Gamecube Kiosk Impressions
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Written by: BoneStormer
Very oddly I couldn't find a GC Kiosk (store demo unit) at Software Ect., or Babbages,
or even Best Buy. These places only seemed to have that Xbox kiosk (which
was about 10 movies and only that one demo of Oddworld). So where did
I find a GC kiosk? None other then Toys R Us (Target also had one)! The
GC kiosk had 6 movies, but it also has 3 playable demos. Here are a few
This game looks sooo nice. This is the closest I've ever seen a game
come to feel like you're playing an actual cartoon. In the VERY early
on segments of the game (which serve mainly to get you acquainted with
the game), the game mechanics are very simplistic. Yet I found myself
having fun searching for ghosts with my Game Boy Horror (OoOoOoOo scary...).
The process of actually grabbing them by having to pull the opposite way
the ghost was pulling you was actually fun too even if very simplistic.
Assuming I wasn't amazed at how cool the ghosts looked (nice alpha transparencies),
I might actually have been scared:). It had me hooked. I just wonder why
I had to walk upstairs and then back down at the beginning for that key
to appear. I also just wish Luigi walked a little faster. Reports have
said the manner in which you catch ghosts gets more and more complex as
you progress, but reports also say that the whole game can be completed
in 5-6 hours. That's just WAY to short for a game with no multi-player
or any real reason to play it again. So all I can recommend is that this
is a MUST rent.
Wave Race: Blue Storm
Once again, the water is the key here of course. It looks so real. It's
also so cool that you can see so much stuff going on UNDER the water as
you race. The rest of the graphics though while nice, aren't anything
spectacular. You get a number of different characters to pick from, but
since I had no chance of winning a race I had to play in Time Trial to
play a different course. There is also a cool stunt mode, assuming you
know how to do any stunts. The control though is so hard to get used to.
In fact I never did:) Maybe someone who played Wave Race 64 extensively
would be able to jump in, but it will take getting used to. I found it
nearly impossible to weave back and forth between check marks with any
semblance of speed. Every race I was disqualified for missing 5 flags, even in Time Trial:(
If the controller wasn't attached, I would of thrown it in frustration:)
And if a crate happened to drop in front of you, good look avoiding it
(that's if you want to:). I once beached myself and couldn't get my guy
to get off his ass and drag the skijet back in the water to continue:(
If you're a big fan of the game on N64, I'm sure you'll like it since
I had de javu when playing this game. For me, I need to play it more before
I'd consider buying it.
Hmm, is this the movie? Are you sure it's the game? Ok the graphics aren't
quite CG quality, but damn close. The control works well and is very simple
(much like Rogue Squadron). I wish maybe there was more to the control
scheme even if not Tie-Fighter level, but this is meant to be more of
a shooter then a sim. There is even a cool hanger where you pick your
ship ala Rogue Squadron, but here it's wide open. In the first stage shots
are flying EVERYWHERE. It's quite amazing. I also like how you fly in
formation with your wingmen. The first part of the first stage is pretty
lame just flying around shooting down towers. All you have to be careful
of is not smashing into the towers, which only an idiot would do (tip:
don't waste all your missiles on the towers). Then you get to take on
a fleet of Tie-Fighters and the action picks up. Unfortuently you can
only play stage 1 on the demo, and the first stage isn't the greatest
thing ever. The black sky in the background isn't all that much too look
at in this stage either. Still this game seems to be THE game to get at
launch (along with Monkey Ball:). I mean who doesn't love Star Wars?:)
Smash Bro. Melee (movie)
Very nice looking movie. Seems to be the same one they showed way back
at E3. Not a lot of actual gameplay footage though, just footage of all
the characters in their natural setting. Even though I'd seen Melee before,
seeing it on a TV in person (instead of a low-quality download Quicktime)
was amazing. The character models are astonishing, and the animation so
fluid. This game does look like it could be the best GC game this year.
I just wish I didn't see so many Pokemon in this movie, grrr:) Still Samus
and Ness make up for this:)
Another game I'm sure most diehard GC fans have seen movies of. Yet again
seeing it in person was a lot better. It's amazing to see so many "Pikmin"
running around at one time with no slowdown:) This game seems odd. I really
had no clue what it was trying to show me, yet I somehow feel compelled
to get it... This game is actually the game I'm looking forward to the
most, but I'm a big RTS fan.
NBA Courtside 2002 (movie)
While it looks nice, I can't say I'm looking forward to it. I never liked
this series before. I was always a Live guy:) And now with NBA2K taking
over the basketball scene, I really don't see a place for this game. At
least not in my game library.
There was also movies of Luigi's Mansion, Wave Race, and Rogue Leader
but since you can also play them yourself, there isn't much point (well
in RL's case you can see more then that first level). These movies were
of much higher quality (picture wise) and length then the ones I saw on
Xbox demo units.
Until you see this thing up close, you just don't realize quite how small
this thing really is. It's so cute:) I know a lot of people for some reason
think Indigo (purple) is somehow 'fruity', but I think the purple/black
color scheme looks badass. Especially with it's menacing orange light
on front. It separates it from all the boring black consoles out there...
I wanted to specifically point this out. Load times on these games was
almost nothing. At most it was like 3 seconds. No joke. In fact the only
game I can even remember the load times at all really was Wave Race. Maybe
because in Wave Race there was a 'bubble' on screen you could move around
to keep you busy for those 3 seconds (ala that star in PSO). Compare this
to say the Oddworld demo on Xbox that seems to take almost 30 seconds
To quote Bob Saget, "Wow!" My first thought was, "Hmm,
this too is much smaller then I thought." But don't panic. It's about
the same size as the Dual-Shock for PS2. Sure I wish it was a little bigger,
but overall I won't complain. The analog stick reminds me of N64's. The
placement of the buttons around the bigger main A button works so well
I'm surprised this is the first we're seeing it. The analog triggers are
probably the best triggers yet on a controller. Very smooth and well placed.
They have a feature that once pushed in, they can be pushed in a little
more for a final click (think Pipetmen for those in the know:). The difference
between pushed all the way in and that click is very noticeable, but a
little too easy to cross. There of course is that Z button above the right
trigger that seems a little awkward, but not as much as reports say. The
C-Analog stick on the right side will take a little getting used to, but
worked great in Luigi's Mansion. I was very disappointed in the built-in
rumble. Maybe it's just the demo unit holding on to the controller muffling
it, but the rumble isn't all that powerful. It's no Dual-Shock or even
a N64 rumble pak. Reminds me of the somewhat weak DC Jump Pack. My biggest
problem might be with the digital pad. The placement is fine, but it's
just WAY too small. It's the same size as the GBA d-pad (hmm, I wonder
if GBA's ability to connect right with GC and be used as a controller
had anything to do with this:). So on a full scale system you can see
the problem. I don't think many people will use it if they can help it.
This doesn't bode well for fighting games.
In the end, a much better launch demo unit then the lame one Xbox had.
I mean really, with those unplayable and low quality MPEG movies who did
they think they were going to impress? I know while these games don't
match the 'wow' factor Mario 64 had, they still helped wet my hunger for
a Gamecube. Sigh, only a few more days:)