Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 10

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Donkey Kong Jungle Beat

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat (Nintendo EAD Tokyo/Nintendo, 2004)


This game opens with a big warning that you really want the bongo controller if you're going to play it, and unfortunately I do not have access to one. Equally unfortunately, the game feels terrible to play without one. I'm sure it's a lot of fun when you have the right setup, but it's not something I can play right now.


Donkey Konga

Donkey Konga (Namco/Nintendo, 2003)


I never realized that this was just a reskin of Taiko no Tatsujin by the same dev team, but it's pretty obvious once you start playing it. And I love Taiko! But, you know, that series has had years and years to get better since 2003, and I don't see any reason to play this over those games unless you really like DK or the specific songs they included here.


Donkey Konga 2

Donkey Konga 2 (Namco/Nintendo, 2004)


The same story, really. More recent Taiko games have much improved mechanics, but this is likely the only opportunity you'll ever have to play a Shaggy song in an official Taiko game. That's not nothing.


Donkey Konga 3

Donkey Konga 3 (Namco/Nintendo, 2005)


There's even less reason to play the third game in the series, because as a Japan-exclusive release, it features the exact same mix of J-Pop, anime, and game music that's in every Taiko game. All you're getting here is weaker mechanics.


Dora the Explorer: Journey to the Purple Planet

Dora the Explorer: Journey to the Purple Planet (Monkey Bar Games/Global Star Software, 2005)


A licensed platformer/collectathon that's extremely simple and constantly interrupts you with cutscenes. It's clearly intended for young kids, though, so I guess that's somewhat more acceptable.


Doraemon: Minna de Asobo! Minidorando

Doraemon: Minna de Asobo! Minidorando (Shogakukan, 2003)


You need to guide Doraemon and friends through theme park levels that are full of hazards and robots because reasons. This is probably one of very few opportunities to play as Doraemon with Mega Man's blaster, and he sounds like the "druk druk da da da" meme guy while shooting it. So that's fun.


Doshin the Giant

Doshin the Giant (Param/Nintendo, 2002)


A port of an N64DD god-game that was originally Japan-exclusive and got a European version on GCN. I stepped on my humans right at the beginning to see what would happen, and it almost immediately turned me into Hate-Giant, destroyed of worlds. So I killed the humans with fire and then put the game into an end state. I don't think it can go anywhere better from there.


Dr. Muto

Dr. Muto (Midway, 2002)


A platformer that was the last game designed by the guy who did Centipede, Breakout, San Francisco Rush, and a bunch of other classic arcade games. It got mixed reviews, but I couldn't play it because it opens with a very long unskippable cutscene that crashed on this frame, and there's no way I'm sitting through that again to give it another attempt.


Dragon Ball Z: Budokai

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai (Dimps/Infogrames, 2003)


A 1v1 fighter based on DBZ with really bad animation and a strange blur over everything. It sold a ton of copies, but I really just don't care about this franchise at all.


Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 2 (Dimps/Infogrames, 2004)


The same game, but zoomed in more, with additional characters, and now everyone either has TM or R after their names.


Dragon Ball Z: Sagas

Dragon Ball Z: Sagas (Avalanche Software/Atari, 2005)


Now it's a brawler where you fight these little orange guys over and over and over and over again in a big empty field. It was the worst received, and mercifully also the last, of the DBZ games on GCN.


Dragon Drive: D-Masters Shot

Dragon Drive: D-Masters Shot (Treasure/Bandai, 2003)


An air combat game that is mechanically more or less fine, but was clearly made on almost no budget. The tutorial is just a series of slow videos, enemies barely have textures or animation, the environments look dreadful, and the music is a short loop that could've been thrown together in 10 minutes. This should never have been released in this state, and it's pretty clear why it stayed in Japan.


Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair

Dragon's Lair 3D: Return to the Lair (Dragonstone Software/Ubisoft, 2002)


An action platformer that's bad in a mostly unremarkable way, but that is still a massive improvement from the original game. And I was expecting to have to play the dumpster fire that is the original Dragon's Lair, so "unremarkably bad" was quite a nice surprise.


DreamMix TV World Fighters

DreamMix TV World Fighters (Bitstep/Hudson, 2003)


SSB, but with characters from Hudson, Konami, and the Takara toy company. That makes this the only game where Bomberman, Solid Snake, and Optimus Prime can duke it out in a Powerful Pro Baseball stadium. It's not bad, but it's yet another game where better implementations have come out in the years since and left little reason to go back.


Driven

Driven (BAM! Entertainment, 2002)


A racing game based on a movie no one remembers. It's caught between being a sim and an arcade game both in its design and mechanics, which makes it mediocre at both, and there's so much motion blur and brown coloring over everything that you can hardly see any of the track anyway. As forgettable as the movie seems to have been.


The List:

  1. 1080° Avalanche

  2. Animal Crossing

  3. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance

  4. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean

  5. Batman: Dark Tomorrow

  6. Burnout 2: Point of Impact

  7. Charinko Hero

  8. Chibi-Robo!

  9. Cocoto Kart Racer

  10. Cubivore: Survival of the Fittest

  11. Custom Robo

  12. Dark Summit

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