GC

The GameCube 10

Stars Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader

by Danny Bivens - November 8, 2011, 1:42 pm PST

The force is strong in this GameCube launch title.

Year: 2001
Developer: Factor 5
Publisher: LucasArts
NWR Score: 9.0 (Jonathan Metts), 9.0 (David Trammel)

Why It’s List-worthy

Although Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader might be a bit of a mouthful to say, it remains one of the best looking GameCube titles to date. Not only that, but it even trumps the majority of Wii efforts on the market even though the successor to Nintendo’s purple Cube has been available for nigh five years. The thing that is the most surprising about Rogue Leader 10 years later is that it still holds up as one of the best (if not the best) Star Wars space shooters to date. At the time, the GameCube really helped show what set that console generation apart from the previous one both visually and aurally. Simply put, Rogue Leader does a wonderful job at portraying not only the locations and battles from the Star Wars universe, but the vehicles and general feel of the original trilogy.

The visuals in Rogue Leader are top notch.

The controls are also an area where Rogue Leader shines - and with a game this difficult, they certainly need to. Factor 5 worked closely with Nintendo many things with the GameCube and the full utilization of the controller is another perfect example of this. While many other third parties developing on the GameCube treated the unique controller with contempt, Factor 5 utilized nearly every aspect of the controller from the analog shoulder buttons to the D-pad. Not only that, but flying and controlling the vehicles was extremely well done and easy to pick up, though still difficult to master.

Favorite Moment

The Battle of Endor mission was everything fans of the original trilogy could have dreamed to find in a Star Wars game. Before that time, there were not many games, let alone Star Wars games, that had that many ships on the screen at the same time. This made for a movie-like experience that has yet to matched in a Star Wars game since.

The Battle of Endor…before the insanity begins.

Least Favorite Moment

Rogue Leader had a very cool feature that had your astromech droid repair your ship once your health reached a critical point where you are near death. Repairing the ship would restore your health completely minus the shields that you start out with. You would be able to perform this by pressing the D-pad when prompted. While this was a welcome and great addition to the game, the specific point when you had to press the D-pad was so precise, that is was incredibly difficult and at times impossible to do.

Surprised to See...

The documentary and audio commentary by Factor 5. It was absolutely fascinating to hear what Julian Eggebrecht and his team put in to the game with only nine months to work with. It’s a pity that very few development teams since have yet to take the time to include interesting special features like this into their games.

Talkback

DanielMDaniel Mousseau, Staff AlumnusNovember 07, 2011

I loved my Gamecube. Mind you I really only played Phantasy Star Online but still. I find it amusing that the only games that were really online for the Gamecube were MMO's.

Ian SaneNovember 07, 2011

I would consider the best Gamecube games to be Pikmin 2, Zelda: Four Swords and the Metroid Primes.  I personally prefer Metroid Prime 2 but I can't really explain why I prefer it.  The two games are more or less equals anyway. Pikmin 1 is also a must-play but Pikmin 2 is the better title.

One thing to note is that the four titles I listed had no real N64 equivalent.  The N64 had the advantage that nearly every sequel it had did something vastly different and original from its predecessor.  The switch to 3D allowed this.  The Gamecube did not have this luxury so titles like Super Mario Sunshine and Wind Waker were not doing anything too different from what had been done before.  As a result I found those two games somewhat disappointing.  They weren't bad but they didn't stand out the way Super Mario 64 and the N64 Zeldas did.  The four titles I listed as the best provide experiences that were not available on a previous console.

The thing is is that it seemed that Nintendo KNEW that.  Both games try very hard to distinguish themselves from their predecessors with FLUDD and the cel shaded graphics.  But both of those ideas come across as incredibly forced and don't really add much anyway.  It's like that's the point where Nintendo could not effortlessly make a respectable sequel to those franchises that provided new experiences.  So they had to make a conscious effort to make them stand out which is a recipe for a forced idea.  In Mario's case, Sunshine comes across as a mistep as the idea in Super Mario Galaxy to use planets worked like a charm and did not feel forced.  But Zelda has been kind of lost since then and we'll have to see if Skyward Sword can get it back on track.

The Wii and the DS are an extension of that issue.  Nintendo does not feel confident in their ability to effortlessly innovate in a way that comes across as natural so they come up with touchscreens and motion control in the hope that they will inspire new ideas as easily as the switch to 3D did.

ThanerosNovember 07, 2011

Quote from: DanielM

I loved my Gamecube. Mind you I really only played Phantasy Star Online but still. I find it amusing that the only games that were really online for the Gamecube were MMO's.


They they were awesome! PSO ep III was my fav too bad it died pretty quick but its a gem that only GCN has.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)November 08, 2011

Why is J.P. always the one at the centre of the arguments when it comes to these features? I recall the intro to the SNES 20 reading very similarly. I swear, that man is nothing but trouble.

Super Monkey Ball is a good choice to get things started. One of my all-time greatest gaming achievements was conquering the Expert level set in that game. It's easy to forget how difficult the Monkey Ball series once was. Oh, and the multiplayer minigames were pretty fun. Monkey Fight was unbridled chaos with four people.

KITT 10KNovember 08, 2011

Mario Kart: Double Dash should be up there. I liked the game's twist of having TWO characters on ONE kart, (some didn't but me, my brothers, and our friends did). We played for hours on end, we actually over heated a friend's Gamecube from a 14 hour Mario Kart race day, (needless to say we were pretty ticked), so went went to another friend's to use there Gamecube. Now we do this with Mario Kart Wii instead. And we continue to have more fun on Marioto Kart WiiWii than any other game we play.

KITT 10KNovember 08, 2011

For those of you who are wondering his we played for 14 hours straight we turn the lap count all the way up, (which Mario Kart DS and Wii are missing, more laps made it more fun), and there were 16pretty of us and 4 spots in the game, (we turned off the computer contolled characters and who ever finished in 3rd and 4th at the end of each track gave it up to the next two people in the oder we drew numbers in which order we would play).

Quote from: Killer_Man_Jaro

Why is J.P. always the one at the centre of the arguments when it comes to these features? I recall the intro to the SNES 20 reading very similarly. I swear, that man is nothing but trouble.

Hey, it's not my fault most of the people on staff are wrong about a lot of things.

roger6106November 08, 2011

Super Monkey Ball is a great game. I still remember how nervous I was as I was while playing the expert extra stages, hoping to make it to the master stages. Once I got to those master stages I didn't have to worry about dying anymore, knowing that I could use my continues.


Pikmin should make the list. That game has a great atmosphere combined with excellent gameplay. While it was short, it was worth playing through multiple times. I purposefully went through all thirty days once without accomplishing anything, just to see what journal entry Olimar would have next.


I never understood how people liked Pikmin 2 so much more than 1. I didn't even finish playing through it due to the cheap methods it used to lengthen the game. For example, was it really necessary to make electrified gates that only yellow Pikmin could open?

TizonaNovember 08, 2011

Yay Gamecube! I just found and bought a sealed copy of Odama with the rarely supported Gamecube Microphone. Gamecube had some great games on it and some truly weird and one of a kind ones like Odama and Cubivore.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorNovember 08, 2011

My top ten, in no particular order:

Super Monkey Ball
Smash Bros. Melee
Soul Caliber 2
Pikmin
Pac-Man vs.
Mario Kart
Wario Ware
Wind Waker
Four Swords
Geist
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
Odama

Now, don't go back and count those.

I counted them before I read the part about not counting them. There are 12. And you didn't even bother to cheat the way we did with Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario Allstars + World.

Odie5776November 08, 2011

Kirby Air Ride beats this

SundoulosNovember 08, 2011

Try as I might, I was never able to appreciate Super Monkey Ball...

CericNovember 08, 2011

Quote from: UncleBob

My top ten, in no particular order:

Super Monkey Ball
Smash Bros. Melee
Soul Caliber 2
Pikmin
Pac-Man vs.
Mario Kart
Wario Ware
Wind Waker
Four Swords
Geist
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
Odama

Now, don't go back and count those.

We could combine Soulcalibur 2, Four Swords, Wind Waker, and Smash Bros Melee by the type of Link that they have in them.

Games with Realistic Link
Games with Cartoon Link

That should get you to Ten :D .

I know these won't make it Phantasy Star Online and Crystal Chronicles.

LittleIrvesNovember 08, 2011

Okay. This is a dumb question. But...  is Super Monkey Ball worth getting now if you've never played the series? I realize the obvious answer is, "Um, it just made a top 10 list, so yes" but I'm wondering if much of the love is from playing it in 2001, when the series and GC were fresh/new. If I played this today for the first time, does it hold up?

Sort of the same question with Geist. Don't know if it'll make the NWR list, but UncleBob mentioned it, so I figured I'd be somewhat on topic...

ejamerNovember 08, 2011

Quote from: LittleIrves

Okay. This is a dumb question. But...  is Super Monkey Ball worth getting now if you've never played the series? I realize the obvious answer is, "Um, it just made a top 10 list, so yes" but I'm wondering if much of the love is from playing it in 2001, when the series and GC were fresh/new. If I played this today for the first time, does it hold up?

Sort of the same question with Geist. Don't know if it'll make the NWR list, but UncleBob mentioned it, so I figured I'd be somewhat on topic...

Super Monkey Ball, definitely. The series never really improved over what was offered in the first two games on GameCube, and the benefit of motion controls over an analog stick is arguable at best. The question is really just if this type of action/puzzle games appeals to you or not. With a quick playing time and tons of fun mini-games to enjoy, for most gamers it's at least worth trying!

Geist... not so much. Having played through this game recently I just couldn't come up with good reasons to recommend it. The game has some neat ideas but they feel under-utilized, and too often Geist falls into the trap of just being a weak FPS with a gimmick instead of being something new and really innovative. Despite a few good moments, there are too many other good games demanding your time to go back for this one.

That's just my opinion of course.

CericNovember 08, 2011

Super Monkey Ball is worth finding.  Though, Neal will shoot me for this, the levels don't smoothly go up and down.  You'll get a Hard one then an Easy one then a Medium one then an easy one, etc.  The 3DS game does a better job of this but, I can't really recommend it unless you can get it for $10-15 maybe.

Super Monkey Ball is worth tracking down and if Sega knew what they were doing they just port the gaming using the 3DS game engine, release it for $30, and I would whole heartily recommend that game to about anyone.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorNovember 08, 2011

Geist is a fun game - it's nothing ground-breaking or genre-breaking... but it's fun.  The best reason to get it is because if you look on eBay, you can probably get it sub $10/shipped. :D

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorNovember 08, 2011

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

I counted them before I read the part about not counting them. There are 12. And you didn't even bother to cheat the way we did with Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario Allstars + World.

If I *had* to take off two, I'd probably knock out Wario Ware (since it is virtually the GBA title... but the GBA title was awesome) and Odama.  I do so love Odama though. :D

Ian SaneNovember 08, 2011

Ah, Rogue Leader.  I remember it showed up in stores a few days prior to the Gamecube launch.  Well actually Super Monkey Ball did as well but Rogue Leader is the one I got so it's the one I have memories of.  It's an odd thing to be excited about a pending console release and to have one of its games in your hands but have no way to play it.  I read every word of that instruction manual in anticipation.

Rogue Leader represents a missed opportunity on Nintendo's part and really shows Nintendo's utter cluelessness in marketing to anyone between the ages of 13 and 39.  Rogue Leader was a licence to print money.  It was easily (hell it STILL is) the most accurate videogame representation of Star Wars ever released.  The marketing campaing sold itself.  Buy a Gamecube to play the Star Wars game that looks exactly like the movies.  Okay, it doesn't, but it sure felt that way then.  It was a cool game and a great game and was one of the few Gamecube launch titles that was not only a third party exclusive but also a title that Playstation fans and the emerging Xbox fans were jealous of.

It was included in about a second of footage in a TV commercial that focused on many Cube launch titles at once.  Meanwhile the one launch title that Nintendo did give a solo commercial to was Luigi's Mansion.  Luigi's Mansion was a piss poor choice to be the flagship title.  It was very short and had virtually no replay value.  Okay, Rogue Leader wasn't exactly Final Fantasy either but it has medals and secret levels to unlock.  LM had a second quest and that was IT.  I rented the game on a four day rental and got 100% of the first quest within two days and felt like I wasted my money in renting it for four days instead of just a weekend rental.  But even ignoring that LM had two other things going against it.  First it carried with it the Mario brand but it did not offer a comparable experience to the main Mario titles.  That wasn't so bad in itself but there was no "real" Mario game at launch like every other Nintendo console had had up to that point.  In comparison to those previous Mario launch titles LM came across as inferior and due to it's position as the flagship title that resulted in a poor first impression for the Cube itself.  The other problem was that at that point Nintendo was under fire for being too "kiddy".  Luigi's Mansion was the same sort of family friendly cartoon game that Nintendo detractors had criticized Nintendo for.  It played exactly into the negative biases the very customers Nintendo was trying to win back already had against them.  Rogue Leader in comparison was exactly the type of game those that had jumped ship to the Playstation in the previous gen were looking for.  It wasn't cartoony and didn't come across as kiddy.  Keep in mind that the Xbox was launching at the same time with Halo as the flagship title and the PS2 had Metal Gear Solid 2 and a surprise megahit in GTA3.  Luigi's Mansion was in direct comparison with those titles and it did not even compare.  It was probably the WORST of the Cube launch titles to put against them (exact perhaps Super Monkey Ball but THAT was at least a better game).  Rogue Leader with it's Star Wars licence and spaceship combat would have had the closest chance against those titles.

Though even then I don't think that would have been enough.  That's just making the best of a bad situation.  What actually made anyone other than kids or die-hard Nintendo nuts pay attention to the N64?  It was Goldeneye and Zelda.  So what did Nintendo do on the Cube?  Make Zelda kiddy and sell off Rare.  Let's take the only aces in the hole we have and get rid of them.  Fuckin' idiots.

Mop it upNovember 08, 2011

I missed out on Super Monkey Ball and didn't get the game until more recently, a year or two ago I think. It didn't click with me, and I never had an opportunity to try out the multiplayer, so I think the time has passed where I could get into the game.

DanielMDaniel Mousseau, Staff AlumnusNovember 08, 2011

When Rogue Squadron 3 came out, number 2 was the co-op campaign. Amazing!

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusNovember 08, 2011

Quote:

You would be able to perform this by pressing the D-pad when promoted

You need to change "promoted" to "prompted".

Factor 5 cheated heavily in the Battle of Endor. There were only ever a small handful of ships that had actual AI(the ones actively shooting you) while the rest flew around on rails with almost no awareness of the player without shooting down half a flight. Even then the fighter would be completely defensive until you shot down an offensive tie or it went off camera, switching places with another tie that goes defensive. It still doesn't detract from the fact it is an awesome technological magic trick and the Rogue Squadron games genrally had inspired level designs that allowed for some level of freedom while constrained by it's arcade nature and still give it a lite sprinkle of sim with full cockpits with obvious use of the C stick.

StrawHousePigNovember 08, 2011

Re: Rogue Leader

I still play this game and it still holds up. Maybe because I am (was?) a huge Star Wars fan, but this game was nothing short of a home run for Factor 5. Too bad RS III was such a turd. Co-op RS II was great, though.

Re: Super Monkey Ball

I was very surprised how much fun this game is. None of the sequels have exceeded it.

Ian SaneNovember 08, 2011

Quote from: DanielM

When Rogue Squadron 3 came out, number 2 was the co-op campaign. Amazing!

Yes that was amazing.  Someday they need to combine Rogue Leader with Rebel Strike's multiplayer to form the definitive version of the game.  Rebel Strike was a rough game with some terrible on-foot segments but the multiplayer made me feel the purchase was worthwhile.  Consider it Rogue Leader disc 2 and ignore the single player campaign.

OreantaAlexandre Trottier, Contributing WriterNovember 09, 2011

Rogue Squadron II is one of the best-looking Wii games out there... Wait what?

purevalNovember 09, 2011

I find it funny, out of all the consoles I own the Gamecube is close to being the one I own the most games for, yet there are so many games on these top 10 lists I have never played. Yet the system has reputation for not having many quality games.


These lists always end up getting me in trouble. I always end up on ebay trying to find deals on the games I missed out on and get in trouble with the wife for buying more games.

KhushrenadaNovember 09, 2011

Monkey Ball Thoughts

I've never played the original Monkey Ball. I bought the second one and never tried the first because I figured the experience would be the same. Plus, the second one had more multiplayer options so I figured it was a case of the sequel improving on the original. Am I really missing that much if I've played through the second one?

For my money, I think the second is the better option because of it's multiplayer. Monkey Ball Soccer is a great game and I spent a lot of time playing that with friends and my brother. I also enjoyed Monkey Target where you had to fly for points and Monkey Baseball was good also but my brother figured out how a flaw in that so that it completely killed the game.

KhushrenadaNovember 09, 2011

Rogue Leader Thoughts

As for Rogue Leader, that is still a favorite of mine also. It was the first title I got for the Gamecube and it was my greatest teacher in learning how to handle the new Gamecube controller. It took advantage of what the controller offered. It also is the game that basically revived my interest in gaming. I had stopped playing a lot in the last couple years of the N64. Aside from some multiplayer with my brother like Mario Party or Mario Kart, I didn't really invest much time into games. My brother sort of took over and was the one who would rent games and play a lot more. One game he really loved was the first Rogue Squadron on the N64. He plowed through that game and got all gold medals including the unlockable levels. (In fact, years later, he even got a copy for the PC so he could play it on his laptop.) So, when Rogue Squadron 2 came, it was the number one game to get.

Now, I wasn't that hugely excited about the Gamecube. I mean, a new console still sparked quite a bit of interest in me but I wasn't in anticipation of it. But my first experience was trying out Rogu Squadron in an EB games shortly after the Gamecube launched. The visuals were amazing. Most significantly, just the act of taking the X-wing and doing a barrel roll and seeing the background shift between the Death Star and Yavin IV was incredible. It felt so immersive. I swear, it made my head spin a bit giving it a realistic feeling of actually flying in space. After that, we saved our money and got a Gamecube in February four months after launch. That also makes the Gamecube the second fastest hardware I've ever bought from launch.

My brother got into a pretty competitive spirit playing the game as well. We both had our own save files and it was a race to see who would complete theirs first. Unlike the 64, I suddenly seemed to get the control stick better. I had tried Rogue Squadron on 64 but never got far because I just couldn't seem to fly well. I realized my problem and the reason I had started losing interest gaming was because I was basically crappy at using the control stick before. So, suddenly being able to fly and do combat was an amazing experience. And there were so many great surprises to the game. Taking down my first AT-AT at Hoth. Encountering a Star Destroyer and having to take it down. Flying through Cloud City. And of course, the Battle of Endor. There were times I just liked to fly around and look at all the visuals presented and explore the levels.

In the end, I was able to beat my brother in completing the game first. He had actually unlocked Endurance before me and got a silver medal but I figured out a trick to beating it and then was able to blast through and collect my Ace Medals. After getting the silver medal, he just never seemed interested in playing that long again to go for the gold. I didn't have that problem and got the Ace medal for Endurance and sealed the deal. I got so good at the game, I would just play in cockpit mode which further enhanced my experince of being a top space fighter pilot. Too bad the Millenium Falcon always controlled like crap in these games.

Fun thing I learned a long time ago about the Battle of Endor, instead of flying towards the Death Star and waiting to hear Akbar claim it's a trap, I liked to immediately turn around and travel to the incoming TIE Fighter hordes. Doing so gets them to activate early and they begin attacking the Rogues Capital Ships which are just starting to turn around. This causes lot of the TIE Fighters to crash into them since it gets in the way of their rails and is great way at thinning out the herd fast and allowing you to save more ships to get a better medal. Plus, it just helps add to the chaotic nature a space battle should be. The only other big fault I have with the game is that in the end, it reduces the threat level a Star Destroyer has because. I've taken out so many now, it seems sad that they can't compete against a single X-Wing Fighter.

Fiendlord_TimmayNovember 09, 2011

I never really understood why people had such a hard time meeting the 30 day limit in Pikmin. The first time I beat the game, I got all 30 parts in 29 days - and several of those were days specifically dedicated to mass-harvesting pikmin.

And if you fail to get a part, just don't save your progress for the day and reset. Armed with knowledge from your previous attempt, you should be able to get the part more easily the second time.

Ian SaneNovember 09, 2011

At E3 2001, while everyone is drooling over SSB Melee, Pikmin was the title I was most excited about.  A large part of the appeal was in the originality of it.  There's a reason I get on Nintendo's butt about new IP: novelty is exciting.  Yeah a new album by one of your favourite bands is exciting but how does it compare to discovering a band you've never heard before?  Or getting into a new TV show?  Or seeing a preview for a brand new movie that immediately catches your eye and makes you want to learn more about it?

Discovery is part of the thrill of Pikmin and it being a new IP only added to that.  EVERYTHING was unexpected!  How better to identify with Olimar.  Pikmin 2 is also an amazing game but both you and Olimar have a better idea of what to expect.  There were less surprises because how could their not be?  Of course with only two games thus far there is still a lot to discover in the world or Pikmin.  By Pikmin 6, however, the world, the concept, everything is going to feel like old hat.  It is just the way things are.

Something like Zelda has turned from a new area to discover to a familiar place you visit on a regular basis.  Sometimes you want that but discovery and novelty is important as well.  The excitement and wonder of thinking about what exactly this Pikmin thing is was a big thrill.  Nintendo has not given me that feeling since and it's been TEN YEARS.  I get that sequels and spinoffs are safe projects with little financial risk but there is a segment of the market that wants to discover a new world and Nintendo is not serving that audience.  Providing safe familiar experiences is valid as well but realistically BOTH needs to be addressed and should be in a balanced way.  Sometimes I want to dwell into the familiar and sometimes I want to discover uncharted territory.  There should be equal opportunities for both.  There are probably few gamers that only want one or the other.  Nintendo usually has two BIG games a year.  Would it be too much to ask that one be new IP and one be an existing franchise?

Regarding the 30 day thing, it was a very progressive and risky design decision.  I kind of like how Pikmin 2 lets you play the game at bit more at your own pace (though you still have the day-night limit).  But I always opperated in such a way that if I didn't get a part, I didn't save.  I restarted the day.  Sometimes that was frustrating but dying in a game and having to continue is really no different.  You fail a mission in Goldeneye, you fail and have to start over even if you weren't killed.  It's no different here, though you can decide if you want to continue as is or not.  In some rare cases I saved without a piece if I had overcome something incredibly difficult like killing off a major enemy.  But even then I only did that if I had had a few days where I found multiple parts to make up for an "unproductive" day.  I think once I had defeated a boss and got a part from him but night was coming fast and I had to abandon the part mere feet away from the ship.  Though it took like 10 seconds to retrieve it the next day, giving ample time to find a new part.  Typically I intentionaly restarted each day at least once so as to allow a day of scouting.  Much of the frustration came about when I had thought I had it all planned out, only to have everything screw up on something I didn't foresee.

One problem with the 30 day limit though is that it forced Nintendo to make a relatively short game and during the Cube launch with it's huge post-launch drought, short games were not ideal.  The timing was poor.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)November 09, 2011

I think that, for a lot of people playing for the first time, it was difficult to work out how to have productive days. That's the interesting thing about the structure of Pikmin; you could play through a day, collecting nothing and losing a bunch of Pikmin, and you still move forward through the course of the game. It's unconventional in many ways.

Personally, the fact that it was specifically laid out as 30 parts in 30 days made it obvious to me what I should try to achieve on each day. And of course, subsequent playthroughs should be much easier - you get the hang of the world layout and your time management to the point where 3 or 4 parts in one day is totally feasible.

But even after all that, I maintain that all Wollywogs are bastards. There's another quality I love about Pikmin: for all its whimsical nature, I feel it creates a great atmosphere. When you encounter a creature that you know full well can kill many of your Pikmin if you don't approach the fight correctly, it is nerve-wrecking. Especially when it's a damn Wollywog.

Mop it upNovember 09, 2011

Star Wars Rogue Leader is the third GameCube game that I bought. The only reason I got it is simply because I wanted another GameCube game, but there was nothing that interested me so I just went with the highest rated one. It wasn't a smart decision, especially because I ended up never playing it and sold it a few years later. I didn't get the time to play it before SSBMelee was released, and once that game came out I didn't see a reason to play any other GameCube game.

There are several reasons I passed on Pikmin at the time, including that I'm not big on strategy games and the time limit didn't help that. I now have the Wii release, though I have yet to play it.

Fiendlord_TimmayNovember 10, 2011

Another random thought about Pikmin here: I was listening to some old episodes of RFN, and during the game of the decade feature, Pikmin was nominated by Cai. He mentioned in his nomination that the game was very carefully and intelligently designed around the Gamecube controller. As a testament to this fact, I tried out the new play control version and found it nigh unplayable. Certain actions became very clunky and difficult to manage with the limited input real estate offered by the Wiimote and Nunchuck.

Also, to Ian Sane's point, I think the original Pikmin was far too short, especially considering its only company at the Gamecube launch was similarly brief experiences like Luigi's Mansion. I thoroughly enjoyed Pikmin 2 because I felt it was the full realization of the concept of Pikmin.

And Wollywogs are indeed bastards. They are the biggest impediment to my ultimate goal of achieving a "perfect Pikmin run" (All 30 parts in 9 days, no pikmin deaths).

*Sigh* I love Pikmin. I wish Nintendo would stop teasing us with news of Pikmin 3. Is an official logo too much to ask?!

HypotheliciouslyNovember 10, 2011

I much as I get frustrated from time to time when owning the current console, I always look back fondly once the next generation has been released. The GC is no exception.

From Rogue Squadron to Time Splitters, Pikmin to Wind Waker. The Gamecube had it all; even the best fighters (I'm looking at you Smash Bros., Soul Calibur and Bloody Roar)!

I can't even begin to detail how many hours I played Super Smash Bros. Melee. So many bets, so many tournaments, so many people stripped from their cash.

MagicCow64November 10, 2011

Snakebirds still give me nightmares.

Ian SaneNovember 11, 2011

I never liked SSB on the N64.  The huge hype flowing for SSB Melee prior to release was something I didn't get.  To me SSB was for N64 owners who were ignorant of "real" fighting games.

I rented SSB Melee for my friend's 20th birthday back in 2001, due to it's rave reviews and a lack of Cube titles to play.  I was the only one with a Cube so bringing it to his house was a thrill for him.  My friends and I played it until late at night and had a blast.  There was something different about Melee that made be like it.

I bought it used a few months later after my last final exam for that college semester as a way to reward myself.  My younger brother and I played it non-stop until we unlocked the sound test.  I remember the good times where he would start playing after school (still in high school at the time) and then I would take over after work and we would take turns with the different challenges based on who had the better skills suited for it.  Since then I have never put in that kind of time into a videogame.  It was also a good bonding experience with my youngest brother who I was not as close to as children due to a five year age gap.  As we got older the gap mattered less and we've become close friends and bandmates.  SSB Melee was an early part of the transition from "just brothers" to brothers and friends.

MagicCow64November 11, 2011

Quote from: Ian

I never liked SSB on the N64.  The huge hype flowing for SSB Melee prior to release was something I didn't get.  To me SSB was for N64 owners who were ignorant of "real" fighting games.

I rented SSB Melee for my friend's 20th birthday back in 2001, due to it's rave reviews and a lack of Cube titles to play.  I was the only one with a Cube so bringing it to his house was a thrill for him.  My friends and I played it until late at night and had a blast.  There was something different about Melee that made be like it.

I bought it used a few months later after my last final exam for that college semester as a way to reward myself.  My younger brother and I played it non-stop until we unlocked the sound test.  I remember the good times where he would start playing after school (still in high school at the time) and then I would take over after work and we would take turns with the different challenges based on who had the better skills suited for it.  Since then I have never put in that kind of time into a videogame.  It was also a good bonding experience with my youngest brother who I was not as close to as children due to a five year age gap.  As we got older the gap mattered less and we've become close friends and bandmates.  SSB Melee was an early part of the transition from "just brothers" to brothers and friends.

Wow, I had an extremely similar experience. Something about the 64 game never clicked for me, but somehow Melee hit the sweet spot, and I ended up playing it all summer with my 4 year younger little brother and bonding over it (Falco vs. Jigglypuff). And, like you, I don't think I've ever put more time into a game. The save file's slot was eventually unbelievable.

broodwarsNovember 14, 2011

Ugh.  Super Mario Sunshine.  I hated that game on the GameCube.  Between the complete lack of visual variety with the tropical setting and the way it started the now-modern trend in Mario games of 1 star per run through a level (and yeah, the way Yoshi is almost completely useless given how he melts in water...in a tropical island setting), I got so bored playing that game I'm amazed I ever finished it.

Mop it upNovember 14, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

the way it started the now-modern trend in Mario games of 1 star per run through a level

Super Mario 64 started that, you get a star and you go back to the hub.

broodwarsNovember 14, 2011

Quote from: Mop

Quote from: broodwars

the way it started the now-modern trend in Mario games of 1 star per run through a level

Super Mario 64 started that, you get a star and you go back to the hub.

No, I'm referring to how you picked a star when you entered the world, and then you could ONLY go for that star.  You couldn't sidetrack and pick up a different star if you happened to discover one, and I'm not sure if Sunshine had this as well but in Mario 64 you could grab certain stars and still stay within the world to get the star you came in for.  Sunshine was the start of Nintendo putting a muzzle on player freedom, and I never liked it.

Mop it upNovember 14, 2011

Ah, I see what you mean. I can see two sides to that, though. On the positive side, it means that the level has something new and different about it each time you enter it, so you're not always trekking through the same area for every star. But on the other hand, as you say, it removes that exploration element, except for the one or two token hidden stars that appear in most levels.

The only star you could grab in Super Mario 64 without exiting the stage is the 100-coin star. I'm not sure if Sunshine had any like that, I don't recall it having any but I also did not collect 120 shines in it.

As for my own thoughts, I passed on the game at release since I thought the waterpack and the setting were lame. Now, I know a lot of people have said the same thing, but this is coming from someone who likes to clean, so that's really saying something. I didn't buy the game until it reached Player's Choice status, and although I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, I don't regret the wait.

I liked the worlds and waterpack interactions, and the little pure platforming segments were a nice change of pace. But there were signs that the game was rushed, one of which nearly ruined the game. I felt that the number of worlds was lacking, especially with the little variety in settings, but that on its own is manageable. The blue coins, however, were absolutely tedious, brutal, and plain not fun. Not a single one of them. They're the main reason I have never and will never get 120 shines, because it's just too painful and I refuse to spend so much time on something so unenjoyable.

Ian SaneNovember 14, 2011

Nintendo somewhat had the right idea with Super Mario Sunshine.  They weren't going to just crank out Super Mario 64 2.  They needed to do something different to make the game stand out so we got the waterpack and the island theme.

The problem was that those specific ideas were really lame.  It's a bummer when a company tries to do something innovative and it doesn't work out well.  Too often they get the idea that trying something new or creative was the problem.  They might interpret fan backlash as a reaction to change.  Often it is the specifics of the change.  Nintendo tried new ideas with Wind Waker, got some backlash and played it super-safe with Twilight Princess and got further backlash for THAT.  But with Mario they got backlash for Sunshine and then tried a different new creative idea with Galaxy and everyone loved that game.  Since Galaxy came out later perhaps they actually realized that with TP they had misinterpreted the criticism they received.

Whoever came up with Yoshi melting though is an idiot.  Such a "fuck you" to the player.

I do like the exploration element of Super Mario 64 and it is a shame that Nintendo has abandoned that.  The Galaxy games are great but that can't be to only way to go.  Even Super Mario World had its multiple exits.  Mario need not be too linear or straightforward.

StrawHousePigNovember 15, 2011

Sunshine is underrated. The shadow world levels were pure platforming bliss. Like the Bowser levels in SM64, only better somehow. I like that they didn't try FLUDD in the Mushroom Kingdom and instead placed it in a side trek. We've had mushrooms and suits and hats that all changed Mario, but this was an accessory. Needing a more strategic approach it was slower paced even though it was more battle oriented, and overall I liked it. Not the best Mario, but no where near as bad as many people decry it.


Animal Crossing was a great experience that I will always remember. The nicest touch was the gyroids. I quickly developed a gyroid jones. Also nice was the NES games. Not sure I'll continue with the next one. I can't get over the proportions of the character being so different.

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusNovember 15, 2011

I can't say that I agree having Animal Crossing in there. It not so much of a game than it is a life simulator which in itself would disqualify it. AC doesn't make me think this is a game, it's work. The same thing happened to Nintendogs, it was very cute and makes a good impression, but the limitations win out in the long term. Why not get the real thing except for the fact you can't switch off like a DS and walk away. Why not go outside to explore? I just don't AC think is much of a game.

ejamerNovember 15, 2011

Quote from: oohhboy

I can't say that I agree having Animal Crossing in there. ... I just don't AC think is much of a game.

If you can convince my wife -- who first played the DS version for hundreds of hours, and later played the Wii version for hundreds more hours -- that Animal Crossing isn't much of a game then I'll back your argument. Until then I think it deserves a place on the list.

Quote from: StrawHousePig

...

Animal Crossing was a great experience that I will always remember. The nicest touch was the gyroids. I quickly developed a gyroid jones. Also nice was the NES games. Not sure I'll continue with the next one. I can't get over the proportions of the character being so different.

I also loved the NES games in the original. They were great collectibles and whenever a new game was found, it made my day. Shame that Nintendo realized they could sell those games instead of giving them away as free bonuses. The GBA connectivity was also awesome, and I've even got a bunch of the e-Reader cards - including the one that gives you a rare Mario Bros NES game in Animal Crossing.


If not for some interface niggles, the original version would probably be my favorite. Typing and selling goods one at a time are the only things that really hold it back.

CericNovember 15, 2011

Quote from: ejamer

If not for some interface niggles, the original version would probably be my favorite. Typing and selling goods one at a time are the only things that really hold it back.

If you could find one I'm fairly sure AC supported the PSO inspired monster Keyboard Controller.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorNovember 15, 2011

Quote from: Ceric

Quote from: ejamer

If not for some interface niggles, the original version would probably be my favorite. Typing and selling goods one at a time are the only things that really hold it back.

If you could find one I'm fairly sure AC supported the PSO inspired monster Keyboard Controller.

Nope. :(

Ian SaneNovember 15, 2011

When I first played Animal Crossing it was mindblowing.  I remember playing until really late the first night I had it just to see what would happen at night.  At first the game really is a game.  You want to catch all the insects and fish for example.  That's a clear game with an objective.  After I finished that, however, it became kind of a chore.  I also ran out of space for my house so I starting leaving objects lying around outside.  These weren't items you could buy from Tom Nook, these were the unique items that if I got rid of I couldn't get back.  So it started to look like a dump with trash spread all over.

I also remember rushing to fulfill time limited objectives.  Here I am trying to squeeze in Animal Crossing Halloween and Christmas into the busy days of the real events.  I have a loving family to spend time with at Christmas.  I don't have to spend it with videogame characters BUT if I don't play it at some point that day, I'm essentially missing out on game content.  After either Valentine's Day or Easter I quit the game for good.  It had become a chore.

I don't really like how Nintendo has never really given us a proper sequel.  Counting the original Japan-only N64 release they have re-released the game four times with minimal changes.  But in a way that's good for me personally because there is no incentive to get back in.  If they actually released an Animal Crossing 2 I would probably get hooked again and have to quit again.  And quitting is hard.  You get attached to the characters in your town and even thinking about it now I strangely feel bad for ditching them.

CericNovember 15, 2011

I've spent at least 2 New Years with my Animal Crossing Village.

I've gone through the same cycle with all three Animal Crossing games so far: playing every day for about 6-8 months, really into it, then get completely burnt out and never play it again.

I'm extremely excited for the 3DS version.

UltimatePartyBearNovember 16, 2011

I like Super Mario Sunshine, but I really think there were some missed opportunities there.  For example, the emphasis on water physics would have made the usual ice level much more interesting than just a place with slippery ground, but that game didn't even have an ice level.  I envision gameplay based on hot and cold water in a freezing cold environment, and I just sigh for what could have been.  The setting didn't have to limit it, either.  If the goop can be magically electrified, why can't it be magically cold?  Why can't Bowser have a giant snow cone machine installed on top of the mountain?  Hey, it's a resort anyway, so why can't it just have a ski slope, magical or otherwise?

rlse9November 16, 2011

Super Monkey Ball was the game that I got with my Gamecube, I had so much fun with it between the main game and the party games, especially monkey target.  I've purchased several of the sequels but none of them have quite matched the magic of the first game.

I never played the first Pikmin on Gamecube (but I'm working on playing through it now on Wii) but I picked up the second one and had a blast with it.  Such a brilliant idea for a game and also so frustrating that Wii never got an entry in the series, and neither did the DS, which I thought would be a good fit for the series with the touch screen controls.

Mario Sunshine just didn't do it for me, I tried hard to get into the game on more than one occasion but just couldn't.  I loved Mario 64 and I loved the Galaxy games but I just couldn't get into Sunshine.  Maybe I need to give it one more try one of these days.

Animal Crossing was a blast, I was seriously addicted to that game for a good year or so, I remember waking up early before school to play (collecting mushrooms maybe) which was insane considering I'm anything but a morning person.  The characters, the holidays, the change of seasons, the collecting aspect were all brilliant.  And the NES games being included was such a great bonus, I played so much Wario's Woods in particular.  The first year it was out I was over at a friend's house and there were 2 or 3 of us all in our Animal Crossing towns for New Years.  I never played the DS or Wii versions since reviews all said they were basically the game.  I'm thinking that I might pick of the Wii version since it's on sale for $15 on Black Friday.

The problem with the NES games in Animal Crossing was that it was too tempting to use an Action Replay to unlock all of them, which I did, and not being able to do that without giving yourself the full catalog of items kills a lot of the draw of the game, or at least it did for me.

Wait what? I unlocked the games, but no other items using Action Replay...

Well then I did it the wrong way. I read up on it beforehand; obviously not enough.

StrawHousePigNovember 16, 2011

Cheatin' ass.... *shun*


Metroid Prime was a fantastic game, but so much of a chore that the thought of replaying it has never crossed my mind. Well, it may have crossed but I'm pretty sure I chased it out. Really though it was a haunting experience that really did pull you (well, me) in.

Quote from: StrawHousePig

Cheatin' ass.... *shun*

To be clear, you couldn't unlock all of the games without "cheating" since Nintendo never released the eReader cards necessary to unlock them. And those games were the only reason I bought Animal Crossing. At least my sister got some good playtime out of the main game.

Ian SaneNovember 16, 2011

Metroid Prime is an amazing game but in no way the best Metroid.  The best Metroid is Super Metroid.  But Metroid Prime is still amazing and would be a great choice for being the best Gamecube game.  Personally I prefer the second game but they're both excellent.

Though I can't imagine playing through the first game again because of those damn Chozo Ghosts.  Those enemies are hard and time consuming.  In Super Metroid you'll encounter a new area and the enemies will be hard.  Later you'll backtrack through that area after getting some power-ups and just smoke those enemies in one hit.  This is important because backtracking can kind of suck and it is required in Metroid games to allow for the non-linear progression.  Making it easier and quicker to get through on the backtracking is good design.  Metroid Prime makes backtracking tedious and time consuming as the enemies don't get any easier so you have to spend five minutes in each room clearing out Chozo Ghosts.

The Metroid Prime games are fantastic but have too much blantant padding.  If there wasn't a stigma with shorter games then perhaps Retro wouldn't feel the need to add fetchquests at the end and have time consuming enemy encounters during backtracking.  As good as Metroid Prime is, the game would really knock your socks off if the fat was trimmed off it.

broodwarsNovember 16, 2011

Quote from: Ian

Metroid Prime is an amazing game but in no way the best Metroid.  The best Metroid is Super Metroid.

One opinion deserves another, and you are dead wrong IMO.  I found Super Metroid so frickin' boring (especially once you got to the water realm, where the level design gets convoluted and tedious) that it took me years to finally finish a playthrough of it.  Metroid Prime is the game that made me a fan of the franchise, especially since it was a game where secrets were hidden not because I didn't bomb a completely arbitrary block or fall through a fake floor (which both look like all the other ones), but because there was a puzzle in play I needed to solve.

Metroid Prime took a (IMO) fairly standard action series and added a "detective" element and puzzle-solving to it that really hooked me as a fan of adventure games.  It was one of the rare First Person games of its time that asked the player to think and explore, rather than merely shoot them in the face with increasingly-ridiculous firepower.  It more than deserves a spot on this list.

SundoulosNovember 17, 2011

I love Wind Waker!  It's amazing how, despite the initial reaction to the reveal trailer, its stock has seemingly gone up consistently over the years. 

If they ever re-release it in any format, is it too much to dream that Nintendo might complete the two missing dungeons that were originally planned for the game?


My favorite parts of the game were sailing through the storm while searching for Jabun, and seeing Valoo torch Ganon's watch tower.  The world and it's characters were so well-realized, and most of them had a significant part to play in the story.  That was probably my biggest disappointment with Twilight Princess; the game set up a lot of characters, but didn't seem to do much with them in the second half of the game.

rlse9November 17, 2011

I finally beat Wind Waker a couple years ago after multiple attempts to play through it during the Gamecube era.  I don't know why I never originally got through it but it's a great game and it does hold up great.  The style of the game was excellent, the gameplay was great, the sailing was a little annoying at times but the exploration aspect was fun, and the story was solid.  The atmosphere of the game was so well done, from going to the grandma's house and feeling the sense of sadness, to how goofy Tingle was, the solemness of going underwater into the castle, all so greatly done.

WrathOfSamus777November 18, 2011

"But the haters were wrong: Metroid Prime turned out to be one of the best games in the franchise—so good, in fact, that its two follow-ups couldn't begin to reach the high bar set by the original."

Good article, but I disagree with this statement.  Echoes is arguably on par with the original Prime IMO and Corruption comes pretty close.  Both awesome games.

CericNovember 18, 2011

You either love Echoes or you don't.  I did not.  People universally like Prime.  I personally feel the third game is better then the second.  Though despite that Echoes didn't reach the bar that Prime set simply from this division.

dack25November 19, 2011

Prime 1 is one of my favorite games ever so it was a huge disappointment when I couldn't get into Prime 2 much. It wasn't even the challenge (I got past boost guardian) that bothered me, it just felt like the same game with less variation and it was so easy to get lost in the world.

I actually had more fun with Sunshine when I initially rented it than I had playing Mario 64. There's a lot of problems with the game including the camera, but I hate how a lot of media outlets gave it 9s and 10s when it came out and now bash the hell out of it. I don't know I just really liked that game.

As far as WW and TP, I guess I liked TP a little bit more even though it was an OOT clone. I enjoyed the scale of the game even though both games were fairly easy even in comparison to OOT, a game I've played through multiple times. Overall, looking back on it GCN was one of my favorite consoles ever and I feel like it was underrated because it didn't have a huge mature game or online and Nintendo made too many marketing mistakes (making the main GCN color purple and not marketing the black system). In a way it kind of angers me that the Wii has had so much success without really being a huge step up from GCN, having the same gaming droughts, and Nintendo becoming lazy in some sense.

rlse9November 19, 2011

RE4 was a great game, the atmosphere in the game amazing, the gameplay was great, the story was solid, the graphics were great for the time, the characters were good, and the game was full of great moments.  I agree about the scene where you're in the house with Luis and being under constant attack, that was awesome.  The abandoned farm or whatever it was was also another one of my favorites, great atmosphere.

I bought the Wii version a couple years ago when it was $10 on Black Friday but haven't played much of it.  Maybe I should do that one of these days.

frostybro24November 19, 2011

The nintendo gamecube is easily my favorite game system of all time. its the first system i really grew up with and was able to fully experience.  I love everything about it: the look, the controller(i wore the rubber off of more than one control stick), and the wide variety of games, including some of my favorites of all time. In the future i want to purchase and play every decent to great game that exists on the system.

Quote from: rlse9

RE4 was a great game, the atmosphere in the game amazing, the gameplay was great, the story was solid, the graphics were great for the time, the characters were good, and the game was full of great moments.  I agree about the scene where you're in the house with Luis and being under constant attack, that was awesome.  The abandoned farm or whatever it was was also another one of my favorites, great atmosphere.

I bought the Wii version a couple years ago when it was $10 on Black Friday but haven't played much of it.  Maybe I should do that one of these days.

You definately should. It's the definitive version of the game, plus it has all the Ada Wong missions from the PS2 version. Ada has a different weapon loadout and while her trek through the game is somewhat more random than Leon's (didn't Krauser DIE?), it's just as tight. I strongly considered triple-dipping on the game and getting the HD version on PSN but decided not to because I don't think I could go back to aiming with the right stick instead of the Wii Remote.

SupaKirbNovember 19, 2011

Soul Calibur 2 to this day, is my favorite fighting game (not counting smash bros). I really hope we get to see Link return to the world of Soul Calibur on the Wii U or 3DS. The series I'm told hit a little rough patch, but is now on pace to bring it all home again. We want LINK!

motangNovember 20, 2011

Haha, had to sneak in a photo of Ivy eh? I love this game, I owned PS2 version, then bought a GC version because of Link and it was better on GC since the arcade unit was based on the GC hardware (the Triforce).  Still one of my favorite fighting game and the best SoulCalibur game.

ThePermNovember 21, 2011

ah rogue leader, here is video of us playing Rogue Leader around the time when it came out, but yeah you cant see the game, pre-youtube...

http://www.tetrametrics.com/theperm/Misc/halloween.avi

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