Double Jump Company

Double Jump Company (May it Rest in Peace)

Posts tagged gamecube

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Steve's Quest for a Gamecube (3/19/12)

This is gonna be a fun advertisement. 

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Remember, a while ago, when I wrote a an article about how the Game Boy Advance SP was the greatest gaming console of all time? I was just throwing that in here, because we’re talking about video game consoles haha.

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The Gamecube. Some people consider it the beginning of Nintendo’s downfall. That doesn’t make any sense to me, because the ‘cube was just as powerful as the PS2 and the XBox. It wasn’t until the Wii Nintendo started just…doing so much wrong…

As I grew older, I started to appreciate video games more, and I realized that there were entire libraries of Gamecube titles I missed. Plus, I just really wanted my own console in my room. So, naturally, I began my hunt. Spoilers: I succeed.image

I’ll admit, I haven’t played it as much as this article would suggest. Luigi’s Mansion is currently inside, as I was prepping myself for Dark Moon (holy crap, how great is that game, guys?). 

I also still haven’t gotten any better at wielding my butterfly knife. Man, this article is depressing me.

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When you’re done, be sure to also check out the direct sequel to this article, Modern toys Steve would’ve played with as a child! It’s my favorite DJC article yet…just saying…

Filed under nintendo gamecube game boy advance game boy advance sp toys r us luigi's mansion nostalgia gamestop butterfly knife

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So Long, Nintendo Power.

If you were a Nintendo fan growing up in the 90s or early 2000s, you read Nintendo Power. It helped us beat that dungeon we were stuck on (you know, before GameFaqs), it gave us our first glimpses at upcoming titles, and it had those awesome Nintendo Power Awards that I loved voting on for some reason. I used to stare at the fan art that was submitted, and I even sent in two or three (hundred) of my own (which were never published). The covers were always phenomenal, the walkthroughs were informative, and the columnists each unique and friendly. 

Plus, who in their right mind can ever forget Alan the Slime from Dragon Quest?

Nintendo Power has been around since 1988, before I was even born. And now, twenty-four years later, it’s coming to an end.

That’s right, folks. Nintendo Power announced that their phenomenal ‘zine is closing up shop sometime in the near future. Nobody knows how many issues remain in the magazine’s lifetime, but I think I speak for every Nintendo fan that it will be sorely missed.

This is a nostalgia blog. Nintendo Power is, to me, a nostalgic magazine. It reminded me of a time when we didn’t have online walkthroughs to help us through a tough level. When game art was more than some polygons ripped from game stills, but actual pencil and ink art drawn by the game’s designer. When fans could write in to a magazine and have their questions answered and printed in next month’s issue.

I know, I know: print is dying. The magazine industry as a whole is basically a dead language. However, Nintendo Power represented those good ol’ days where you could open up your mailbox and see a real, tangible, informative, and awesome game magazine.

Say what you want about Nintendo nowadays. I know I’ve been vocal about their…interesting choices lately. But you cannot deny that they are an insanely important part of the gaming industry and community. Saying good-bye to Nintendo Power will be like saying good-bye to an old friend.

I decided to pull out the issues I had left. Unfortunately, I don’t have any N64-era issues left (thanks, Mom…), but my collection still goes back to the Gamecube/GBA days.

Thanks, NP. We’re all gonna miss you.

Filed under gaming nintendo nintendo power video games dragon quest n64 gamecube gba super mario bros 2 legend of zelda slime

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Modern toys Steve would’ve played with as a child!

So I had to drive about an hour away from my city to stop by very remote GameStop the other day. The reason: that was where the only used copy of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker in the entire state of Michigan was located. It was a journey that tested my very humanity, but I finally had the precious game in my hands.

See, I had played Wind Waker a long time ago. Borrowed it from a friend. He took it back and I never played it again. With my brand spankin’ new used Gamecube chilling in my room, I knew that I needed a brand spankin’ new used game to go with it. Wind Waker was that game.

However, this article isn’t about Wind Waker (that will be a much longer post filled with happiness and exclamation points). Nay, this is about the Toys R Us that was right next door to the GameStop, and the pretty awesome stuff I found there.

See, I’ve been out of the loop for a while when it comes to kid toys. I have no clue what the kids are into anymore. There was this thing called “Beyblades” that was hip for a while, I think, but now it’s something called “Bakugan”? I don’t even care. It’s all silly stuff that I would’ve never played with as a kid.

However, deep within the confines of this Toys R Us were…

TOYS I WOULD HAVE PLAYED WITH AS A KID

Stinky Little Trash Monsters

I wasn’t into the Garbage Pail Kids growing up, but I was into Meanies. Does anyone remember those bad boys? They were basically spoofs of Beanie Babies, which were insanely popular at the time. They had such wonderful creatures to collect, like the “Velocicrapper” and “Floaty the Dead Fish.” This little guy is named “Preemie.”

Yup. I ate those things up with a spoon as a young, impressionable child.

My point is that I’m no stranger to the “gross/bizarre” toys that are marketed to young boys. We are, after all, made of snakes, snails, and puppy dog tails. Guys like sick stuff.

I’m not sure the Stiny Little Trash Monsters live up to their names, but they are pretty cool. They each come in their own trashcan and have stickers attached to their bellies that are supposed to represent their insides.

The “gross” factor is still there, but it’s much tamer than it was when I was a kid. I’m alright with that, though, because 7-year-old me would’ve still wanted to collect all of these guys.

CREEPY CRAWLERS

Any guy who was born in the late 80s/early 90s remembers Creepy Crawlers. They were my “thing” in the family when I was young: my sister had Polly Pocket, my brother had Sonic the Hedgehog, and I had Creepy Crawlers. I made so many of those stupid sticky bugs and plastered them all over the house, constantly trying to reenact the commercial by freaking out my sister. It never really happened.

This box looks like it’s straight from the 90s, complete with the original logo and dark, colorful Creepy Crawler-making machines. This was, again, trying to cash in on the “boys like icky stuff” notion, and I played right into their hands.

My parents stopped buying me Creepy Crawlers after my fifth one got stuck in the carpet…anyways, moving on.

RETRO SONIC THE HEDGEHOG TOYS

Sonic the Hedgehog was the character that got me into gaming oh so many years ago. I played every single one of the games (Except Knuckles’ Chaotix. Even as a kid I wasn’t interested), watched the cartoon religiously, and even read the comics. However, I never did have a Sonic plushie. Lord knows I would’ve wanted one.

This is nice because, in an attempt to help sell (the rather brilliant) Sonic Generations, Toys R Us and Sega have been releasing retro Sonic toys. I’m insanely tempted every single time I see one to just buy it. Because I like my blue hedgehogs to be short, plump, and have black eyes. Modern Sonic just isn’t my Sonic…

Anyways, speaking of which, go play Sonic Generations if you haven’t yet. It’s pretty fun and filled with nostalgia.

UNIVERSAL MONSTER PLUSHIES

I wasn’t crazy into classic Universal horror as a kid, but damn am I now. However, there was no Wolf Man in sight, so I passed on these.

IRON MAN WEARING CAP’S MASK

This has nothing to do with anything. Just thought it looked funny.

KENNER STAR WARS ACTION FIGURES

As a child, I loved Star Wars. All of them, but especially Return of the Jedi. I had playsets, Legos, action figures, toy lightsabors, a ton of model ships…it was amazing.

Then Phantom Menace came out and suddenly it wasn’t cool to like Star Wars anymore. That didn’t stop me from having my B-Wing and Slave I duke it out in a dogfight to the death.

Anyways, these Kenner action figures are now being sold in the old-school packages, which delights the hell out of my inner child. Example, this guy is a B-Wing Pilot. He has no name and, aside from the fact that he pilots one of my favorite ships in the series, he means nothing to me.

But I was still tempted to buy him just to stare at the box he was in.

SKYLANDERS

I figured I wouldn’t have to talk about this as much, because you can’t walk into the video game section of any store without seeing this set-up. As an adult, I can see that this is all a scheme to get parents to spend a ton of money on unnecessarily-expensive toys that really don’t add much to the game.

But as a kid…this would’ve been my new Pokemon. It’s literally perfect for kids: Kids love collecting stuff. Kids love monsters. Kids love video games. And kids love toys. This combines all of these aspects into one epic money-grabbing game.

Don’t make that face. You know if you were 8-years-old you would be begging for all of these. And if you don’t think you would, think about that time you cried because your mom wouldn’t buy you that Beanie Baby you really wanted.

Skylanders is one of the most brilliant things I’ve seen for kids in a long time. However, this list has been building up to something. A toy I saw that literally made me do a double take. I would’ve wanted it as a kid, and I want it now.

TEST TUBE ALIENS!

Guys, out of everything on this list, this is the one I wanted the most. They’re aliens that you raise in a plastic test tube. They’re like Sea Monkeys and those stupid “it grows in water” toys you see in dollar stores, only better!

But look at this box. Just look at it. The premise is so simple, but the box says “No. This is important and amazingly awesome. You need this Test Tube Alien.”

Again, there are six gruesome aliens that you can collect. However, upon further research, I discovered that there were six more you could find. And these new six aliens were “pure evil” and fought the “good” aliens.

Ignore the phallic cocoon this guy is in. Because, according to the box, once you add water, the cacoon will dissolve away and reveal an infant alien. Inside of this alien are lights in the chest and brain that will freaking glow once it’s hatched, representing a brain and a heart.

Like…there is so much more I could go into, but holy crap I need these now.

There’s a whole backstory to these guys, too. And each little alien has their own name and bio. The guy I was drawn to was a little blue dude named Spron, who, according to the back of his box, “uses his beady red eyes for human mind control.”

Dude.

I dunno, this was the sort of crap I was into as a kid. Creepy monster stuff that had a backstory , like Skannerz. Anyone remember Skannerz? Talk about an epic marketing campaign! I think I even still have mine…

Aw yeah! These things were awesome!

Anyways…I’m seriously gonna go back and buy one of those Test Tube Aliens. Maybe even two, just for kicks. I’m glad that there are toys out there that still rely on and fuel a child’s imagination, and aren’t just there to sell movie tickets.

MINI MUGGS NICK FURY

Because I spent a ton of my money on Gamecube games earlier that day (I regret very little), I didn’t want to spend too much money at TRU. I settled on a little Nick Fury toy, part of the Mighty Muggs line. I’ll be honest, I never saw the appeal of the Mighty Muggs. They looked silly and weren’t as cool to collect as, say, MiniMates or the Hasbro 3 inch figures.

But I picked this fella up today, not because I’m a particularly big fan of Fury, but because I want him around in case I have a really stupid day. I can look at him and pretend he’s inviting me to be a part of the Avengers Initiative.

I’m a little pathetic, but I’m OK with that.

Filed under toys toys r us gamecube the legend of zelda wind waker gamestop monsters stinky little trash monsters garbage pail kids meanies beanie babies creepy crawlers 90s nostalgic retro sonic the hedgehog sonic generations universal horror dracula frankenstein the mummy iron man captain america star wars return of the jedi action figures kenner b-wing skylanders spyro

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Steve’s Quest for a Gamecube

So my Wii hasn’t been able to read Gamecube disks for a long time now. Rather than get it fixed (which would be expensive) or just wait for a new Wii game worth playing (which is just silly), I decided “Fine! I’m gonna go buy a new Gamecube!”

Now, I’ve been a pretty vocal fan of the ‘cube for a while now, and that’s not just because I’m a Nintendo fan. I mean, I’m no diehard fanboy. If I was, I would never dare admit that the Wii sucks (the Wii pretty much sucks). It’s just that the Gamecube had a pretty epic library of great games! So what if it looked like a Fisher Price toy? It was awesome!

Anyways, I set out on a quest to find a Gamecube. Turns out this is no easy feat. Gamecubes have been obsolete for a little over five years now, and some people seem to think they’re some sort of collector’s item. This kinda freaks me out, since I once went on a quest to buy a Sega Genesis, only to find that the cheapest one in my town was $80. Outrageous! I’m a college kid, for crying out loud!

My first thought was the most obvious: GameStop. Right? They sell Gamecubes. But I wanted to make sure I got the most for my buck, and I’ve never purchased a used console before. I didn’t want to spend $40 on an eleven-year-old console only to have it die on me a few weeks later.

So I checked Craigslist. And…yeah, turns out these are the people who think Gamecubes are, like, ultra-rare or something nowadays.

And, apparently, there was a limited “addition” to the console I wasn’t aware of…

There was also one gentleman who thought it was reasonable to bundle a Gamecube and Super Smash Bros. Melee together for the absolute bargain of $150. Because, you know, Gamecubes are made of solid gold and grant wishes.

I tried Amazon next.

OK, so a used Gamecube is only $19! That’s not too bad at all! 

…oh…yeah, I won’t get very far without any of the cables, Mr. Seller. Thanks though.

I was getting antsy. I had a bunch of Gamecubes games collecting dust alongside my Wii, and that needed to be fixed. So I caved and went to GameStop.

$30. Not bad…not great, but not bad. So I went up to the counter and embarrassingly asked if they had any more Gamecubes. The two employees, of whom I’ve become good friends due to me frequenting their store so often, gave me a look of confusion mixed with slight horror. I swear one of them checked their watch to make sure they didn’t somehow get Twilight Zone’d to 2006. 

Turns out I somehow (magic?) had $25 bucks in store credit on my GameStop card thingy, so my ‘cube was only $5 out of pocket. I mean, technically it was more, but I like to think that I only pulled five dollars out of my wallet, so that’s how much it cost. It makes me happier to think that way.

I have no clue why I was so excited to open this thing. I mean, I had a Gamecube when I was younger. One of my friends broke the laser on the inside, so it stopped reading disks, but that was literally about two weeks before the Wii was coming out, so we pitched the damn thing, thinking we would never need one again.

Anyways, because I’m a BLU Spy, I sliced this heavily-protected box with my kick-ass butterfly knife. Seriously, I love that thing. I just wish I knew how to flip it around all cool like Hit-Girl. One day, my friends.

Wow, they even threw in a controller! That was an unexpected surprise. We already have two controllers, but an extra is still fun. It’s like getting your favorite movie for Christmas from your aunt. Sure, you already own it on DVD and blu-ray, but you’re still unwrapping Back to the Future.

That was a horrible analogy. I’m not even sure why I said it. Anyways…

Look at this bad boy. All silver and cube-ish, perched perfectly atop my DVD player. This setup pleases me.

See, I’ve never had a console in my room before. All of them were always hooked up to the big basement TV. That TV is high-def, so it’s always epic playing PS3 games on it, complete with surround sound that makes it seem like you’re really there punching Zeus’s face in with your bare Spartan fists.

However, Gamecubes games are not in HD, and the graphics were painfully bad on such a TV. It’s similar to playing a high-def game on a crappy TV. You would be able to literally count how many polygons make up a character if they weren’t so fuzzy and terrible-looking.

The TV in my room is also high-def, but it’s a lot smaller and more compact. So, while the graphics still look a generation old, they don’t look nearly as bad.

I popped in Viewtiful Joe and couldn’t remember any of the controls. The thing is that the PS3 controller is like the perfect gaming controller. Everything fits in your hands beautifully, you don’t need to stretch your fingers, every button is in a convenient spot. The Gamecube controller, of course, is pretty weird to get used to. It’s not a bad controller (though Nintendo does have plenty of those…I’m looking at you, N64…but I love you, don’t worry), it’s just a little strange to adjust to. And I’ll never understand why they changed the C buttons to a C stick…in fact, I’ll never understand why Nintendo felt they needed C buttons at all. The only time I can think of where they were really necessary were the Zelda games…Oh, Nintendo. You and your “revolutionary” controller designs. You’re so cute.

Speaking of the controller, the cord is literally just long enough to reach my bed. I’m slowly beginning to think that maybe putting a console in my room wasn’t the best idea. I mean, there aren’t any PS3 games I want until late June, and there are still a ton of Gamecube games I want to catch up on. And just chilling in my bed, playing video games in the darkness all day long…

…Actually, how is that different from my normal lifestyle? 

Nevermind, this idea was totally awesome.

Filed under nintendo gamecube wii gaming sega genesis craigslist amazon ebay gamestop super smash bros melee tf2 blu spy hit-girl butterfly knife back to the future viewtiful joe wind waker legend of zelda god of war