The GameCube video games we nonetheless love, 20 years later | Engadget

2001 was fairly a memorable time in gaming. Standout titles embody Grand Theft Auto III, Metal Gear Solid 2 and Final Fantasy X. It was additionally the yr Xbox made its debut, whereas the Sega Dreamcast bowed out. However whereas all that was happening Nintendo was nonetheless going sturdy, releasing the Game Boy Advance in March of that yr and a brand new house system in September. The GameCube was fairly a console, an lovely field with an awesome wireless controller and enjoyable add-ons just like the Game Boy Player

Sadly, the system was tormented by a skinny library, particularly in comparison with the PlayStation’s mixed roster of PS1 and PS2 video games. However what titles they had been — it gave us Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Monkey Ball and the unique Animal Crossing. On the GameCube’s twentieth anniversary in Japan the Engadget workers appears again at their favourite titles from that period which, as soon as once more, does not embody a few of the apparent candidates. — Kris Naudus, Purchaser’s Information Editor

Donkey Konga

I’ll be sincere; I used to be late to the GameCube and the one purpose I purchased one was for Donkey Konga. I first performed this rhythm title at a Toys ‘R’ Us and fell in love with these silly bongos. A yr earlier than Guitar Hero this was the occasion recreation du jour, and I took my dice and controllers all over the place. I rapidly unlocked each tune, and have become an absolute grasp at “Oye Como Va.” It was adopted by a sequel and the bongos had been even the default management scheme for Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, however nothing matched the sheer pleasure of taking part in that first installment and the sore palms that ensued. — KN

Everlasting Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

Name it the anti-Resident Evil. Eternal Darkness places you within the footwear of Alexandra Roivas, a younger lady making an attempt to unravel the thriller of her grandfather’s horrific dying. Its century-spanning story coated a dozen characters, all linked to an historic Lovecraftian god. Whereas there’s fight, it was extra about psychological trauma than the survival horror of Resident Evil. Most notably, it had a sanity meter that will change the gameplay and atmosphere and even throw simulated system errors to freak out gamers. Take that, Metallic Gear Strong.

Like many GameCube titles, Everlasting Darkness was clearly an try to draw an older viewers. It was the primary M-rated recreation printed by Nintendo, and the company kept the trademark alive for a decade. However it was by no means re-released exterior of the GameCube, and hope for a direct sequel was squashed when developer Silicon Knights filed for chapter in 2014. There was an try at a non secular successor, Shadow of the Eternals, that fell aside after failing to boost sufficient cash through crowdfunding. It is virtually becoming {that a} recreation about millennia-old evil could find yourself being misplaced to the sands of time. — Devindra Hardawar, Senior Editor

Fireplace Emblem: Path of Radiance

After the runaway success of Awakening and Three Houses, it’s laborious to see what made Path of Radiance, Fireplace Emblem’s solely GameCube launch, so particular again in 2005. Almost 20 years later its presentation appears stiff and dated, and the sport is lacking the connection mechanics beloved by newcomers. However in Path of Radiance you’ll nonetheless discover most of the components that got here to outline later Fireplace Emblem video games.

They exist in a type of prototypical type since this was the primary recreation within the sequence to make the leap to 3D. We take a whole lot of it without any consideration now, however again then sequence developer Clever Techniques had to determine the mechanics for the primary time. And it did, making for a recreation that’s nonetheless enjoyable to play to this present day. It has probably the greatest tales within the sequence, with an English script that captures a whole lot of the nuances of the Japanese authentic.

It’s that story that made me fall in love with Path of Radiance once I first performed it greater than 15 years in the past. Even when the sport was at its most punishing, I wished to see what would occur to Ike and his band of mercenaries. Path of Radiance was my first Fireplace Emblem recreation, however it’s the one I maintain coming again to due to simply how a lot I loved my first playthrough as a teen. — Igor Bonifacic, Contributing Editor

F-Zero GX

The unique F-Zero for the Tremendous NES is a kind of video games I wore out as a youngster. Whereas the futuristic area racer solely had 15 programs, they had been stunning and difficult, and even once I did effectively, I all the time felt like I may do a little higher. A decade later, F-Zero GX hit the GameCube and confirmed simply how far racing had come.

The essential idea is similar: high-speed futuristic hovercraft battling it out in wild, inventive programs the place one mistake can result in catastrophe. The GameCube’s horsepower meant the programs had been longer, extra sophisticated and visually gorgeous. The sense of velocity was most likely the most important change, although: even now, 20 years later, this recreation feels extremely quick. That velocity makes it positively unforgiving, and I by no means progressed that far by means of the sport’s many challenges. Driver AI was additionally considerably improved. Within the first recreation, you principally solely needed to fear in regards to the three major rivals. However in GX, it’s simple to finish up in fifteenth or twentieth place within the blink of an eye fixed when you’re not cautious.

Regardless of that, I nonetheless bear in mind the sport fondly, largely as a result of it’s the final actual entry within the F-Zero franchise. I didn’t play the Nintendo 64 entry within the sequence, so the leap from the SNES to the GameCube was fairly mind-blowing on the time. It’s a disgrace that Nintendo has let the sequence languish since then, as a result of I’d love an up to date model of GX for the Change. — Nate Ingraham, Deputy Managing Editor

Mario Kart: Double Sprint

I’ve fond reminiscences of Mario Kart: Double Dash for a not-unique purpose. Within the early 2000s, my pals and I had frequent co-op online game nights, and Double Sprint was a mainstay in our lineup. Mario Kart video games have all the time been wonderful in native multiplayer, and Double Sprint was no exception. After Mario Kart 64, it was disappointing that every one 4 gamers couldn’t compete straight in opposition to one another, however we rapidly obtained used to the sport’s uncommon mechanic that allow one participant drive and one other throw weapons. Having two groups of two gamers was an attention-grabbing wrinkle to the gameplay, and it makes Double Sprint one of many extra uncommon video games within the sequence.

As with most GameCube video games, it appears fantastic. Mario Kart 64, like a whole lot of N64 video games, hasn’t aged as effectively visually, however Double Sprint continues to be attractive, and Nintendo took a significant step ahead by way of creativity and selection within the recreation’s ranges. There are extra hidden routes and methods to method every stage than ever earlier than, and the scope of boards like Wario Colosseum and the sport’s tackle the ever present Rainbow Highway had been unmatched on the time. It’s no coincidence that nearly each course on this recreation has appeared in subsequent variations of Mario Kart — so even when you by no means performed Double Sprint, you’ve seemingly come throughout a few of its iconic tracks. — NI

Metroid Prime

Within the 80s and 90s, the Metroid franchise was outlined by three traditional titles: the unique Metroid for the NES, Metroid II: Return of Samus on the Sport Boy, and Tremendous Metroid on the Tremendous NES. They cemented Metroid gameplay as a side-scrolling motion / exploration recreation, with a non-linear set of ranges. Gamers would come throughout areas that you simply couldn’t absolutely discover earlier than beating bosses and discovering gadgets in different elements of the sport.

Metroid Prime, nonetheless, utterly turned the sequence round, placing it in 3D for the primary time. Whereas the fashion resembled a first-person shooter, the gameplay nonetheless put exploration on the forefront, fairly than fast-paced gun fights. That stated, the sport is a lot difficult, even punishing at instances in its problem: its huge bosses and twisting tunnels filled with enemies had been unforgiving.

However for me, essentially the most memorable a part of Metroid Prime is the unimaginable environment of Tallon IV, and the marvel of discovering new sections of the abandoned planet to discover. Prime additionally did an awesome job at increasing the story and lore of the Metroid sequence, with a great deal of scannable gadgets that designate what occurred to the ruined world. The sequels to Metroid Prime are nice, however this primary recreation is arguably the perfect within the sequence and an enormous a part of why we’re all so enthusiastic about someday getting our palms on Metroid Prime 4. NI

Odama

It’s such a wierd idea that it seems like some developer’s fever dream — a mixture pinball technique recreation with voice management. However Odama was fairly actual, and it was superb. Like every tactical wargame, you managed a military of males (although through voice instructions) who wanted to overhaul the enemy gate on the prime facet of the show. Complicating issues was a large ball that destroyed all in its path, however luckily, you could possibly exert some management over it with a pair of flippers on the backside of the display. There was lots happening and it was completely bonkers, however when you managed to beat Odama you had been rewarded with the best ending theme to a video game ever. — KN

Pokémon Colosseum

Although the Pokémon sequence is, at its coronary heart, a role-playing recreation sequence from Japan, it’s not very typical of the JRPG style we’ve change into accustomed to by means of franchises like Ultimate Fantasy and Dragon Quest. However manner again in 2003 second-party developer Genus Sonority tried its hand as a extra “conventional” story-based RPG, putting the participant within the footwear of a reformed felony making an attempt to rescue Pokémon from his former group. Pokémon Colosseum came about within the cyberpunk-flavored Orre area, versus the extra pastoral settings of the hand held RPGs. The “snagging” mechanic for amassing Pokémon was attention-grabbing, and the storyline had extra of an edge to it. It was adopted by a sequel in 2005, Pokémon XD, however I’d like to see this spinoff sequence continued on the Change. — KN

Resident Evil 4

It is easy to overlook that Resident Evil 4 was initially a GameCube unique. It has been re-released on virtually each platform, together with the Oculus Quest 2 later this yr. However it began on Nintendo’s purple field, a platform not recognized for having many motion titles. The sport’s endurance is sensible although. It is the primary Resident Evil recreation rendered utterly in 3D, and it featured a slick over-the-shoulder digital camera that made taking pictures contaminated baddies really feel genuinely kinetic.

Resident Evil 4‘s gameplay would go on to affect not simply your complete sequence, however most motion video games transferring ahead. It was additionally an awesome instance of the GameCube’s unheralded horsepower, which may ship smoother and crisper graphics than the PlayStation 2. Even in the present day, the unique GameCube RE4 nonetheless appears improbable, with high-quality character fashions and environments teeming with element. As compared, the PS2 model look like a muddy mess. — DH

Skies of Arcadia Legends

It will not be honest to name Skies of Arcadia Legends a GameCube recreation, because it’s only a port of a traditional Dreamcast title. However I am giving it a shout as a result of it is nonetheless probably the greatest RPGs I’ve ever performed, and maybe reminiscing about it can lastly spur on a digital re-release. The GameCube port fixes a few of the body price and stability points from the Dreamcast, and provides new characters besides, making it the definitive model of the sport.

Set in a world of floating continents, Skies of Arcadia Legends focuses on sky pirates who embark on a world-saving journey, naturally. You possibly can discover a 3D world map together with your airship, which will get into large-scale turn-based battles with different vessels and big enemies. Very similar to Chrono Set off, you’ll be able to inform that Skies of Arcadia comes from a dream crew of builders. On this case, the workers beforehand labored on Phantasy Star, Panzer Dragoon and Sakura Wars.

Whereas Sega initially deliberate to convey Skies of Arcadia to the PlayStation 2, it ended up specializing in the GameCube port as a substitute. Maybe Nintendo has a stake in that port and we simply do not know. Nonetheless, it would be good to play such a well-crafted recreation as soon as once more. I can not be the one one who nonetheless often listens to its epic soundtrack. — DH

Gallery: Nintendo GameCube twentieth anniversary | 8 Images


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