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Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 23:10 GMT 00:10 UK
Nintendo games show promise
Wave Race: Blue Storm
GameCube has already launched in the US and Japan

The GameCube launches in Europe on Friday with about 20 games available on day one. BBC News Online looks at some of the first titles available.

Jet ski heaven
Fantasise about exotic locations
Wave Race: Blue Storm

A classic on the Nintendo 64, this game has been dusted down, cleaned up, and powered up for the cube.

A racing game on jet skis around exotic locations, the sun beats down, the water looks inviting and you are drawn in to the action.

The game looks fantastic, with bright colours, sharp details and a real arcade quality about all of the visual touches.

The sound is also top notch, with great music, neat voice-overs and is sparkling throughout.

More importantly, it is great to play and really fulfils Nintendo's promise that the cube is all about fun.

Highly recommended.

Fighting against the dark force
You will recognise film sequences
Star Wars Rogue Leader II: Rogue Squadron

Star Wars related games in the past have been little more than cynical attempts to exploit the appeal of the film.

But this game is the exception and almost blurs the line between watching and participating in the films, so good are the audio and visual elements.

Your tasks include taking control of X-Wing and Y-Wing fighters to lead the assault on the Death Star, skimming over he surface of Tattoine, and attacking AT-ATs on the snow planet of Hoth.

Many of the film series' most famous sequences are included in the game in great detail.

It is the closest thing to being Luke Skywalker, flying through space attacking giant destroyers.

Extremely forceful.

The Luigi character is a Nintendo stalwart
Luigi is for the younger fans
Luigi's Mansion

Luigi, like Mario, is one of the stars of the Nintendo family.

In his latest adventure he has to track down his brother who is locked in a haunted house.

Large, colourful graphics are plentiful but they mask a rather dull and repetitious game.

You take control of Luigi, negotiating a series of rooms, vacuuming up ghosts and solving simple puzzles.

It is probably great fun for those under 10, but presents little challenge to older games fans.

Having said that, GameCube is designed to appeal to everyone and young children should enjoy this.


Crazy Taxi
Would you take a ride with this man?
Crazy Taxi

Two years after the game debuted to great acclaim on the Dreamcast it appears on the GameCube and it would appear as though time has stood still.

Crazy Taxi is still great fun to play, racing around cities, often on the wrong side of the road, dropping passengers off as quickly as possible in order to make a quick buck.

The problem is that the GameCube version differs so little from the Dreamcast original that none of the power of Nintendo's neat little machine is utilised.

It feels like a quick port with little care taken to showcase the power of the purple cube. It should have been so much better.

Sadly disappointing.

The BBC's Rebecca Pike
"In the UK alone there are 50,000 advance orders"




See also:

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