Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 40

Tony Hawk's Underground 2

Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (Neversoft/Activision, 2004)

Alphabetically last of the GCN Tony Hawk games. I still don't have much I can say about it, but the environments look quite nice in this version. I also appreciate that you can get tomatoes and earn points for beaning random NPCs with them. No idea what that has to do with skateboarding, but it's fun.

Top Angler: Real Bass Fishing

Top Angler: Real Bass Fishing (SIMS/Xicat Interactive, 2002)

A fishing game that looks like a Dreamcast port. It wasn't well received at the time, and I doubt many people remember it now. It's as boring as all the other fishing games I've played on this series, although it does at least have okay music.

Top Gun: Combat Zones

Top Gun: Combat Zones (Digital Integration/Titus Interactive, 2002)

A flight game that looks like it just about could've run on the N64. There's no sense of speed at all despite the fact that you're supposedly moving at "1165", and you don't even feel particularly high up. Enemies are moronic. I doubt there was any reason to play this over Ace Combat in 2002, and there certainly isn't now.

The Tower of Druaga

The Tower of Druaga (Namco, 2003)

A port of the Famicom version of a hugely successful Japanese arcade game. Apparently this influenced the design of much better known games like Ys and something called Zelda, but it's more or less unknown in the West. The only time it's ever released over here was on the Wii Virtual Console, where it was heavily criticized for difficulty, confusing design, and having an attack that hardly does anything. Those were all problems I could see from playing it for less than a minute. Fun fact: This is the smallest game file of any standalone GCN title. It comes in under 200KB.

Transworld Surf

Transworld Surf (Angel Studios/Infogrames, 2003)

A surfing game that can't decide if it's silly or serious. Everything up to this shark attack warning implied the latter, but then I had a giant cartoon shark interrupt my surfing to take a bite out of me, which had no effect whatsoever on my character beyond causing a wipeout. This originally released on Xbox in 2001 and Infogrames thought it was worth spending an extra 16 months on it to port to GCN for some reason.

Trigger Man

Trigger Man (Point of View/Crave Entertainment, 2004)

Point of View is back with another strong contender for worst GCN game. I think this is meant to be a stealth title, but enemies often detect you as soon as you enter a level and there aren't really any mechanics or helpful level design to lose them again. You start with 30 bullets in a silenced pistol that takes 10 shots to kill a normal enemy and a knife that kills everyone in one hit. One of these weapons is much better than the other, especially since finding more ammo seems impossible. Naturally, then, you're so slow that actually getting close enough to use the knife means losing most of your health. This is an extremely bad game.

True Crime: New York City

True Crime: New York City (Luxoflux/Activision, 2005)

The second game in the series that would ultimately become Sleeping Dogs. That game ended up having no connection to TC by the time it released, and Activision gave up the trademark in 2014 without ever making a third game. That's probably because no one seems to have liked much about the game beyond its very detailed recreation of New York, and that wasn't even a unique selling point by the late 2000s. I don't have opinions of my own to share because the game crashes about thirty seconds into the first level, so I barely got to play anything.

True Crime: Streets of LA

True Crime: Streets of LA (Luxoflux/Activision, 2003)

I stopped playing before the end of the tutorial because the slow auto lock-on mechanic is intolerably bad, but it was apparently an okay game. If you could get past the protagonist, it had a 240 square mile map that was mostly accurate to LA and a branching storyline, both of which would've been impressive for 2003. It doesn't seem to have done much else very well, but you can see why those features alone would've been enough to make it successful.