WWF Superstars. Rare (1991) GameBoy

This game is so bare bones I beat it while on the loo. And not one of those epic loo sessions where time stands still and suddenly 2 hours have passed. One of those “your cheeks have barely touched the seat” visits. I could go into more graphic details but I reckon you don’t want to know. Continue reading

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Donkey Kong Country 2 : Diddy’s Kong Quest. Rareware (1995) Super Nintendo

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The absolute titanium balls on Rare, eh? Given creative control of one of Nintendo’s most beloved mascots in Donkey Kong, Rare proceeded to take the proverbial mile, creating it’s own lore and characters for the first game. A smash hit, it allowed them even more creative freedom – to the point where they made a Donkey Kong game WITHOUT DONKEY KONG IN IT. I like to think that Rare at this point was being run by nihilistic anime edge-lords. How else do you explain Kiddy Kong? Continue reading

Killer Instinct Gold. Rare (1997) Nintendo 64

Killer Instinct was a pretty solid Tournament Fighter  with a combo system added a depth that newbs and pros could all have some fun. It did look like arse, and had a stupid difficulty at the end but what about the sequel?

Surprisingly Killer Instinct Gold looks worse than Killer Instinct on the SNES, and while the fighting is still solid there is a big fly in the ointment. Continue reading

Donkey Kong Country, SNES, Rareware, 1994

Dkc_snes_boxart Man, how awesome did Rare used to be? I know we’ve touched on this before, but seeing Microsoft suck all the nutrients from their still beating heart was hard to watch, especially as a Nintendo aficionado. The only plus side to the story of Rare, is that their classic games are so freaking good that they still play like an absolute dream today. Does Donkey Kong Country? Of course it bloody does. Continue reading

Banjo Kazooie, Rare (1998), Nintendo 64

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Rare certainly did love to bite the hand that fed them. Back when Rare were the sole property of Nintendo, everything they made was Nintendo-bait. They had a pop at cartoon racing (the awesome Diddy Kong Racing), they tried their hand at being Nintendo-esquely quirky (the awesomley difficult Blast Corps), and within a year of Nintendo releasing Super Mario 64 as their flagship 3D platformer, Rare released Banjo Kazooie. It’s no wonder they got sold to Microsoft. Ingrates. It’s pretty much an indisputable fact that SM64 is one of the best games ever created, so how did Rare get on with the formula? Continue reading

Diddy Kong Racing, Rareware. (1997). Nintendo 64

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Everybody had this really ill-advised idea back in the late 90’s that they could create the fabled ‘Mario Kart Beater’, and – knowing everybody loves a trier – some are still having a crack at it today (Sega actually had a pretty damn good stab at it!). One of the earlier attempts was Rare’s ‘Diddy Kong Racing’, a new franchise based on a character that Rare shoehorned into Donkey Kong Country, beloved by approximately nobody. Great idea, right? Turns out, yes. Continue reading