Archive for the 'Nintendo Gamecube' Category

Who is Anthony Dickens

card_andyr_small.gifAs we mentioned in our previous post, we want to apply our people centric focus to what we read as well as what we play. To that end, we have recently launched the new Blogging People set of cards.

The next brave sole to step up was Ant Dickens of NintendoLife. Along with a shiney new Blogger Card (Top Trumps style of course), we interview each new blogger. Here are some choice excerpts from the interview:

Ant: There have been many “highlights” in the past 17 years of gaming. But generally I’m one of those people that really loves the triple A titles, for example, I’d happily wait 3 years for a new Zelda installment. It’s not just the games that give me great memories though, its all the little details. I remember taking a day off from school when Banjo-Kazooie first came out, or when F-Zero X arrived all the way from Japan. Feeling my whole body shaking as I finally completed Super Mario Land on the Gameboy. I could probably write an entire article on my favourite experiences in games.

Andy: Tell me more about finishing Super Mario Land, I had a Gameboy in the early 90’s but never finished it!

Ant: Ironically the last level in Mario Land is more like space invaders than anything else, your in the Mario Plane ™ and have to a) shoot the boss, whilst b) dodging his splitting fireballs, I remember it taking quite a few attempts before finally beating it!

Ant: I don’t really know whats distinctive about Nintendo Life, we get alot of positive feedback on the visual style, people comment that its refreshing, light and clean layout , instead of the classic dark and compact gaming site.
I think our writing style is a positive aswell, our reviews are very much to the point and they are written by gamers for gamers.
Andy: ‘By gamers for gamers’ that’s something that we at Game People can really identify with. How many gamers do you have writing for you at any one time?
Ant: We only have a small core team, most of which I’ve known since my previous gaming site, Gamecube-UK.com. We’ve had a number of guest reviewers over the last year, this is something we want to increase. We’re in the process of building a pool of like-minded reviewers so we can cover a wider range of titles.

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Like a Wavebird from the Ashes

wavebird.gifcard_andyr_small.gifThe GameCube pad was an instant hit with me. No previous controller fitted as snugly in my hot little mitts. The buttons were where I wanted them, the sticks were responsive and distinctive, and the analogue triggers worked like a dream.

One thing was holding it back however, a little black cable tethered it to the cube. The stage was set for the grand-daddy of Nintendo controllers, the WaveBird. Once held untethered, all else felt cumbersome and tied down. (A similar experience to the first hold of the Wii-mote/nunchuck.)

The WaveBird continued Nintendo’s use of AA, rather than proprietary, batteries and still managed to last a good 100 hours. It supported up to 16 simultaneously players (if you could find a game and enough friends).

But now the Wii has arrived, are its days numbered? Not at all, it is in fact seeing a resurgence of both its popularity and its usefulness. Not only can you use it to play all those classic GameCube games, but it even works with NES, SNES and N64 virtual console titles.

wavebird2.gifOf course, it does have to compete with the Virtual Console (VC) controller. But for me there’s no competition. The WaveBird not only plays more VC titles, but also continues to support GameCube games. And critically, it’s not tethered to a dangling Wii-mote.

The WaveBird has seen great fluctuations in price over its turbulent life. I recently put together the following list that shows the little fella’s popularity reflected in its price (in my local and on-line retailers):

  • GameCube Launch Price £34.99 (Electronics Boutique)
  • Mid GameCube £27.99
  • Late GameCube £22.99 (Game)
  • End of Gamecube life £5.99 (WH Smiths Sale)
  • Wii Launch £17.99 (Play.com)
  • Post Christmas price £24.99 (Amazon.co.uk)

I think we will see this price increase as its popularity goes up, and availability goes down. So it could well be a good time to buy into some of that WaveBird stock.

Let’s end by quoting from the IGN 9.5 review:

Nintendo’s wireless WaveBird controller is my father. It owns me — there is no doubting that. From the moment I first used it, I knew I would have to worship it for the rest of my life. Really, you’ve read our review — you know we love this thing.

— Update (12th March 2007) —

Thanks for all the feedback. That’s made interesting reading. If you are still after a Wavebird, and beat the escalating ebay prices, Amazon now have them for £17.98 and Play have them for £17.99.

Andy Robertson

Life Before Wii

clock.gifBetween the wish and the thing life lies waiting. How much of human life is lost in waiting?

I was worried about getting overkill in the run up to the UK launch, but my gamer-tank still seems to have enough fuel in it for a few more days.

My very own Wii-to-be is, this instant, sat in my local Game waiting to be collected on Friday. I even have a little time off work to go collect it.

If you checked my gamer card you would discover my age and appreciate my playing down of the whole collecting console on launch day. But basically I am as excited as a kid before Christmas.

My fears about the wii are:

  • It won’t get my friends and family playing.
  • The control will feel loose and spongy.
  • They won’t release Parasol Stars on the virtual console.

My hopes about the wii are:

  • That it will be graphically cleverer than the Gamecube.
  • That all my friends will get one too.
  • That my kids and wife will like it and spend hours sculpting their Mii’s.
  • That there will be many long evenings and late night game-experience sessions for all.