If you grew up in the 80s, 90s or 2000s, Nickelodeon probably has a special place in your catalogue of childhood memories. From it’s vast assortment of classic cartoons, live action sitcoms, gameshows and original movies, the licenses were not shy to create dozens of video game tie-ins, nine of which The GameCube Was Cool Podcast will be covering in this epsiode! The early 2000s video game consoles were home to beloved franchises such as Fairly Odd Parents, Dora the Explorer, Avatar the Last Airbender and Nicktoons Unite. Mike and Neil sit down to rank their favourite Nickelodeon franchises, share some hot tips for maintaining driveways and discuss the news around the February 2021 Nintendo Direct! The episode starts off with a bang as Neil reads the back to the cases of all nine games. Skip to 33:29 to when we are joined by friend of the show Dan to talk about Rocket Power and to 48:58 when we are joined by friend of the show Jason to look back on The Rugrats. All this and more in Episode 37 of The GameCube Was Cool Podcast!
The franchise that redefined the gaming industry and continues to sell like gangbusters today, The Sims makes it's way to The GameCube Was Cool with five titles! The original game, The Sims 2, and the expansion Pets are all remembered fondly by special guest Anneka who reminisces about "woohooing", making the grim reaper appear, and unexplained guinea pig viruses. More than just a game, the Sims, and SimCity before it completely changed the way people thought about the way video games should be played, paving the way for a whole new casual market of gamers and indirectly leading to the successes of Grand Theft Auto. Neil and Mike bask in the glory of the plum-bob while covering console only games "Bustin' Out" and "the Urbz". Skip to 1:11:20 to hear all of the backs of the cases for this remarkable franchise.
Winter is here, and snowboarding is all around us! Take a journey back to a time when snowboard games were all the rage while featuring the Juno Award winning Canadian band 'Finger Eleven'. If you were a kid with a home console in the early 2000s, chances are you had a copy. This week we are joined by friends of the show Ali and Branan to share their memories of 1080º Avalanche, SSX 3 and SSX On Tour on the GameCube. Neil may need to re-think his favourite snowboarding game on the Cube, and Mike may finally have found a game he can ski in. Skip to 1:19:30 to hear the back of the case segment to some rad pop punk tunes.
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.