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By Mario Johnson

Hola!  Welcome to my special edition of the Game Town Int.'s News Line Nintendo Column.  Thanks to E3, i'm finnaly not confined to one column to say everything thats new in the world of Nintendo.  Well, let's start off with the Gamecube games showcased at E3.

 

1080 Avalanche

It's wintertime again and the snow's never looked better!  The original 1080 Snowboarding, the first 3-D racing snowboarding game, started off the genre with amazing visuals and spot on controls.  The courses offered everything a boarder could want, from cool tricks to amazing speed rushes.  Racing through realistic and natural courses including massive avalanches, rockslides, cave-ins, bridge collapses and environments teeming with wildlife and other skiers. As well as the ocasional powder drifts and ice patches.  With a massive bag of tricks to master, all of your snowboarding skills had better be as fine-tuned as you can get when you go head-to-head with CPU-controlled masters or other players. I may not be into sport games or anything, but I may even try this game out!

 

Billy Hatcher & The Giant Egg

This game is from Sega, so check the Sega Column for details.

 

Custom Robo

Another humanoid Mecha fighting game with a little bit of a twist.  Anyone who played through Super Smash Brothers Melee would have noticed the trophies from this game, which at the time was only available in Japan.  Well anyway, the story basically takes place on some unknown planet far in the not-too-distant future. In this far off world, a surge in crime involving dangerous, miniature robotic weapons known as Custom Robos occurs.  Now those that pilot the Custom Robos are commonly called "Commanders," and through very specialized training, they find the ability and learn to manipulate their robots' actions through the use of their own brain waves.  Kinda freaky huh?  The game progresses through it's own Sci-fi storyline which starts with the hero and his crew learn of an incredibly powerful Custom Robo and set off to find out about it.  In the game, your Custom Robo is your only weapon, customize it to achieve victory in a mechanized melee!  As a big fan of giant robot and mecha games, i'm gonna be sure to play this one.

 

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles

Well, I haven't seen a major Final Fantasy game for any Nintendo system since the old days of the SNES.  Well, in the game, the people who inhabit a world infested with plague, depend on a blessed crystal.  The crystal somehow has the power to cure people and save them.  Well, in order for the crystal to maintain it's power, it needs special Mirula Droplets.  These droplets are ironically found in the darkest, most dangerous corners of far off dungeons.  Every year a group called the crystal caravan sets off in search of this droplets to restore the crystal's power.  This is the first Final Fantasy game to my knowledge with multiplayer connectivity.  Cooperate with your friends and battle your way through these dungeons to find the Mirula droplets and restor the crystal.  Only certain clues to the droplets are given for certain characters, and only a full team of heroes with their Game Boy Advances plugged in will be able to team up and find all the droplets to save the village in which the crystal resides.  As an RPG fan, im bound to pick this game up sooner or later.

 

F-Zero GX

It's time for the F-Zero Grand Prix once again!  With 20 massive race tracks and over 30 pilots to choose from, this F-Zero is the race to end all races!  With many racing modes to keep players occupied, starting with the standard Grand Prix mode where players race through the F-Zero Grand Prix and put it all on the line for the title of best racer in the universe.  Try the Time Attack where it's you against the clock.  Tackle the V.S. mode and race against your friends to see who's the top pilot.  And the all new Story Mode, where you follow Captain Falcon along as he races through missions and completes various challenges.  Well, the only racing games I like, are ones where if you don't like the racer next to you, you can turn him into debris; the racers are insanely fast and one false move and BOOM!!!  Your racer is now part of the race wall; and a racing game loaded with enough weapons to equip on your racer to take Panama.  Well F-Zero meets at least 2 of those, so this game is on my To-Play-List.

 

Geist

Another bizzare game, Geist takes you to the other world and back.  As a ghostly Spectral Operative, the goal is to track down a specific physical body mysteriously being kept alive somewhere in the enormous complex the game takes place in.  Collecting energies from indeginous spirits can help you along, but be careful, cause some of the spirits lurking about aren't so friendly.  These spirits can help or hurt you as you build your power and unravel a mystery.  Possession is also a major part of the game.  As a ghost you can interface with electronics, move things around and even slip through cracks in walls, all the while totally unseen to the human world.  But even all that isn't enough, possession ranges from human guards, to dogs, to mouse-like creatures.  Using their abilities and even memories, you have to utilize everything at your disposal to complete your objectives.  I think i'll play this game last.

 

GiftPia

Now this is a twist of things.  An RPG, Cell-Shaded to the extreme, so whats the catch?  NO weapons, NO armor, NO cli'ches, and NO BATTLES!  This is not the type of game I would normally play.  In the game, the main character has overslept and missed his coming of age party, which is a serious crime on the island.  Now he has to make it up by running errands and saving up enough money for the mayor to hold another coming of age party for him.  You have to make sure to keep your character well fed, cause if the starves, the game ends.  And as you run more errands, he becomes more and more adult, allowing him to stay out later at night.  If you are up past your bedtime, these weird sleep ghosts come after him, if they catch him, he will pass out.  Well thats all I have to say about this game.

 

Kirby Air Ride

The brilliant guys who made Smash Brothers Melee bring Kirby in a fast paced racing game.  With simple, single button controls, race at breakneck speed through detailed 3-D environments and of course, copy enemy abilities.  I mean come on, Kirby just wouldnt be Kirby if he wasn't stealing and copying enemy abilities!  With four player racing action, this game is a major on my to-play-list.  I'll get back to you if I ever get this game.

 

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour

Mario, Golf, Mushroom Kingdom, need I say more?  Mario Golf is back for Gamecube with 2 new game modes and a new swing system to make the game a pick up and play for both seasoned Mario Golfers and those new to the scene.  Play on ordinary courses or ones based on the Mushroom Kingdom.  With a four player mode this game is looking good, but I'm just not into golf.

 

Mariokart: Double Dash

As if the Mushroom Kingdom wasn't hectic enough already, the Mariokart Grand Prix is back.  Now players ride in karts that hold 2 racers.  While one drives, the other operates weapons and what not.  Play through tournaments to open up more racers and courses.  Up to four players can play on one system, and now a new reason to get a broadband adapter for Gamecube, up to 8 players can race online at a time!  That is something!  Now you don't have to live together to beat your friends and cousins at Mariokart Racing!

 

Mario Party 5

Now Mario and the gang are playing and racing through game boards and mini-games to restore peace to dream world.  Eh, Mario Party games never needed any kind of story, so why should this one?  Nothing you wouldnt expect from a Mario Party game, four player, boards, buy stars, change the game board, blah blah blah.  This game isn't one to buy unfortunately, why?  Because it doesn't offer anything Mario Party 1 through 4 offer except maybe sharper graphics since the first 3 were on the N64.

 

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes

Now this is a good one!  Metal Gear Solid comes to Gamecube with the storytelling know-how of the first Metal Gear Solid on Playstation, with the superb graphics of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty on Playstation 2.  Now the espionage action of the original in a revamped engine like Resident Evil, except better!  I'm definitely playing this one!

 

Nintendo Puzzle Collection

Dr. Mario, Yoshi's Cookie, and Panel de Pon, are all in one game.  Plug in your Game Boy Advance to play on the go, or stay at home and feel the mayhem as all 3 games are now in 3-D and 4 player!  Now this isn't the type of game I'd obsess with or whatever, maybe rent cause I feel up for some puzzles.

 

Pikmin 2

Now, anyone who played the original would know there was only 2 things wrong with it.  Only 30 days to do everything, and the game was short.  Those problems are gone, as time is open-ended in part 2.  The company that Olimar works for is going K-Mart, and he brought his assistant back with him to the Pikmin world to do something about the debt.  Now 2 players can split the screen and delegate the work, in 1 player, you can switch between Olimar and his assistant to make the work go easier.  You have all the time you want to have fun and do whatever, as the number of days are limitless, but still have an amount of time per day.  I am totally gonna play this one, i'll let you know what  I think of it when I play it.

 

Pokemon Box

I hate games like this.  This game is pointless.  It's basically a sorter system for your Ruby and Sapphire Pokemon games for Game Boy Advance.  You can also play your Ruby or Sapphire game on Gamecube to save battery power like you could with Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, and Silver in Pokemon Stadium 1 and 2.  Pokemon Box simply takes the Professor Oak's lab area from Pokemon Stadium but only for Ruby and Sapphire.

 

Pokemon Channel

I really dont like this game either.  A T.V. station has lost segments of it's Pokemon shows.  With Pikachu's help you have to track them down.  Along the way, make friends with wild Pokemon and what now.  You can also watch the completed Pokemon shows that you collect.

 

Pokemon Colliseum

In short, Pokemon Stadium but for Gamecube and only Ruby and Sapphire Pokemon are allowed to compete.  Is it just me or did Nintendo forget that thanks to the new ones introduced in Ruby and Sapphire, there are a grand total of 352 Pokemon total?!?!?  From Bulbasaur to Celebi, everyone of them should be able to enter the colliseum, but it seems Nintendo forgot not everyone can afford a Game Boy Advance, a Game Boy Advance Link Cable to connect to Gamecube, and Pokemon Ruby or Sapphire.  Thats why its Pokemon Colliseum, not Pokemon Stadium 3.  Cause a stadium allows all the Pokemon, not just the new ones.  If any of you trainers from Blue, Red, Yellow, Gold, Silver, or Crystal want to see your hard raised Pokemon in full 3-D on Gamecube, you will need: Game Boy Advance, another Game Boy, a Game Link Cable to connect the Game Boy Advance and the second Game Boy, Ruby or Sapphire, your Pokemon Game Pak, a Game Boy Advance Game Link cable for Gamecube, and Pokemon Colliseum.  Well, I can tell you one thing, I AM NOT WASTING SOME $200 TO SEE MY POKEMON IN 3-D ON GAMECUBE!!! I'll settle for Pokemon Stadium 1 or 2, and Pokemon Stadium 2 will display a grand total of about 252 Pokemon, Colliseum only allows the 200 you can capture in Ruby and Sapphire.  So what happened to the other 150 Pokemon?  THEY WERE BANISHED TO POKEMON RED, BLUE, AND YELLOW!!!!!!

 

Phantasy Star Online III: C.A.R.D. Revolution

This game is from Sega, check the Sega colum for details.

 

Sonic Adventure DX: Directors Cut

Also from Sega, check the Sega Column for details.

 

Soul Calibur II

I never played the original Soul Calibur, so I dont know the story very well, but this is a really good fighting game that I am gonna find the time to play somewhere.  Oh, now the important feature:  Link in FULL 3-D with a look worthy of Gamecube.  I am never touching another Zelda title for Gamecube if they don't trash the cartoonish look from Wind Waker.  So this is a great oportunity for me to see Link in a 3-D format fully detailed outside of Smash Brothers Melee.

 

Starfox

You'd think it could use a better name than just "Starfox", after all, the original Starfox on SNES was called "Starfox".  Anyway, the Starfox team is back to action a few years after disaster was scarcely avoided on Dinosaur Planet.  Lylat Central Command detects some kind of new threat, and the Starfox team goes straight in to deal with it.  Switch from flying an Arwing, to driving a Landmaster tank, to even dealing with the enemy on foot to restore peace.  Go solo or go up to 4 player to deal with the enemy force.

 

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords and Tetra's Trackers

I'm gonna make this short as to not waste anymore space on these two titles that don't deserve to be called Zelda games.  In four swords, using 4 Game Boy Advances connected to the Gamecube, its the same dealy as the mulitplayer game for Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on Game Boy Advance.  And Tetra's Trackers doesn't do any better of a job of insulting the Zelda universe.  Tetra issued a challenge, use a connected Game Boy Advance as a controller, collect stamps from the whole pirate crew on an island to win, blah blah blah BLAH!!!  Neither one of these games work without a Game Boy Advance plugged in to be a controller, and neither one has anything to do with Link saving the day, the Triforce, Zelda, Ganondorf, Hyrule, or anything else that defines a Zelda Game.  I would first quit my job here and trash my Gamecube before I play either of these games.

 

Wario World

Finnaly!  My man Wario gets his own 3-D adventure game.  While Mario has been in 3-D since 96' on the N64, Wario has never gotten his own 3-D game, well now he does.  He starts the game laughing it up cause he finnaly competed his massive castle that dwarfs Princess Peach's castle.  Deep inside this massive castle is a great treasure room where Wario stashes the loads of treasure he's plundered in his many adventures.  A priceless black jewel also kept there, has a secret power, which turns treasure into monsters.  Now Wario has to clean up the mess and get back his treasure.  With insane wrestiling style moves, he'll K.O. countless monsters that can reach the size of huge bosses out of Jet Force Gemini, or Donkey Kong 64.  He'll also have to play a good guy as he saves helpless creatures as he fights to reclaim his treasure.

 

Well thats the end of the Gamecube coverage.  Up next is Game Boy Advance.  A few titles here, not many, but still good.

 

Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising

Sturn and the Black Hole Armies are back.  With a new base of operations, they set their sights on Cosmo Land.  Command the armies of Cosmo land to defeat Sturn and the Black Hole Armies, blah.  With campaigns for both sides as well as new CO's to use as well as special powers, along with new units and maps.  This game would be one I would look forward too if I was big on Game Boy Advance.

 

Donkey Kong Country

Flying Rhinoes, Swimming Gorrilas, stolen banannas, only in Donkey Kong Country.   This classic SNES title from Rareware is back on Game Boy Advance, revamped with new features like save-anywhere feature, multiplayer mini-games, and snapshots of characters to collect, plus a score attack mode.  All the fun of the original with all new stuff in a nice portable package, and Donkey Kong is still wearing that necktie.

 

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Final Fantasy, Game Boy Advance, RST, the trademark Summon Monsters, all in one, if you ain't drooling yet, you can start now.  Final Fantasy makes it's return to Game Boy Advance with this installment of Final Fantasy Tactics.  Control every aspect of the battles with dozens of jobs, hundreds of abilities, and the power to build a team of mages, fighters, and whatnot to let you feel the tactics on Game Boy Advance.

 

Fire Emblem

A classic middle age RPG with all the magic spells, knights, assasins, and mages in an RST.  I'm not sure if this is how the original Fire Emblem was, but it's still great.  Command legions of soldiers to battle with Pegasus Knights to act as your air force, or lead your foot soldiers into battle against armies, wizards and even dragons!

 

Hamtaro Rainbow Rescue

While lazing around and staring at a rainbow or doing whatever else a bunch of young hamsters do in a show meant for 6 year olds, a couple  of the Ham-Hams staring at a rainbow discover suddenly that it has dissapeared.  And out of nowhere, another Hamster falls from the sky.  The Ham-Hams take him back to the clubhouse till he feels better and find that this little hamster can't go home till he makes another rainbow, but he is a little short on ingredients.  So the Ham-Hams band together to help.  Start alone and pick up more help as the other Ham-Hams join your group till the whole clubhouse full of Ham-Hams are one unit.  Find or earn stickers to make electronic greeting cards and swap 'em with friends.

 

Mario and Luigi

Out of the blue, an evil witch shows up and steals Princess Peach's voice, swapping her fair and delicate voice with explosives.  To make things worse, Bowser shows up and was about to kidnap Peach again.  But that would be pointless for him now.  So Bowser, Luigi, and Mario form a truce and go after the witch together.  When they get to the witch's kingdom, an aerial assault grounds their airship and sends Bowser flying off to who knows where (that truce was short).  Learn new moves and team up the Mario Brothers to get back Peach's voice.

 

Pokemon Pinball

In short, the original Game Boy Color title on Game Boy Advance with the 200 sumthin Pokemon from Ruby and Sapphire.

 

Super Mario Brothers 3: Super Mario Advance 4

Quite a long title eh?  Its the classic Super Mario Brothers 3 from NES now on Game Boy Advance.  Use the E-Reader to scan cards and unlock new features and levels.  Make use of all the original and all the new power-ups as you make your way to a showdown with Bowser himself.

 

Sword of Mana

The prequel to the Mana series.  This game tells the story of how a goddess transformed herself into the Tree of Mana to seal away a great power from being misused and abused.  Play as either the hero, a gladiator raised in the slave pits, or the heroine, a girl from the Mana tribe and race to save the Tree of Mana from the Shadow Knight and all who seek the power sealed away by the tree.

 

Wario Ware Inc. : Mega Microgame$!

Wario's sense of greed gets back at him in Wario World, but this time, he's seeking riches in another way.  The gaming industry now has to deal with Wario running the show.  With an almost endless number of mini-games to play in one game pak, I dont see how they stopped at only including about 200 or so Pokemon in Ruby and Sapphire, for such a tiny game pak, the Game Boy Advance games have alot of depth.  After clearing a certain number of games, you battle bosses to unlock new developers and you guessed, a new shipload of mini-games.

 

Well that concludes this year's E3 coverage, as I am spent.

Why do they hold this thing in L.A. every year?!?!  Why can't it be somewhere like Orlando or something.