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Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 21

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Madden NFL 06

Madden NFL 06 (EA Tiburon/EA Sports, 2005)

This game adds a bunch of German teams I've never heard of, and the Jets were more than capable of beating the snot out of the Sea Devils. It also has challenges and unlockable historical teams, which is kind of cool.

Madden NFL 07

Madden NFL 07 (EA Tiburon/EA Sports, 2006)

The German teams are still here, so I decided to play as the Sea Devils against the Sea Hawks. It didn't go as badly as you might think, but I also failed to complete almost every pass.

Madden NFL 08

Madden NFL 08 (EA Tiburon/EA Sports, 2007)

The very last GCN game ever released. It seems basically the same as the last one, although half of the European teams are locked from the start this time and there are some other bonus locked teams. I still didn't redeem the Sea Devils.

Major League Baseball 2K6

Major League Baseball 2K6 (Kush Games/2K Sports, 2006)

The swinging controls want you to pull the c-stick back and then shoot it forward to swing, which feels awful. At least the announcing is pretty good, and I like that you can press Z to bat from the wrong slide of the plate. You can keep alternating before every pitch and get increasingly confused dialogue from the announcers.

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (Camelot Software Planning/Nintendo, 2003)

Another game that I never played when it was current. Mario sports games are almost always solid, though, so it's one I want to at least play through the tournament mode of. My initial reaction is that the swing meter is a little unintuitive, but I think I'll be able to get used to it.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo, 2003)

My favorite GCN game and one of only two games I've ever seriously done speedruns of. I'll never know how many hours I've played of this because nothing tracks it, but it must be several hundred at a minimum. Which is a large number for me, if not for most people's high-playtime games. Here you can see my playing like garbage because of a mix of not touching it for a year and using the wrong controller. It's going on the list so I can redeem this awful time trial that was 10 seconds behind my best time.

Mario Party 4

Mario Party 4 (Hudson/Nintendo, 2002)

Next we've got my least favorite Mario Party, although that's with the caveat that I've only played 9 and Super outside of the GCN games. It's got loads of pure-RNG minigames and several of the maps have obnoxious loops you can get stuck in through no fault of your own.

Mario Party 5

Mario Party 5 (Hudson/Nintendo, 2003)

I like this one a lot more, but it's still not a game I'd go back to. The single player campaign is a blast once and the boards are more creative, but it still has a ton of RNG games and there are some incredibly strong random board events that make everything else in the game practically pointless. One can swap stars. Stars! Who thought that was okay?

Mario Party 6

Mario Party 6 (Hudson/Nintendo, 2004)

Probably my favorite of the GCN Partys, this one gives almost all the maps a unique gimmick that shakes up how you play. On the ice map shown above, everyone gets 5 stars to start and you can only get more by stealing them from other players. Another has you competing to own windmills that grant stars, and so on. It has some good minigames as well, but it's the boards that really make it stand out.

Mario Party 7

Mario Party 7 (Hudson/Nintendo, 2005)

Mostly MP6 again, but the AI cheats in single player and unfair board events are back. I like it significantly less than 6, but it still has some decent boards.

Mario Power Tennis

Mario Power Tennis (Camelot Software Planning/Nintendo, 2004)

I've only ever played the Switch release in this series. I didn't like it much. Still, everyone says that this is the definitive entry and it seemed promising from a quick match. I'm willing to give it a chance to prove it's less frustrating and repetitive than on Switch.

Mario Superstar Baseball

Mario Superstar Baseball (Namco/Nintendo, 2005)

It didn't quite make my top 100, but this is a strong contender for my most underrated GCN game. Like Kirby Air Ride, you've got to ignore a lot of it to see it shine. The minigames are awful, Toy Field is just okay, and any field with hazards is a mess. But challenge mode is a fun exercise in team building and completing goals for unlockables, and exhibition mode on the normal field is the best arcade baseball I've played. It makes up for a lack of mechanical complexity with a large cast of players that all have several unique quirks, so who you pick and where they play makes a huge difference in the game. I love it. That said, it's not going on the list because I have a nearly complete save elsewhere and don't want to start from scratch again.

Mark Davis Pro Bass Challenge

Mark Davis Pro Bass Challenge (Sims Co Ltd/Natsume, 2005)

Another crappy Natsume fishing game. At least there are way fewer of these than on GBC, and the music seems to be decent.

Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects

Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects (Nihilistic Software/EA, 2005)

1v1 arena fighter with superheroes. It's so zoomed out and has so much going on that I can't imagine being able to spot any move tells, so it's basically just button mashing. That and the lackluster graphics are probably why it was received so poorly.

Mary-Kate and Ashley: Sweet 16 – Licensed to Drive

Mary-Kate and Ashley: Sweet 16 – Licensed to Drive (n-Space/Club Acclaim, 2003)

A collection of crappy minigames related to driving. This one is basically Frogger - you're trying to get to the left most-most lane of this 8-lane one way bridge, but you get sent back to the right if you bump anything. The cars control terribly and other players can easily grief to send you back even when they're computers. It's awful.

Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2

Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2 (Gratuitous Games/Activision O2, 2002)

The lone GCN entry in the "Tony Hawk but bikes" series. There's hardly any music, which is a bizarre choice for a game trying to rip off another one with a famous soundtrack. But I guess they were both from Activision at this point, so they weren't really trying to rip it off? It's confusing.

MC Groovz Dance Craze

MC Groovz Dance Craze (Mad Catz, 2004)

Yes, that Mad Catz. Apparently they decided they might as well make their own DDR as long as they were releasing a controller for it. It features a remarkably bad UI and some original songs that are very boring. I can see why they didn't keep making games.

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

  16. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

  17. Freedom Fighters

  18. Freekstyle

  19. Gotcha Force

  20. James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing

  21. Jikkyou Powerful Major League

  22. Kirby Air Ride

  23. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

  24. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

  25. Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour

  26. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

  27. Mario Power Tennis

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