Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 32

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Rocket Power: Beach Bandits

Rocket Power: Beach Bandits (Evolution Games/THQ, 2002)


As you might imagine, it's an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Tony Hawk games. The environments are mostly empty space and solid color textures, but I do appreciate the self-deprecating remarks your character says after failing a trick. This isn't as bad as Disney Sports Skateboarding by any means, but there's also no reason to play it over any of the many better skating games from this era.


Rocky

Rocky (Rage Software/Ubisoft, 2002)


The animation leaves a whole lot to be desired, as most of the punches look more like pokes than something that'd actually hurt. That said, the combo system for attacks seems deeper than most of the other GCN boxing games, and the cast of characters is absolutely massive. If you were a fan of the movies or a hardcore boxing lover, this was probably alright.


Rogue Ops

Rogue Ops (Bits Studios/Kemco, 2003)


I couldn't get out of the tutorial area because a weird bug was preventing the interaction popup I needed to grab a ledge. If I was able to keep going, it would've become a Metal Gear Solid/Splinter Cell-type stealth game, except that it seems to have been more focused on its protagonist and her crop top than on telling a real story. It uses tank controls that feel terrible.


Rugrats: Royal Ransom

Rugrats: Royal Ransom (Avalanche Software/THQ, 2002)


A collectathon platformer, surprising no one. It is a little different in that you can play as all the main characters and their availability acts as your life system, but reviews noted that all of the characters were functionally identical, and that the games 3 total abilities were so limited that there wouldn't have been any point to multiple characters regardless. Personally, my biggest hangup is how awful the walking animation is.


Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku

Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku (Adrenium Games/Sega, 2004)


Still a collectathon, but more of an action game than a platformer this time. That said, the enemies are so slow and weak that you can just jump over almost all of them and move on without engaging in trivial combat, so it's almost a platformer anyway. What it definitely isn't is good or worth your time. Boring environments and a complete lack of any attempt at story after the first 15 seconds make sure there's nothing to remember here.


Scaler

Scaler (Artificial Mind and Movement/Global Star Software, 2004)


I've come to expect a disaster when either this dev or this publisher are involved with a game, but this one is actually almost decent. Movement feels pretty good, especially when grinding these pipes, but it's a constant struggle to make the slow (and x-inverted) camera look at what's going on. I'm also not at all a fan of the over-designed main character and enemies, who came out looking like stretched versions of regular game characters. Still, A2M's output was so consistently terrible that this mediocre game might be their best one.


Scooby-Doo! Mystery Mayhem

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Mayhem (Artificial Mind and Movement/THQ, 2004)


A Scooby Doo adventure game, essentially. It's not a point and click, but you're still going from room to room and solving basic puzzles to get items. Like the last game, it is surprisingly not terrible, but it's so simple that it's only going to be entertaining if you're really into this franchise or are a young kid.


Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights

Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights (Heavy Iron Studios/THQ, 2002)


Yeah, it's another collectathon platformer, but I'm giving this one a pass because the cutscenes do such a good job of recreating they show. They even redid the classic opening song with the game's graphics and tossed in laugh tracks at the right places. It feels like you're watching the show with interruptions to play an unremarkable platformer, which was understandably enough to make it a smash hit back then. Heavy Iron would go on to make Battle for Bikini Bottom and to support development of big Activision titles.