Not sure what to buy? Need gift ideas for your friends and family? The PGC staff gives their suggested GameCube and GBA titles for the season of giving.
Welcome to the first PGC Holiday Buying Guide! The goal of this special is to give some useful game suggestions for anyone not sure what to buy this holiday season. There are certainly a ton of new games available, and the selection can be overwhelming if you don’t keep up with previews and reviews constantly. We also wanted to give a little attention to some games that have been overlooked, so each staff member was asked to suggest a game he or she thought no one else would submit. The result is a wide variety of Nintendo games that may be the perfect gift for a friend, family member, or even yourself. On with the games!
Michael “The Younger Plumber” Cole:
My pick for this holiday season is Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland, the GBA remake of the NES classic Kirby's Adventure. Coming to America in early December, I strongly urge gamers and parents to consider Kirby as an alternative to Nintendo's own Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3. While not 100% faithful to the NES game, it has "viewtiful" graphics and the addictive nature so often found in HAL's Kirby games, complete with co-op multiplayer! Kirby is a lesser-known Nintendo franchise that everyone should familiarize themselves with. What better way to meet Kirby than with a modern handheld conversion of his most definitive title?
Mike “MailMan” Hrusecky:
Star Fox Adventures has built a reputation to some as an experiment gone amiss. While the Dinosaur Planet and Star Fox unification wasn't seamless, the game possesses some of the best adventure elements and graphic detail in the GameCube's first year. Borrowing many gameplay elements from Ocarina of Time, Rare has set forth and accomplished the hefty task of possibly establishing the first standard by which future GameCube adventure titles will be measured, at least until Zelda finally comes.
Whether you're looking for a fun title to pick up for yourself, or you're shopping for a friend, you can't go wrong with Mario Party 4 (GameCube). Similar to previous installations of the series, the game is easy to pick up, and a ton of fun to play with a small group of friends. It doesn't matter if you need a game to get your nine-year-old cousin, or if you want a good drinking game to play with some buddies, Mario Party 4 is accessible to all.
Jeff “Deguello” Shirley:
Game and Watch Gallery 4 (GBA), because the game has so much in it. The variety is very select and the gameplay is, as always with G&W Galleries, classic. Those annoying monotonous sounds are perfectly recreated to give you the retro feel. And don't be fooled by the box: "6 Games in 1" is a blatant lie. There are more than twice that many. Nice game for when you have extra time.
Medal of Honor: Frontline (GameCube) doesn’t stray too far from being a standard shooter. The standout difference in the series has been the WWII theme, which provides a ton of atmosphere and a standard for authenticity. You’ll storm your way up the beach at Normandy, sneak aboard a German U-Boat, and cause a bar fight in Holland. MoH may not have technically outstanding graphics, but at times there is an overwhelming amount of activity with planes flying overhead, bombs dropping, and dirt flying in your face. The realistic sound effects and outstanding music add to the atmosphere and make MoH the perfect game for any WWII buff.
Ty “S-U-P-E-R” Shughart:
Pac-Man Fever (GameCube) is my quick pick - it's cheap enough to be a great stocking stuffer, and even your kid sister or old out-of-touch parents can understand and play it. It's monstrously fun with four players.
My pick is the highly addictive Animal Crossing. This is one of the most underrated games around, and it integrates with all of Nintendo's toys. You can hook it up with the Game Boy Advance and e-Reader, and you can collect the Animal Crossing e-cards with series two right around the corner. Everything about this game is random, and that includes how you look and the town you live in. Only on the 'Cube and rated E for Everyone.
“Aussie” Ben Kosmina:
My pick is Scooby Doo - Night of 100 Frights (GameCube). Although this title won't be held in high regard for its graphics, if you look past that, you have a solid basic platformer that stars some classic Scooby villains, along with voice-acting from Don Knotts, Tim Curry and Frank Welker, the original voice of Fred Jones. The game features some classic Scooby Doo music, every Hanna-Barbera sound ever known (including that laugh track!), and villain theme songs. Check it out to see if it's your thing, but if you're a Scooby fan, you'll dig it more than bellbottom pants. Jinkies!
I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest TimeSplitters 2 for GameCube. Although I haven’t gotten too deep into it yet, TS2 is clearly a top-notch shooter with intense single-player missions, excellent multiplayer options, and tons of stuff to unlock.
My pick is Tiger Woods PGC Tour Golf (GameCube). With all the other games coming out this year, it's nice to have something to switch up the pace. Tiger Woods is that game. It's one of the best-looking console golf games to date, and it plays like a dream.
And finally, the inevitable Metroid Prime entry…
If there's one game that no gamer should miss this holiday season, it is Metroid Prime. Simply the best game to be released on the Cube thus far, Prime is a sure-fire candidate for "Game of the Year". Sporting an impressive level of detail, fantastic gameplay, and an adventure that will take most gamers more than 20 hours to complete, Prime is definitely better than a pair of socks or a turtleneck.
So that’s it! Happy Holidays to you and yours, and may you get in plenty of gaming before the New Year!