GameCube Games

I was over at a friend’s house who has a GameCube and finally got to have some hands on time with Metroid, SuperMonkeyBall 2, Beach Spikers, and Animal Crossing. Ok first the good stuff:

Beachspikers was pretty good 4 player, not quite Virtua Tennis 2 (which got a good amount of playtime as well) but still good fun and all of the jokes about the females touching each other were almost as fun as the game, makes me look forward to DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball. :)

Animal Crossing was interesting, goofy Nintendo graphics and all the concept was very novel and I liked how when two people would play in the same town you can affect the environment. The most impressive of the games I saw.

Ok now the other stuff:

Metroid Prime. Very pretty. Whacked out control scheme. If it isn’t an FPS then why do you have to shoot so many things in first person view? Also, kinda boring. Lock on kill things. Also, annoying rock paper scissor type monsters. And the controls again, ugh. I can see how someone could like it but I don’t get the hype.

Super Monkey Ball 2. We played a couple of the mini games the monkey in the ball with the puncher thing where one person would get this insane powerup then proceed to clean house on everyone else. Not at all entertaining. Then we played the tennis game. Boring. After a game or two we decided to play VT2. I have no idea how the rest of the game is but from what I saw it didn’t impress me.

So in sum. I don’t think I will be buying a GameCube anytime soon. If I were going to buy one it would be for Animal Crossing but while it is interesting I don’t know that I will make the investment.

– Xaroc

Eye of the beholder, I guess. Me, I’ve spent many, many happy hours with MP and SMB2. AC is fun. Volleyball games don’t do anything for me, I don’t care if someone rolls out porno volleyball. It’s volleyball. I’d sooner play video badminton.

Though I can’t preach. I did enjoy an Amiga game called Shufflepuck cafe that was a simple air hockey game. Talk about slothlike and stupid. It was 3D pong, really…

I love Monkey Ball, Animal Crossing and Metroid. Coupled with the fact that the gamecube is the most affordable console makes it my favorite, or at least tied with the PS2

Oh come on. You are judging the system and its games based on an afternoon at a friends house? You played a couple of mini-games in Monkey Ball and declare it boring. You didn’t even play the main game? And to play Animal Crossing for just one day misses the whole point of the game. As for Metroid, it’s an adventure game, and I find the controls to be flawless. I honestly don’t understand why people gripe about them. Of course, I can’t stand FPSs on consoles, so maybe that’s why I enjoy the scheme more than some. At any rate, the point of the game is exploration, just like the earlier metroid games. It’s more of a platformer/adventure game than an action game, so it takes some time to get into it.

Of course, you are entitled to your opinion, and I’m not trying to convince you to buy a system. It doesn’t matter to me. But I just don’t want other people to think that you have given a fair assessment here. It might discourage them from trying/buying these games, and that would be a shame for most.

Personally, I thought Metroid was genius when I rented it. But I hear it’s short so I’m waiting for the price to come down to buy it. I don’t play much else on it beside SSX Tricky and NFL 2k3… that brings up a sore point with me…

As anyone played both NFL2k3 and Madden 2003 for a decent amount of time? If so, do you agree that in terms of football likeness (in terms of play) and in the way it looks, NFL2k3 completely dominates? I’ve played both for more than a few games and Madden just pales in gameplay terms beside… they have them beat hands down on options for your team/season, music and special things (like the madden cards), but Madden just doesn’t compare to NFL2k3 in gameplay. Here comes my gripe… Sega is ditching their current development house for NFL2k3 and shopping around for another…OMG. Add in some specials like music and madden cards and NFL2k3 would be the best football game ever made.

<takes a deep breath> Ok, I’m better now.

-Matt

Oh yeah, and have Zelda reserved for the GC…which includes the other two from the N64…I can’t wait.

Personally, I thought Metroid was genius when I rented it. But I hear it’s short so I’m waiting for the price to come down to buy it.

Wow…I wouldn’t call Metroid Prime short. Not in the least. There’s a hell of a lot of game there. Call it lousy cause you don’t like the controls or something, yeah, OK, I can accept that. But man, if Metroid Prime is “short”, you can eliminate just about every first person shooter from your to buy list.

As for NFL2K3 vs. Madden, I prefer the pace of the Sega games over the plodding and TVness of Madden. If I wanted to watch the game on TV, I’d do just that. Video game football should be about calling plays and executing them, not watching motion capture of guys picking themselves up off the ground, strutting around or watching their dead eyes while they pant in the huddle. Sega’s game isn’t as bad in that respect because it’s much snappier when I hit the button to get right back to play calling. The on field game pace is better too.

BTW, I recall reviews complaining about the two minute offense in NFL2K3. I’ve got the Gamecube version, and I haven’t seen it play badly yet. Is it possible that this is the one case where the late release on GC actually benefitted the game?

–Dave

Well, MP isn’t short for an adventure game, but it’s got no multiplayer, so you could consider it short for a shooter. A lot of people have probably logged 100+ hours in multiplayer Halo, so I really don’t see your “eliminate all other FPS” comment at all.

So throw “single player” in there before “first person shooter” because that’s what I was thinking and figuring that was what wzrd was talking about.

I usually separate the two unless the game is like Unreal Tournament and is multiplayer focused. Typically, I’m not going to play FPS games multiplayer unless they’re designed for it.

–Dave

If you had to guess, how many hours of gameplay would you say you get out of Metroid Prime? I heard very few, so I wasn’t interested in paying full price.

As for NFL2k3, yes, more responsive and looked/felt more like football by a long shot, to me. I’ll go back and play it again anytime now.

My counter reads 14 hours 19 minutes and I’m at 49% complete according to the game I’m currently playing. I’m going to try to finish it this week. I recently acquired the Fusion Beam. I think Kasavin’s Gamespot review said most players will have 70% and at least 25 hours when all is said and done.

From the IGN review…

You’ll want to keep this one even after your done spending 30+ hours with it. (By the way, please note that Prime’s timer does not count down when you’re looking at the map, reading scan data, examining your research log, or viewing cut-scenes. So, while your clock my read closer to 20 hours at completion, you will have in fact played much more.)

Compared to some of the recent FPS games on the PC, where ten hours was generous, this game is pretty damn long. It’s been so good for me so far that I’m pretty sure I’ll play it again when I finish it. As with all the Metroid games, you get better endings for better completion rates/times from what I’ve read. You also unlock a hard mode when you finish it once, making it a tougher run through the second time. I mean, really, when it comes to first person action/adventure, this is a game worth buying. It also won’t go down in price anytime soon if Nintendo’s past history is any indication. They still sell many one year old titles like Pikmin for $39.99 or the ubiquitous $49.99 for many others. Only recently have there been any price breaks at any retailers with Best Buy discounting Eternal Darkness to $19.99 (but they’re the only ones I’ve seen). Resident Evil still commands at least $29.99…etc. You get the point.

One thing about owning a Nintendo console is that you can count on first party games to stay at the high price a long, long time making it worth your while to buy new early because if you wait, it’ll be a year or more before you can save anything on the game. When Nintendo has million sellers, they’re often being sold at $49.99 for the entire lifetime of sales.

Nutty, but true…

–Dave

I loved Shufflepuck cafe! Great time waster. I think it was originally a Mac game, though I played it on the Amiga too.

No Smash Bros?? This is highly suspect, you say you spent some time with the GC, but it seems to me you really didn’t at all experience what it truly has to offer! :wink:

Still, Metroid was a nice rollercoaster ride. Slow with a long daunting uphill start, but once you reach that apex the game becomes a thrilling and very unique experience. Controls were vexxing for the first few hours for me as well, and it took several boss encounters and many silly fatal errors before they finally clicked. I think it was the acquisition of the double jump that really changed my perception. By the end of the game I was moving and grooving, running and gunning like a pro. Still for such a “wonderful” game I haven’t at all had the desire to replay it unfortunately, no really desire to get back in line again. Nice memories while it lasted though.

I just finished Eternal Darkness tonight (at least finished a first run-through). Wow - well worth the ridiculous late fee I’m going to have to pay. Anyone who even knows somebody with a Gamecube needs to at least rent it and check it out. Great story, gameplay, graphics, sanity effects are wonderful, and one of the most unique (in a good way) spell systems ever. I didn’t realize it was only $20 at Best Buy, though - might have to pick it up for the other two paths.

Eternal Darkness IS a good game, not my thing but I still recognized the quality. Three things: The bathtub thing scared the hell out of me. The moving busts I saw out of the corner of my eye as I ran past and my heart just stopped. The knocking creeped me out so bad I actually stopped playing. (give me a break it was late night/early morning)

And I’ve been a fan of Nintendo so of course I like the GameCube. After what’s-his-face left they opened the door for a lot of crap though (damn commitee thinking). But there’s still less crap then the other systems, but their damn secrecy is starting to work against them, people buy systems based on games, if they don’t know about future games why buy the system?

Didn’t much enjoy Eternal Darkness myself. Well at first it was neat and all, discovering various sanity effects, trying to situate myself into the developing characters and story, but after a few hours the experience I found wore extremely thin.

The biggest fault I have for the game is the area design. Boorish straightforward corridors and insipid puzzle design just really got on my nerves. It was a novel concept to revisit some of these old tombs and areas in a fluctuating timeline, but unfortunately I didn’t really find any of them all too interesting to explore outside of the mansion.

The characters were dry and didn’t really offer too much variety between them. Guns and ranged weaponry felt all too worthless compared to a blade that most all charatcers can wield efficiently, making the gameplay grow thin and stale too early on despite the amount of hardware you do get access to. The spell system could have been something unique, but aside from the occasional buff and heal, it really didn’t seem to offer anything a sharp metal edge couldn’t deliver more efficiently.

The plot did nothing for me. I guess it just takes more than a few demonic creatures titled ‘the ancients’ waiting for the planets to align so they can do terrible things upon the earth to really picque my interest.

The whole game grew tedious and after several long breaks I finally was able to push myself through to the end, knowing full well there isn’t enough drugs in the world to keep me coming back for a second or third runthrough to earn that ‘true ending’. I expected better, much like that Mario Sunshine game.

One more thing about Nintendo. Back when SNES was the only game in town, if you wanted a game you had best buy it when it came out because you were likely to never find it on a store shelf again. It seemed to me as if Nintendo had a stranglehold on the number of copies and frequency of deliveries to its game sellers. And the folks at Toys 'R Us and EB never knew how many or when more copies would be arriving. You put your name on a list, crossed your fingers and waited. Now, the AAA titles were available in sufficient quantities, but if it was not plastered on the cover of every gaming mag, you had best have checked the store every day once the release date came and went.

Now that the competition is stronger, I assume Nintendo ceased these practices, but I have always had a bad taste in my mouth because of it. Especially since I donated many a dollar to the Nintendo juggernaut back in the NES/SNES days. Almost all at full price because, as Dave states above, back then those initial prices rarely dropped. It was a contributing factor in my choice between the PS and N64 when they were both released. The PS won out which then continued with the PS2.

The cartridge business is an entirely different animal than the CD business because the cost of goods was so much higher. The reason you didn’t see a lot of restock or you would only find one or two copies at your local store was because many publishers weren’t able to afford to put more out there, were afraid of eating unsold games or simply underestimated demand and couldn’t produce more until much later due to large production backups at Nintendo.

Of course, the cost of silicon has dropped significantly since then. GBA games don’t cost nearly as much to print as their ancient SNES counterparts. In fact, Nintendo lowered prices across the board a year ago when they got big savings on production costs for both the unit and the games.

CDs/DVDs are great from a publisher perspective because the cost of goods is next to nothing. The problem is that many publishers really never passed on any savings to consumers. You have to give Sony credit for going to a $39.99 price point on first party titles. That was a bold move.

–Dave

Yes, but $29.99 would have been even bolder! :P

Hey, I told you what I saw and what I thought nothing more nothing less. And the person who owned the GameCube picked the mini-games to show us. Typically if I am going to show someone something in a game I attempt to pick the most fun/impressive thing about it I can find. I have no idea how the single player plays it may be the best thing EVAR but I wasn’t really commenting on that.

And to play Animal Crossing for just one day misses the whole point of the game.

I said I liked it the best although I don’t think I would buy a GC over it.

As for Metroid, it’s an adventure game, and I find the controls to be flawless. I honestly don’t understand why people gripe about them. Of course, I can’t stand FPSs on consoles, so maybe that’s why I enjoy the scheme more than some. At any rate, the point of the game is exploration, just like the earlier metroid games. It’s more of a platformer/adventure game than an action game, so it takes some time to get into it.

I know it is an adventure game it just seems to have lots of first person shooting for an adventure game. It just seems like filler for moving between places.

Of course, you are entitled to your opinion, and I’m not trying to convince you to buy a system. It doesn’t matter to me. But I just don’t want other people to think that you have given a fair assessment here. It might discourage them from trying/buying these games, and that would be a shame for most.

I figured people might take it for what it was, a first time hands on impression. Now considering I bought a PS2 the day after going over to this guy’s house and playing GT3 and ended up buying an Xbox after playing Halo there the fact that I am not ready to run out and buy a GC might be an indication I wasn’t impressed overall. This is probably true. Still people have talked about these games a lot and I could never really throw in my two cents because I hadn’t played them at all just read reviews so now I am throwing in my two cents for better or worse.

– Xaroc

I’m impressed. Could you run out and buy me a Gamecube?