It’s hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since Nintendo brought out the GameCube to compete with the PS2 and Microsoft’s new-fangled machine, the Xbox. Despite it’s size, the house of Mario managed to pack in quite a bit of power in the machine, giving us some great games along the way, though the quantity of them seemed to be lacking…
These days, HD remasters from previous generation titles are not uncommon. Hell, Kingdom Hearts has been remastered for TWO generations at this point, and fans are gobbling them up. Nintendo has been slower in this area, however, giving us updated versions of some Zelda titles, but little else. Sure, there’s the Virtual Console, but those aren’t upgrades, and still aren’t giving GameCube fans what they want.
With the Switch just a few months away, there’s another chance for Nintendo to give gamers the HD remakes they’ve been wanting. In honor of the GameCube’s 15th birthday, it seemed like a great time to recount some of the games most worthy of the HD treatment, just in case Nintendo decides to go that route:
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
All of us here at Cinelinx are big Metal Gear Solid fans, and outside of possibly Dustin, I’m probably the biggest fan here. I’ve got all the games in various platforms, and even languages. When the Metal Gear Solid HD collection came out, I was excited to finally be able to play some of them in an HD format, but sadly there’s still no HD version of the first MGS game. This is the main reason why we need a HD release of The Twin Snakes.
This game came out on the Cube to a lot of fanfare, because it was a full remake of the original MGS game, with a few additions thrown in to boot. It looked gorgeous at the time and gave even diehard fans a reason to stalk through Shadow Moses. An HD version would be a delight for fans of Metal Gear and would also give newer gamers a chance to experience the story of the first game (still the best in my opinion), because chances are, they never got to.
With the Metal Gear franchise now in flux, with Kojima ousted, and Konami wanting to move in a different, zombified, direction, the chances of this happening seem slim. Even so, if Konami wants to make a quick buck off the license, an HD Twin Snakes would be the way to go!
Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
It’s been a long time since we last had a Rogue Squadron game and that’s a crying shame. While the third game in that franchise was somewhat “ho-hum” Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader was by far the best. An early title for the GameCube, Rogue Leader showed off the power the little box could pull off, and showed the potential of the system (even if it didn’t quite live up to that potential).
On top of that it was just a great game. It featured great flying/fighting mechanics, interesting gameplay tweaks, and an original Star Wars story. We’ve been lacking in great Star Wars games as of late so an HD release of this classic would be well timed. It’d give fans a chance to relive one of the best Star Wars related games, while also filling the void until another Star Wars game takes us where we want to go. Sorry Battlefront, you’re doing some good work there, but the space combat just can’t stack up.
When the Gamecube first dropped we got Luigi’s Mansion, and I feel like this game gets a lot of undeserved hatred. A lot of it stems from the fact that people were expecting something more along the lines of Super Mario than what they got, so they were blind to the fact that Mansion was actually a decent game. It was quirky, did some interesting things, and was fun to play.
The sequel came out on the 3DS to the delight of gamers, bringing in an all new group of fans to the quirky little series. An HD remaster would give players the chance experience the first game and see how it all started, since many of the newcomers who enjoyed the sequel may not have even been around when the first Luigi’s Mansion was launched….
Viewtiful Joe had a lot of great franchise potential. It had a quirky story that kept you interested, along with a unique art style, and some insane, balls to the wall action gameplay. While it played out as a traditional side-scroller, it never once felt dated. Sadly after a sequel and two handheld spin-offs (which weren’t nearly as good), the franchise just sort of petered out for no reason. Capcom isn’t doing anything with it, and the original developers went off and created Platinum Games.
Since the entirety of the VJ franchise existed on the previous generation (it was ported to PS2), there are quite a few gamers that haven’t had the chance to play through this classic title. This is a shame and an HD upgrade (come one, just imagine how awesome the visuals could look now) would fix that probably in a heartbeat. At the very least, I’d say put it up on the Wii U’s eShop.
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles
I know that not everyone is going to agree with me on this one, but the first Crystal Chronicles game was actually a lot of fun. Sadly, all the things that made FF:CC an interesting and unique gaming experience were tossed out with it’s subsequent sequels. That doesn’t mean this game still isn’t fun.
Not everyone got into this game because it practically required you to play with the connectivity feature on the GBA (which was a pain in the ass) with a friend or two. It was a neat idea, but the hassle involved in doing so turned a lot of gamers away. It was a fun game, however, and visually had some flair. I think an HD version, using regular multiplayer features would be a far better endeavor and would help remind people that this franchise doesn’t actually suck.