Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 25
NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup (EA Tiburon/EA Sports, 2004)
You might notice that this screenshot is not a NASCAR race, and that's because this game opens with a regular street race. That's a strange choice since NASCAR famously takes place on incredibly boring oval tracks, meaning that the game opens with a tutorial with some of the only right turns you will ever see in the game.
NASCAR Thunder 2003 (EA Sports, 2002)
A racing game that features two whole tracks that aren't essentially ovals. Possibly because there are so few opportunities to do it, they didn't bother to enforce corner cutting. You get a radio team, but they're inexplicably obsessed with telling you whether there are cars at your sides, which is something you can see for yourself. I can't explain the positive reviews.
NASCAR: Dirt to Daytona (Monster Games/Infogrames, 2002)
This version of driving in circles does enforce corner cutting, but it's even less bothered about you driving like a maniac and trying to total every other driver's car. That is about the only fun to be had, because these are simply not remotely interesting tracks.
NBA 2K2 (Visual Concepts/Sega, 2002)
I wouldn't say I care about basketball that much less than football, but I haven't ever actually played a basketball video game before. That means I have absolutely zero reference for how good this game is, and also that I had no idea how to play. It's gonna be great covering the ridiculous number of basketball games on this system! This one has, uh, nice floor reflections? I don't know.
NBA 2K3 (Visual Concepts/Sega, 2002)
Sega's second and final GCN NBA game has much worse floor reflections. The announcers are kind of boring. I was today years old when I learned that you're not allowed to go back across the halfway line in basketball, and I have this game to thank for that knowledge.
NBA Courtside 2002 (Left Field Productions/Nintendo, 2002)
Nintendo's only attempt at a GCN NBA game is much uglier than Sega's version, and it uses a camera angle that is harder to follow. Unsurprisingly, critics liked Sega's game better. I still have no idea what I'm doing or what that meter at the top is meant to tell me.
NBA Live 2003 (EA Canada/EA Sports, 2002)
There are a whole lot of basketball games left, and I don't know what else to say about them. This one has that same camera angle I don't like, but apparently other people do prefer it. It was the first video game soundtrack ever to go platinum. That's interesting, right? I don't know. Basketball.
NBA Live 2004 (EA Canada/EA Sports, 2003)
This one has the better camera angle, so that's nice. It came out in time to feature the brand-new Charlotte Bobcats, but too early to know who their players would be. How did they solve that in a time before patches? They named the players things like "Power Forward" and "Point Guard." Brilliant.
NBA Live 2005 (EA Canada/EA Sports, 2004)
The 2005 edition of basketball adds a bunch of minigames and changed the score box again. It also ends the streak of one of each game's suggested exhibition teams being one of the suggested exhibition teams in the previous game, as 2004 had the Nets and Spurs and this one has the Lakers and Pistons.
NBA Live 06 (EA Canada/EA Sports, 2005)
The last of this series on GCN saw a big drop in review scores, which I can only imagine is down to how inexplicably ugly it is. Why does this game look worse than any of the others? Growing pains from focusing on the 360 version? I have no idea.
NBA Street (EA Canada/EA Sports BIG, 2002)
Every sport needed a street version in the 2000s, so here's the NBA one. It's 3v3 and has a story mode, but this version also has the camera I don't like and zooms it in unbelievably close. This reviewed extremely well, so clearly everyone else was less bothered by not being able to see anything.
NBA Street Vol. 2 (EA Canada/EA Sports BIG, 2003)
The sequel zooms the camera out a lot, which makes the game much more playable. It reviewed a little bit better and has some unintentionally hilarious animations. Spinning in place once you've touched the ball with both hands looks particularly ridiculous.
NBA Street V3 (EA Canada/EA Sports BIG, 2005)
The third and final game in this series on GCN added in a team of Mario, Luigi, and Peach, who can be matched against themselves. There are no away uniforms for this team, so doing that results in a completely incomprehensible match where you can't even really be sure who has the ball, let alone who you're passing to.
NCAA College Basketball 2K3 (Kush Games/Sega, 2002)
The only game in this series on GCN, and apparently one of the rarest titles on the system. But I think it's much more interesting to note that this capped a 2002 in GCN basketball that also saw NBA Courtside 2002 in January from Nintendo, NBA 2K2 also from Sega in March, and NBA Live 2003 in October and NBA Street in February from EA. That is five basketball games in one year, and four with the NBA license. A bit crazy.
NCAA College Football 2K3 (Avalanche Software/Sega, 2002)
Sega's previous attempt at an NCAA football game was for the Dreamcast, and their second looks suspiciously like that's how it started life. The UI is hardly any better than any other part of the graphics, and it'd take some pretty amazing mechanics to save this mess. As you might guess from the lack of a sequel, it did not have amazing mechanics.
Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean
Batman: Dark Tomorrow
Burnout 2: Point of Impact
Cocoto Kart Racer
Cubivore: Survival of the Fittest
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
Family Stadium 2003
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing
Jikkyou Powerful Major League
Kirby Air Ride
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Mario Power Tennis
Metal Arms: Glitch in the System
Mr. Driller Drill Land
Muscle Champion: Kinnikutou Kessen
MVP Baseball 2005