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Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 40

Tony Hawk's Underground 2

Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (Neversoft/Activision, 2004)

Alphabetically last of the GCN Tony Hawk games. I still don't have much I can say about it, but the environments look quite nice in this version. I also appreciate that you can get tomatoes and earn points for beaning random NPCs with them. No idea what that has to do with skateboarding, but it's fun.

Top Angler: Real Bass Fishing

Top Angler: Real Bass Fishing (SIMS/Xicat Interactive, 2002)

A fishing game that looks like a Dreamcast port. It wasn't well received at the time, and I doubt many people remember it now. It's as boring as all the other fishing games I've played on this series, although it does at least have okay music.

Top Gun: Combat Zones

Top Gun: Combat Zones (Digital Integration/Titus Interactive, 2002)

A flight game that looks like it just about could've run on the N64. There's no sense of speed at all despite the fact that you're supposedly moving at "1165", and you don't even feel particularly high up. Enemies are moronic. I doubt there was any reason to play this over Ace Combat in 2002, and there certainly isn't now.

The Tower of Druaga

The Tower of Druaga (Namco, 2003)

A port of the Famicom version of a hugely successful Japanese arcade game. Apparently this influenced the design of much better known games like Ys and something called Zelda, but it's more or less unknown in the West. The only time it's ever released over here was on the Wii Virtual Console, where it was heavily criticized for difficulty, confusing design, and having an attack that hardly does anything. Those were all problems I could see from playing it for less than a minute. Fun fact: This is the smallest game file of any standalone GCN title. It comes in under 200KB.

Transworld Surf

Transworld Surf (Angel Studios/Infogrames, 2003)

A surfing game that can't decide if it's silly or serious. Everything up to this shark attack warning implied the latter, but then I had a giant cartoon shark interrupt my surfing to take a bite out of me, which had no effect whatsoever on my character beyond causing a wipeout. This originally released on Xbox in 2001 and Infogrames thought it was worth spending an extra 16 months on it to port to GCN for some reason.

Trigger Man

Trigger Man (Point of View/Crave Entertainment, 2004)

Point of View is back with another strong contender for worst GCN game. I think this is meant to be a stealth title, but enemies often detect you as soon as you enter a level and there aren't really any mechanics or helpful level design to lose them again. You start with 30 bullets in a silenced pistol that takes 10 shots to kill a normal enemy and a knife that kills everyone in one hit. One of these weapons is much better than the other, especially since finding more ammo seems impossible. Naturally, then, you're so slow that actually getting close enough to use the knife means losing most of your health. This is an extremely bad game.

True Crime: New York City

True Crime: New York City (Luxoflux/Activision, 2005)

The second game in the series that would ultimately become Sleeping Dogs. That game ended up having no connection to TC by the time it released, and Activision gave up the trademark in 2014 without ever making a third game. That's probably because no one seems to have liked much about the game beyond its very detailed recreation of New York, and that wasn't even a unique selling point by the late 2000s. I don't have opinions of my own to share because the game crashes about thirty seconds into the first level, so I barely got to play anything.

True Crime: Streets of LA

True Crime: Streets of LA (Luxoflux/Activision, 2003)

I stopped playing before the end of the tutorial because the slow auto lock-on mechanic is intolerably bad, but it was apparently an okay game. If you could get past the protagonist, it had a 240 square mile map that was mostly accurate to LA and a branching storyline, both of which would've been impressive for 2003. It doesn't seem to have done much else very well, but you can see why those features alone would've been enough to make it successful.

Tube Slider

Tube Slider (NDcube/NEC International, 2003)

A racing game that takes place entirely within a tube and was originally slated to be an F-Zero game. When that deal fell through, NDcube and NEC International discovered that they were really bad at naming video games. The rest of it isn't much better - I like the idea of being able to use the tube walls to control your speed without braking, but the physics don't feel quite right and the whole thing is so narrow that you really don't have a lot of options anyway.

Turok: Evolution

Turok: Evolution (Acclaim Studios Austin/Acclaim, 2002)

The last entry in this series before an attempted 2008 reboot that failed to revive the dinosaur hunter. The game has been forgotten other than Acclaim's bizarre attempt to drum up hype by offering $100,000 to any parents who named their child "Turok." This was part of a series of controversial marketing stunts preceding their bankruptcy that also included trying to buy advertising on gravestones and making a bus stop that would periodically bleed red liquid.

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger (Krome Games/EA, 2002)

EA's attempt at a mascot platformer wasn't particularly well received or remembered even at the time. Despite being derided as generic and derivative, it was revived as an HD port for PC in 2016 and on modern consoles in 2020. Those new versions were, shockingly, also considered generic and derivative. Every version of it has been right on the 7/10 line.

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue (Krome Studios/EA, 2004)

You could copy paste everything except the dates from the last entry and it'd be accurate here. I think this one is uglier, but it was also considered generic and derivative at the time and was ported to PC in 2017. The console versions were successfully Kickstarted and released this year. Equally predictably, all the new versions were also considered generic and derivative.

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 3: Night of the Quinkan

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 3: Night of the Quinkan (Krome Studios/Activision, 2005)

Alright, you know the drill. It was generic and derivative back then, although at least less ugly than the last one, and received a Steam port in 2018 that was also generic and derivative. EA lost interest and Activision picked up publishing, but only for the original release. Krome studios moved on to making a bunch of bad licensed games before they started porting all the Ty games to new systems. They also made the recent remasters of The Bard's Tale and Wasteland.

UEFA Champions League 2004-2005

UEFA Champions League 2004-2005 (EA Sports, 2005)

FIFA, but focused entirely on one competition. Except that in a bizarre twist, you're not restricted to teams that actually appeared in the 2004-2005 Champions League, which means it's really just FIFA with some unusual league rules and a really bad UI that wastes half the screen on black bars. It's a pointless release and you can see why they didn't come back to the idea.

Ultimate Fighting Championship: Throwdown

Ultimate Fighting Championship: Throwdown (Opus/Crave Entertainment, 2002)

A fighting game based on UFC that came with 28 real fighters and the ability to create a custom character for campaign mode. It seems more involved than a lot of the boxing games that have come up, at least insofar as that just mashing A was not an effective strategy. It got mediocre reviews. Opus would go on to make a bunch of games nobody remembers before suddenly changing gears and creating the Half-Minute Hero series and Kid Icarus: Uprising over the course of 2009-2014. After that, they seem to have shut down.

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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