When it was originally released for the PlayStation 1 in the late 90’s, Resident Evil was one of the freakiest games the public had ever bore witness too, and it even managed to launch an entire genre all on its own. In the time since the game’s release there have been countless spinoffs and copycats but the very first RE story is still considered by and large to be simply the best one in the series.
In the early days of the GameCube, Nintendo made it a point that every gamer know the Resident Evil franchise would be GameCube exclusive. History would show that lackluster sales of the system caused developer Capcom to have to negate their exclusivity agreement in favor of actually making a profit on the series, but for a short time it seemed that the only way to get your Evil on would be on a Nintendo console. It was around this time that Capcom announced a full new-gen remake of the original Resident Evil, complete with jaw-dropping graphics and several new gameplay elements.
To this day, the RE remake (lovingly labeled in fan circles “REmake”) provides gamers with some of the best scares the video game industry has ever provided, along with graphics that are still impressive a full generation of games consoles later. Hunt this one down at all costs.
Games that attempt to be scary can typically be lumped into two categories: games that try, and games that are. And while the first category is chock full of games that go for startling scares and slightly creepy moments, only a handfull are actually able to pull off a frightening game experience. That’s why it’s such a shame that a game like Eternal Darkness seems to have fallen through the cracks of GameCube’s best selling titles.
Not many players have ever experienced a game like Eternal Darkness. It’s of the rare breed of games that actually knows they are games, and it uses that to its advantage. The game breaks the 4th wall, meaning that it directly interacts with the player. For example, say you’re in the middle of a particularly tense moment of the game, with your eyes glued to the television, when all of a sudden the volume of your TV starts going up and up and up until it’s nearly painful to your ears. You desperately search for the TV remote only to see that it’s sitting on your coffee table. That’s when you realize that it was the game controlling the volume of itself all along. Freaky.
Series re-boots only seldom create a game worth playing, but such is the case with Metroid Prime. Taking a super-popular 2D side-scrolling action series and cramming it into a first-person format was something that didn’t sit well with a large section of the Metroid fanbase.
Those naysayers were quickly proven wrong as soon as the game hit retail shelves and it was apparent what a masterpiece Nintendo had created. Exploring alien worlds, fighting creepy creatures and thwarting an evil plot are just a few of the things you’ll enjoy in the course of the game. The sequel, Echoes, is also worth checking out as it offers much of the same high-quality first-person adventure gameplay as the original.
Resident Evil 4
Two Resident Evil games in a top-5 list? It can’t be! Oh yes it can, dear reader, and let me tell you why. As Metroid Prime proved to us, rebooting a series can sometimes result in a new monster that is even better than the original concept. Luckily for survival horror fans, Capcom’s REboot (see what I did there?) created an experience that was both completely different from anything before it and also ridiculously inventive and groundbreaking at the same time.
Switching fixed camera angles for an over-the-shoulder perspective allowed for a whole new way of looking at Resident Evil-style stop-and-shoot gameplay. And along with a whole new storyline that eventually ties in with the events of previous games, Resident Evil 4 was a title that GameCube owners held over the heads of their friends for many months.
It’s not often that Nintendo introduces an all-new franchise, but that’s just what gamers were treated to when Pikmin, a hybrid strategy/action/gardening simulator, was released for the GameCube.
As Olimar, the supremely unlucky pilot of a one-man spacecraft, you crash land on a planet that at first appears to be completely overrun with vegetation and extremely dangerous creatures that won’t hesitate to tear you in two. However, upon further exploration Olimar finds that he might have an unlikely ally in his midst; the Pikmin. Tiny plant-like creatures that can be reproduced by feeding a larger base-like plant, the Pikmin follow Olimar’s every command. Using the Pikmin as his tools, Olimar must find the pieces of his downed spacecraft and put them back together before an in-game 30-day timer runs out. Hurry!