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 411mania » Games » Columns

The 10th Hour 1.18.08: Top 10 Gamecube Games
Posted by Derek Robbins on 01.18.2008

Hello and welcome to this week's edition of the 10th hour! As always, there are a couple of things that I would like to hit on before I get things rolling.

-Man, I am so disappointed that Smash Brothers got delayed again. I hear it was for networking issues (the US delay), but rumors are circulating that Nintendo wasn't pleased with Pre-sales. Whatever. I'm okay with a delay as long as I actually get to PLAY the game and it doesn't become "Super Smash Brothers Forever."

-Unfortunately, because of the delay…I have delved back into an addiction. To get me by until Smash Bros is released. One worse than any drug you can imagine. Yes, my friends. World of Warcraft. I doubt I'll be playing my character from Dark Iron (70 Hunter, Melthazalt) this time around. I think I'm going to try to get a mage to 70. Perhaps people will actually want a mage in as opposed to a huntard!

With that out of the way, let's hit some feedback.

Reader Feedback
As always, their stuff is in italics, mine is in…neutral font.

This first one is from our savior Internet Jesus

I guess I'm just one of those weird people who just never liked Chrono Trigger and FFVI. The lack of Xenogears on this list on the top position is disturbing.

Really? Never? That's kind of surprising but…everyone has their own opinions, and I would imagine that I respect yours. Anyhow, Xenogears didn't make the list for the fact that disk 2 was, perhaps, the worst final disk on any game ever. Yes, I am including Final Fantasy VIII in that.

Next we have one from ex-411 staffer Sean McCabe.

Not a bad list, really, and FFIX is probably my favourite in a series that is hienously overrated. However my taste in RPGs makes my list rather different it has to be said: 10. Shadow Hearts 9. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne 8. Skies of Arcadia 7. Golden Sun: The Lost Age 6. Grandia 2 5. Parasite Eve (counts, just) 4. Tales of Symphonia 3. Suikoden 2 2. Secret of Mana 1. Shadow Hearts: Covenant

I can see why you think the Final Fantasy series is over-rated, but you have to remember: a LOT of our first played RPGs come from that series...and since it was our first, we love it. It wasn't MY first per se', but…it was ONE OF my first and I love the series all the same. As for your list, I like what you have…except for Shadow Hearts 1, which I never really got into. I thought Covenant was great, I just didn't think the first was anything special. Also, I don't count Parasite Eve 2. Whatever the case, I think I like most every game on this list. I'm hoping Isaac gets in Brawl, honestly. It'd be cool to get some Golden Sun representation.

Here's one from, jfanboy

Nice to see most everyone universally agrees on the superiority of Chrono Trigger, here is my list. 10) Thousand Arms 9) DragonQuest 8 8) Tales of Symphonia 7) Shadow Hearts:Covenant 6) Valkyrie Profile 5) Suikoden II 4)Breath of Fire IV 3)Final Fantasy VII 2)Final Fantasy VI 1)Chrono Trigger

Wow! Thousand Arms! Nice choice there. I haven't played that game for a while. I also like that you included Suikoden. I think I probably gypped the series by not even giving it an honorable mention, so I am happy to see it getting some love in Reader lists. I do think FF VII is a little high, but…different strokes for different folks, ya' know?

Here is a quick one from David

And You didn't say Final Fantasy XII for what reason? I guess there are some games that are too good for a "common" writer/reviewer.

I love FF XII, it even made my honorable mention list. THAT SAID, I felt it played too much like an MMO (but offline, which loses the appeal) and the story was a tad bland. DON'T get me wrong, I thought the game was awesome, and it didn't disappoint me…but I wouldn't rank it above any of my top 10's. Just my opinion though. Sorry that I was too "common" to have it in my top 10 list. If I were to do BEST FFs, it'd rank towards the top though.

Here is one from Mista

Eh. List isn't bad but there are far better RPGs than some that are listed. Looks more like a list for an old school gamer that can't let go of the past. The ones that like to say "KEFKA IS THE MOST BADASS VILLAIN EVAR!!" When in reality, all he really did to get that status was pour poison into a river and push a few statues around. Although they are good games, there have been far better, more recent games that have delved deeper in all ways possible, improving RPGs even further than alot of the ones listed above. As for FFVII being overrated... I think alot of people don't know when to use the word "overrated". Liking anything is an opinion and just because alot of people's opinion of something are far more positive than you doesn't mean that it's overrated. Saying something is overrated is just a lazy persons way of attacking everyone's opinion of a said product/service without actually having to give a proper reason as to why s/he didn't like it. Pure laziness. And it makes you seem cynical towards anything that has seen the spotlight for longer than you would have first thought. But if something is thought of as overrated, that's your opinion, so keep to it. =P And as for Xenogears second disc. It's because Squaresoft lowered the budget for Xenogears and raised the budget for Final Fantasy VII and VIII. So it's not surprising that the second disc turned out that way.

First of all, I *HAVE* backed up my feeling that FF VII is over-rated. Check my back-logs at the bottom of the page and click on "Top-10 Most Over-rated games". Or better yet, click here. So, please quit calling me lazy. Thanks. As for my…"holding onto the past". Hey, I could see why you would say that. There are a LOT of SNES-era RPGs that made the list. You are right that current era RPGs have gone farther, but I like a majority of them less. Don't get me wrong, Eternal Sonata is a swell game, but will it go down in history as a great game? No. I respect your opinion, though. If you feel I am still being un-fair to current gen RPGs, I am sorry.

Here is one final comment from Ultra Gepetto

Ill agree with gnome that FFVI dosent get the credit it deserves from younger gamers- I like FFVII but compared to VI it can take a back seat at #2 or even #3 as far as the whole francise goes. I was also a little iffy about the lack of SoM or Suikoden II, but glad that DragonQuest and Earthbound god the nod

Secret of Mana IS a pretty good game, but…I just didn't feel like it was quite good enough to make the list. As for Suikoden II? Fair complaint. I really should have included it somehow. Now. I posted this for one reason: THANK YOU FOR THE EARTHBOUND NOD. HELL YES.


Anyhow, let's get started.

Top-10 Gamecube games

Ah yes. Well, I'd like to say that this launches a brief series of mine that covers the most recent generation of consoles. In the next three weeks, I plan to reveal the top-10 games for the X-Box, PS2, and Gamecube…which is the one I am starting on today.

As for rules? Well…There really aren't any. As long as the game has been released in America, as long as I have played it, and as long as it was ORIGINALLY released on the Gamecube…they are eligible. (That covers a couple of Third Party titles, but particularly Resident Evil 4)

Let's get this party started!

10-) Pikmin 2 - Ahh, this series doesn't see as much public love as I would like it to. It is as close as we will probably get to a console real time strategy that plays well. What makes this game better than the original version is the fact that there is no time limit. In the original Pikmin, you had to get all of your stuff done under a certain time…but in the sequel, you could explore the worlds for as long as you want. The terrain is quite interesting, and the world is quite inventive. Really, it's a game that rewards you more for the time you put in it…and it never really feels like a drag. That is a good thing. The game is a greatest hits title, and if you can track it down…I'd really recommend you give it a shot. I mean, since Olimar is going to be a playable character in the newest Smash Brothers…would it really hurt to get familiar with the game he originates from?

Hm - Olimar is actually much smaller than this picture.

9-) F-Zero GX - Probably the hardest racing game I have ever played. Now those of you who haven't played the game might be thinking: "Hard racing game? Surely you jest!" No. This game was so difficult at times…I pondered placing my shiny new gamecube controller into a wood chipper. This is a TOUGH racing game, but when you get good at it, man does it feel fun. It improves on F-Zero X for the N64 in just about every single way, and it even includes Event Battles. I'm a HUGE sucker for being given a purpose for doing something (as opposed to your typical arcade mode. WHAT AM I FIGHTING FOR?)…so I liked that. Even though this game was mind-numbingly difficult at times…it is my favorite entry into the F-Zero series. A lot of people may think the SNES version is better, but I feel that if you are looking to leave the F-Zero franchise with a positive impression – and you love racing – this game is the way to go.

Zero - Not pictured: Game getting thrown out window.

8-) Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door - This game is fun, it's funny, and some would make the case that it is the finest RPG that Mario stars in. Personally, I would disagree, but it is hard to deny this game's charm. It has a lot of Nintendo in-humor and the battle system, while simple…is quite fun. The big knock against this game would be how easy this is. Seriously, it's probably one of the easiest RPGs ever released. I don't think of this as much of a problem, either…because sometimes you NEED a simple RPG as opposed to the OMG SO SERIOUS ones that we are flooded with. On top of this, I felt the music that was incorporated into this game was quite epic. Rawk Hawk's theme especially sticks out to me. Say what you will about the game being easy, but…I think you'd be silly to simply dismiss this as kiddy fair. You would be missing out on one extra charming game.

Paper Mario - OH SHI-

7-) Viewtiful Joe - Oh God, was this game awesome. I heard it didn't sell so well stateside, which is a shame…but perhaps I am wrong, seeing as it got a sequel. Whatever the case, this was one of the most unique experiences I've ever had with a side-scrolling game. What you do is basically control a nerd gone super hero whose move arsenal consists of various movie effects. From speeding things up to slowing them down, the combat is fresh and rarely gets to be a hassle. The problem with a lot of side-scrolling games is that the combat can get quite stale…but because things are so fresh and new, I never felt the "UGH, MORE FIGHTING" feeling. Now that is something. On top of this, the story was quite funny and the characters were just great. One could mistake this as a goofy power rangers game, and that would be a shame. This is one of the best surprises I have ever had in gaming…and I think a lot of gamers that skipped over this one are missing out on one heck of an experience. HENSHIN A-GO GO BABY.


6-) Metroid Prime - Man, do I remember the whining when this game was first announced. A FIRST PERSON SHOOTING METROID? HOLY CRAP. Man, people were skeptical as hell…especially when they learned that a Texas-based studio was in charge of developing it. Well, the worries were laid to rest when the game came out. It was fantastic. Now, first, let me say that this game ISN'T an FPS. It's more like a first person adventure. Shooting is of course part of the game, but there is a lot of puzzle solving and adventuring to find here…the same can't be said for most first person shooters wherein the only puzzle solving you have to do is figuring out which button fires the gun. A lot of people still think Super Metroid is the finest Metroid game ever, but I disagree. I think the Metroid Prime series has surpassed the side-scrolling Metroids in just about every way possible. While the second one was kind of a let down, the third one was quite epic…This title paved the way for that game, so it deserves some respect. I guess people didn't need to be worried after all. We were left in great hands. Metroid Prime is really a game that needs to be experienced.

Samus - Samus has come a long way from her side-scrolling days.

5-) Super Mario Sunshine - A LOT of Nintendo fans hate on this game, and I honestly don't see why. Is it because it's harder than Super Mario 64? Is it because of the addition of the fludd? Is it because of the tropical setting? I honestly couldn't tell you, as I thought this game was quite fantastic. It brought back the platforming that we remembered from Mario 64, but it also threw in a "water pack" named Fludd to keep things fresh. Mario Sunshine ACTUALLY felt like a totally new game, which is great. At times Mario Galaxy felt like a rehashed Mario 64, but to me…Mario Sunshine always felt like a new experience. I liked that a lot. On top of that, this brought back Yoshi in RIDABLE form. I felt that was awesome, as I was sorely missing the little guy from the N64 days. I think Mario fans shouldn't be so hard on this one because it was different. Different isn't always bad. Say what you will about the Gamecube's lack of quality games…but whenever they released a first party game, you were just about GUARANTEED quality.

Yoshi - Welcome back, Yoshi.

4-) Eternal Darkness - This is one of the more unique games ever released, in my opinion. It differentiates from typical Survivor Horror in the sense it doesn't try to scare you…it tries to mess with your mind. As the game goes on, certain effects can happen to you. These have a lot of effects on your screen. These can range from a tilted camera angle, the game acting like it reset itself…all the way to the game acting like your memory card has been deleted. That is just EVIL, but…it's really admirable that they shot for something different with this game. On top of this, the story was really quite interesting…and the ability to play through different time periods is cool. I would venture to say that this is probably the most unique survival horror game ever. On top of this, it doesn't control like a tank like most pre-RE 4 resident evil 4's did. That's wonderful! I'm all for FUN gameplay over GAME TRYING TO SCARE YOU gameplay. I hear that this title didn't sell all too well, which is a shame…because I would recommend this title to anyone. Seriously, if you own a Gamecube (or a wii) and need something to play for a couple of days, give this title a shot. You will not regret it.

ED - Erectile Disfunction and Eternal Darkness share innitials. Lol wut?

3-) Resident Evil 4 - Ahhhh, now before you get onto my case about this being a multi-platform title, I would like to mention that above I mentioned that as long as it was ORIGINALLY released for the ‘cube, it was okay for this list. Seeing as RE4 debuted on the ‘cube, it is in! Anyhow, what made this game for me is that…it actually CONTROLLED well. It was the first resident evil that I've played that doesn't have slow rotating and shooting as the focus of gameplay. No, this one was relatively rapid pace with quick, fun gunplay. In the past Resident Evils, I felt half of the battle was getting over the control scheme. On top of that, I didn't feel the game tried to scare you as much as it tried to show you a good time. When you are fighting off hordes of evil villagers, you can employ various tactics to get you ahead of the game which is just…cool. Heck, even ESCORTING isn't a pain in the ass this time around. Any game that makes escorting bearable deserves some respect. A lot of Resident Evil fans don't hold this in as high regard as the media does, and that's a shame. It's a different title, that I feel, surpasses all the previous series entries. Play this game. Whether you're doing it on the Gamecube, the PS2, or the Wii…you need to play this. In my opinion it is the BEST survival horror game to date.

Whoa - Ada Wong. My favorite character in the game.

2-) Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker - When the look of this game was revealed, there was an outcry from the gaming community. "ZELDA LOOKS TOO KIDDY, OH MY GOD". "CELDA!" These were some of the things people were shouting, and to be honest, I was one of them. I was skeptical, but when I got the game…I fell in love. The game is an absolute beauty. From the expressions Link shows throughout the game to the scenery, everything is beautifully animated. Honestly, including next-gen titles, I've NEVER been more taken aback by a game's beauty. Along with this, you get the classic Zelda gameplay that we all know and love by now. It plays just like Ocarina of Time, but slightly better thanks to the counter system. Really, it's just an extra beautiful Zelda title, and the next time I play a BAD Zelda game will be the first. (Not counting CDI). A lot of people passed over this title because of kiddy Link, but they need to get over themselves. This is a can't miss title, regardless of age, and in my mind might be the best Zelda released yet. The sailing can get a bit tedious at times, but…I'd take it over riding Epona through Hyrule field. This game just OOZES quality and I think any fan of Nintendo would be remiss if they missed this title.

Yay! - My gosh, the game STILL looks great.

1-) Super Smash Brothers Melee - This game was released about a month after launch in December of 2001. Flash forward to the year 2008 and I AM STILL PLAYING IT. It's absolutely amazing that a game can hold my interest for so many years and still be entertaining, but this one does it. This takes what Smash Brothers 64 did so well – throw together Nintendo characters in a fun fighting game – and improves over it in almost every way. The combat system is more advanced (With some advanced techniques such as wave dashing, dash dancing, wave shining, etc), the characters are more diverse, and the single player game is more immersive. The reason I am looking forward to Brawl so much is…that if it improves over Melee even HALF as much as Melee improved over Smash 64, we could have one of the best games of all time before us. From the event battles, to the deep multiplayer mode, there is not a piece of this game that I do not love. Plus, there are so many additional bonus points for NESS being included for a second time in a row. I really hope he makes the three-peat, because…I just don't think the game would be the same without the little guy. Whatever your stance in the ‘console wars' is…it is hard to deny how amazing this game is. In the year 2001, I thought that NO GAME could top Final Fantasy X that year. I was and still am a huge Final Fantasy guy. This game did it. Long live Melee and Long Live Masahiro Sakurai.

Hurr - ALMOST THERE. ALMOST THERE. As long as it doesn't get delayed again, that is...

Well, that is it for this week. As always, if you have anything you wish to comment on, complain about, praise me for, etc…e-mail me at Dragonmaster_Alex_158@hotmail.com or Desipiot@hotmail.com Your choice. Or simply comment below.

Next week is the X-Box top 10. That should be interesting.

Til' the Crossroads

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