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Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 12

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F1 Career Challenge

F1 Career Challenge (Visual Sciences/EA Sports, 2003)

A racing game simulating the 1999-2002 F1 seasons. It's unsurprisingly similar to the other EA F1 game that ended the last list, but this one seems to have much more crash-prone AI. As ever, it's hard to make out the turns of the track with the limited draw distance available.

The Fairly OddParents: Breakin' da Rules

The Fairly OddParents: Breakin' da Rules (Blitz Games/THQ, 2003)

No points for guessing that this is a dull platformer with bad graphics. Setting it in the void was a clever way to save on drawing a skybox, though.

The Fairly OddParents: Shadow Showdown

The Fairly OddParents: Shadow Showdown (Blitz Games/THQ, 2004)

The sequel to the above, which actually feels much better. You have a more agile moveset and there are special items you can unlock to get extra abilities. I'd almost consider playing more of it, but I don't like this IP and reviews were poor, so I imagine it does not live up to that promise.

Family Stadium 2003

Family Stadium 2003 (Namco, 2003)

A Japan-exclusive arcade baseball game that plays very similar to Mario Superstar Baseball, but without the crazy special abilities and using (mostly) real Japanese teams. MSB seems more fully featured, but I'm throwing this on the list so I can dig into it more and find out if it has things it does better.

Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four (7 Studios/Activision, 2005)

A superhero brawler based on a movie and featuring, as usual, a lot of repetitive combat against the same enemies. These bots here can't even hurt you even if you just stand there.

FIFA Soccer 2002

FIFA Soccer 2002 (EA Sports, 2001)

And here come a ton of FIFA games all in a row. Obviously there's almost no reason to go back and play any of them, but even this first game is far beyond any other soccer game I've looked at in terms of presentation. Long passes seem wildly OP compared to reality, though.

FIFA Soccer 2003

FIFA Soccer 2003 (EA Canada/EA Sports, 2002)

There's not much visual difference here, but the jump in mechanical quality is enormous. More intuitive controls and an option to to make the game more of a simulation make everything feel so much better. It's still very end-to-end, but it's a blast to play.

FIFA Soccer 2004

FIFA Soccer 2004 (EA Canada/EA Sports, 2003)

The loading screens informed me that this one added career mode, but I didn't notice many changes to the regular gameplay. The announcers were a little iffy, describing the keeper collecting an errant pass as "an incredible save" and hyping up the "classic" match between Boston United and Huddersfield Town in the third tier of English football.

FIFA Football 2005

FIFA Football 2005 (EA Canada/EA Sports, 2004)

Most of the changes to this one were in the career mode that I'm not looking at. In quick play, the only differences I could spot were some additional teams, more consistent announcers, and the clock is on the opposite side of the scoreboard now.


FIFA 06 (EA Canada/EA Sports, 2005)

The last one before the PS3 and 360 took over. It seems to play a bit faster and definitely has better lighting effects, but I'm not a fan of the new scoreboard. The little map showing all player's positions is probably the most useful addition.

FIFA Soccer 07

FIFA Soccer 07 (EA Canada/EA Sports, 2006)

This is the last one on GCN and, as you might imagine given the focus was on the next generation, changes very little. Team logos in the player cards at the bottom and a more overhead camera were the only changes I noticed.

FIFA Street

FIFA Street (EA Canada/EA Sports BIG, 2005)

Takes the mechanics of the regular game and turns it into a stupid back-and-forth shoot fest by making it 4v4 in a tiny area. I can see why it was not received well.

FIFA Street 2

FIFA Street 2 (EA Canada/EA Sports BIG, 2006)

Basically the same thing, but now with a more obnoxious camera angle and even less ability to defend. Most ridiculously, you score more points for doing stupid tricks with the ball than for scoring, so I was down 1900-100 when I tied the real score 1-1 shortly after this screenshot.

Fight Night Round 2

Fight Night Round 2 (EA Sports, 2005)

I know this is another one of those games that's just not for me at all, but I have no idea why this was received so well. Review aggregators had it at almost 9/10, but it just feels so slow and the punches look soft. Maybe it's that it has deep mechanics that'd show up if I played it more? I'm not going to do that, so I'll probably never know.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (Square Enix/Nintendo, 2003)

This game may have the record for the longest unskippable opening cutscene. It's a game I've wanted to try for a long time, but the consensus is that it's not worthwhile as a single player game and playing a GBA-link multiplayer game is almost impossible now, so I think I'll just try out the remake eventually. It was at least cool to see characters I know from My Life as a King again.

The list:

  1. 1080° Avalanche

  2. Animal Crossing

  3. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance

  4. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean

  5. Batman: Dark Tomorrow

  6. Burnout 2: Point of Impact

  7. Charinko Hero

  8. Chibi-Robo!

  9. Cocoto Kart Racer

  10. Cubivore: Survival of the Fittest

  11. Custom Robo

  12. Dark Summit

  13. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

  14. F-Zero GX

  15. Family Stadium 2003

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