Let's Play Every GameCube Game, Part 41
Ultimate Muscle: Legends vs. New Generation (AKI Corporation/Bandai, 2003)
A wrestling game based on a manga I've never heard of. Several of the characters feature horrifyingly giant lips, but that's a fault of the original artist rather than the game. Instead, the game's main problem is that everyone has such ridiculous amounts of health. Attacks barely move health bars at all, and even ones that get fancy animations do maybe a couple percentage points of damage. Actually finishing a match of this would take an eternity. AKI Corp, strangely, eventually moved on to mostly making fashion games aimed at young girls and the occasional arcade title.
Ultimate Spider-Man (Treyarch/Activision, 2005)
A Spiderman game that tries to capture the look of a comic book using cel-shading. What I played was a character action game with very exaggerated movements. Wikipedia claims it's remembered as one of the best Spiderman games, but that seems like something of an indictment of all the others considering it didn't even crack an 8/10 average on any platform. Still, our old pal Spiderman was in for some rough video game times after this generation, so maybe that played into it. Treyarch, of course, went on to become one of the Call of Duty developers and have not made a single game from any other franchise since 2008.
Universal Studios Theme Parks Adventure (Nai'a Digital Works/Kemco, 2001)
A collection of minigames scattered throughout a recreation of Universal Studios that uses fixed camera navigation like it's Resident Evil. The overworld is extremely boring to navigate on account of being huge and almost entirely empty, and the minigames are simple and dull. Still, I think contemporary reviews were a little harsh. It's a terrible game and I don't want to play it anymore, but it's not 3/10 bad.
The Urbz: Sims in the City (Maxis/EA, 2004)
The subtitle really says everything you need to know about it. It's The Sims, but, like, in the city. Also, everyone is called an "Urb" now. And The Black Eyed Peas made songs in Simmish. I've just noticed how creepy that face in the bottom left is.
V-Rally 3 (Eden Studios/Infogrames, 2002)
A very serious rally sim that goes all the way down to including crew morale, but that also has impossibly sensitive steering controls. You feel like you're driving on ice all the time. Still, there wasn't anything else like it available on GCN at the time, so players seem to have been able to look past that and enjoy it for the depth of its simulation. Thankfully, there are plenty of other options available now.
Vexx (Acclaim Studios Austin/Acclaim, 2003)
A 3D platformer that does use the c-stick for camera control, but inexplicably also features automatic camera movement when you move the control stick. I say "inexplicably" because it seems precision engineered to always turn the camera in the least helpful way possible. The other controls are equally imprecise and combine to create a game I could only stand playing for the first few jumps. Thankfully, Acclaim were able to turn things around and are now remembered as a joke.
Viewtiful Joe (Capcom, 2003)
I expected this to be another entry that boiled down to "this is a famous game I've always been interested in playing, and now I will!" Unfortunately, it turns out that I don't like this game very much. Movement feels slow and all the old movie effects mostly succeeded in hurting my eyes. I can appreciate the sense of humor it's going for and there's clear potential for a deep melee combat system, but I'm just not interested in playing any more of it.
Viewtiful Joe 2 (Clover/Capcom, 2004)
By all accounts this is basically the same game, so it's no surprise that I didn't enjoy it much. The main difference seems to be that you can play as Sylvia, which adds variety but not a huge change to the gameplay. In an unusual twist for a Japanese game, it scored notably worse in Famitsu than with Western critics.
Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble (Clover/Capcom, 2005)
You'd probably expect another similar game given that this is from the same studio and only came out a year later, but it's actually based on the anime and Super Smash Bros. Attacks feel surprisingly week and the character selection is tiny compared to Nintendo's fighter. It received middling reviews at the time and seems largely forgotten.
Virtua Quest (AM2+TOSE/Sega, 2004)
A JRPG based on Virtua Fighter. You might expect that it would have a detailed fighting game-esque combat system, but for some reason they decided to make it basically a matter of mashing A until you win. Add in some basic graphics and bland writing and you've got yourself a forgotten game.
Virtua Striker 2002 (Amusement Vision/Sega, 2002)
A port of an arcade soccer game. It looks pretty good compared to the competition from 2002, but the controls are stiff and the side-view camera angle prevents you from seeing most of the field. I can't think of any reason to play it today.
Wallace & Gromit in Project Zoo (Frontier Developments/BAM Entertainment, 2003)
A collectathon platformer whose big innovation is "what if you moved really slowly?" It turns out that this makes the game not very fun. Frontier managed to turn themselves around making expansions for Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 and are now best known for Elite: Dangerous and Planet Coaster.
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Games! (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo, 2003)
Everyone knows what this one is: a collection of silly five second games. I actually haven't played this series at all outside of the minigames in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, so this'll be my first real experience with it. Because it's going on the list, you see.
Wario World (Treasure/Nintendo, 2003)
A platformer starring Wario and involving lots of punching and throwing. It seems pretty basic, but I had fun punching things and it sounds like it's a short game, so it's also getting a list spot. Oddly, Treasure didn't go on to make anything particularly notable after this except a 2009 sequel to Sin & Punishment, and they haven't made anything except Ikaruga ports since 2014.
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
Nintendo Puzzle Collection
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
R: Racing Evolution
Sega Soccer Slam
Shinseiki GPX Cyber Formula: Road to the Evolution
The Simpsons: Hit & Run
SSX on Tour
Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
Summoner: A Goddess Reborn
Super Robot Wars GC
Tengai Makyou II: Manji Maru
TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
Tomb Raider: Legend
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Games!