Friday, June 30, 2006

Weep for the Dead

I feel like recommending video games today.

As you all probably already know, Nintendo's little purple box(scientific name "Gamecube", but I like calling mine "Griddles") has had it's output flow reduced to a trickle, and not a particularly good trickle, either. Basically, all GC owners have left to look forward to is Twilight Princess(unless you plan on buying it for the Wii) and Super Paper Mario(and maybe DK: Bongo Blast if you, like me, enjoy pounding away at those little fake drums). You might be wondering "Is there anything out there that can prevent Griddles from collecting dust?"

Well, I can try to help you. Basically, I'll just list a bunch of games you might have or haven't played, you seek them out if they pique you're interest. You have something to do (unless, of course, you already have something to do that doesn't involve playing videogames. Screw you.) I'll refrain from naming the obvious (Super Smash Bros. Melee, Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2, Super Mario Sunshine, Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker, Resident Evil, Mario Kart, Viewtiful Joe, Animal Crossing, and Resident Evil 4), because if you haven't played those games, you obviously never cared in the first place.

Now, on with the show:

Baten Kaitos
Haven't played it, but I heard it's a pretty decent Final Fantasy-esque game with a cool battle system. There's a sequel/prequel coming out soon, too. Maybe we can all give it a spin.

Bomberman Generation
It's Bomberman. We all know what Bomberman is like. It's got some cool extra multiplayer modes, so that actually makes it one of the better Bomberman games out there. I also haven't seen it around any stores for 3 years or something. You should still go out of your way to find it, even if it means going to the center of the Earth.

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
For whatever, I have fallen in love with this arcadey platformer. It's really not all that complicated or deep, but damn do I have a good time playing it. I think it's the bongo-based gameplay, where you pound the drums to move and clap to attack. Sounds weird, but it's easier to catch on to, and the good times roll when you do. The levels actually get pretty creative, as do the boss battles(although most of them are just repeated). So, yeah, I think it's good.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
Some may call it one of the most underrated games of the past 5 years. Based off the stories of H.P.Lovecraft, it's bizarre scenarios and more psychological-based horror were overshadowed by the Resident Evil remake released only months prior. But this is still a great game, and you need to play it, if only to see the insanity effects. This game will screw with you in many ways, and it may take you a while to get in on the joke.

Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
The only game that lets you run around an entire city as the Jade Giant and smash whatever HULK DESIRES TO SMASH! If you like GTA-style non-linearness and smashing things, it's definitely worth a look.

It's a scrolling space shooter. You've probably seen many of them in hotels and bowling alleys all over the place. But this isn't just a scrolling shooter, it's a scrolling shooter by cult-favorite developer Treasure. And their great skill at making arcade games shows, as Ikaruga is both fun and incredibly challening. It's also very slick-looking and has lots of replay value(you will need to replay it in order to get past level 3). Good luck finding it, but it's definitely worth a purchase if you do.

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
If you think you can stomach the rather meandering sport of golf if the raging Italian stereotype and his drug-induced crew are involved, then go right ahead and get this one. It kinda lacks features, but there's still a good time to be had.

Mario Power Tennis
Quite unlike Golf, Baseball, and Strikers, they actually went all-out with the extra stuff in this game. Creative stages and mini-games really make this a stand-out title. Like most of this list, it only gets better with friends.

Paper Mario & The Thousand-Year Door
(Three Mario games in a row? Kinda creepy.)This is just a borderline recommendation, as I think this one is just about as essential as the stuff I listed in the intro. But, I digress, not everyone knows about it's brilliance that should, so here it is. It's the Gamecube's Best RPG by far. If you enjoy playing video games, get this as fast as you can.

Pikmin and Pikmin 2
Once the GC had been out for a while, it seems everyone forgot the short, but creative and cool Pikmin, which was hyped fairly well before launch. A few years later, Nintendo released a sequel, which took out the time limit of the first game and added more strategy in the form of two new Pikmin and a second leader character, as well as put the focus on exploration. Both games are still very good, and certainly deserve a second look.

Skies of Arcadia: Legends
There are reasons why the GC was adopted by many former Dreamcast owners. An enhanced port of one of the fan-favorite DC titles probably helped out a bit. Graphically, Skies isn't much better on the more powerful console, but they did add a few extra sidequests to keep oldsters happy. For everyone else, though, Skies is worth playing because it's a classic-style RPG, filled with airships(the battles involving which are very cool), evil empires, and main characters who, you know, enjoy life(Shocking to most modern RPG fans, probably).

Super Mario Strikers
The last Mario sports title on the GC just happens to be the most wacky and enjoyable. With soccer suddenly becoming all the rage, it seems only fitting that you celebrate by using Bob-Ombs to blow up Toad while passing around the ol' cow-ball. Not as many features as other sports titles, but grab a buddy or three and watch the good times roll.

Super Monkey Ball and Super Monkey Ball 2
What's there to say? It's monkeys. In balls, no less. Lots of multiplayer fun. Plus, monkeys.

Timesplitters 2 and Timesplitters: Future Perfect
I'm not usually into First-Person shooters, but playing Timesplitters with my friends is something I enjoy. I don't know what makes this one so appealing, but maybe it's the insane characters in multiplayer. A redneck cactus with robot legs? A small whale with a body made of fish? A giant duck? Monkeys by the barrel? The game has a sense of humor, which is actually quite refreshing. Plus, lots of single-player and multiplayer options boost it past just being silly.

Viewtiful Joe 2
Maybe the concept just wasn't fresh enough anymore, as VJ2 was pretty much ignored by everyone. It's still pretty good, with co-op play to boot, and can be found for pretty cheap all over the place.

Wario Ware: Mega Party Game$
Basically just a retread of the excellent GBA game with added multiplayer modes, but oh are those multiplayer modes fun. The developers got really creative with these, and the doctor game is particularity bizarre. If you find it cheap, pick it up.

If you're idea of something 'new' includes things that are old, I heartily endorse the following compilation titles:
Mega Man Anniversary Collection(Mega Man 1-8)
Mega Man X Collection(Mega Man X1-6)
Midway Arcade Treasures Vol.1(Robotron, Rampage, Joust, Defender, Marble Madness, Sinistar, Smash TV, Spy Hunter, & more)
Sonic Mega Collection(Sonic 1-3, Sonic & Knuckles, Mean Bean Machine, Ristar & more)

Well, there ya' go. I'm sure there are a few more games that you could check out(starting with Tales of Symphonia, which I didn't feel like writing about), but this should keep you busy until Twilight Princess and Super Paper Mario come out. But, by then, you might have a Wii in your home(...goddammit.)



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