Star Baseball 2002
gamers with long memories will remember that it took a year
and a half after the N64 launched for its first baseball game
to hit the shelves. In what may be Exhibit A of how easy it
is to program for the Nintendo GameCube, ASB 2002 is launching
with the system. Stadiums and some graphics, such as player
faces, have been updated. The game's solid pitching and batting
engines are back. But fielding and running AI can still be
frustrating. The game's most noticeable change may be the
extensive commentary by Byung-Hyun Kim consoler Bob Brenley
and former broadcast partner Thom Brennaman. For this, you
may thank the capacious memory of the GCN's discs.
on the animated television show The New Adventures of Batman,
Ubi Soft's Batman: Vengeance is an artistically produced action/adventure
game starring the world-famous caped crusader. After playing
the less-than-stellar Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker for
Nintendo 64, we were admittedly a bit apprehensive about the
Dark Knight's debut on Nintendo GameCube. Would Batman: Vengeance
use its excellent license to create an engrossing gameplay
experience, or would it use its license as an excuse to make
a sub-par game? After only five minutes in front of the television,
we're pleased and relieved to report that Batman: Vengeance
is surprisingly good and true to its animated roots.
(First time player)
(Played it before)
who's ever been at the mercy of a crazed cabby will appreciate
Sega's white-knuckle driving game. Brought to Nintendo GameCube
by Acclaim, Crazy Taxi challenges you to hop behind the wheel
and get your fare from point A to point B as quickly as cabbily
possible. If you happen to bend a few traffic laws along the
way, so be it. Crazy Taxi features four cabbies to choose
from and two huge environments to explore. Working against
a time limit, you have to pick up as many riders as possible
and take them wherever they want to go. The faster you reach
your destination, the more money you'll be able to make before
your shift is up. The fun part of this game is driving like
there's no tomorrow to reach your goal.
is the best non-wrestling THQ title Ive ever played.
Its not the most realistic or technically impressive
snowboarding game out there, but it does bring a ton of unique
ideas to the table and, more importantly, executes most of
those ideas quite well. GameCube owners who dont care
for SSX Tricky or cant deal with its shoddy port to
Nintendos system should seriously consider giving Dark
Summit a try. Its main mode is just perfect for a five-day
rental, and it would seem to be a very worthy purchase to
those who can appreciate the games bizarre style and
unusual game design.
Mirra Freestyle BMX 2
of the grind Dave Mirra plants two wheels on the NINTENDO
GAMECUBE with this way-tricked-out game. Players have their
choice of 14 top pros, including Dave Mirra, Ryan Nyquist
and Mike Laird. Mix-and-match grinds, wall rides and more
from the innovative S.I.K. trick system to pull off more than
1,500 different tricks and earn the R.E.S.P.E.C.T. of your
fellow riders. Over all not abad game.
smart new Nintendo GameCube Controller gives you incredibly
subtle authority over the on-pitch action. Shrewd use of the
analog A, B and X buttons allows you to power-up passes, lobs
and shots, respectively. Quickly jabbing the Y Button gives
you a burst of speed for breakaways. The C-Stick enables one-twos,
while holding down the L and R buttons allows you to curl
a ball around a defender. FIFA
Soccer 2002 comes laden with 16 leagues, more than 500 teams
and 10 tournaments. It's worth a rent.
longer the second banana to older brother Mario, Luigi breaks
out as the star of his own adventure with Luigi's Mansion
for Nintendo GameCube (GCN). The hair-raising fun begins when
Luigi wins a frightening ghost-filled mansion as the grand
prize of a big contest. When Luigi arrives, he discovers that
his brother is lost in the house's many chambers, tunnels
and catacombs. For once, Luigi must be the one to save the
day. With help from a kooky paranormal researcher and his
Boo-capturing tools, Luigi explores the massive mansion and
deals with its other-worldly occupants. I, like many others,
was disapointed by this game, but it's fun while it lasts.
Madden NFL 2002
clockwork, you can count on EA Sports to crank out a new Madden
game for each fresh NFL season. Their NFL games are consistently
good, and they're never mere rehashings of the previous year's
game with updated rosters. You can always expect some new
features, too. For Nintendo fans, this year's Madden is better
NBA Courtside 2002
is a good basketball game overall, but there will definitely
be better games coming to the GameCube in the future. If you
were a fan of the first game, then youll for sure like
this one, but otherwise, youd be better to wait for
EAs Live series or Segas NBA2K2. Normally, it
could be said that theres room for improvement, but
since the game probably isnt going to be developed by
Left Field in the future, there are no guarantees for next
year. If you need a basketball game right now, its recommended
you rent first.
NFL QB Club 2002
played most of the QBC titles for the N64, and every year
the series falls short. Its frustrating to me why Quarterback
Club keeps coming out, yet each new one sees no major improvement
over its predecessors. Obviously this game was rushed, and
could have benefited with a couple months of additional work.
Acclaim Sports has released their first two titles very prematurely.
If Acclaim decides to release another Quarterback Club title
on the GameCube, theyve got a lot of work to do to make
it a contender.
full NHL and NHLPA licenses, Hitz presents all your favorite
teams and players in photorealistic detail. Capabilities are
based on real-life stats. You can also create a player and
hone your skills in minigames. Midway's trademark On-Fire
Mode means hot players are virtually unstoppable. A fully
3D crowd will interact with the on-rink action, banging on
the glass, throwing hats on the rink and even walking out
on bad games. Midway promises plenty of loudmouth commentary
and even such realistic touches as ice that deteriorates as
a match wears on.
Pac-Man World 2
has really evolved into a true videogame character, and I
like what I see. The game has some technical issues, but Pac-Man
World 2 is one of the better 3D platformers out there and
provides a great deal of fun. It's good to see old-fashioned
gaming still has a home on the console market.
innovative and imaginative game that is difficult to categorize,
Pikmin challenges you to survive on a hostile planet with
help from a group of plantlike creatures that pop up from
the ground. While Pikmin are not strong creatures, they show
a lot of power when you gather many of them together. As a
group, they are strong enough to destroy blocking obstacles
and strong enough to take on much larger insect-like enemies.
By accomplishing tasks with Pikmin, you can add more Pikmin
to your pack, until you have a troop of 100 or more.
Strategy, resource management type games arent generally
the what I like to play, but something about Pikmins
feel really drew me to it, and still keeps me coming back
for more. I will beat this game, and probably more than once.
Pikmin more than exemplifies what The Nintendo Difference
is all about. I think Pikmin will probably be the sleeper
hit of the year. Shigeru Miyamoto has created yet another
unique and wonderful experience.
Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
by Factor 5 in conjunction with LucasArts, Rogue Squadron
II delivers eleven primary missions bursting with beautiful
graphics and cutting-edge sound. You'll recognize a few of
these missions ripped straight from classic Star Wars scenes,
such as Death Star Attack and Battle of Hoth. Other missions,
like Raid on Bespin and Vengeance on Kothlis, cover less-famous
exploits of the Rebel Alliance which didn't attract as much
screen time. After playing through Rogue Leader, I can definitely
recommend it to anyone looking for some solid action gaming
and any fan of the Star Wars trilogy. From the moment you
see the movie clips playing in the background on the title
screen youll love this game. Even when your ship is
spiraling into a mountain with flames engulfing it, youll
love this game. For fans of the movies, Rogue Leader is a
dream come true, yet its still a great game for anyone.
Road Rage, The
match of hot license to game concept, The Simpsons Road Rage
sends the sharp-tongued citizenry of Springfield on the road
to earn enough dough to buy back the Springfield Transit Corp.
from filthy rich grumbler J. Montgomery Burns. In
Road Rage mode, Homer, Bart and 15 other madcap motorists
rack up cash by delivering fares before time runs out. You
can earn extra loot with super-fast deliveries, being extra-destructive
(not as easy as you'd think) and avoiding multiple collisions.
You earn extra seconds with timely deliveries and by knocking
over Springfield Transit shelters. I do highly recommend
Simpsons Road Rage as a rental, especially for when hanging
out with friends. Hardcore Simpson fans will get a kick outta
the game, but even they will question the merit of owning
this game. Gameplay isnt anything special and gets quite
Sonic Adventure 2 Battle
people like to downplay or outright ignore Sonics exploratory
nature, claiming he is all about speed...with the possible
exception of the very first Sonic, that is a ridiculous statement.
Its hardly executed perfectly, but the non-Sonic gameplay
brings out this sense of exploration, as do the extra missions
(such as Find the Chao and Hard Mode). Trying to earn every
Emblem will be a long and tedious challenge, but those who
just want to play through the game will not need so much patience.
The game isnt perfect, and even those like me who adore
the game will get frustrated at times, but I honestly welcome
the variety. There was more that could have been tweaked ,
but I agree that it was time for Sonic Team USA to move on.
Gamers who have played the previous version of SA2 and love
the stuff SA2B improves on with a passion should buy the game
right away. Other veterans should rent it, but only if they
are interested in the new features. Those who never played
Sonic Adventure 2 (and dont mind non-Sonic gameplay)
should really consider forking over the money during this
dry season, though you might want to do some more research
Tricky is a sequel to the successful SSX game which originally
appeared on Play Station 2. Now that the series is graduating
to Nintendo GameCube, the action is more intense than ever
before. Despite responsive and realistic play control, SSX
Tricky thumbs its nose at reality and allows gamers to link
together impossibly insane tricks over stomach-dropping gaps. SSX
Tricky is a complete experience, and while not the breakout
game that a Smash Bros. may be, it is certainly entertaining,
fun, and worth every penny.
Super Monkey Ball
the huge variety of gameplay modes and the amount of polish
that is displayed throughout the game, Super Monkey Ball is
clearly the best launch game available when it comes to multiplayer
gaming, and perhaps even one of the best of all time. Dont
get me wrong though. Even as a single player game, Super Monkey
Ball is a fine game, but to truly experience the entirety
of this game, youll need a friend.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
lots of people, Super Smash Bros Melee is the system seller
for the GameCube. The game is just so huge and is carrying
such a large fan-base from the first title. Melee is an excellent
game that deserves every little ounce of praise it gets. Its
graphics are smooth and some of the best seen on any system
ever. The sound is truly beautiful, with fully orchestrated
background tunes and dead-on sound effects. The controls are
tight and responsive and very well designed. Gameplay is top-notch,
with tons of different modes to play though and a multiplayer
element that is truly unbeatable. The game will never die,
and will remain fresh time and time again. Super Smash Bros
Melee is easily the best game available for the GameCube this
year. Unless you did not like the first one, you owe it to
yourself (and your friends) to own this game.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
game is faster and the levels seem to be even more packed
with things to interact with than ever before. I'm having
a lot of fun with it, and if you're a fan of the series, this
is a fine sequel indeed. However, if you've played a THPS
game before, you should ask yourself whether or not you want
some more THPS action before you pick this one up. If youve
never played a THPS game, this is a fine way to be introduced
to the series.
Universal Studios Park Adventures
summation, Universal Studios is a pretty lackadaisical attempt
at both a kids game and an all-round quality title.
Though it has its moments, its flaws far outweigh its strengths.
Id love to recommend this title to kids, but Id
be skeptical to make even a statement of that nature. Its
simply indisputable that Universal Studios just isnt
the game to own, regardless of personal taste.
Wave Race: Blue Storm
second installment of the Wave Race series takes Nintendo
GameCube by storm with a fast, powerful racing experience.
Realistic waves, reflections of light from the water and the
spray that flies from your machine as you dodge obstacles
and overtake your competitors show off the incredible special
effect capabilities of the system. Up to four players can
join in on a split-screen race over eight huge courses that
change as you go.
Given a little more time maybe there could have been some
added revelations and changes that could have been made to
make Blue Storm more of a classic in its own right; regardless
of its few shortcomings though it is still an outstanding
game and well worth owning.
your hands across your GCN Controller and motorcycle down
these mean streets of the grim techno-industrial future. The
third installment in Acclaim's combat-bike franchise, XG3
boasts 12 daredevil drivers, 10 sinuous courses and enough
advanced weaponry to satisfy the prop man on a Schwarzenegger
blastfest. The main one-player mode takes you through a series
of three-track leagues (Lithium, Rubidium, Caesium and Francium)
named for those funny-sounding elements at the outer fringes
of the periodic chart. Each race is two laps. Within a league,
you must place at least seventh out of a field of 12 in order
to advance to the next track.