Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 41


Ultimate Muscle: Legends vs. New Generation

Ultimate Muscle: Legends vs. New Generation (AKI Corporation/Bandai, 2003)


A wrestling game based on a manga I've never heard of. Several of the characters feature horrifyingly giant lips, but that's a fault of the original artist rather than the game. Instead, the game's main problem is that everyone has such ridiculous amounts of health. Attacks barely move health bars at all, and even ones that get fancy animations do maybe a couple percentage points of damage. Actually finishing a match of this would take an eternity. AKI Corp, strangely, eventually moved on to mostly making fashion games aimed at young girls and the occasional arcade title.


Ultimate Spider-Man

Ultimate Spider-Man (Treyarch/Activision, 2005)


A Spiderman game that tries to capture the look of a comic book using cel-shading. What I played was a character action game with very exaggerated movements. Wikipedia claims it's remembered as one of the best Spiderman games, but that seems like something of an indictment of all the others considering it didn't even crack an 8/10 average on any platform. Still, our old pal Spiderman was in for some rough video game times after this generation, so maybe that played into it. Treyarch, of course, went on to become one of the Call of Duty developers and have not made a single game from any other franchise since 2008.


Universal Studios Theme Parks Adventure

Universal Studios Theme Parks Adventure (Nai'a Digital Works/Kemco, 2001)


A collection of minigames scattered throughout a recreation of Universal Studios that uses fixed camera navigation like it's Resident Evil. The overworld is extremely boring to navigate on account of being huge and almost entirely empty, and the minigames are simple and dull. Still, I think contemporary reviews were a little harsh. It's a terrible game and I don't want to play it anymore, but it's not 3/10 bad.


The Urbz: Sims in the City

The Urbz: Sims in the City (Maxis/EA, 2004)


The subtitle really says everything you need to know about it. It's The Sims, but, like, in the city. Also, everyone is called an "Urb" now. And The Black Eyed Peas made songs in Simmish. I've just noticed how creepy that face in the bottom left is.


V-Rally 3

V-Rally 3 (Eden Studios/Infogrames, 2002)


A very serious rally sim that goes all the way down to including crew morale, but that also has impossibly sensitive steering controls. You feel like you're driving on ice all the time. Still, there wasn't anything else like it available on GCN at the time, so players seem to have been able to look past that and enjoy it for the depth of its simulation. Thankfully, there are plenty of other options available now.


Vexx

Vexx (Acclaim Studios Austin/Acclaim, 2003)


A 3D platformer that does use the c-stick for camera control, but inexplicably also features automatic camera movement when you move the control stick. I say "inexplicably" because it seems precision engineered to always turn the camera in the least helpful way possible. The other controls are equally imprecise and combine to create a game I could only stand playing for the first few jumps. Thankfully, Acclaim were able to turn things around and are now remembered as a joke.


Viewtiful Joe

Viewtiful Joe (Capcom, 2003)


I expected this to be another entry that boiled down to "this is a famous game I've always been interested in playing, and now I will!" Unfortunately, it turns out that I don't like this game very much. Movement feels slow and all the old movie effects mostly succeeded in hurting my eyes. I can appreciate the sense of humor it's going for and there's clear potential for a deep melee combat system, but I'm just not interested in playing any more of it.


Viewtiful Joe 2

Viewtiful Joe 2 (Clover/Capcom, 2004)


By all accounts this is basically the same game, so it's no surprise that I didn't enjoy it much. The main difference seems to be that you can play as Sylvia, which adds variety but not a huge change to the gameplay. In an unusual twist for a Japanese game, it scored notably worse in Famitsu than with Western critics.