Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 3

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Backyard Baseball 2007

Backyard Baseball 2007 (GameBrains/Atari, 2006)

It improves on the mechanics and especially the graphics of the last game, but it also has possibly the worst video game announcer ever. He's silent 90% of the time and only speaks to add something completely obvious or uninteresting. Still, I like that they gave each player a silly blurb before they go to the plate, so the game atmosphere isn't a total loss.

Backyard Football

Backyard Football (Humongous Entertainment/Infogrames, 2002)

It looks and sounds much better than the first Baseball game even though this came out first, but it's a mess mechanically. My receivers never seemed to be interested in catching the ball even when it was right at them.

Bad Boys: Miami Takedown

Bad Boys: Miami Takedown (Blitz Games/Crave Entertainment, 2004)

A third person shooter probably meant to ride GTA's coattails and based on a movie of the same name. Reviews were pretty abysmal, but the only issue I saw in the first level was stupid AI. It must get worse as it goes on.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (Snowblind Studios and High Voltage Software/Interplay, 2002)

One of many cult classics from this era, but apparently one that had its worst version on GCN. It scored significantly worse here than on other platforms because of performance and stability issues, although I didn't see anything too bad in the first level. I'm going to toss it on the list for now (co-op is cool if nothing else) and I can always come back to it on another system if it starts to struggle.


Barnyard (Blue Tongue Entertainment/THQ, 2006)

Notable only for being the first game I've ever played with customizable cows. Otherwise, it's completely unremarkable.

The Baseball 2003

The Baseball 2003 (Konami, 2003)

Our first Japan-exclusive game is this baseball sim, which blows away the limited competition so far in terms of sound and graphics. Although my translation skills are not quite up to telling you what the announcers are saying most of the time, they have far better flow and situational commentary than other games so far, and you can tell that players are using mo-cap animation. Sadly, the actual baseball mechanics are pretty simple - you only seem to get one kind of pitch to throw, and hitting is just aiming that little box and swinging at the right time.

Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean

Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean (tri-crescendo and Monolith Soft/Namco, 2003)

Another cult classic that I feel obliged to put on the list. It looks great and has good music from what little I've seen, but the voice acting is kind of dire and the cutscenes have serious pacing troubles. I'll be curious to see if it holds up when I play more of it.

Baten Kaitos Origins

Baten Kaitos Origins (tri-crescendo and Monolith Soft/Nintendo, 2006)

The follow-up to Eternal Wings. I deliberately played almost none of it in case it spoiled anything, so all I can really say is that the voice acting seems to have improved significantly.

Batman Begins

Batman Begins (Eurocom/EA, 2005)

And here's the first game that doesn't start! Can't say I'm too upset.

Batman: Dark Tomorrow

Batman: Dark Tomorrow (HotGen/Kemco, 2003)

Another contender for the worst GCN game, but unlike Aquaman, this is at least funny bad. It alternates between crappy brawler sections where you repeatedly knock down bad guys before handcuffing them and platformer sections. The latter are the best because Batman belly flops to his death if you miss a jump. It's a horrible game, but it's interesting enough to grab a list spot.

Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu

Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft, 2003)

While Ubisoft Montreal was still a few years out from really making it big, they'd already made Sands of Time by the time this generic brawler came out. It still looks good, but there's no flow to the combat at all and it's repeating enemies by the third tutorial encounter. I can only imagine how tedious it is after a few hours.

Batman: Vengeance

Batman: Vengeance (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft, 2001)

Ubi's first GCN Batman outing was the only one to get a sequel, but it's hard to see why. It's a mazelike third person brawler with choppy animation and dull environments. Still, I'll remember it for being maybe the only game that opens gameplay by asking me to set the brightness level. No menus for this game!

Battalion Wars

Battalion Wars (Kuju Entertainment/Nintendo, 2005)

I wish all these devs who made their games start with long unskippable cutscenes had spared a thought for 2021 me and how long it'd take to play 653 games if all of them waste time like that. BW is a mix of third person shooter and RTS that, at least from the time I spent with the Wii version many years ago, does some interesting things with vehicular combat. But it also refuses to make use of the c-stick for camera control, and using one stick for aiming and movement is even more unacceptable now than it was then.

Battle Stadium D.O.N

Battle Stadium D.O.N (Eighting and Q Entertainment/Bandai Namco, 2006)

It's blatantly Super Smash Brothers, except better. Why? Because this one lets you beat the snot out of three Gokus as a mutant dog-deer thing wearing a top hat. Bandai does what Nintendon't.

Beach Spikers

Beach Spikers (Sega-AM2/Sega, 2002)

I fully expected this to be DOA Extreme Beach Volleyball but with Virtua Fighter characters. It actually has nothing to do with Sega's fighting game franchise, came out before Tecmo's more infamous game, and doesn't really do anything to sexualize the sport. It's just a mechanically simple beach volleyball game where you can play as Canada, eternal champions of the sport.

The List:

  1. 1080° Avalanche

  2. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance

  3. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean

  4. Batman: Dark Tomorrow

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