Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 33


Shadow the Hedgehog

Shadow the Hedgehog (Sonic Team/Sega, 2005)


I don't think there was ever any doubt that I'd hate this game. It's about a long-legged monster who speaks only in questions and burns the world before the first cutscene is even over. The camera is never pointing at what I want to see, the speed sections play themselves, and sometimes you can't even read the subtitles because they're the same color as the background. Big bad needs you and you alone to go collect the Chaos Emeralds, but one of them is just, right there guarded by three guys. And nothing says edgelord like heelies, apparently.


Shaman King: Soul Fight

Shaman King: Soul Fight (Turing Electronic/Bandai, 2003)


It looks like yet another anime fighting game, but this one is actually turn-based. You alternate selecting moves and then have to complete a series of inputs to boos the damage of your attack, which is actually really hard when the framerate is struggling as badly as it was for me. I think this could be pretty cool for fans of the series who can read Japanese. Unfortunately, there's no English anywhere and it takes quite a bit of menuing to get to a fight, so you're going to need to be able to read at least some of it to play.



Shark Tale

Shark Tale (Edge of Reality/Activision, 2004)


I have always found the creepy fish people from this movie visually unsettling, so I'm glad I probably won't ever have to look at them again after this post. The game is retelling the movie through a bunch of shallow minigames, although this shark chase one at least had some nice graphical effects. You could do much worse with GCN movie games, but you could also get one that doesn't have fish with human teeth. Personally, I'll take the worse game every time.


Shikigami no Shiro II

Shikigami no Shiro II (Alfa System/Taito, 2003)


Although this shmup did release in the US and EU on PS2, the GCN and most other versions were Japan-exclusive. The sequel, oddly, would have the same setup and be exclusive to Japan except for the Wii version. Meanwhile, the first game appears to only be available on Steam in English. Alfa System are clearly not very interested in making it easy to play all their games in English. I have a hard time telling shmups apart, so I can't tell you what makes this one special, but I do know that it has catchy music.


Shinseiki GPX Cyber Formula: Road to the Evolution

Shinseiki GPX Cyber Formula: Road to the Evolution (Atelier-Sai/Sunrise Interactive, 2004)


Anime Formula 1, essentially. It has good music and track design, plus a huge selection of drivers with their own abilities. The controls will take some getting used to since braking is absurdly effective, but all in all I like it from driving once race. Another obscure Japanese racing game on the list, then.


Shrek 2

Shrek 2 (Luxoflux/Activision, 2004)


A collectathon with four playable characters and (I think) multiplayer. It reviewed pretty well for a movie game, which is to say that it was slightly worse than average, but I'm sure that was fine for kids and/or big fans of the movie. If nothing else, multiple playable characters is at least a nice departure from the usual solo platforming take on movie games.


Shrek Extra Large

Shrek Extra Large (DICE/TDK Mediactive, 2002)


A reworked port of an Xbox game from 2001. It's ugly and has both terrible animation and a camera that gets stuck on practically everything, which unsurprisingly resulted in it being one of the worst reviewed titles ever on GCN. Despite that, 2002 was a great year for DICE, as it also saw the launch of Battlefield 1942 on PC, which propelled them to becoming one of the biggest developers in the world and ensured they'd never need to make another licensed game.


Shrek Smash n' Crash Racing

Shrek Smash n' Crash Racing (Torus Games/Activision, 2006)


A Shrek kart-racer that has decent track design, but gets everything else wrong. It looks dreadful for 2006, has no sense of speed, completely omits any kind of drifting mechanic, and the powerups aren't even interesting. I will give it credit for having anti-grav sections before Mario Kart, but that's about it. Torus Games has continued to churn out nothing but licensed crap in the years since.


Shrek Super Party

Shrek Super Party (Mass Media/TDK Mediactive, 2003)


Shrek's take on Mario Party. It has a lot of minigames, but none of them are very original and there are only a handful of playable characters. You can't change CPU difficulty for minigames or change any settings about the games themselves, so you've seen all the variation there's ever going to be after play a minigame once. That's not great value. Mass Media would go on to handle ports of some famous games, but have yet to make anything notable of their own.


Shrek SuperSlam

Shrek SuperSlam (Shaba Games/Activision, 2005)


Shrek's tour of generic mid-2000s genres wouldn't have been complete without a 3D fighting game, although he does seem to have missed out on skateboarding. This has a surprisingly large cast of fighters with surprisingly small movesets. You can pick the same fighter four times and it does give everyone a unique color, but the unhelpful low-and-behind camera angle ensures that anyone toward the back of the arena will be either too small to see or obscured by closer fighters. I'm not sure why they didn't do the obvious thing and use an overhead camera. Shaba Games shut down in 2009 after making Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, but saw some success making Tony Hawk games before and after this title.


The Simpsons: Hit & Run

The Simpsons: Hit & Run (Radical Entertainment/Vivendi, 2003)


I was always fascinated by this game as a kid because I loved games where you could crash into things and was able to play just enough of it at a friend's house to know that it is definitely a game with crashes. I wasn't allowed to watch The Simpsons, though, and never got another chance to play it, so it stayed mysterious for a few years until I forgot about it. Now that I've played it in 2021, I can confirm that it is still a game where you can crash into things, but also that it's a game I should finally play for real. To the list!


The Simpsons: Road Rage

The Simpsons: Road Rage (Radical Entertainment/EA, 2001)


Radical's first Simpson's driving game was derided as a lazy Crazy Taxi ripoff, which is understandable because it is a lazy Crazy Taxi ripoff. The gameplay is completely identical, but you're driving on a less interesting map and have to listen to repetitive character voice lines. There's no reason to play this over Sega's taxi game unless you just desperately want a Simpsons skin on it.


The Sims

The Sims (Edge of Reality/EA Games, 2003)


It's The Sims, although it starts you in an oddly well-furnished house and teleports in a romantic partner who you're not able to customize seconds after the game starts. I think it goes without saying that there's no reason to go back and play an ancient edition in a series that was always PC-first on GCN. But not to worry: there are three more to look at.


The Sims 2

The Sims 2 (Maxis/EA, 2005)


There's more reason to play the console version of this game, because it featured a unique story mode and splitscreen multiplayer, neither of which was available by default on PC. Still, it's a Sims game from 16 years ago, so I'm not particularly interested in playing more of it than I needed to for this screenshot.


The Sims 2: Pets

The Sims 2: Pets (Maxis/EA, 2006)


Mostly the same game, but now with some extra features around pets and animals. Oddly, they seem to have removed the multiplayer and story options (although it's possible these were just less obvious than before), which would mean the console versions are back to not having any advantages.


The Sims Bustin' Out

The Sims Bustin' Out (Maxis/EA Games, 2003)


This game actually never released on PC, although it did get an N-Gage port in 2004. That said, it's really just an amalgamation of several PC expansion packs, so the story mode is still the only real reason to prefer the console game.


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

  34. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

  35. R: Racing Evolution

  36. Sega Soccer Slam

  37. Shinseiki GPX Cyber Formula: Road to the Evolution

  38. The Simpsons: Hit & Run

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