Press the Buttons asks, “Was Rare a waste of Microsoft money?”

I got this one.

Yes. Yes it was. But fortunately, they have money to burn.

I do concede at the time that I couldn’t believe it, either, but in hindsight… well, I guess it depends.

Their output as part of Microsoft absolutely sucks. As part of Nintendo? They had some good stuff. I think Nintendo might have helped bring out the best in Rare, but it’s hard to say if they’d ever get any more golden eggs out of that goose.

Nintendo got the goods, and Microsoft wound up with breakfast. About all it boils down to.

Of course, if memory serves, Rare had a few classic gems before Nintendo purchased them as well, Wizards & Warriors and Battletoads, if memory serves.

Well, Wizards & Warriors, anyway.

(And I still need to play Banjo Kazooie…)

LBD “Nytetrayn”

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  • egg

    You have to be a total asshole to say that Rare lost their magic /AFTER/ Star Fox Adventures. A fanboy asshole idiot.

    Rare sucks. Aside from a few flukes, like Blast Corps, and Perfect Dark I GUESS, they are an uncreative copycat group of dumb hack euro developers. If anything, they got /better/ after Microsoft bought them.

    Looking at Kameo, it’s actually not ugly as hell. And Perfect Dark Zero is an improvement over Perfect Dark in many ways, and I just find it so typical for fans to rip on the sequel, just because it’s a sequel, because it’s next gen, and because it’s on a different console.

    What a convenient time to realize Rare sucks! ../after/ Microsoft bought them. Oh, the wonder of combining ignorance and bias.

  • http://poisonmushroom.megamanempire.net/wp LBD Nytetrayn

    IMO, Rare started becoming more hit-and-miss through the N64 generation, after riding high in the SNES generation.

    They’d been copycats for awhile, but at least they were good copycats. DK copied Mario(and Sonic to a small degree), KI copied Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, and so on, but they added their own small touches that made it seem alright. The graphics were pretty unique as well, and that didn’t hurt.

    N64 came, and things got wavy. KI Gold didn’t seem to play as well as its predecessor(can’t comment on the arcade, I’ve never seen an arcade KI2), and the graphics went from standout to pretty close to the norm(DK64 isn’t terribly different from SM64, for example).

    Seems peoples’ biggest beef came from taking the fetch-quest formula, and driving it through the ground. That’s the biggest complaint I’ve heard regarding DK64, Banjo, and Star Fox Adventures. But for those, they had other games like Goldeneye and such to take the heat off.

    I also remember that it seemed they were falling into a rut, or so people seemed to claim, with Conker at first, being yet another cuddly mascot 3-D platforming fetchquest in the tradition of DK and Banjo. That was of course before they redefined Conker into what he is today.

    The biggest problem with Rare since the buyout is that their titles don’t seem to really be as hyped as they once were, if some people even realize it at all. Since the MS buyout, it feels like all they made was Grabbed By The Ghoulies, a Conker remake, and Perfect Dark Zero.

    Turns out they’ve been making more, just not stuff the press really goes on about, including GBA/DS games. If anything, it’s closer to the older days when Rare was developing for third parties, and so a lot of what they did wasn’t making blockbuster headlines except on occassion.

    Leading up to, and after(if I’m not mistaken) the MS buyout, Rare saw quite an exodus of employees, as well. I think that might have affected some public perception.

    Still, seems their past is where they excelled most, especially as I look down a list of games they’d made, many of which I’ve known and some I’ve played, but never realized were Rare. RC Pro-Am and Cobra Triangle to name a couple.

    LBD “Nytetrayn”

  • egg

    ……….. YEA

    Anyway, like, if one likes Rare then that’s fine. I’m just saying in the pretext that Rare sucks now, that they must have always sucked because their games were always of this quality and originality. (as far as I can tell!) From my perspective, they got no worse on Xbox 360, in fact maybe even better.

    Kameo isn’t ugly and looks respectable and Disney-esque, with action gameplay. PDZ fleshes out its gameplay style and offers a balanced variety of weapons, and new multiplayer options, and ONLINE omg, and good grafix instead of N64’s blurred mud, with looser dual stick controls.

    Perhaps when you have a console like N64 which doesn’t have as many games on it, the quality of games is deceptive, and has a lack of m4tur3 titles outside of Rare, + rabid Nintendo fanboyness, it’s easy for Rare to be overrated.

    Take Rare out of the Nintendo context, let Nintendo lose some popularity with the Gamecube, and allow Perfect Dark to get old… it’s all too easy to think Rare jumped the shark. Rare didn’t jump the shark, gamers did. As usual.

    Like you said, it could be staff cuts and other things that incite this perception. That just goes with what I’m saying. It’s a lack of perspective here. People are thinking with their knees and not their heads.

    Of course, I think Rare always sucked in general with a couple of exceptions. But if you are a loyal Rare fan then I definitely respect that. But if you liked Rare, but ‘jumped ship’ so to speak now that Microsoft owns them, well then that’s just all too convenient isn’t it? Chances are you’re a fanboy, or simply were too slow to realize that Rare was just that to begin with.

    Oh, and on that note. LBD — I just found about this game called Viva Pinata, I’m sure you’ve heard of it but I don’t remember if you mentioned it or not. I heard of it before but I had really no idea what it was. Well turns out it’s an Animal Crossing variant for Xbox 360 in which the creatures are pinatas. Seeing the trailer made me think of Rare because of the distinctly european style that bordered on looking like claymation. So I had to LOL when I checked who the developer was.

  • http://poisonmushroom.megamanempire.net/wp LBD Nytetrayn

    Heh, I’d heard of it– my wife did the E3 preview of it for 1UP, and it’s even got a cartoon coming this fall, believe it or not.

    Anyway, yeah, Rare games have always had a sort of fluctuating quality from “not TOO bad” to “wow, that’s pretty damn good.”

    I don’t think Rare had much public recognition until Nintendo adopted them as a second party, though, and for the first while, with the DKCs and KI and Goldeneye, they sort of had a hot streak going, and I think that’s what people think back to. DKC is oft credited for turning things around for Nintendo in the 16-bit era, after all.

    So I don’t think people often think of much before that, if anything, when they think of Rare. That’s probably a large part of where the criticism comes from… that hot streak when they were being more heavily touted by Nintendo.

    LBD “Nytetrayn”

  • Shinkuu

    I don’t know about people ripping on Perfect Dark Zero JUST because it’s a sequel… I never played the original so I can’t compare, but my friends were all HUGE fans of the N64 game. But the 360 version didn’t grip them as much. In fact, it made some of them drift back to Halo 2…

  • Flabyo

    Jet Force Gemini was excellent.

  • egg

    Everyone’s too hard on sequels. Like, who says a sequel has to blow you away, reinvigorate your interest in the series, and offer everything the previous games did but more? Sometimes it’s enough just to be more of the same.

    In the case of Perfect Dark Zero, it has better graphics, full Xbox live functionality, many new elaborate game modes, looser controls. On the other hand, it’s story mode sucks. Yet it’s still Perfect Dark, because of the variety of multi-purpose weapons (including many old favorites), tight and believable controls, and lack of jumping. And the light sci-fi style is retained, right down to the weapons.

    So anyway, you could lose interest in Perfect Dark or get into another FPS more like Halo. Or even realize that Perfect Dark was never that good in retrospect. But I wouldn’t say that means that Perfect Dark Zero is worse than the original or that Rare ‘lost their magic’.

    On that note, so how is Kameo? It seems nobody nearby has played Kameo, including me.

  • http://poisonmushroom.megamanempire.net/wp LBD Nytetrayn

    I agree. It’s when a sequel is worse that there’s a problem, but if it prolongs the experience I had initially, that’s enough for me, typically.

    I do hate it when sequels get marked as “more of the same.” Different isn’t always good. Just look at Mega Man X7.

    Or Sonic Heroes, or Castlevania II, or Zelda II. I love those last two, but for some reason, it feels like a lot of people don’t.

    My only real beef with Donkey Kong Country’s sequels was the way the main characters kept getting swept away. By the third title, none of the original’s stars were playable, and there were only two to start with. :P

    I heard Kameo isn’t bad, but then, it was Peter Moore saying it to EGM, so… *hands over grain of salt*

    LBD “Nytetrayn”