Mario is a jack of all trades. This was established early on when he was introduced as a plumber as well as boxing and tennis referees in the 80s. As the words “Nintendo” & “Mario” became synonymous through the late 80s and early 90s, Nintendo continued to create games such as “Mario Kart”, “Mario Party” & “Mario RPG” with Italian plumber front and center for marketing purposes. This trend continued on into the 2000s with the release of the Gamecube thanks to a couple of games in my collection, “Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour” and “Super Smash Bros. Melee”. Neither game was a favorite of mine when the system was new as I always preferred the realism of the “Tiger Woods” franchise and as for “Smash Bros.”, I’m more of a solo gamer and this seemed to work better as a party game, which was not something I did.
The Gamecube also saw the release of a nice collection of racers like the “Need for Speed” franchise. I own two titles from this franchise, “Most Wanted” and “Underground”. I am a huge fan of the original “Need for Speed” game released on the 3DO/PlayStation/Saturn so I was intrigued how these newer iterations would look and play on the Gamecube. They both continue with the street racing theme that was originally introduced but now the races take place in a generic city at night. Career mode is available for players into customization while there are modes available for simple races against computer or other players.
“The Simpsons: Hit n’ Run” was arguably my most played game during the Gamecube era. This may seem odd considering how I praised “Metroid Prime”, “Super Mario Sunshine” and “Zelda: Wind Waker”. As a huge fan of the TV show, “The Simpsons”, but not a huge fan of any of the video gaming efforts that featured the licensed family from Springfield, USA, I was intrigued by a “Grand Theft Auto 3” inspired 3D tour of Springfield. “Hit n’ Run” is a game that felt immersive and gave you the sense that you really were driving around the well planned out city that I had become so familiar with over the years through the show. I loved the concept of achieving goals, collecting items, completing missions and generally just tooling around Springfield. “Hit n’ Run” is the best Simpsons game ever made, in my book.
Currently in my collection:
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour – game, manual, case
Super Smash Bros. Melee – game, manual, case
Need for Speed: Most Wanted – game, manual, case
Need for Speed: Underground – game, manual, case
Simpsons Hit n’ Run – game, manual, case