I am loyal to Nintendo. I think they put forth great efforts to make great games and great experience for gamers. So it pains me to say this:
The Gamecube was aweful. Honestly, only 1 game was exceptional and that’s not good. You name it, they screwed it up.
They took the best controller on the market (N64) and took away the underneath trigger but didn’t give it dual analog. Mistake (sports games were aweful). They used mini-DVD sized discs instead of full sized. Mistake. And they ventured off the beaten path with their biggest franchises. Often, this was a mistake.
I was soooo disappointed with my first batch of games that I was extremely hestitant to try out new games. Unfortunately for me, the best games on the Gamecube were new or games I hadn’t played before. So my list will NOT look like mainstream Gamecube lists because I didn’t play the great games. My apologies to the following games I didn’t play: Metroid Prime, Resident Evil 4, Super Smash Bros Melee, Pikmin, Animal Crossing,and Pikmin.
This is why I feel I was a classic consumer case for the Gamecube: loyal fan who couldn’t get past too many disappointments. It also has lead me to create a top and bottom 5 list. So keep reading for my bottom 5 games
1: The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
Ok, this goes against everything I just said. But this is the exception. Zelda took a huge risk by going to this new graphic style. I enjoyed it enough, although it was really weird. What WAS awesome was the gameplay. I felt completely in control of Link at all times. The dungeons were great, the side quests were interesting and the plot was pretty cool. The end fight with Gannon was top notch, one of the best. Traveling by boat sucked a bit, but in the end I completely enjoyed this experience.
2. Super Monkey Ball 2
I bought this game thinking it might be a good party multiplayer game. Turns out it is one of the best overall games I’ve owned. 1 player story mode was challenging and strangely addictive. Monkey racing was also fun by myself or with friends. But the rest of the multiplayer was near perfect. Pick a game and I had friends who wanted to play. Monkey Fight, Monkey Target, Monkey Shot were all great party games and worth the price of admission. Put them all together and you have a surprisingly quality game. This is also the only game I’ve ever lost. Whoever “borrowed” my copy I want it back!
3. Mario Kart Double Dash
I loved Mario Kart 64. So again, this game was a disappointment. The graphics weren’t much better and the play control was actually a little worse. The double-kart feature was neat, but I rarely found anyone who wanted to play co-operative kart racing. Either they were so bad they never wanted to steer or they were good enough to want to challenge me head to head. Also, I'm not sure what this game contributed to the Mario Kart franchise except maybe a few good courses. In the end, it was a fun game which is good enough to make this list.
4. Super Mario Sunshine
Point of reference: this game wouldn’t make my top 5 Mario games. That’s how bad this system was. I had problems with the whole water-cleaning-the-island bit, it didn’t help the game flow all that well (I felt like a janitor). But this game’s biggest problem was Mario 64. This game in no way improved the franchise. Sure the worlds were still beautiful and some of the action was unique, but I never felt like I was playing something special. The best contribution this game made was its gift to the Mario Kart world. And for that we salute you.
5. Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
I bought this one with my system, so it has a little nostalgia to it. Looking back this game had everything I wanted. It was a Star Wars game, and I am a huge fan. The play control was actually pretty good. It wasn’t Star Fox 64, but it was still a lot of fun. The downfall is the same of all space fighter games: it’s repetitive. But that’s ok, I enjoyed the game for what it was for and sometimes that’s all I can ask for.
My Bottom 5 games:
1. James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire
We all know that Golden Eye was the N64 standard. And after the success of Perfect Dark I really had high hopes for the new Bond game. Big enough hopes that I bought it with the system.
This game didn’t improve on either of the aforementioned N64 games. The 1 player was forgettable minus the car levels (which is not what I bought the game for). The multiplayer was terribly bland and was barely recognizable compared to Golden Eye. The game play was just lousy, which I think is partially because of the new controller. In a world of Halo and Star Wars Battlefront this game was a complete waste of time.
2. FIFA World Cup 2002
“Hey, I’m a soccer fan and it’s the World Cup time. I think I’ll buy a soccer game. I assume that since the World Cup is the best tournament in the world that the game will be the best soccer experience.”
This was an arcade game. It was meant to keep people interested in a soccer game that wouldn’t normally care. Really hard shots had flames behind them. Fast players had smoke behind them. It was devoid of any actual soccer strategy and I learned nothing about the sport itself. Opportunity wasted.
3. MVP Baseball 2004 (aka the lefty glitch)
Albert Pujols was on the cover. I had to get this game, especially because I hadn’t owned a baseball game since the SNES. I bought it, went home and looked up the new rosters online.
EGADS! There was a glitch in the game that made it near impossible for left handed batters to hit homeruns. Think about that!! Jim Edmonds would go a whole season with 1 or 2 homeruns! HE HIT 40 THAT YEAR! What a ridiculous problem to deal with!
4. Mario Party 6
Mario Party 4 would actually be number 6 on my best games list (sad but true). So when Mario Party 6 came out I thought I would try it out, since I still assumed that newer games improved on the old. Fooled again! They changed everything that worked, most notably the game board. The mini games were still fun, but when they barely counted towards the end result who really cares?
5. FIFA 2004
In truth, this is the game that helped me become a soccer fanatic. The game play was good, they had all the players and teams and I spent most of my time falling in love with Arsenal.
But besides the gameplay, the actual mechanics were lousy. No matter how much money your team spent during the season, it was all replaced next season. Then, when you bought the best players in the world THEY NEVER GOT WORSE! Players improved each season, but nobody got worse because of age or ability. Let’s just say with a regenerating budget and stagnant talent pool I had a pretty sweet team by the end.
So there you have it! Feel free to comment or disagree on my Top 5, bottom 5 or assessment of the Gamecube in general.