Day 5: Friday
Eternal Darkness was recommended to me by one of the lads at my local Gamestation after he spotted me buying Resident Evil 3. A few RG forumites rave about it as well, and as it is reasonably cheap for a quality Gamecube title (my copy cost me a fiver), I thought why not. And I'm certainly glad I did, because it's one of the most atmospheric and engaging games I have played in a long time. Taking on several roles, Eternal Darkness is part survival horror, part psychological thriller as you attempt to uncover the dark secrets that are plaguing the main character, Alex Roivas. As well as taking place in the modern day world, it also features several points in history, and the presence of a unique "sanity" meter adds another dimension: get too frightened and the line between reality and madness blurs...Eternal Darkness is a classy game, and although I've only scratched the surface with an hour's play, I'm already hooked. Play it in the dark.
This sequel to the popular original still fetches a few quid but I fortunately managed to pick it up at a charity shop for 95p. The cover is full of quotes from enthusiastic games magazines: NGC call it "the best racer on the Gamecube" whilst Nintendo Official Magazine (a paragon of impartiality if there ever was one) stated that the game "will rock you." So what do I think of it? Well, Burnout 2 is my type of racing game! After a few hilarious "lessons" where you learn skills such as driving on the wrong side of the road, how to achieve a near miss and accelerating over bumps, it's onto the races themselves and there's some spectacular racing action going on, with amazing crashes and other thrills. The controls seem just right to me, responsive but not too much so; car mechanics and physics (which are surely a touch irrelevant in a racer such as Burnout) are good and with loads of cars and courses to choose from, I can see Burnout 2 being my favourite Gamecube racer for some time to come.
NBA Courtside 2002
I haven't played a basketball sim since...actually I've never played a basketball sim before! This is another game in immaculate condition that cost me a mere 95 pence from Gamestation, which even though it concerned a sport I have no interest in, I thought it was worth picking up for the price. The game presumably simulates everything it needs to do in terms of the game of basketball itself but not being familiar with all the rules, I struggle to follow what goes on. There's plenty of options such as league season, a practice mode and squad management, but I feel I really need to invest much more time to get anywhere in the game, and I just can't be bothered with so many other great titles to sample.
I've played this game before of course, although not on the cube. As the name suggests, you take on the role of a lunatic cabbie, desperately trying to squeeze in as many fares in as short as time as possible. As for the 'cube version, it has an option to play as in the arcade or with a specific time limit and there are a few mini-games thrown in for good measure. It's pretty much as you'd expect: pick up the passengers, take them as quickly (and dangerously!) as you can to their destination until you run out of time. The streets of San Francisco (I assume) always made a good backdrop to the Crazy Taxi; the incessant music by The Offspring and Bad Religion of this port does not. The pop up is also quite bad, and overall it's not as good as the famous Dreamcast version, released some two years earlier.