Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 36

Star Fox Adventures

Star Fox Adventures (Rare/Nintendo, 2002)

The messy development history of this game is far too much to get into here, but suffice to say that it wasn't originally a Star Fox game and that Rare split from Nintendo soon after release. Primed for controversy, then. Even without all that, though, it doesn't seem very good. The flying controls in the fight you're looking at are awful, and it loves to make you sit through long cutscenes with gibberish voice acting. Maybe that would've been tolerable if the writing was at least good. Alas, it's the worst part.

Star Fox: Assault

Star Fox: Assault (Namco/Nintendo, 2005)

Another game that I loved as a kid, but this time it was due entirely to the cool factor. This had a nice period of exclusivity as the only game I had access to with 3D flight and space explosions, which was just about all I needed. Especially since the multiplayer was a nice level of chaotic stupidity with tank vs. fighter battles and guided missiles you could use to hit players on the other side of the map. All of which probably sounds pretty good, but this game is ruined in two words: ground missions. Something like half the game has you fighting on foot with possibly the worst third person controls ever seen in a major game. They ruin what otherwise might've been a decent game.

Star Wars: Bounty Hunter

Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (LucasArts, 2002)

A third-person shooter starring Jango Fett and a good candidate for most forgotten Star Wars game of this era. It opens with a "boss fight" against an enemy who barely attacks but needs to be shoot at least 100 times (I wasn't counting) to take down, then dumps you right into a slow puzzle section. Not really the kind of action you'd come to a Fett game for. It wasn't received terribly well even at the time, and most of what it was praised for, like graphics and shooting controls, are ages removed from being anything remarkable today.

Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (Vicarious Visions/LucasArts, 2002)

This was a great game on PC. It did an amazing job of animating the silly ways Star Wars characters react to being shot, and those only got more satisfying when Force powers and Lightsabers came into the mix later on. Unfortunately, the GCN port seems to have come before the devs really understood how to make an FPS on console, and it scored a whopping 14 points worse than PC on average. There's no aim assist and they seem to have tried to compensate for less precise control by slowing your aim down, which just makes it feel like you're an old man who can barely move his arms to aim. This is a somewhat difficult modern recommendation even on PC, but the GCN version should absolutely be avoided.

Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader

Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader (Factor 5/Lucas Arts, 2001)

A flight game that's closer to Star Fox than X-Wing, but nonetheless one of the highest rated Star Wars games ever. I've actually never played it before and was having some framerate issues today, but it seems promising. It gets a list slot on the assumption that I'll be able to make it run better.

Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike

Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike (Factor 5/Lucas Arts, 2003)

Factor 5's second GCN outing faired significantly worse. In a twist that will be familiar to anyone who read the Star Fox: Assault entry, that drop was largely due to clunky on-foot sections being mixed in to what was previously a flight game. Unfortunately, Factor 5 never recovered from it. Although they did complete a new Rogue Squadron game for Wii, it was never released, and the massive failure of Lair for PS3 forced them to shut down.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Pandemic Studios/LucasArts, 2002)

This lets you play as Mace Windu and Anakin, so it's only natural that it's a... tank game? Strange genre choices were all the rage on today's list, apparently. It was actually received fairly well, but criticized for dull vehicle sections (surprising no one) and performance inconsistencies. Pandemic went on to make Battlefront and its sequel, and everyone promptly forgot about this game.

Starsky & Hutch

Starsky & Hutch (Mind's Eye Productions/Gotham Games, 2003)

It's hard to imagine a