GT Cube (GameCube) Preview

By James 03.07.2003 2

Now Nintendo consoles are seen as kiddy, Nintendo on a whole are seen as childish and maybe too imaginative for their own good. Nintendo consoles in the past have always lacked a wide selection of realistic, enjoyable racing games. The Playstation 2 has its fair share, the best being the Grand Turismo series. The XBOX has the likes of Project Gotham Racing and Rallisport Challenge. The Gamecube has-... And that is one of the major faults of the console, it lacks a fun, realistic, driving game. Can GT cube deliver where so many others have fallen down and looked lame when in comparison to what the rival consoles have to offer?

Well, this game has already failed in some respects. GT cube is not just a normal racing game, not your cool, casual type of game. No, it doesn't include fat, Italian, dungaree-wearing plumbers in karts but it's the graphical style that does it. Yes, it has been put under the knife and has come out in a new, shiny cel-shading look. While this may not effect the game play it does effect how the graphics are which, if the Gamecube wants to become more casual the graphics need to be realistic and full of gore, that's if Nintendo want the machine, and its games to sell close to the figures of the Playstation 2. This is where you, as a gamer have to ask yourself, do I want what is good, unique, innovative and different or do I want what is hyper-realistic, boring and more of a simulation than a driving game? But, we aren't here to debate on whether Cel Shading is good or not, we're here to preview one of the Gamecube's best looking racers of this year.

GT cube will feature many different cars to choose from, 81 to be exact. These will all be from the top Japanese makes of car. The makes of cars that will be on offer will all be cars from these manufacturers, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsuoka, Toyota, Honda, Daihatsu, Suzuki, ASL, Subaru, and Mitsubishi. So, as you can see there will be a great range of different cars on offer, all in brilliant cel shaded glory.

Screenshot for GT Cube on GameCube

There aren't, sadly as many tracks on offer, the number being around 20 tracks for you to sink your teeth into. This isn't that bad though, it won't be cut short as the tracks have the ability to be mirrored, change the time of the day to race to and the type of weather you want to be racing in. This might be seen as the easy way out but at least it adds variety to what is there already. All these tracks will fit into four groups, each consisting of five tracks. The groups are- Circuit, (Very quick track racing) City, (Fast paced street racing) Highway (fast, long straights) and mountain racing. (This is winding, long, roads) Is the lack of tracks really such a bad thing though, when you look at the varied types on offer and the individuality of each track you shouldn't notice it too much, and who wants many tracks that are the same only with minor difference as seen in Grand Turismo and Project Gotham Racing.

The game starts off like most other racing games, you're required to pass 5 tasks before you get your license. These won't be too difficult- they consist of you braking within lines, cornering well and controlling speed on straights. If, like in Grand Turismo, if you stray off the track and go past the lines you will fail. When you have completed all of the tests you move on to the championship. As you progress through three part races (that you have to place third or better in) you will begin to unlock more and more cars, tracks and car accessories and parts.

Screenshot for GT Cube on GameCube

The car drives pretty much the same as most other racers but as you get into it there are many differences that my be seen as good or bad differences depending totally on opinion. You can skid around corners, like in games such as Mario Karts without even needing to brake sometimes which on the whole makes the gameplay pretty unrealistic. This skidding across the track looks very cool and is done well. The car screams across the straight whilst the wheels are creating amazingly long skid marks by burning the track. The ability to tinker with the car like in Grand Turismo is no there and is missed quite a lot as refining a car to certain tracks can make a game much more technical and sometimes, when done well enjoyable. Where's the ability to adjust the engine, change the exhaust or tweak the gear ratios? GT cube just doesn't provide in this area that is something that could add more depth to the career championships. GT 's championship is sadly not polished enough in all the areas in which it should have been making the game look and feel unfinished.

The graphics in GT cube are also not polished enough. The cars look simply amazing and really do deliver. The sad thing about licensed cars is that, sadly, the chances of them allowing the game developers to include crashes where the cars are left looking crumpled, crushed and totally wrecked are basically nil, so you are then forced to ask yourself, would you rather see amazing, Burnout-esque crashes or would you rather have cars with a real badge on? Does it really matter that much if you are driving a car that looks exactly like a Mercedes but doesn't have a tiny badge on or have the name come up on the car selection screen?

Screenshot for GT Cube on GameCube

As for the environments surrounding the cars in which you're driving and racing against, well its thumbs down on them as well. Now MTO have utilized the cel-shaded feature for GT cube and many people may not like this style but regardless whether you do or don't the answer to its been used well here is no. MTO have failed miserably giving the game a half-hearted look. The cel shading has been used on the cars fairly well but the actual environments prove it has just been used as a gimmick. This is very sad as the cars look a bit out of place and look rather flat and without life, maybe cel shading is best for games where it can be implemented for facial expressions. The environments and the actual track isn't even real, genuine cel shading. Bad graphics isn't what cel shading is and it never has been. It shouldn't be an excuse to have rather dodgy or unfitting textures on the trees, ground and track. This is very disappointing indeed and not a good way to use cel shading. Sadly, the sound and music in GT cube won't be the heart racing style music we had in Burnout and Burnout 2. The multiplayer is just as bad, only helped because of the fact that two of you are playing, no extra modes or anything exclusive to the multiplayer mode.

Screenshot for GT Cube on GameCube

Final Thoughts

Well, this looked to be one of the most promising racing games of the year. Sadly it doesn't look like it will be able to fill the empty hole of good, realistic racing games on the Gamecube catalogue. With miserable graphics, halfhearted attempts at cel shading, sometimes-unrealistic gameplay and boring sound the game is giving off all the wrong impressions. This is a game inspired a lot by Grand Turismo 3, yet, it just doesn't deliver as well as the great Playstation 2 hit did. Overall, only to be had if you really are that desperate for an alternative to the delights of high speed racing against oncoming traffic that is Burnout 2.

Developer

MTO

Publisher

MTO

Genre

Driving

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date None   

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