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Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 39

Tom and Jerry in War of the Whiskers

Tom and Jerry in War of the Whiskers (VIS Entertainment/NewKidCo, 2003)

Further proof that no self-respecting media franchise could survive the period between 2001 and 2006 without a 3D arena fighter. This one defaults every player to Tom but does not bother to provide more than two colors or more than one intro animation per character, but it does at least give you a permanent player indicator over your character. VIS Entertainment and NewKidCo both made their last games in 2005 and went bankrupt soon after. Neither of them ever made anything worth mentioning, sadly.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon (Red Storm Entertainment/Ubisoft, 2003)

One of the games that essentially created the squad shooter genre, although you probably wouldn't have guessed that it'd be remembered for long if you played the disastrous GCN or PS2 versions. It was a huge hit on PC and Xbox, which is why there are eight more of these to cover.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 (Red Storm Entertainment/Ubisoft, 2005)

The GCN and PS2 versions were once again significantly worse off than the Xbox release, although this time they also had a completely different campaign and were using Unreal 2 instead of Red Storm's custom engine. This game certainly looks a lot better than the first one, but movement feels incredibly sluggish and aiming almost seems to stop at certain points for no reason. I assume those issues are a large part of what led to this release scoring so badly.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3 (Ubisoft Shanghai/Ubisoft, 2004)

The GCN fared a little better with Ubisoft's other big tactical shooter. This was still the worst version of the game, but it was at least close to the PS2 game this time and could be considered just mediocre instead of truly bad. Still, if I was going to play a game with loads of detailed squad commands, I probably wouldn't want to play it on a console with as few buttons as the GCN.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown (Red Storm Entertainment/Ubisoft, 2005)

The GCN version wasn't the worst this time, but unfortunately that was due to all versions having their scores fall to where the GCN was previously rather than this version getting better. It seems like every system got a slightly different game for very confusing reasons, including the GCN having an exclusive split-screen mode to make up for the lack of online play. I don't know why they didn't just put everything they could into each game, but here we are.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (Ubisoft Shanghai/Ubisoft, 2002)

And now we have Ubisoft's first big stealth series. Unlike the other Tom Clancy games, this one was received very well on all systems and I've heard positive recommendations for it even now. I might get around to checking out this series someday on PC, but for now I just want to appreciate that they had the futuristic spy agency using Palm Pilots in this game. There aren't many less intimidating pieces of technology than that.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (Ubisoft, 2005)

The third of the four Splinter Cells in this era seems to have greatly reduced the brightness and also brought back inferior GCN ports. In this case, GCN reviews were merely 8/10s against 9s on other consoles and PC. I don't have any technology observations to comment on here, but the voice acting seemed surprisingly stiff.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft, 2006)

The final game in this series on GCN seems convinced that videos were destined to replace real tutorials as the way of teaching games. It was wrong. It was, however, a return to form for Ubisoft in the sense that the GCN version is far worse than almost any other system. You could blame that on a presumed focus on the 360 and PS3 versions if you're feeling generous, but the PS3 port was also pretty bad and the plain-old Xbox version actually did best. The reason I had to say "almost" any other system is that the Wii was out by now, and Waggle Agent was worst of all. I think Ubisoft just didn't like Nintendo back then.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (Ubisoft, 2004)

Anyone who has read the other Tom Clancy entries today can probably write this one on their own: It's the second Splinter Cell on GCN, and every other console version was apparently much better. It's dark and hard to see anything, and they don't give you a brightness meter to fix that in the initial setup. You can't fault Ubisoft's consistency, at least.

Tomb Raider: Legend

Tomb Raider: Legend (Crystal Dynamics/Eidos Interactive, 2006)

The only Tomb Raider game on GCN and the first game to be generally considered good in the franchise for quite some time. It also did well commercially and should've revived the series, but then Uncharted showed up to eat its lunch and the next two games fared worse. Lara Croft didn't really get going again until the full reboot in 2013. I'm a bit curious how this compares to Drake's Fortune, so I'm going to put it on the list to at least play the first few levels.

Tonka: Rescue Patrol

Tonka: Rescue Patrol (Lucky Chicken Games/TDK Mediactive, 2003)

It's ugly and repetitive, but it's also clearly intended for five year olds. I would've loved it if I had somehow played it when I was five, so I'm not going to criticize it too hard. Lucky Chicken is better remembered for making the legendarily bad Aquaman game for GCN and was merged into a mobile development studio in 2005.

Tony Hawk's American Wasteland

Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (Neversoft/Activision, 2005)

The last of the many Tony Hawk games on GCN. It was criticized for being too easy compared to previous versions and for misleading advertising regarding how seamless its large levels truly were. The soundtrack and story seem to have been its most successful parts. I'm not really a fan of this genre, so unfortunately I can't speak to any of this personally and will have similarly boring descriptions for the rest of these.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (Neversoft/Activision, 2001)

THPS3 didn't quite reach the same truly ridiculous critical heights as THPS2, but that still left plenty of room for it to score in the 90s. Like the other early entries in this series, it's widely considered a classic both for the gameplay and the soundtrack, and I can't tell you any less generic information about it.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 (Neversoft/Activision, 2002)

The last of the traditional THPS games, at least unless you're counting the almost universally hated THPS5. It seems like more or less the same game to me, but it told me I did the impossible and I'm not going to question whether or not that's just the name of an easy trick that anyone could do accidentally. Clearly I am the greatest skateboarder ever and should retire while I'm at my greatest heights.

Tony Hawk's Underground

Tony Hawk's Underground (Neversoft/Activision, 2003)

This shifted the focus to be about custom characters and a story mode that features silly nonsense like doing tricks over a helicopter. I know at least a few people who weren't fans of the change, but it was another huge critical and commercial success, so most people seemed to like it. Writing about very popular games without having any knowledge of them to work from is hard.

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

  28. Metal Arms: Glitch in the System

  29. Mr. Driller Drill Land

  30. Muscle Champion: Kinnikutou Kessen

  31. MVP Baseball 2005

  32. Nintendo Puzzle Collection

  33. Odama

  34. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

  35. R: Racing Evolution

  36. Sega Soccer Slam

  37. Shinseiki GPX Cyber Formula: Road to the Evolution

  38. The Simpsons: Hit & Run

  39. SSX 3

  40. SSX on Tour

  41. SSX Tricky

  42. Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader

  43. Summoner: A Goddess Reborn

  44. Super Robot Wars GC

  45. Tengai Makyou II: Manji Maru

  46. TimeSplitters 2

  47. TimeSplitters: Future Perfect

  48. Tomb Raider: Legend

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