The Rebelscum 2001 Holiday Guide to Star Wars Console Gaming

Console: Nintendo GameCube

What outsold Harry Potter on its opening weekend? Nintendo racked up over $100 million in GameCube sales on the first day of release!

The much anticipated Nintendo GameCube is the predecessor to the Nintendo 64. It packs 485MHz Power PC processor and can crank out 12 million polygons per second – which may sound paltry in relation to the other contestants in the Next Generation Arena, but those numbers reflect in-game conditions, not just lab tests and marketing hype. Additionally, the GameCube is supposed to be a snap to develop for, according to numerous game manufacturers. With many of the normal technology bottlenecks removed, developers are able to quickly maximize system power – as evidenced by the stunning graphics seen in the first-generation launch games.

The real power behind this new system, however, is the Nintendo brand name. Nintendo knows how to make great games. Period. They have been in the console business much longer than any other company on this holiday list and many of their creations, such as the Mario series of games, have revolutionized the way video games are played. Critics bemoan the fact that historically the company has targeted younger audiences – a stigma Nintendo hopes to shed with the release of more "adult" oriented games for the GameCube: Resident Evil, Perfect Dark, Turok, and Metriod - all franchises that appeal to older audiences.

Additionally, the GameCube will offer interaction with the GameBoy Advance, Nintendo's market-dominating hand-held system - the possibilities for which are nearly endless.

The GameCube fires out of the gates at a price point $100.00 cheaper than the competition, which could make quite an impact on the budget conscious.

Official Site:
Launch Date: Currently Available
Cost: $199.00 - click here to buy

Star Wars Games:

Star Wars: Rogue Leader-Rogue Squadron II

Currently only a single Star Wars game appears on the GameCube radar - but it is receiving some of the most fanfare on this or any console system right now. That game is the LucasArts/Factor 5 dog-fighter Star Wars: Rogue Leader-Rogue Squadron II. Based on the original trilogy, this sequel to the N64 hit Star Wars: Rogue Squadron is shaping up to be the premiere launch title and is exclusive to the GameCube. It not only offers intense game play, recreating many of the most famous Star Wars battles, but does so with some of the silkiest, detailed graphics seen on any console system. The game combines advanced particle and lighting effects, bump-mapping, full-scene anti-aliasing, and graphics comparable to the digital effects used in the actual movie, all running at a solid 60 frames per second.

As if that weren’t enough, Rogue Leader is one of the first games to utilize Dolby Laboratories' Pro Logic II sound technology. This will allow for full positional audio – meaning those with a 5.1 home theater setup and a Pro Logic II decoder will be experiencing the game in glorious surround sound.

Reviews for the game are positively glowing - Rogue Leader has not only struck the balance between visual beauty and exciting gameplay, but makes for an excellent example of what GameCube technology is capable of delivering.

For additional details, screenshots, and QuickTime movies on Star Wars: Rogue Leader-Rogue Squadron II, visit the official LucasArts website right here.

Launch Date: Currently available
Cost: $49.99 - click here to buy

Simply select a system below, or click here to learn about the Microsoft X-Box.