Lloyd's legs get tired too easily when traveling solo
January 7, 2015 1:04 AM   Subscribe

My sister and I recently revived our Gamecube (and nostalgia) and are almost done with Tales of Symphonia, a game we enjoyed greatly more than a decade ago. We want to keep the sister-bond going, and would appreciate Gamecube recommendations from the hivemind!

I know there are a lot of multiplayer games out there, but we aren't looking for party or melee games (or anything that requires additional GBAs).

- rpg
- a more even split in gameplay control between two players
- great/compelling story
- nothing too scary/graphic please (we are scaredycats)
- levity appreciated

Things we don't care about
- graphics

Our small library currently includes
- Super Smash Bros. Melee
- Super Mario Sunshine
- Pikmin
- Kirby Air Ride
- Soul Caliber II
- Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2
- Pokemon Colosseum

Thanks for your help!
posted by sums to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Definitely get Pikmin 2. Not as utterly solid as the first, but interesting adjustments to the mechanics and it doesn't at all feel like a retread. Adorable, but with some peril, great for sibling bonding.

Wind Waker is often sold on the virtue of its gorgeous visual style but it had lots of good elements to back that style up. I'd say that the HD rerelease for WiiU is better because it has some bits that allow you to skip some of the "I'm on a boat in the sea! For an hour!" parts. But if you have never played it before and you can grab the GC version for cheap, give it a try.

Read reviews to see if it's what you're looking for because it's kind of offbeat, but look at Baiten Kaitos. It's an rpg but it's got card based mechanics, with some ahead-of-its-time ideas elsewhere, too.

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door looks cute but is actually a pretty difficult JRPG. It's got a bit of a cult following to this day.

If you do manage to find some GBAs on the cheap, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles helped to create some of my most cherished friendship memories. I don't think anything else with the control scheme worked, but FF:CC did, and how.
posted by Mizu at 1:45 AM on January 7, 2015

Skies of Arcadia is a great RPG and what I was going to recommend - but apparently it doesn't have a co-op mode.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 4:10 AM on January 7, 2015

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is really fantastic. I think it's my favorite game of all time. I own a GameCube just for this game! But it's for a single player. It has lots of clever, funny dialogue, so it could be at least some fun for a spectator. Is it possible for you two to trade the controller back and forth, and share being Mario?
posted by tomboko at 5:12 AM on January 7, 2015

Sonic Adventure 2 Battle was one of my favorite GameCube games back when it came out - fun story and gameplay that's not too tough but is also not trivially easy. It's very well suited to a two-person playthrough because there are two parallel storylines, and you could each pick one and play through it.
posted by capricorn at 6:34 AM on January 7, 2015

Yes! Wind Waker! It's not exactly two player but you can trade back and forth. Not scary and lots of fun.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:45 AM on January 7, 2015

I love Skies of Arcadia but it won't lend itself well to two people. Sonic Adventure 2, on the other hand, does - it's not actively two-player but each level is ~5 minutes, so you can switch off really easily.
posted by Itaxpica at 6:50 AM on January 7, 2015

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance is an action-RPG for GameCube with local co-op. (Haven't played it personally but always wanted to!)
posted by aparrish at 7:52 AM on January 7, 2015

Unfortunately there is a dearth of good co-op games on the Gamecube and multiplayer vs. games tend, from my memory, towards either party games (which you have specifically stated you don't want) or shooters of some variety (which doesn't sound like what you are looking for).

That said, Timesplitters 2, while a first person shooter and not ticking many of your boxes, does have one of the best thought out co-op modes on the Gamecube, which really is hours of fun if you are willing to give it a go. While definitely a shooter, the style does tend more towards the whimsical/comic rather than the grim/gritty tone which many FPS shooters adopt these days. There are a couple of atmospheric/spooky sections with zombies and church crypts, if that is a concern, but what "scary" stuff there is is pitched at about the level of "kids halloween party spooky" and is more entertaining than genuinely scary.

If you are willing, as others have suggested, to consider options where you swap the controller back and forth then I would highly recommend Starfox Adventures. It didn't do too well on release, I don't think, but I thought it was a thoroughly charming game. Think a cross between Zelda and Mario Sunshine, but you play a fuzzy little fox who has crash landed, for reasons which escape my memory, in what strongly appears to be The Land Before Time. It's definitely a game which can be enjoyed as a spectator; there are lots of entertaining scenarios and the world is lush and beautiful. Plus there are some puzzley bits which can benefit from helpful input (or, alternatively, yelling "not like that! Give me the controller") from a second party.
posted by Dext at 9:26 AM on January 7, 2015

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As experienced RPGers you won't find it very challenging, but it is SO sweet and SO hilarious and adorable. No split gameplay between two players, but guhh it's the best. It was panned for some reason but I found it so dear. I have often contemplated buying a new GCN just to play it.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:27 AM on January 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you are avoiding party games to avoid additional GBAs, let me suggest PacMan vs.

Only one person needs a GBA, the other three are ghosts on the screen.

Also, while looking at the wikipedia page, I found a list of all games that use the Nintendo Gamecube link cable here. Looks like you could pick up Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles or the two Zelda games (wind waker/four swords)
posted by politikitty at 12:27 PM on January 7, 2015

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