1. "to be honest" should precede a fact, not an opinion.
2. I'm still going to call it quantity over quality. Those effects were still topped by other games, just none had as many at once as SFA. Plus the polygon count and texturing was lower than other GC games, so they had more room in the system resources for more of them.
So it's an effects buffet, but that does not mean it's overall more impressive than other GC games, as they pushed the system in other ways.
No, I'd honestly say it's still upper tier for GameCube, up there with stuff like Rogue Squadron 2-3, Metroid Prime 1-2 and RE4. I hate the art though, it's not a "good looking" game imo, but it's still very technically impressive, much moreso than nearly everything else on the system. It's also doing a lot of texture layers (and they're high quality) and the models are decently complex, so I'm not really sure what you're getting at there? There's pretty nothing else on the system that runs in 60fps that does as much as SFA, and even most 30fps games (like Zelda actually) have lower polycounts and fewer effects going.
I'd say the best looking GC games are still probably The Wind Waker, Luigi's Mansion, FFCC and F-Zero GX, but that comes purely down to art and consistency. None of the 3 are really all that technically impressive (though FFCC has some very nice water effects).
I did not claim the latter bolded comment. You earlier claimed the former bolded comment, and that was what I was disputing. Games that push the GC, as with many systems, did it in different ways. I'm just stating that SFA did its own thing at the cost of other things, same as Rebel Strike, RE4, and Twilight Princess. None overall tops the other. They push the system in their own ways.
SFA had loads of extensive effects at the cost of polygon count and texturing.
Rogue Squadron II and III pushed polygons with full effects, at the cost of no effect being really high, and with texturing that is really low, almost at sandbox game level.
RE4 had moderatly high polygon count, probably the best overall texturing and models on the GC, at the cost of several effects, athough it did have a few nice ones.
Twilight Princess matched RE4 in texturing, but traded a lower polygon count for even better effects.
Also the former two are 60fps, but with low textures, and the latter two are 30fps, but with great textures.