Look folks, the Nintendo GameCube was not a very high-selling console. Everyone from that era says they had one or that they played one, but the sales numbers don’t back that up. With games like Super Mario Sunshine, Mario Kart: Double Dash, and Metroid Prime, GameCube had a plethora of first-party Nintendo games that helped the console along. Of course, that feeling of love and warmth emanating from fans comes with some downsides. After watching the Nintendo Direct for February 8th, 2023, a lot of the games were either sequels to GameCube games or just flat-out remasters of GameCube games.

Metroid Prime getting an HD remaster is exciting, Baten Kaitos and Baten Kaitos Origins are both above $60 to buy on the secondary market, and Origins is over $100. More people getting to play those RPGs crossed with card games is a good thing. But why not make a new Baten Kaitos game? Or announce Metroid Prime 4? There are a couple of easy answers there. One, the Nintendo Direct was only for the first portion of the year. Two, it’s gonna be a lot easier to remaster an old game, than to make a new engine and sequel.

Making these games more accessible and giving them new coats of paint is for the best though. GameCube games are hard enough to find as is, and for all the people screaming from the rooftops about emulating the games on your SteamDeck, PC, Xbox Series S, or whatever else, that’s not the easiest process for people, plus it involves illegally downloading ROM files for the games, unless you own them and have the ability to dump the files from the GameCube disc. So yes, you can do things on the Dolphin emulator that you cannot do on a Nintendo Switch, but like watching a movie on streaming versus going to your shelf and grabbing the disc, getting the Blu-ray player out, popping in the disc, and navigating menus, most people are still going to want the easiest option.

For the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo, that seems to be going the route of having a AAA game for each half of the year (The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom), a sort of AAA game (Pikmin 4), lots of DLC packs (Splatoon 3, Mario Kart, Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land), tons of retro-inspired RPGs (Sea of Stars, Octopath Traveler II), and finally remakes of classic games (Metroid Prime, Baten Kaitos, Etrian Odyssey).

It does feel a bit exploitative to have so many HD remasters instead of new games. Instead of three Metroid Prime games, we’re getting one. When this one sells well, we’ll get Metroid Prime: Echoes, and then Metroid Prime 3. Hopefully, this is all to hype up the series in the wake of a Metroid Prime 4 coming at some point this year or next.

Speaking of Etrian Odyssey, those games are incredibly expensive for the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS. While this game only has the first three games, pricing in at $70 for the first game, $75 for the second game, and $215 for the third game. That’s where these HD remasters shine. For $60 or sometimes less, you’re getting three games with upgraded visuals, controls, and quality-of-life improvements to play on the go.

So while we want a more powerful Nintendo Switch with 4K capabilities, we might not see the Switch as the perfect little machine that it is. It sure feels like those weird and wild games of the Nintendo GameCube era are making a comeback in multiple ways.

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