Nintendo has earned itself a reputation for being both wondrously creative, and woefully misguided, in equal measure. For every lightbulb moment reveal like glasses free 3D or mass market motion control, there’s Friend Codes and the Wii U gamepad to balance the scales. The same company that brought Shigeru Miyamoto out on stage at E3 with a Master Sword and Shield to announce Twilight Princess, also spent significant amounts of Yen on development of the Vitality Sensor. Now, plenty of businesses, both in and outside of gaming, have suffered from very public lapses in judgement. In Nintendo’s case, one could argue it also seems to be a part of their appeal.

Which brings us neatly to the Switch; Nintendo’s brand new hybrid console that is just under a month away from launch. For all the new IP and sequels being revealed, and the promise of home console gaming on the go, there is a widening gap in their PR messaging that is both frustrating and worrisome: Virtual Console. Specifically, the lack of any confirmation regarding its support at launch, how the account system will work, and what games will be available. Added salt in the wound comes by way of consistent rumours circling around Gamecube titles making an appearance on Switch, something which we believe could be a genuine system seller for their new machine.

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The in game computer was called the Game Boy Horror. There’s an arcade machine in real life where you use a vacuum cleaner peripheral. The 3DS sequel is immense. This HAS to get released for Switch!

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The Gamecube era is arguably Nintendo at their most bold: this was the generation of hardware that introduced the Wirelress Wavebird controller, a cel-shaded Zelda, the Game Boy Advance link cable, Super Mario Sunshine… even a LAN adapter for Mario Kart: Double Dash! The list goes on. Some of my absolute fondest memories of gaming are associated with this box. Buying Star Wars: Rebel Strike and discovering that the entirety of Rogue Leader was included on the disc WITH TWO PLAYER CO-OP SUPPORT. Realising that Pikmin is still one of the most inventive new IP Nintendo has ever produced. Laughing at the idea of a character called Prince Tricky in Starfox Adventures and still being invested in the story. However, this was also Nintendo at their most financially unstable. The Gamecube is their second lowest selling home console (behind the Wii U). It was thrust into battle against the whirlwind of the original Xbox and the ongoing dominance of the Playstation 2. It deserved a lot more love than it received, and represents an era of sheer creativity that is crying out for recognition.

So, the mere suggestion that some of the incredible games from this overlooked period could find a new lease of life on Switch was too good to ignore. Gamecube Virtual Console support is a magnificent opportunity for Nintendo fans who might have missed the original train to get on board once again. And yet here we are, weeks away from wide release, and we’re still none the wiser. I know a great many people who are only buying Zelda: Breath of the Wild alongside their day 1 Switch purchase, either for budgetary reasons or for lack of compelling second options. And yet those same people, myself included, would easily throw gold dubloons at the e-Shop for the chance to play Luigi’s Mansion on the bus. And since Nintendo have taken the [smart] position of spreading out their first party output during 2017, a decent catalogue of Virtual Console support would generate sales, get people excited, and open the flood gates for classic games that NEED to be played.

Listed below are our top three picks for theoretical Gamecube Virtual Console titles, alongside anecdotes of our own personal experiences with each once.

SUPER SMASH BROS. MELEE

This ones a non brainer. The Switch’s joy cons (still a stupid name) would make impromptu one on one smash battles as easy as can be. And as an ongoing e-Sports tournament staple, some 15 years after its original release, there is almost no excuse not to get this in the hands of new players. I spent hours playing against Level 9 A.I., hiding underground at the bottom of Hyrule Castle, and mastering Kirby’s jumps to the point of near lunacy.

MARIO KART: DOUBLE DASH

There’s so much in here that really broke the mold of a proven forumula. Character specific special weapons (which made the selection screen a warzone), the ability to steal other players items at any time, the option for the driver to throw back spare weapons to the shooter… even pulling off the boost start required both players in co-op to work in tandem. The possibilities for local multiplayer fun are endless here, but with Mario Kart 8: Deluxe just around the corner, Double Dash might get left behind.

JAMES BOND 007: NIGHTFIRE

I don’t care what anyone says: THIS was the true Goldeneye sequel everyone ignored. The single player campaign was a ton of fun, offering multiple approaches to certain areas. But it was the multiplayer that blew me away. Modifiers, bots, and more weapons than I could count led to hours upon hours of split screen fun. Any game that lets you play as a character called “Christmas” deserves a Virtual Console revival.  

Without any sort of context, this screenshot is absolutely mental.

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GAMECUBE VC
Is this the ‘Killer App’ Nintendo is ignoring?

EDITORIAL
By JAY TEE
07/02/17