I gotta Gamecube and you don't. Nyaah Nyaah Na Naaa Nyaaa. 😃

This is the first time I've seen one live. They are pretty small. About the size of 3 CD walkmans stacked on top of each other and the CDs are CD single size. Does anybody know if they are regular CDs. In other words, will they be copyable on regular CD players (assuming a chip comes out?)

I think the interface to the system stuff is slightly more interesting than PS2 but maybe it's just new. Memory cards go in the system instead of the controller like N64 and there are only 2 slots. Enough for copying. They look almost exactly like PS2 memory cards just slighty smaller.

I'm not sure about the controller yet. 2 analog pads plus a digital pad. I guess that makes it same as a dual shock. Z is now above R, no more trigger basically, you hold it like you do a dual shock for the most part.

I got Waverace and Luigi's Mansion. I almost gave in to impulse and got Super Monkey Ball also but I finally talked myself out of it.

I played Waverace first. It's really just more of the same for the most part. The effects are great so far with the water being even more realistic than the N64 including a refraction effect and water splashing on the camera. I guess Moto GP2 for PS2 has that effect too. I'm curious how it's done. I can think of ways to do it but none that are quick.

There are a few differences from the original Waverace. Of course all the tracks are new except maybe Dolphin Park. There are about 5 or 6 new stunts and there is, for lack of a better word, a ride hard button which lets you plow through waves better but you sacrifice turning ability. The attention to detail is great. They only need to add foam on the water, especially at the egdes like on the beach to make it perfect. It's still as fun as the original and maybe more so because you can play 4 people.

The only negatives so far. I liked the music on the N64 better though I suspect most people will like this one better and I liked the voice better on the old one though this one is growing on me.

Luigi's Mansion was at first a little disappointing because I couldn't figure out how to play. It was hard to read the Japanese since the character that explains it to you is speaking with an accent which is written into the dialog. He talks like the characters in Banjo and Kazooie except with more than just one sound. It's actually pretty funny since there are parts of words in his speech sounds.

After about 15 minutes of not being able to figure it out I gave up and tried again a couple of hours later. I finally read the manual.

What you have to do is walk around in a dark room until a ghost appears. Once he appears you have to get near him and THEN put the flashlight on him. If you are not very near him he'll just disappear. If you are near him then his heart will appear in front of him and he'll freeze. You then have a few seconds to catch him in the suction of your vacuum at which point his hitpoints will appear and he pulls you around the room ala Ghost Busters until his hitpoints are out or until you trip or get too far from him and get gets away. When you've cleared all the ghosts from a particular room the lights come on to mark the room as finished/cleared. Often a chest will appear with a key letting you into new rooms.

First the bad. I have no idea how to keep a ghost in the beam of my vacuum. I suppose I should read the manual more. It's not that it's all that hard but I don't know why exactly they get away sometimes. It's worse because it's 3D it's often hard to tell which way you are pointing.

Next the controls leave something to be desired. It's almost as though it was designed for a different controller and then the controller was changed on the team but they didn't redesign the game. The reason is the left analog stick is used to move the character around the room (which is the normal thing). When you are using the vacuum the right analog stick is used to turn/aim the vacuum. The R button turns the vacuum on. The B button turns the flashlight OFF (it's ON by default). The right analog stick also aims the flashlight.

So, following the manual, once you see a ghost you should press B to turn off the flashlight until you get close, then let off to flash the ghost. But, there is no possible way you can hold both B and use the right analog stick to aim the flashlight with.

The solution is to run the vacuum at all times by holding R (which also turns off the flashlight). Let off R and the vacuum stops and the flashlight comes back on but it takes 2 seconds or so for the vacuum to shut off before the flashlight comes on. If you could use the B button then it wouldn't be a problem.

Now for the good. Because they made each level so small they can use all the power for little touches. There are mirrors in some of the rooms and they reflect everything, all the particles, enemies etc.

There is cloth in many rooms and you can vacuum it. It will do what you'd expect cloth to do with a vacuum and eventually the vacuum will suck it up. For example you can suck a bedcover off a bed.

It's also particles galore. As you vacuum dust gets sucked off everything. Later in the game you get upgrades where pressing the L button will eject stuff from the vacuum.

Alot of the stuff in each room is interactive. You can vacuum the curtains, open drawers, vacuum chandeliers etc. Sometimes lots of money comes flying out and it looks pretty much like paper money fluttering around the room which you can vacuum all up and it all interacts with the environment, getting stuck behind stuff etc.

The shadows are near perfect. They go over all geometery, even other characters on most of it all objects cast shadows from Luigi's flashlight.

One minor negative though, the sound of a vacuum is just not a pleasant sound. Kind of like in Yoshi's Island where that baby crying is like the most annoying sound ever. The vacuum is not as bad as that. It sounds fairly realistic it's just that a real vacuum is annoying.

So far it's better than I expected. Luigi makes some pretty funny sounds as he's vacuuming up ghosts. He also hums nervously along with the music when he's searching. The ghosts get more interesting. There are at least 22 different puzzle ghosts. Meaning there are generic ghosts of different kinds and then there are unique ghosts. The unique ghosts generally don't appear when you are looking in their direction and so there is usually some kind of puzzle involved in getting them to appear when you can look at them.

For example in one room there was an old lady ghost doing her makeup. To get her to appear you suck the drapes open which lets in a draft through the window at which point she will appear and get up and go close the drapes.

I'm not sure how well Gamecube is selling. There were lines on the news but I had no trouble getting one at lunch time after school at the Sakuraya in Shinjuku. I'm not sure I'd call these A titles. They are both well done but they just don't seem like system sellers. For that we'll need Zelda, Pokemon, Mario, Metroid or maybe Pikmin.

I picked up one extra controller and it comes with no video cables. You have to buy either an analog or digital cable. I got the analog one but it turns out it's the same as the SNES / N64 cable so I guess I didn't really need it.

Oh, and there's a little sticker on the front that says "Powered by ATI"

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