1. 1080 Avalanche - an underrated, brilliantly focussed, racer on beautifully designed courses with great set pieces that was more about building up speed and elegantly carving a sway through ice and now than it was about tricks. Relatively short but very sweet.|
This is actually my choice of my most loved Gamecube game ever. And yet snowboarding games have certainly never been a genre that I've been particularly interested in. But this game is not really about what system of transport that you are using - it's about the environment that you're in. You crash through chalets and ski restaurants and builldings moving logs around. You see deer running off. You even go through a more urban ski village. It's like an arcade adventure, not a sports game.
2. Resident Evil remake- one of the pinnacles of pre-rendered gothic horror atmosphere.
(Alone in the dark: the new nightmare on other consoles is also worth checking out for that). RE4 is a different kettle of fish- more visceral, less considered, more about broad sweeps of gore and environment than close up detail. Don't worry about the fact that Resident Evil is a remake of a PS1 game - this is arguably the greatest remake ever with gorgeous character animations too (they were better than Half Life 2's if you ask me) and that still put many games out now to shame) and many puzzles reworked. The game was treat as if it was brand new and shows Capcom's respect for the Gamecube. The Gamecube also got Resident Evil Zero as an exclusive but it wasn't quite as nice as the remake.
3. Metroid Prime - the Gamecube sequel is less compelling but the original game creates standardly themed enough environments (e.g. fire, ice, water) not to put off people , like me, who aren't especially sci-fi fans.
Think of it like a 3D platformer with puzzles that happens to have some combat in it and it might sound more like the classic Nintendo game that it is. The morph ball in particular allows the feeling that the solution to a puzzle could be anywhere. Backtracking can be tedious though and a later boss is too difficult. One of the best things about the game is the music which , like Resident Evil, can be atmospheric, scary and very touching.
Those 3 are my most 'must play' of the Gamecube.
Waverace: Bluestorm - Like a companion piece to 1080 Avalanche, both series started off on the N64. This game is perhaps less forgiving than 1080 Avalanche but it is still well worth getting for some beautiful water effects (more range than Super Mario Sunshine's).
Unlike the relatively disappointing Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (which is a game that tries a few different environments but is ultimately very much a complete beginner's game and inferior to Naughty Dog's Crash Team Racing) Blue Storm is a game that gives a real sense of satisfaction for actually getting in a good position.
Luigi's Mansion - nice looking little game in which Luigi plays at being a Ghostbuster. This game still has the feel of being a really good technical demonstration of the Cube as well, regularly showing off fire, water and lighting effects. It's also nice that Super Mario Sunshine had a link to it, as Professor Gadd, who invents Luigi's vacuum, also invents Mario's FLUDD device.
Sonic Adventure 2 - the original Dreamcast version, released not long before, looks just as good (or very slightly more 'refined' in fact) but if you haven't got a DC, you may as well get this for the Cube. mainly for the levels that you don't have to think too much about where you are as playing as Sonic hurtling down a rollercoaster of a level like the opening Crazy Taxi/ San Fransisco-feeling one (you will want to replay them in future). Some of the Knuckles levels will make your brain ache trying to work out the solution to the puzzle though. And whoever said that I ever wanted to be forced to play as Robotnik?
Super Mario Sunshine - a lot of people really love it, some think it to be average. I'd rather play it than some of the platformers on competitor's consoles but the game doesn't have a wide enough range of themes for me- it's all a holiday environment. But FLUDD is quite an inspired idea really, it's just that I have far more fun in Isle Delfino than I do in any of the levels.
The Legend of Zelda- The Wind Waker. I'm not really a fan of this series but this game is probably the closest that I'll be to one because of the distinctive visuals (including - the best level- some lovely heat haze effects inside a volcano) and the lovely music on Outset Island. But sailing is annoyingly long and uneventful and treasure hunting is difficult. I also found some islands too hard.
Paper Mario- The Thousand Year Door. A mixed bag this - one of the few games that I have stayed up really late to keep playing just to see what environment occurs next. And yet the environments feel a bit too dimensionally flat and not papery (or cardboardy would have made a difference) enough. Ultimately a game that is a nice first time through, mainly just by working out the ways to open up other areas (and even then the dialogue makes it a poor man's Monkey Island) but not after that. The odd special effect livens it up though. But the series first came out on the N64 (although there was Super Mario RPG before that) and I wonder whether this game offers any significant enhancement. It's a solid entry in the Gamecube's line up though and I'd rather play this than any 'serious' RPG. The pantomime style turn based fights are the best bit. Would take about 20 hours to complete to be fully appreciated.
Viewtiful Joe- loses a bit of lustre in the Gamecube line up by later being ported on to the PS2 (as was RE4). Can be a tricky game to control and becomes very hardcore. A postmodernist deliberate throwback to the 16 bit age and the 80s before it. Worth renting to see but prepare to be annoyed on occasions.
Eternal Darkness - Originally due to be an N64 game and it shows in some places , the most striking thing about this game is that every chapter ends in the failure of your character (worth a rental for that rather than the 'sanity effects' which are supposed to give the illusion that your controller has stopped working or that your character has lot their head etc - a brief gimmick in the end). Spell casting can be a chore though- if you're not a fantasy RPG type of person you will still find the Resident Evil remake to be easier to get in to.
Super Monkey Ball - like Viewtiful Joe, this is actually a hardcore game. Looks very nice but becomes far too tricky far too early on. Some OK minigames but rental only unless you are a games master who loves using quick reflexes. The sequel is probably easier.
As for F Zero GX, also by a Sega studio like Super Monkey Ball, it got some good reviews but it's a fairly clinical feeling game to me so I didn't especially find it a fun experience, especially as it is also of hardcore difficulty.
#6900094, By Picnic Your Most Loved GameCube game EVER!!?
Picnic 36 posts
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