There's still a lot of life left in the mighty little 'cube!
Tue, 24 May 2005
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So many games! So‚Ä¶ damn‚Ä¶ many‚Ä¶ games. E3 is pretty crazy, it is next to impossible for me to really cover every single game shown there in any kind of depth. So I am just picking out some of the bigger names, or more interesting looking games from the show. If you have any questions about any of the games I didn't talk about (or the ones that I did for that matter), you can always just email me me. In Part 1 we covered some of the games shown for Sony‚Äôs PSP format. Now let‚Äôs take a look at what‚Äôs planned for the little box of fun, Nintendo‚Äôs Gamecube.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
No doubt about it, this is THE big Gamecube game for most gamers. You‚Äôve probably seen the screenshots or the E3 trailer that can be found online and if so, you don‚Äôt need me to tell you that this game looks incredible. It actually looks almost like a next-gen system‚Äôs title, that‚Äôs how good the graphics are. There were people who were really put off by the appearance of the last Gamecube Zelda game, The Wind Waker, which quite frankly I can‚Äôt understand at all, because I found the look of that game most refreshing and thoroughly charming. I find it sad that people can‚Äôt play a game if it isn‚Äôt dark and dreary looking. Nevertheless, there won‚Äôt be too many people complaining about the graphics this time around. Anyone who isn‚Äôt impressed by the looks of Twilight Princess is cynical to the point that they‚Äôre never likely to be impressed by anything. Anyway, graphics are one thing, how is the gameplay? Oh come on, it‚Äôs a Zelda game, do you really need to ask? It is going to be awesome, I‚Äôm certain of it.
The idea is that this is a more adult version of Link than the one in Wind Waker. The game is going for a more realistic look and also a more realistic experience all around. Rather than just rely on the graphics, Twilight Princess aims to provide a sense of realism through the overall interaction the player has with the game‚Äôs world. So the gameplay is probably going to feel a bit different and reflect that whole ‚Äúrealism‚ÄĚ vibe. Some of the ideas for achieving this have been revealed already. For example, the controls will be ‚Äúcontext sensitive‚ÄĚ so that when you press the action button the results will vary depending on the situation.
The first and most drastic design choice that people are going to notice is that Link starts the game as a cowboy. On a steel horse he rides and he is wanted, dead or alive. But seriously, he does start out as a cowboy and there will indeed be plenty of horse-related antics. The horse riding element was a popular and prominent feature in Zelda Ocarina of Time and it will be expanded even further in Twilight Princess. You‚Äôll have mini-games were you use your horse to round up cattle, just like a ‚Äúreal‚ÄĚ cowboy would do. You‚Äôll also engage in various forms of combat while on horseback throughout the game. The game‚Äôs world is going to be a very large one too, so now more than ever, you‚Äôll be thankful that you can ride a horse from place to place.
The other potentially massive design choice in Twilight Princess is that Link becomes a lycanthrope. In other words he‚Äôs a werewolf! This will obviously affect his abilities in a variety of ways. For one thing, when in his wolf form Link will be able to communicate with other animals. There‚Äôs some very interesting potential in this whole werewolf caper.
All told The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess looks set to be an absolutely extraordinary game. It is probably the single game from E3 (including the next generation ones) that I am most looking forward to. I just can‚Äôt wait for this one!
Super Mario Strikers:
Developer: Next Level Games
Yeah, it‚Äôs a soccer game with the Mario characters. So it resembles soccer on acid‚Ä¶or, perhaps more accurately, on magic mushrooms! As Nintendo has already done with the Mario versions of tennis and golf we can safely expect plenty of character, bright colours, charm and exaggerated action, backed up by a fundamentally solid game of soccer underneath it all.
It already looks graphically excellent. The gameplay sounds like it will match up very well too. Apparently the game is pretty easy to get to grips with, meaning that it should work very well as a multi-player ‚Äúparty‚ÄĚ title. But there‚Äôs plenty of room to learn and take advantage of a variety of different tactics as your skills with the game improve. Therefore, despite being nice and accessible, Mario Strikers should not be a shallow game. As expected, it will feature many of the familiar faces from the Mario games, such as Donkey Kong and Toad, who all have their own individual strengths and weaknesses. The bottom line is that this will probably just be a whole lot of fun to play. That‚Äôs all I ask of any game really.
Yeah, it‚Äôs a baseball game with the Mario Characters. Ahem. We‚Äôll all save a bit of time if you just read the Mario Strikers thing I wrote above and replace the word ‚Äúsoccer‚ÄĚ with the word ‚Äúbaseball‚ÄĚ. Cheers.
This was once planned as a Gamecube exclusive, but then Capcom realised they still had to pay their bills and stuff, so there‚Äôs a PlayStation 2 version on the way too now. If you have both consoles and want to know which version of the game is better, they are both exactly the same to the best of my knowledge, except the PS2 version will probably have slightly longer loading times. So go with the ‚Äėcube one, unless you like more time to pick your nose between levels.
The thing that stands out first and foremost with Killer 7 is the look of the game. The thing just looks really damn cool. It uses a form of cel-shaded graphics, but they look quite unlike any other game around. The closest game to it visually would probably be Capcom‚Äôs other cel-shaded title Viewtiful Joe, but Killer 7 is much darker and grittier looking than that series. There‚Äôs a strong use of shadows and heavy lines, so you‚Äôll probably hear it described as something like ‚Äúa comic book come to life‚ÄĚ. I‚Äôll just stick with calling it really damn cool.
Basically the game is a ‚Äúrail-shooter‚ÄĚ, like Sega‚Äôs Panzer Dragoon games, in that you move along a set path and shoot things. But there‚Äôs some freedom added in that you can choose multiple rails to follow and also move up and down as you please.
What really sets Killer 7 apart and makes it one to keep an eye on is the fact that it is so freakin‚Äô weird. It looks weird, it sounds weird, it feels weird‚Ä¶you get the idea. With so many ‚Äúsamey‚ÄĚ games around I consider that a potentially very good thing. Hopefully it will turn out to be ‚Äúgood weird‚ÄĚ like the aforementioned Panzer Dragoon games and not ‚Äúbad weird‚ÄĚ like Michael Jackson. We should find out soon, as the game shown at E3 was pretty much ready for release.
WWE Day of Reckoning 2:
The first Day of Reckoning was pretty good, certainly the best WWE game on the Gamecube. But there‚Äôs still plenty of room for improvement, so fingers crossed that the second game can be even better.
We already posted the press release for this game and there isn‚Äôt really any further information about this one I can give you since then. So, just read that again I guess.
Anyway, it looks very promising. As both a gamer and a wrestling fan, I‚Äôm looking forward to it and I am hoping that they get it all right this time.
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance:
Developer: Intelligent Systems
If you enjoy games like Advance Wars, Final Fantasy Tactics, Phantom Brave or (obviously) Fire Emblem on the GBA, then Path of Radiance should be your cup of tea. It‚Äôs a tactical battle game and as such it is very in depth and time consuming, but still fun and extremely rewarding for those who enjoy the genre. I tend to fit into that group myself, so I‚Äôll certainly be hoping to get a copy of this one.
Unlike many games of its ilk, Path of Radiance has fully 3D graphics. So it has a bit flashier look to it than these kinds of games are usually known for. The quality of the sound is also noteworthy; the music seems to be fittingly epic sounding thus far.
Expect a strong storyline, well developed characters and hours upon hours of deep and involving gameplay.
Developer: Kuju Entertainment
Speaking of Advance Wars! This game was formerly known as Advance Wars: Under Fire. But it is now not supposed to be a part of the Advance Wars series, so don‚Äôt look for any links in the storyline or appearances of any known characters from those GBA games.
Even so, it will still most likely play very much like a fully 3D version of Advance Wars and I think many people will be happy with that. Tanks, bazookas, jeeps and all of that good stuff will be included in full force.
The overall feel of the game will probably be similar to Fire Emblem in many respects, but this one looks far less fantasy-based and also quite a bit more action-packed. So basically, Gamecube owning tactical battle fans are going to be having a great time when both of these games are released. It is looking very nice indeed so far too.
Some of the other Gamecube titles from E3: Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness, Mario Party 7, Shadow the Hedgehog, Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, Prince of Persia 3, Batman Begins, Tom Clancy‚Äôs Ghost Recon 3 and many, many more.
To be honest, I expected to find that support for the Gamecube had died off significantly at this E3, but that just wasn‚Äôt the case at all. There were well over 60 different games for the system featured at the show. With several first and second party exclusive titles and most of the bigger multi-system games set for Gamecube ports, the mighty little console was still going very strong. Now that you can purchase a Gamecube for such a low cost, there‚Äôs no good reason not to really. Even without all the other awesome games, like Metroid and the Mario titles, that can only be found on the ‚Äėcube, Zelda: Twilight Princess is going to be one that no gamer should miss out on.
While we‚Äôre on the subject of Nintendo, the next instalment of my E3 coverage is going to be about all the games for their handheld systems: the DS and Game Boy Advance/Micro. I should have that up by some time tomorrow. After that I‚Äôll get to the games for Xbox, followed by the PS2 and then the PC!
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