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Clubbin' with the Cube

There wasn't any dirty dancing going on or drunken moshing, but there were plenty of flashy lights and thumping music at this year's Nintendo CubeClub Tour. CVGames was there to get the latest look at all the newest games coming down the pipes for you GameCubers.

Sure there were the Mario Sunshines and Star Fox Adventures, but who wants to talk about games that are already out? We got to taste the finer things in life like Metroid Prime (yeah it's already out, but it wasn't when we played it), the next Mortal Kombat, Link's new cell-shaded adventure, LucasArts' PC-port Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, 1080 degrees snowboarding, 007 Nightfire, and Medal of Honor: Frontline. Yeah, we had a busy night, but now we can give up the goods.

Metroid Prime is primed and beautiful. More of an adventure than first-person shooter, the new 3D Metroid gives gamers the feel of what it is like to actually be the famous bounty hunter, Samus Aran. If you don't know about Metroid Prime by now then you've been living in some dark cave and have missed life passing you by. All the familiar weapons are here from the series, with new goodies like different visors added to juice things up. The game is given an obvious graphical boost from its side-scrolling 16-bit days. Now that the game is hitting stores, you should have no problem finding out exactly what we were so excited to experience at the CubeClub.

To the series that never seems to die, Mortal Kombat 5: Dark Alliance actually looks good. The available characters list included two familiar favorites such as Sub-Zero and Scorpion with a few newbies along for the fight as well. The game moves smoothly and looks as bloody as ever. The moves are specific to each fighting style including weapons. Can't remember that fatality move you love? An easily accessible list shows you every move your character has, including how to gruesomely sending them to a bloody death. When the announcement was first made, things were a little "iffy" whether this game would be any good, but it seems this series still has a few tricks up its never-ending sleeve.

We got our eager little hands on the new cell-shaded Link adventure, The Legend of Zelda, and were very pleased with its look and play. Though it takes some getting used to, Link's new look isn't as hideous and repulsive as feared. The gameplay is pretty much the same as the previous 3D Zelda title. Only a few levels could be played and only so far, but enemies, as well as Link, had fluid movement and some creative expressions. Fans should be happy with the outcome of this continuing saga.

Both Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Medal of Honor made first appearances on the PC. While they don't and can't hold the graphical look from the computer, the GameCube does a good job of keeping true to the originals. Medal of Honor: Frontline isn't the exact same game, but it starts off with the memorable "Saving Private Ryan" beach mission. Again, did not have the same "ooh, aah" affect as the original, but still a solid war-simulation shooter. LucasArts' gem, Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast has the same wonderful story and characters as before. What isn't fun about wielding a deadly, humming blade of singeing light? Both titles carry what is important from their PC relatives, which should make GameCube owners very happy.

Snowboarding was great in 1080 degrees. We got to race against an opponent on what seemed to be a small village nestled in the Alps. Tricks were a single button push, with the catalyst from ground to air being timing the jump boost and hitting the jumps and bumps planted throughout the course. You could jump off anything you wanted: houses, cars, other snowboarders, anything. It'll be interesting to see how this title shapes up compared to the hugely successful SSX Tricky when it is released in early 2003.

Bond is back, baby, in 007 Nightfire. We got to play with some serious gadgets in this new shooter. Running missions from deep in the ocean to the outer reaches of space, we were there to save the day (sort of... almost... okay, not really) and, of course, the hot women that went with the job. Nightfire looks like a typical Bond game, too bad we didn't get a chance to tryout the multiplayer option, which makes being a secret agent that much sweeter.

The free Snapple they were giving out kept us wired and making frequent bathroom trips all night long. Most of the kiddy games were out from noon to 5, but once the sun went down, the dark and scary ones came out to play. Overall, there wasn't much wowing about the CubeClub, other than the video games obviously--no E3 girls to oogle over or cool stands, just video games. But, still, getting to chance to play pre-released games kept us standing in line, clubbing late into the night.

By Peter Humpton - 11/20/02

Screenshots for Clubbin' with the Cube

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