#10: Pikmin 2 (GC)
Starting off this list is the inventive title of Pikmin 2. Now you may think, ďPikminís graphics werenít that good, were they?Ē In fact, they were quite good. The lighting effects used in caves to show darkness and solitude, the damp, dripping water caves, the many enemy designs and personalities, etc. But what really made Pikmin 2 so graphically beautiful was how realistic the environments were portrayed. Each new area felt so unique, but yet so familiar. The snow, the ground, grasss, dirt- it all looked so realistic, and you couldnít wait to explore more of the beautiful areas. It really felt as though you yourself were exploring those new worlds.
Lumbering in at #9, is the amazing looking title of Peter Jacksonís King Kong. Just looking at some of the screenshots of this game is enough to leave you in awe. Kong himself looks great, if not better than he did on the movie. The creepy jungle island that you explore is dripping with detail as well. Lush green areas of plants, jungle trails, and the water all look very good. The T-Rex in the game is probably the best looking dinosaur I have yet seen in a game. The skin, the realistic movement, and just the way it battles Kong looks so great. This game does feel like a movie at moments, and deserves #9 on this list.
Donkey Kong is a character Nintendo could never seem to get to look just right. He always seemed blocky, or out of proportion. But they finally got him looking right In DK Jungle Beat. Although the game is short, and relatively unplayed, the novel idea of the game, and the graphics are enough to warrant a purchase. The side scrolling stages look great, and if they didnít this game wouldínt be half as good as it is. This is one of those cases were graphics almost do make a game. Just look at the realistic coat of fur on Donkey, and the rest of the apes. All the animals have a unique design that gives them more character. The jungle is teeming with detail as well. The waterfalls look brisk and amazing, as do the rocky and jagged outcrops in some of the levels. For the three hours that you play this game, youíll be treated with some great eye candy, so check it out if you havenít already.
Ahh, Call of Duty 2. Surely one of the most hyped and overrated games of its time, but it does have graphical merits. This is the best looking war game you can find on the Gamecube. The soldiers and people graphics are the best there is on the Gamecube. The graphics also help the war in the game seem so much more convincing. Realism is key aspect in CoD2, and itís not slacked on here. Buildings, envrionments, tanks, and everything else just look like there real life counterparts. Sometimes you canít tell you are playing a video game! Just toss a grenade inside a building and watch the smoke billow out, as you see the flash of the explosion, and the specks of dirt fly about. Yeah, Call of Duty did not lack in the graphics department.
Soul Calibur 2 is probably still the best looking 3-D fighter out there. The small stages you fight on are richly detailed. The opening movie of the game looks amazing. There are just so many things great graphically in Calibur 2, but you have to hand it to how the fighters look. Link hasnít looked this awesome in ages, and Voldo hasnít looked so abnormal. Every fighter has a unique posture, poses, moves, and outfits. The fighting effects and special moves look great too. From Ceravantesí dark soul edge swords, to Linkís flaming bow and arrow attacks, thereís just no attack that looks dull and boring.
Starfox Adventures was one of those lover or hate games, but I loved it. Sadly many loathed it though. Even if you didnít like it, anyone could marvel at its graphics though. I mean come on, look at Foxís FUR! Damn, thatís the best looking hair I have ever seen in a game. He looks so fuzzy and cuddly! Not only him, but Krystal as well, who is probably the best looking fox Iíve ever seen. Besides the fur the rest of the game is equally beautiful. From when you first land on Dinosaur Planet to your battle with Andross, youíll practically be drooling at every sight. Those dinosaurs look real, and the many torches you come across give subtle and real lighting effects. The jungles that you go through look alive, and it seems like every corner of the game has something awesome to look at. The water is simulated nicely too. The game even has a night and day simulator, so a whole new book of graphics is revealed during the night. Truly one of the best looking games overall on the Gamecube. Too bad Rare couldnít continue to produce games like these for Nintendo though.
The games are just getting tougher to top, but this game is still a step ahead of Starfox. Metroid Prime. Metroidís 3-D transformation was just as beautiful as Linkís was on the Nintendo 64. The graphics were also amazing considering the unexperienced developers over at Retro. But I guess you donít need experience to create a great looking game. Just look at every corner of Metroid Prime. Every square inch of the game is dripping with otherworldy detail! At the time this game was released it was the best looking game on any console, IMO. Never had another universe looked so stunning and realistic. Samusí sharp looking suits, the shooting animations and effects, and every enemy had such a large amount of detail. It was quite unexpected really, to see this game turn out as good as it did, and more amazingly, look as good as it did.
What could look better than Metroid Prime? Metroidís sequal of course! You didnít actually think the game would look worse did you? While many people may prefer the first game over the second, there is no denying at least a small step forward in graphical detail. First off, this game got much darker in tone and atmosphere, and this lead to a new graphical art style. The introduction of light and dark worlds added a lot of different contrasts to the graphics which really showed how the game could manage two different styles of graphics at once. Aside from that everything seemed to get higher polygon counts, and just overall a tad bit more detail. Not a huge step up from MP, but MP2: Echoes is an improvement, and the #3 best looking game on the Gamecube.
Nintendoís last game wasnít one to be missed. Itís a good thing they kept in on the Gamecube as well. Twilight Princess topped out the level of art and style we have ever seen on the Gamecube. This is Linkís best look yet; his darker adult style is much more appealing than that Wind Waker look. Aside from that, lighting effects have been taken to the MAX in this game! I mean a trailer of Link running and holding a lantern through a forest, you could literally see the lights bobbing in and out of the shadows. The path in front of him got brighter, and behind him darkened. Such little subtle things like this make the game so graphically advanced. Each different locale, each different character, and each new boss looked better than ever, and weíre all glad that Nintendo didnít slack off on their last title for the Gamecube.
You know, I didnít make this list to be surprising or anything, so Iím sure you wonít be surprised with Resident Evil 4 being number one. I mean that transition from RE3, to RE4 was like going from rags to riches. Almost. But it is hard to go back from playing Res 4 to Res 3. Without the amazing graphics of RE4, the story it tells wouldnít nearly be as convincing. Graphics are a main component of this story, and with out them the dark foreboding manner and style of this game would be lost. Reisident Evil 4 looks just as good as an early Xbox 360 game! And what else is amazing is that this game keeps its constant frame rate all the way through! That means our purple lunch box isnít even having trouble running games that look this good! Basically meaning, every game on Gamecube couldíve looked this good, but most did not. Resident Evil 4 produced unprecedented graphics for the Nintendo system. Never before had Leon looked so good, and never before did villagers with chainsaws look so.....menacing. Resident Evil 4 stands for graphical perfection, and everything in the game looks amazing even to this day.
Although the Gamecube recieved the smallest amount of attention last generation, a plethora of amazing looking games were created. From the realistic alien environments of Pikmin 2, to the realistic graphics of Call of Duty 2. Starfox Adventures realistc fur rendering, and Resident Evil 4ís overall superbness. Small in size, but big in power, the Gamcube had no trouble in running games as good looking as some Xbox 360 ones. The ten games in these list represent the best looking games of the Gamecube era, and we can all hope these franchises will continue to look just as amazing in the next generation of video games.
List by Dubble_G (01/10/2008)
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