, posted: 15-Jan-2007 08:50
Over the weekend, I rented the Pikmin2 and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicle for GameCube to play on our Wii.
This is the first time I ever played Pikmin2, although I have played Pikmin before on GameCube. The graphics look extremely well and much better than its previous version. The game is fun, and it's quite a puzzle like and kids-friendly and challenging. (I always like a cute puzzle game like this...)
And as for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicle, the game is quite a big departure from the typical/traditional Final Fantasy on other platform. I haven't had much playtime on it but from the amount of time that I have played on it, it is enough to say, the game is primarily designed to multiplayer, and best played together with GameBoy Advance as the additional VMU and controller. Playing as single player, the game will be significantly harder, as you essentially doing multiplayer's tasks on single person. With this game it also brought in few challenges, like you have to carry a crystal container to protect yourself from a damaging environment. Within this aura, you are safe. In single player mode, you have a moggle to help carrying it for you while you busy battling the enemies.
As I mentioned that the game seems to designed around the GameCube-GBA integration, you'd get more information about the gameplay, and terrain and maps etc from your GBA screen, and using GBA as your controller. As this mentioned, the use of GameCube's analog stick is basically duplicating the D-pad.
When playing in multiplayer mode, each player require a GC-GBA cable and a GBA, it is also a more expensive to set up. Each player will have different information shown on their GBA's screen. In multiplayer mode, all players are playing cooperatively, and significantly add more amunition to battle against enemies.
Wii can play both Wii games and GameCube games, it seems like Wii will boot into different CPU/mode depending on what games/platform media is inserted. Playing Wii and resetting Wii games is easy, just "Home" then "Wii channel" or "Reset". However when playing GameCube games, it goes into GameCube mode which seems like it's a separate hardware bootup, and you're not longer in Wii "environment". So to reboot/reset the system, you'll have to physically press the "Reset" button on the Wii unit.
This brought the attention to my next few questions: Does this mean that Wii is essentially a hybrid of Wii and GameCube? How well is Wii's ATI "Hollywood" chipset when working with GameCube's ganes which is written for ATI "Dolphin" chipset? Is the GameCube's graphic much better in Wii or similar to on GameCube?
To me, my personal answer to the above questions saide: Yes it seems like a hybrid of two game systems into one unit, you get Wii and you also get GameCube hardware integrated. Better value for money! For this reason, I can see Nintendo will continue making some GameCube games still for at least few more years.
For second and third answers, I think Nintendo did very well with Wii's ATI "Hollywood" chip when rendering/processing "Dolphin" instructions. It could be that "Hollywood" extend the best of "Dolphin" further and made it more powerful when pushing those polygon and vertext and shading stuff... As how the GameCube's graphics look on Wii? MUCH NICER! I have read from other sites that it seems the GameCube games look great on Wii, and now that I've tried it, I agreed too.
I use component output from Wii, displaying at 480p and both Wii and GameCube games look great. However when I played GameCube games on GameCube itself, the graphics look so so and in some cases, it is harder to see some details when comparing with Wii's output.
I read that Wii's "Hollywood" has built in digital codec/chip for outputing in digital signals, as oppose to GameCube's external chip implementation for component output. Which is why there were difficulty to source GameCube's component cable (you can only get Nintendo's official cable), compare that to Wii's approach where you can choose between Nintendo's official, or 3rd party like MadKatz's. I got MadKatz's Wii component cable and works just as good and for $10 cheaper. :-)
Anyhow, I'm glad we have Wii, and we essentially have two consoles in one package with wide selection of games on both Wii and GameCube... all you need is GameCube's controller and memory card and the perseverence to track down last of the few popular GameCube games to purchase... Sadly though, GameCube isn't as widely popular in this part of the world when compare to Japan, USA or Europe.
p/s: I am looking for additional GameCube controller(s)... if you have any in mint condition, PM me or drop a comment below then perhaps we can negotiate a deal. Cheers.
p/s 2: Does anyone have Pikmin, Pikmin2, Mario Party 6 and Mario Party 7 for sale?
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