Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 27

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NFL Street 2

NFL Street 2 (EA Tiburon/EA Sports BIG, 2004)


There are a bunch of extra modes and the UI is pretty radically different, but the game underneath it all seems pretty close to the same. They keep the menu music going into the game now, so you better like Sum 41. There's no escaping them.


NHL 2003

NHL 2003 (EA Sports, 2002)


I haven't really played hockey games either, but I do at least follow the sport more than the NFL or NBA. That's enough to know that these announcers are awful and don't fit the tone of a hockey broadcast, and also that the camera is zoomed in way too much. You can't see anything that's happening when it's this close.


NHL 2004

NHL 2004 (EA Sports, 2003)


This saw a huge 10+ point jump in review scores, which I'm going to attribute entirely to them zooming out the camera. It also features somewhat improved graphics and more modes, but the announcers are still absolutely terrible.


NHL 2005

NHL 2005 (EA Sports, 2004)


The 2005 game features international teams for the first time, and added ways to customize players and arenas. It also zoomed out even more and improved the announcers, who are now less repetitive but still quite generic.


NHL 06

NHL 06 (EA Sports, 2005)


The last GCN entry in this series is largely unchanged from the 2005 version, as is the way of sports games at the end of console lifespans. The announcers have finally gotten to what I'd call an acceptable level, at least.


NHL 2K3

NHL 2K3 (Treyarch/Sega, 2002)


Despite reviewing better than any of EA's hockey games, this was the only GCN entry in the franchise. It has decent announcers and a camera, between highlighting important features and a good zoom level, is great for seeing everything you need to know. You could play online if you were using a PS2 or Xbox, but that was sadly not an option for GameCube.


NHL Hitz 2002

NHL Hitz 2002 (Black Box Games/Midway, 2001)


Midway's edgy arcade version of hockey does not have the barely-clothed women or dramatic grunting of its equivalent titles in other sports, and instead actually tries to be a playable hockey game. It does have exaggerated fights that take players out of the game permanently and doesn't bother with penalties, but it also has announcers that aren't a bad comedy routine. It's a nice change of pace for Midway.


NHL Hitz 2003

NHL Hitz 2003 (Black Box Games/Midway, 2002)


Against all odds, this one is actually pretty fun. You can play in crazy settings like "Disco" here, and the career mode has you traveling all over the world to take on increasingly tough teams in a battle royale to join the NHL. I wish Midway had taken all their arcade sports in this direction instead of trying to match a middle schooler's idea of being edgy.


NHL Hitz Pro

NHL Hitz Pro (Next Level Games/Midway, 2003)


Oddly, it is now a mostly serious hockey sim with nearly the correct rules and only slightly exaggerated hits. You can play pickup modes of roller or pond hockey, but you won't find any disco arenas. Still, it reviewed well and I actually scored a goal quickly for once, so I'm not complaining.


Nickelodeon Party Blast

Nickelodeon Party Blast (Data Design Interactive/Infogrames, 2002)


A bad party game where everything is bad. I could go into detail about why everything is bad, but you can probably tell just by looking at it. It's impossible to tell what's happening. You can't tell from this screenshot that there are hardly any playable characters or modes, but it's got that wrong with it as well. I'm sure it would make a nice coaster, at least.


Nicktoons: Battle for Volcano Island

Nicktoons: Battle for Volcano Island (Blue Tongue Entertainment/THQ, 2006)


The second entry in Nick's failed attempt to create a shared game universe for all their big cartoons. It's a remarkably ugly collectathon without any real distinguishing features beyond the famous characters.


Nicktoons Unite!

Nicktoons Unite! (Blue Tongue Games/THQ, 2005)


Their first attempt at a shared game universe was even worse. The writing is painfully bad, something horrible has happened to Timmy's face, and the first level is literally just walking up to a portal in an empty room and pressing B. Spongebob makes an awful squishing noise with every step, just to really drive home the experience.


Nintendo Puzzle Collection

Nintendo Puzzle Collection (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo, 2003)


A collection of Panel de Pon, Yoshi's Cookie, and Dr. Mario that was originally announced as releasing in NA and PAL, but never actually made it out of Japan. The PdP game here is actually based on an unreleased N64 version of the game that became Pokemon Puzzle League, and Dr. Mario is a direct port of the N64 title. Yoshi's Cookie is all-new. Given that two of the games are exclusive, this is probably worth checking out if you enjoy any of those games, but personally I think the best feature was that you could download the games to GBA and play them there until you turned the handheld off. This is going on the list just because I think it's cool.


Odama

Odama (Vivarium/Nintendo, 2006)


This bizarre blend of pinball and RTS came out right at the end of the GCN's life and was rather quickly forgotten. I've always been kind of fascinated by it, partly because I never got a chance to play it and didn't understand what it was, and partly because its cover is attention-grabbing while doing nothing to explain the game. I'm going to need to find a way to set up a microphone so that stupid popup goes away, but messing around in the first level was fun enough that I want to keep going with it.


Ohenro-San: Hosshin no Dojo

Ohenro-San: Hosshin no Dojo (Panasonic, 2003)


The ohenro is Japan's most famous pilgrimage and involves walking over 800 miles around the coastline of Shikoku to visit 88 different temples. This game shipped with a pedometer and "walking pad controller" to help simulate that, but could only fit 23 temples on the disk. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to get past this clock-setting screen if you don't have the right controllers. It looks like it was effectively a visual novel when you were visiting any of the temples.


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

  13. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

  14. F-Zero GX

  15. Family Stadium 2003

  16. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

  17. Freedom Fighters

  18. Freekstyle

  19. Gotcha Force

  20. James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing

  21. Jikkyou Powerful Major League

  22. Kirby Air Ride

  23. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

  24. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

  25. Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour

  26. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

  27. Mario Power Tennis

  28. Metal Arms: Glitch in the System

  29. Mr. Driller Drill Land

  30. Muscle Champion: Kinnikutou Kessen

  31. MVP Baseball 2005

  32. Nintendo Puzzle Collection

  33. Odama

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