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Dr. Cube

Sex: Male
Age: 18
Country: France
Occupation: Webmaster of Cubenergy / Computer science freshman, at Grenoble's UJF

Plays Nintendo games since: 1991 (Game&Watch), 1998 (Nintendo 64)
First Nintendo game ever played: Game&Watch HELMET, or Goldeneye 007 (Nintendo 64)

Visits Samurai Nintendo since: 2003
Registered in the forum: yes (view profile)

Last GC games played: Animal Crossing, Mario Kart : Double Dash !!, The Legend Of Zelda : The Wind Waker
Which console(s) do you own ?
My parents owned a Game&Watch handheld, I used to play it a lot when I was very young. Later, around the age of 6, I was often at my cousin's to play with her Sega Master System. I had so much fun with that console that my parents offered it to me for Christmas. I learnt only later that the Sega MegaDrive (Genesis) had already been released :). I had the latter one only in 1996. In 1998, when I started to realize the scope of the video games market, I decided to commit, and to buy a Nintendo 64. Since then I've been faithful to Nintendo, I bought a Nintendo GameCube the day of its release, and of course I plan to purchase the next Nintendo consoles.

What are your favorite GameCube games and why ? Are they among your all-time favorite video games ?
My favorite GameCube game is The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. I was engrossed into its very enjoyable magical universe, and because it's easy, its progress is very smooth; you move from a world to another without paying attention, and you are totally immerged into the game. In second place among my favorite GameCube games, there is Super Smash Bros. Melee. If this instalment has convinced me less than the former one on Nintendo 64, he still has entertained me a lot, and its high degree of achievement makes it an exemplary game. My favorite video games are Super Smash Bros. and Goldeneye (both Nintendo 64). So GameCube games are not among my favorite. Maybe I've grown up and I'm not able to get into the games as I used to when I played them through the eyes of a child. Or maybe GameCube games are less well made as old games.

The mass question: what's the color of your Cube ? how many games and controllers do you own for it ? do you have a Game Boy Advance, a Nintendo DS ? do you play online or in LAN ?
I wished to buy a purple GameCube. If the orange version had been available in PAL, I would have certainly bought it. But the purple color represents for me Nintendo's commitment in a different path from other hardware constructors. It carries the difference that Nintendo maintains towards the others. A marginality to the others, or maybe a marginality to the past ? I own two GameCube controllers. When I play with friends, they generally bring along their own controllers, because everyone has its own little gaming habits. I must say that some of my friends mistreat the controllers... The second controller is for friends who don't own a GameCube.

I don't own a Game Boy Advance. Actually, I'm a bit disappointed by Nintendo's attitude with its handheld consoles. New versions are coming all the time and spending money for a Game Boy is risky: we never know if a new version with obvious advantages which will make us regret our purchase is going to be announced. Many in Europe have bought a Game Boy Advance in Christmas 2002, without knowing a new version (the SP) would be introduced in January 2003, and would be released little afterwards. Home consoles is a more stable sector for that part.

The Nintendo DS appeals to me, and I tell myself it's maybe time to go for it, and to buy this handheld console. However, the announcement of a European version improved over its Japanese and American counterparts suggests me to wait for the European release, planned in March 2004 (by improvement I mean: the Metroid Prime: Hunter demo, and to quit sleep mode automatically when another DS is nearby). I'm not particularly interested in online gaming at the moment. When I play multiplayer games on GameCube, I feel no need at all to play online. Nevertheless, perhaps it is necessary that game developers build on this need, by making games which deserve to be played over the Internet. We can easily think of Pokemon, or other types of games. About the LAN, it is relatively difficult to set up on GameCube: several TV, several consoles, several games, cables, etc. and it certainly doesn't fit to individuals and a private use. And if the LAN is difficult to set up, due to its high requirements, the GBA/NGC connection goes the same way, like in Zelda Four Swords for instance.

Which characteristic (graphics, sound, gameplay...) of a game do you value the most ?
It is easy to answer to this question if you go back in the past. 15 years ago, we had fun on games which today seem ugly, with a pathetic sound, and very restrained gameplay possibilities. Those games entertained us, and, if we play them again nowadays, they still entertain us. So I think a video game must not be evaluated according to its graphics, or its musics, or its gameplay or story. A game must be evaluated for its interest. If the game was worth to be made, because it brings something new, whether it is new sensations, technical breakthroughs, or a new gameplay, then the game was good, its characteristics do not matter. The graphical choice for example, sometimes imposed by the system, if it perfectly fits into the game's spirit, it's good, whatever the games' graphics are.

If the interest of a game comes from its magnificent graphics, and from its flawless animation, which allow to create a good game, then the characteristics which count when judging it are its graphics, and animation. They are also the features which make the interest of a game.Let's take finally the example of a game A' which is the sequel of a game A. This game A' is very beautiful, the sound is very good. But if the game is a simple sequel to A, and that it doesn't bring anything new, then whatever the graphics are, its interest is weak. What's the use to buy this game in that case ? To sum up, I think the characteristic to privilege is the interest of a game: what makes a game unique.

Anything you regret about the GameCube ?
About the GameCube itself, I regret that the modem port hasn't been used properly so far. Practically no game has used it. We can say it's been useless. It's been used only to show some trivial online games on GameCube. We have to hope the long distance Wifi capabilities of the Nintendo DS will be better used. It's a pity to integrate functions to a console which are finally not used.

On the games side, I regret that they've often been bungled: whether they are simple Playstation 2 ports, or games hastily finished for the end of the year celebrations, many games end up badly done, incomplete, and in the end, of poor quality.

What sort of game would you like to see on GameCube ?
The GameCube doesn't seem to really suffer from the lack of a specific genre of games in particular. Anyway, for my part, it covers all my favorite kinds of games. At any rate, there is a type of games that I'd like to see on GameCube PAL... In other words, the typically Japanese games, which are very difficult for us players, to bring to Europe, and sometimes even in North America. Animal Crossing indeed almost never came to Europe, same goes for some RPG. The fighting games Naruto are not planned in Europe, while the manga is always selling better (in France), and the TV series is more and more famous. It would be interesting to see these games, which are supposedly very Japanese, like American football games or baseball, are supposedly very American.

On the other hand, there is maybe a type of games that I'd like not to see anymore on GameCube, or at least not as much: it is the "mini-games". True, these games are generally not bad, and I don't criticize them. I just have some concern, and I hope in the future there won't be taking a too important role in the release of GameCube titles.

Any gaming exploits ? Anything you achieved in a video game that you are particularly proud of ?
I think I've never beaten any actual records in any game. Maybe my 13.000 KO with Kirby in Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo 64) stands as a record. I still have found bugs in TimeSplitters 2 (GameCube), and even in Goldeneye 007 (Nintendo 64). This latter one is pretty interesting, as it allows to display very strange textures in the mines, according to the item on which we set them (for instance, James Bond's silhouette, biohazard symbol, etc.). Contact me for more information :).

What would you say to convince people to buy a GameCube ?
If GameCube games have, in a global way, disappointed me compared to Nintendo 64 games, this feeling is subjective. It depends on my personal history, and of my preferences as a player. Indeed the GameCube doesn't have as many games as the Playstation 2 or the Xbox, but among the Playstation 2 games, how many can you and do you want to buy ? Very few certainly. In the end, this diversity is not so important for an average player. For me, the GameCube is somehow a trial platform for Nintendo. We clearly see that Nintendo first tried out the GBA/NGC connection, and more recently games which gameplay might be simple, but propose new sensations. It's the case for instance of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. The creation of new peripherals (micro, congas) obviously shows the will of Nintendo to innovate everywhere. So finally, the GameCube represents a skilled mixture of these two daring attempts.

Is there a not so well known GC title that you'd like to bring attention to ?
This question makes me hesitate... I don't really know if I can answer it, while I'm actually not, with the GameCube, a hardcore gamer. I haven't played enough GameCube games to answer efficiently to this question. Nevertheless, a little known game which left me with a very good impression is Ikaruga. This space shooter is excellent, and as difficult as one may wish, a bit like old games which favour challenge over insignificant details.

Would you like to say something to all the game makers at Nintendo Japan ? (they might read you !)
I'm intimately convinced that game developers regularly visit, in secret, gaming sites, and thus "listen" to their fans. Then the developers from Nintendo Japan have to learn that the lines they are reading have been written by the one who will soon become their colleague, and to my knowledge the second French to work at Nintendo as a game maker !

So I'd like to greet my future colleagues, and wish them to keep up the good work. One sometimes ought to persevere in a way which is not appreciated by everyone, or which is not easy to walk on. In the end, your games are terrific, and I will work with you !

Thank you for answering Samurai Nintendo's questions !

Interview done on February 13, 2005.

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