Nintendo Gamecube - January 2004



Thanks for joining us for another trip back in time to remember the games that we were excited about playing in a year when Michael Andrews (featuring Gary Jules) was topping the UK singles chart with his cover of the classic Tears for Fears track, Mad World and if you went to your local cinema you might of watched Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman in Paycheck. Yes, we are taking you back to January 2004 to take a look at the games that were riding high in the Nintendo


Gamecube chart. First up James at number five is a game from a franchise that I know you usually enjoy in Need for Speed: Undergroun­d. >>James

Yes, fancy owning a Nissan Skyline, painting it lime green, fitted with a humongous body kit and slamming it down the road? Well EA answered your call. This is a street racing high performanc­e blast featuring several different event types. To be successful you need to master drifting and amass as many skill points as you can to climb the rankings. For anyone stuck for time there are cheats online to unlock all the circuits and the drift tracks. Later fans were rewarded with a sequel that also reviewed well and sold

well too. >>Colin

In the number four slot we find Lord of the Rings: Return of the King a game I must admit to not being overly familiar with. I mean of course I know all about the books by J. R. R. Tolkien and that this game is an adaption of Peter Jackson's movie of the same name, but I don't really remember the game. It is, however, a hack and slash style action game that was developed by EA for the PlayStatio­n 2 before being ported over to several other consoles including the GameCube. The game has also been described as a modern version of Gauntlet and got some fairly good reviews on release, so I think this one is definitely going on my games to check out list. >>James

At number three we have

The Simpsons: Hit & Run. Imagine GTA with the look of The Simpsons but without the violence and you wouldn't be far off. The game was created by Radical Entertainm­ent who had previously worked on The

Simpsons: Road Rage. It was decided they wanted to be able to allow Homer and the gang the option to get out and roam. The player can experience some memorable landmarks such as Moe's Tavern. Being fully licensed the cast of the TV series provided the character voices. The plot revolves around mysterious happenings and Bart being abducted by aliens. The plot has depth and is enjoyable.

Overall, in my opinion this game did the show justice. It's loads of fun.


At number two it was Star Wars time with the third game in the Rogue Squadron series from Factor 5, Star Wars Rogue Squadron: Rebel Strike. A game which for me was a bit of a disappoint­ment, yes it was technicall­y impressive but like many I didn't like the way Factor 5 chose to mix up the tried and tested gameplay of the previous games by shoehornin­g in on-foot levels that just didn't seem to fit or work and which meant less of the exciting and fast-paced aerial combat that made the previous games so good. Also, rather than focusing solely on key events from the Star Wars movies this time the game attempted to tell an original story which unfortunat­ely had a poor and confusing plot. It wasn't all bad though and the included cooperativ­e mode sort of saved the day, it just wasn't as fun as it could have been or as good as the previous N64 titles in the series. >>James

At a well-deserved number one spot we have another of the many Shigeru Miyamoto masterpiec­es: Mario Kart: Double Dash!! This being the fourth instalment of the franchise overall but third on home consoles and released a massive 7 years after the Amazing Mario Kart 64. It is the only game so far in the series that allows two characters per kart. One for the driving and one on weapon duty. One brilliant feature to note about this excellent karting escapade is the option to play up to 16 players using the GameCube Broadband Adapter. Up to eight consoles in total could be connected. It was only one of eight games that made use of this. Pirates used the Broadband Adapter to enable soft-modding. Sorry back to the game and thankfully Battle Mode was included and that's a whole game in itself if you ask me. This was and still is a brilliant addition to the Mario Kart series. >>Colin

So that rounds up this nostalgic trip back to the January of

2004 and it wasn't a surprise to find the brilliant Mario Kart: Double Dash!! siting at the top of the pile. I'm now looking forward to tracking down and checking out a copy of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King but until next time as James briefly mentioned them we will leave you with some cheats to give you a helping hand if you decide you now have the need to play Need for Speed: Undergroun­d.

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