Speed Underground is a bit repetitive. What that means is that it forces you to drive same tracks over and over again with a same car. Although there is some sort of experience score that keeps updating even if you don’t finish first in a race. In some races you have to finish first to get to the next race. The progression is slow and of course this makes the time to complete the whole game a lot longer.

It is said that Sega Mega Drive games were in overall too repetitive. You cannot say that about all games released on Mega Drive. Let’s take an example. Think about Gynoug. It is a very nice shooter that sadly is awfully repetitive. It is very easy to get stuck in Gynoug. Then you will find yourself playing the same part of the game and starting from the same point over and over. You cannot say this about Sonic the Hedgehog or Streets of Rage.

What are some things in gameplay that make game to have variability? The ability to save at any time is one key to this. Or the ability to not save at all. Then you will have to start playing the game all over again. But it keeps you from going the same short part all over again. Some games  have passwords instead of an ability to save a game. Constant progression is one thing. You might have experience points that you get from for example every race even if you don’t win the race. This gives you a feel of progression. And when your experience score unlocks a new track or a new car it makes you also progress.

Having a difficulty option is in my opinion a way better for increasing the amount of times that you can keep yourself playing the game all over again even if you have finished already on a low difficult level. You can decide for yourself if you want to keep playing the same game with a higher difficulty. Sometimes you get stuck in a game. Then it might help to look up for help from a walkthrough online. Today there is lots of help available. You can for example use YouTube if you like. It is nice to know that there are these specialists of gaming available here in the internet.

To make the conclusion for this blog post we can say that GameCube is a very nice gaming console that has some games on it that are a bit repetitive. Being repetitive is only a cheap way to make people play a game for longer time. It should be a lesson for game developers working today and in future also. Mega Drive also has games that are repetitive. But it is clear that not all games on it are as dynamic as can be when it comes to gameplay. Enjoy your games, be them retro or new, and have a nice day!

 

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