The NGC team must have mulled over putting the Nintendo DS on issue 105’s cover as the mag included reviews of every single UK launch game. Primarily being a GameCube magazine, though, it was Namco’s Starfox Assault that took the newsstand limelight. And who was here to welcome us this month? Why, it’s only an opening page penned by Slippy Toad, in lieu of a new editor waiting in the wings.
“Hey, fellow space frogs! I’m so, like, totally stoked to be here. Wow, it reminds me of the time I had some bogeys on my tail and was about to wipe them off when suddenly, from nowhere…oh boy! Ice cream!”
This issue from April 2005 is a pretty good example of the amount – and quality – of software the GameCube received on a monthly basis. The console have been outsold by both the PS2 and Xbox, but publishers were still committed.
April saw the release of Starfox Assault from Namco, Capcom’s Viewtiful Joe 2, Mario Party 6 from Nintendo, a trio of games from EA – Fight Night Round 2, FIFA Street and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect – plus a handful of kid’s licensed games. The GC certainly wasn’t short on software, with a page long release schedule in the mag to prove it.
Killer7, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory – which was later reworked into 3DS launch title Splinter Cell 3D – and Ghost Recon 2 occupied the previews section, with GR2 receiving a tepid 2/5 anticipation rating.
“Unfortunately this belated GameCube version isn’t based on the decent Xbox version. It’s a port of the comparatively poor PS2 edition, which is a completely different game developed by a completely different team, and therefore quite hard to recommend, that is unless you’ve always wanted a Clancy-based Doom-style shoot’em up”. Harsh but fair – when reviews appeared the following month, they were mostly around the 5/10 mark.
With previews out of the way, the staff then cast their critical eyes over all 14 UK Nintendo DS launch titles. It’s easy to forget that Nintendo was gunning for hardcore Nintendo fans during the DS’s early days. It wasn’t until the arrival of the DS Lite and Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training that the Kyoto giant targeted casual gamers, complete with a highly successful marketing campaign showing B-list celebs playing the DS whilst on the toilet. Or was it while lounging around in the living room? We forget.
After taking a good look at the handheld itself, the second wave of games got an airing. The team was very eager to get their hands on Castlevania DS, a tad optimistic about Another Code and Lost in Blue, and curiously positive about both Meteos and, uh, Pac-Mix. Presumably, that was a typo. They also rightly called out Need for Speed Underground 2 to be a stinker. EA didn’t put any major effort into DS development until it started selling gangbusters.