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Cube invades rhombus

December 2, 2006
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Retro emulation occupied the frontburner of Wii’s backwards compatibility feature while the retrofitted GameCube hardware took the back. No surprise there, the period from NES through N64 was Nintendo’s first golden age — it’s what made Nintendo Nintendo. GameCube was the lowest point, when you’re talking business and support. You live through that, you can live through anything.

Wii swallows Cube discs like porn stars guzzle bukkake, but this is essentially a GameCube with a power-up. Polished up PSone games on PS2, this aint. To me, the concept of playing GC software on Wii is hardly enticing. You have to use a Cube pad — not even a Classic controller can be used — and bequeath the power of your Wii remote, which means manual shutdown once you’re done playing. Not to mention there aren’t many Cube games that hold priority over Wii Sports. Cube compatibility is nifty, and unexciting. But, as i discovered earlier today, it’s all in how you look at it.

In 2003, i bought an Action Replay for my GameCube. I was a super core Nintendo prophet at the time, and for some long forgotten, needless reason, i bought this cheat/import-friendly device. It got an iota of attention and then hid in storage for 3 or 4 years. As i browse the internet reading game news today, i notice a trend that’s recently strarted. Lots of people are trying out non-game GC discs on their Wiis, with a tendency for Freeloaders (Action Replay feature). For the first time in the 2 weeks since launch, i am mildly compelled to use my Wii for GameCube purposes.

I fire it up. Unlike Joystiq’s, it worked. Maybe it’s cause they used a standalone Freeloader. So i’m looking through the cheat codes. Tons of games are there, a surprising amount for a 2002 cheat device. You find much more when you peruse the European and Japanese cheat codes, with games that didn’t hit North America till later, giving you more options. Super Mario Sunshine is the first victim.

Super grav, low spin grav, breathe underwater, infinite health, all shines and all gates, you name it. This should be fun. It is. For 5 minutes. All that crap actually made the game harder. Still, it’s a cool thing to do for a game you beat to death years ago and wouldn’t touch otherwise. Water’s still beautiful. I spot a couple other games from my collection, play around, wait till the amusement fades, and move on.

With the few games i got to do it with, this turned out to be quite a sidetracker. Suddenly i’m inclined to stock up on old, cheap GC games, beat em to a pulp, and then re-beat them and basically dick around with the Action Replay. This is when cheat devices should be used, the end of a console’s life. They squeeze a few extra ounces of fun out of your old games and can tide you over till Nintendo decide they want to release new Wii games.

The last time i used it was with Skies of Arcadia. Wonderful RPG, but i just had to test the Action Replay on it for the final battle. Almost ruined the whole experiece. Remember kids, friends don’t let friends use cheats with Skies of Arcadia.

Anyone else out there wringing the last remaining light from their Cubes? What with?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ryuben permalink
    December 3, 2006 1:30 pm

    Fire Emblem.
    Eternal Darkness.
    Smash Brothers.

  2. December 3, 2006 2:42 pm

    I’m still playing the tons-of-fun-but-can’t-explain-why-it-got-such-bad-reviews Battallion Wars, but I’m playing it on my GameCube, which is still connected to my HD TV and will be for a long time. Why? Because with its component video cable, the GC currently sports better graphics for the GC titles than the Wii! That, plus the Wii doesn’t support the GameBoy Player, so there is no other way around playing GBA titles on the big widescreen in progressive mode than keeping your old ‘Cube. And I do mean old! The later generations of the GameCube had no component video output… I’ll never figure out why Nintendo went out of their way to actually downgrade their latest console! And no, saying that “nobody cared for it” doesn’t cut it: the system already had it built-in, and it wasn’t like they made a new version of the graphics engine so it wouldn’t support it.

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