The GameCube was blessed with not one but two groundbreaking Metroid games. Prime which took the series on its head and introduced the world to a 3D Samus, and then it's sequel Echoes, which threw away the standard formula for the Metroid series instead replacing it with a much darker, difficult game that matched the original's critical success but failed to find the same audience in terms of sales. Mike & Neil are joined by three guests today, Jason G, a huge fan of the series who dicusses his earliest memories with the world's greatest bounty hunter, Marcello of GameCube Galaxy who talks about his love for the game and the GameCube in general, and enemy of the pod Ramon who's only touchstone with the franchise was Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and he has some hot takes for everyone. No Ridley, no Metroids, but Dark Samus and the dark world make this game one of the most interesting and polarizing on the GameCube.
Happy 20th birthday to everyone's favourite cubed console! Neil & Mike mark this very special anniversary with their first ever live episode. Recorded on the couch in front of the TV playing classics like 007: Nightfire, Mario Kart Double Dash, and Mario Power Tennis just like old times. This unedited episode went live on twitch.tv/bortandernie so check out the full video there!
Tennis games have been at the core of video games since the industry's inception. You can find them on basically any console ever created. Yet for Mike & Neil, Mario Power Tennis serves up the ultimate experience in a tennis game. The perfect balance between slight realism and wacky arcade fun. Join the boys as the bring on friends of the show Matt and Harrison to discuss this absolute gem of a sports title along with the Mario Tennis franchise as a whole. After 17 years the game still holds up incredibly well with great courts, characters and modes and will ultimately go down as one of the greatest multiplayer experiences the GameCube has to offer. Get ready to play with power and learn all about why Wiggler is the GOAT of the Mario Tennis world.
Oh the Dreamcast. Poor Dreamcast, dead on arrival in September 1999 with Sega losing millions with their Saturn console, the Dreamcast was one of the most ultimate achievements in gaming technology who's hardware really wouldn't be fully surpassed until the PS4. Though less than a dozen million were sold, the Dreamcast definitely holds a special place in many people's hearts and is often categorized as a head of it's time.
But why was it so ahead of its time. Well for starters, it came out during the N64 era (remember those graphics). Instead of N64 pixelated GoldenEye textures, we got these amazing looking games like Shenmue. These graphics were insane at least for a while, until the PS2 came out. It also heavily focused on playing online and had a ton of online specific games like Phantasy Star Online. It was created as the console where you could get the "arcade experience". It's still beloved because of all the 2D fighters and SHMUPs that it had like Chaos Field (which we talk about it one of our episodes).
Generally it was just a badass console that had a great marketing campaign and look. Remember it was out two years before GC, PS2 or Xbox, prompting these consoles to really go above and beyond in their marketing. Some worked and some were extremely weird. Check out a vintage Dreamcast commercial below:
Okay time for more firsts. It was the first major console to launch with online capabilities out of the box- modem, phone cord, software, etc. Some of these games's servers are still online (like phantasy star and quake 3). The VMU (visual memory unit) was a precursor to the DS's second screen as well as a precursor to cloud storage. Would hold all your files here (similar to switch) (you could see the hidden health monitor in RE). Sonic Adventure 2 let you play mini games on it (what!?). Most things on here were awful, but it was arguably the first attempt at ubiquitous computing, 7 years before Apple. This is nuts. That was the small screen that was within the controller, also a very weird but cool innovation on its own, as you could attach it there and then remove it very easily, kinda like the Switch.
It was also the first console to be playable at 60hz, first console with fully analog triggers (GameCube adopted this shortly after), first console with a home screen dashboard (xbox copied this years later), first console who developed motion technology (the DreamEye, though was never used). It also had a dedicated GPU, something very few consoles had at this time.
Sadly the Dreamcast was never meant to be. The PlayStation 2 was the last nail in the coffin eventually selling over 150 million units, the Dreamcast was left in its dust, but with its demise it spawned many legendary games and some unbelievable technical achievements. Want to learn more about the Dreamcast and the games that went over to the GameCube? Check out Episode 10 of the GameCube Was Cool and learn about this dear departed box.