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Opinion Trailer Platform 15 Best Looking Gamecube Games That Were Ahead of Their Time

IbizaPocholo

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ibiza

Back when the Xbox first entered the industry and Sony was building up the PlayStation 2, Nintendo made its mark in a unique way. Eschewing DVDs in favor of proprietary miniDVDs and utilizing a box-like design with a handle, the GameCube was something special.

It didn't skimp on the powerful technology, producing some truly amazing games that still stand out. Let's take a look at 15 such games here.
 

SinDelta

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Metroid Prime
Wind Waker
Twilight Princess
Super Smash Brothers Melee
Mario Kart Double Dash
Battalion Wars
Viewtiful Joe
Skies of Arcadia Legends

Not even mentioning the other amazing games I never got around to playing back then.

God what a beast of a machine and line-up.
 
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manfestival

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Metroid Prime
Wind Waker
Twilight Princess
Super Smash Brothers Melee
Mario Kart Double Dash
Battalion Wars
Viewtiful Joe
Skies of Arcadia Legends

Not even mentioning the other amazing games I never got around to playing back then.

God what a beast of a machine and line-up.
Skies of Arcadia came out on Dreamcast first fyi
 
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StateofMajora

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True on Xbox but PS2 was the weakest.
Depends on the genre. realistic racers and fighters, xbox. 3rd person adventures, gamecube. Honestly first person as well, arguably. Prime was 60fps, doom 3 was 30 with lower polygon count. Same with riddick although it looked better than doom. Had more advanced lighting but they aged worse.

Generalizations of course.

Xbox was more powerful, but bottlenecked and lacked eDRAM. They pretty much trade blows.
 
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May 28, 2013
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True on Xbox but PS2 was the weakest.
Yet the thread is not about which one had superior tech. MGS2 on PS2 was ahead of its time in every aspect and it was an early PS2 title, Twin Snakes came out later and it didn't do anything better, if anything it was much, much worse. A game like Gran Turismo 3 was revolutionary by 2001, same thing for GTA3, all PS2 games on the "weaker hardware". It's irrelevant. Name one game on GameCube that was such a spectacle that turned heads like no game could compare on a PS2 or Xbox back then. Xbox had Halo, that one did it, that was truly ahead. On Gamecube? Soul Calibur? A game that was also on PS2 and Xbox.. What? That video is garbage.
 

Shodan09

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Yet the thread is not about which one had superior tech. MGS2 on PS2 was ahead of its time in every aspect and it was an early PS2 title, Twin Snakes came out later and it didn't do anything better, if anything it was much, much worse. A game like Gran Turismo 3 was revolutionary by 2001, same thing for GTA3, all PS2 games on the "weaker hardware". It's irrelevant. Name one game on GameCube that was such a spectacle that turned heads like no game could compare on a PS2 or Xbox back then. Xbox had Halo, that one did it, that was truly ahead. On Gamecube? Soul Calibur? A game that was also on PS2 and Xbox.. What? That video is garbage.
Rogue leader.
 
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Soltype

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Yet the thread is not about which one had superior tech. MGS2 on PS2 was ahead of its time in every aspect and it was an early PS2 title, Twin Snakes came out later and it didn't do anything better, if anything it was much, much worse. A game like Gran Turismo 3 was revolutionary by 2001, same thing for GTA3, all PS2 games on the "weaker hardware". It's irrelevant. Name one game on GameCube that was such a spectacle that turned heads like no game could compare on a PS2 or Xbox back then. Xbox had Halo, that one did it, that was truly ahead. On Gamecube? Soul Calibur? A game that was also on PS2 and Xbox.. What? That video is garbage.
Definitely Rogue Leader, it was pushing some new tech and running at 60fps.Rebel Strike looks even better, GC had the hardware, but i don't think anyone really tried to push it outside a few devs.
 
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May 28, 2013
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Definitely Rogue Leader, it was pushing some new tech and running at 60fps.Rebel Strike looks even better, GC had the hardware, but i don't think anyone really tried to push it outside a few devs.
Sure that would be the one that looks best on that list, but I still fail to see what makes it "ahead of its time" when by the time that game came out there were very impressive games on the other platforms. Ace Combat 4, Armored Core 2, and even Star Wars Starfighter also from 2001, it's not like they're lagging that far behind that single one game in their genre.
 

Stuart360

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Played the Rogue Squadron games recently on emulator at higher resolutions, and i swear they still look good today. It blows me away what some devs could do with Gamecube.
Its like i have never been that impressed with Metroid Prime, due to the low IQ, and low rez textures, BUT the game actually throws around more polygons than Halo CE, and at double the framerate. Halo looks better to me due to the higher IQ, high rez texture, and advanced shaders for the time, but no doubt Prime is beastly when it comes to poly's and framerate.
 

Soltype

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Sure that would be the one that looks best on that list, but I still fail to see what makes it "ahead of its time" when by the time that game came out there were very impressive games on the other platforms. Ace Combat 4, Armored Core 2, and even Star Wars Starfighter also from 2001, it's not like they're lagging that far behind that single one game in their genre.
None of those games are close to it tech wise, if you upres those games they still look like ps2 games. Rogue Leader could pass for a early 360 title. OG Xbox also had a ton of games ahead of it's time tech wise. Wreckless was maybe early '02, also could pass for a early 360 game.
 

StateofMajora

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Yet the thread is not about which one had superior tech. MGS2 on PS2 was ahead of its time in every aspect and it was an early PS2 title, Twin Snakes came out later and it didn't do anything better, if anything it was much, much worse. A game like Gran Turismo 3 was revolutionary by 2001, same thing for GTA3, all PS2 games on the "weaker hardware". It's irrelevant. Name one game on GameCube that was such a spectacle that turned heads like no game could compare on a PS2 or Xbox back then. Xbox had Halo, that one did it, that was truly ahead. On Gamecube? Soul Calibur? A game that was also on PS2 and Xbox.. What? That video is garbage.
Just for the record, the ps2 did not get a good version of soul cal 2.
 

SlimySnake

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as a ps2 owner back then the graphics on rogue squadron made me jealous
lol same. Probably the first game I thought that looked photorealistic.

RE0, REmake and RE4 especially looked a gen ahead of anything on the PS2.

It's weird because I didnt feel that way about any of the xbox games which was more powerful than both the GC and PS2.
 

mancsthelegend

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had a cube also, with svideo switch lead for slightly higher res, jap machine chipped , man, the memories :), n dat pad. excuse me if i have fucked my memories with another console or five haha.

I'm hitting that , fk it , i wanna play nintendo games again,.. old. :)

yeah resi was fkin incredible , made to run on pc , in higher res? maybe i'm trippin.
 

nkarafo

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Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader, not only it's the most impressive GC game, it was also a very early one.
 
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nkarafo

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Yet the thread is not about which one had superior tech. MGS2 on PS2 was ahead of its time in every aspect and it was an early PS2 title, Twin Snakes came out later and it didn't do anything better, if anything it was much, much worse. A game like Gran Turismo 3 was revolutionary by 2001, same thing for GTA3, all PS2 games on the "weaker hardware". It's irrelevant. Name one game on GameCube that was such a spectacle that turned heads like no game could compare on a PS2 or Xbox back then. Xbox had Halo, that one did it, that was truly ahead. On Gamecube? Soul Calibur? A game that was also on PS2 and Xbox.. What? That video is garbage.
Rogue Leader, Metroid Prime and F-Zero GX. All pushing graphics and visual effects and all running at 60fps as well.


Twin Snakes came out later and it didn't do anything better, if anything it was much, much worse
Since we are cherry-picking, there's Resident Evil 4 which, on the PS2, was a significant visual downgrade VS the Gamecube original.


BUT the game actually throws around more polygons than Halo CE, and at double the framerate. Halo looks better to me due to the higher IQ, high rez texture, and advanced shaders for the time, but no doubt Prime is beastly when it comes to poly's and framerate.
This is true.

Halo is pushing larger environments, sure, but generally they look empty. This is especially bad in indoor areas of the game because you get very large, flat surfaces. Thankfully, the bump mapping does give some depth but it's not as good as having better geometry detail:





Metroid Prime has smaller sized areas but they are so much more detailed, with high geometry detail, making everything pop. Even cracks on walls are rendered with geometry. Sure, there is no bump mapping but because you have so much more geometry, with so many 3D elements to catch your eye, it's not as needed.

And of course, you also have the higher frame rate on top of that.

I always thought Metroid Prime is a much more impressive game than Halo because of these reasons.
 
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Shodan09

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Sure that would be the one that looks best on that list, but I still fail to see what makes it "ahead of its time" when by the time that game came out there were very impressive games on the other platforms. Ace Combat 4, Armored Core 2, and even Star Wars Starfighter also from 2001, it's not like they're lagging that far behind that single one game in their genre.
It pretty much looks a generation ahead of star fighter for one...


 

Shodan09

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Rogue Leader, Metroid Prime and F-Zero GX. All pushing graphics and visual effects and all running at 60fps as well.



Since we are cherry-picking, there's Resident Evil 4 which, on the PS2, was a significant visual downgrade VS the Gamecube original.



This is true.

Halo is pushing larger environments, sure, but generally they look empty. This is especially bad in indoor areas of the game because you get very large, flat surfaces. Thankfully, the bump mapping does give some depth but it's not as good as having better geometry detail:





Metroid Prime has smaller sized areas but they are so much more detailed, with high geometry detail, making everything pop. Even cracks on walls are rendered with geometry. Sure, there is no bump mapping but because you have so much more geometry, with so many 3D elements to catch your eye, it's not as needed.

And of course, you also have the higher frame rate on top of that.

I always thought Metroid Prime is a much more impressive game than Halo because of these reasons.

Agreed. Apart from the shader effects used on shiny surfaces and snow etc Halo actually looks pretty bland and low poly. I think metroid prime has aged far better because of this.
 

Paulxo87

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lol same. Probably the first game I thought that looked photorealistic.

RE0, REmake and RE4 especially looked a gen ahead of anything on the PS2.

It's weird because I didnt feel that way about any of the xbox games which was more powerful than both the GC and PS2.

the gamecube GPU developed by ATI was extremely good with texture work. 8 textures per pass cycle if I remember correctly.
 
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Jeeves

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Since I haven't seen it mentioned, I remember being very impressed by Pikmin 2, particularly the detail on the treasures (i.e. real-world objects).
 
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Yselacrey00

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Sure that would be the one that looks best on that list, but I still fail to see what makes it "ahead of its time" when by the time that game came out there were very impressive games on the other platforms. Ace Combat 4, Armored Core 2, and even Star Wars Starfighter also from 2001, it's not like they're lagging that far behind that single one game in their genre.
We have a PS fan here. I bet my ass you didn't even own a gamecube at the time.
 
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nkarafo

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I remember looking at Rogue Leader screenshots in an early GC magazine and couldn't believe it.

Same magazine also had RE screenshots.

I don't think i was as much excited by magazine previews before or after.
 

mcjmetroid

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I love the Gamecube and I think a lot of games really hold their own today graphically but it's a funky video title in fairness.

Ahead of their time?
Just strange phrasing.

I will say though games that stand the test of time.
Metroid Primes
Wind Waker
Resident Evil Remake
F Zero GX
Super Mario Sunshine

Gamecube had games that had amazing art direction and stood the test of time
 
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mcjmetroid

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Agreed. Apart from the shader effects used on shiny surfaces and snow etc Halo actually looks pretty bland and low poly. I think metroid prime has aged far better because of this.
I always thought this at the time. People thought I was crazy when I said Metroid Prime was a far better looking game than Halo.

but apples and oranges I guess. Metroid Prime is tight detailed corriders with only 1 or two basic looking enemies on screen at once.

Halo had large Battlefields and was certainly more taxing to run,
 
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Ok list but a bit heavy on RE games. I would have added Donkey Kong Jungle Beat with it's nice looking furr and Metroid Prime 1 (since they got Prime 2 and they're doing multiple games in other series)
 

Redneckerz

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Stuck in 1Q84.
Every single one of the sixth gen console has had its visual heymakers. F-Zero and Conker are a few for the Gamecube.

However, Gamecube and later Wii embraced a rendering paradigm most of the industry was actually leaving from, favoring the kinds of things the OG Xbox did (Shader based). Gamecube's and Wii's TEV units were powerful, but also outdated, similar to Geforce 2's Nvidia Shading Rasterizer and Ati's Pixel Tapestry. The kind of shaders you could make with them could look good and even exceptional, but at a performance deficit.

They work similar to how Quake 3 had a shader system - Nothing more than a .txt describing how to layer and blend textures with one another. In 1999, this provided impressive visual effects (But in Quake 3's case, sorely underutilized) and it would work its magic in the Gamecube and Wii also.

But it is based on a outdated rendering mechanic. Shader-based programming was the way to go in 2001, which is why all its successors, besides the Wii, went for it. The PS2 is in that sense a similar fate: Its Vector Units are proto shaders that can mimic much of a modern shader-based GPU could do, but at significant cost. With the rise of pixel, vertex and later a unified shader pipeline, the deficit was removed and the industry as a whole moved to a shader-based industry.

I am not saying the Wii and Gamecube did it worse. They simply had a different way of rendering things, and in theory, TEV/fixed function texture layering/blending could produce next-gen like effects (Like the DoF in Goldeneye 007). But, as i said, it was an outdated paradigm. The rest of the industry went with something more common and standard, and ultimately, easier and more flexible to implement.

Nintendo eventually realized this aswell, when they released the Wii U in 2012. Featuring, indeed, shader-based hardware, and not TEV based technology, despite being described as 3 Wii's ducttaped together.
 

SebastianShaw

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I remember being on vacation on some motel that had the gamecube, and how much i played Kirby. Instantly fell in love back then
 
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