Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 34

Skies of Arcadia Legends

Skies of Arcadia Legends (Overworks/Sega, 2002)

A reworked and updated port of the Dreamcasts' Skies of Arcadia. I featured it on my top 100 at #55, so you can read about the gameplay there. Legends specifically added a few new quests, integrated the DLC, and improved performance. It also reduced random encounters, which is almost unbelievable given that their overwhelming frequency is still my biggest criticism of the game. The original must have been nearly unplayable. Overworks was later merged into an internal Sega team that develops arcade games, so they sadly do not have much of a history after this game.

If you're familiar with the game and wondering why I have a screenshot from 10+ hours in, it's because I'm about 80% of the way through a playthrough with Kat. It's not going on the list for that reason alone, but I will talk about it in more detail once we're finished.

Smashing Drive

Smashing Drive (Point of View/Namco, 2002)

This is just dreadful, but it's not Point of View's fault. They got stuck porting a garbage arcade game made by Gaelco. You're racing another taxi through buildings and crowds, which was less tasteless back then, but there's so much going on that telling what the track wants from you is just a guessing game. They're not afraid to have hazards that make no sense, like planes landing and taking off from the same runway at the same time, if they think it looks cool, but that just makes it even harder to actually use these tracks. Add in bad music and an obnoxious blur effect and you've got a game that I would personally consider one of the worst on the system.

Smuggler's Run: Warzones

Smuggler's Run: Warzones (Rockstar San Diego/Rockstar, 2002)

This one isn't actually just a racing game, because there's a story mode about delivering goods within a certain time frame and it also has some car combat aspects. That said, I wish they'd focused more on the driving mechanics, because your buggy loses control after every jump and the game is a struggle to keep going in the right direction. Random hazards that send you flying don't help at all.

Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut

Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut (Sonic Team/Sega, 2003)

This is considered one of the good Sonic games, but personally even the good ones aren't at all appealing. I still had the camera bug out on me a few times in this first fight, although it did at least catch up and correct itself after a second or so.

Sonic Adventure 2: Battle

Sonic Adventure 2: Battle (Sonic Team/Sega, 2001)

Another one of the good games, which actually does open with a pretty cool sequence skateboarding down the streets of San Francisco. Despite that, I'm still using a screenshot of me clipping through the world as the header image. It's what you do. Critical reception was a bit worse than on GameCube than Dreamcast because it released without many updates, but I don't know why anyone was expecting major updates when it came out a whole six months later. Even I can admit that's being unfair to Sonic.

Sonic Heroes

Sonic Heroes (Sonic Team USA/Sega, 2003)

I actually don't know what the Sonic fan community's feeling on this game is, but the critical response was about a 10 point drop from the Adventure games. The graphics seem a bit dated and the game loves stealing control away from you to do loops or whatever, so maybe that had something to do with it. I only know this game because of the mic-stealing moment at the 25th anniversary concert. Classic.

Sonic Gems Collection

Sonic Gems Collection (Sonic Team/Sega, 2005)

A collection of lesser-known Sonic games for the Game Gear, Saturn, Sega CD, and arcades. It also includes a handful of well-known Genesis games like Streets of Rage as unlockables. Here's a screenshot of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Game Gear.

Sonic Mega Collection

Sonic Mega Collection (Sonic Team/