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 The demise of Rare

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PostSubject: The demise of Rare   Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:57 pm

Logos. In every walk of life, if you see a certain brand or logo, you know that you are guaranteed quality. Be it with cars, clothes, electronics or games. And once upon a time this used to be Rare. For some gamers that have been playing games for even longer than I have, they will be aware that Rare used to be called Ultimate Play The Game and that they used to produce quality all the way back to the NES.

Rare only popped up on my radar when I played Goldeneye. I remember hearing loads about that game before I got a chance to play it and virtually everyone raving about the sniper rifle. If I remember rightly, Goldeneye was the first game ever to use a sniper rifle with a zoom in an FPS. Right on the first level, with a decent selection of raised platforms and unsuspecting Russians, loitering with intent, just begging to be placed in the middle of your crosshairs.

And after that, that strangely unique letter R, which somehow seemed like a misspelt Rolls-Royce logo made me buy every game with it on. And most crucially, a game with that logo on just could not go wrong. And how many hours of fun did those games give me. Banjo-Kazooie? So much fun, it was disgusting. Jet Force Gemini? A classic which was massive and underated. Diddy Kong Racing? Well, it was a little crappy, in hindsight, but it was still quite fun. Perfect Dark 1? Awesome. An FPS masterclass in my humble opinion. There were a few more games, but after that. suddenly the magic went. Disappeared. And all that we got in return? Kameo? Perfect Dark Zero? Grabbed by the Ghoulies? Viva Pinata?

Rare's popularity has almost done an OJ Simpson-style turnaround. And just with the ex-footballer, there are a few that believe that it cannot be true. That the evidence must be wrong, that it is just the establishment spreading lies and that there is actually still goodness in Rare. But they're wrong.

What we have is basically a company that has turned into the worst type of disappointment. A house of ideas that can produce so much more quality than it is churning out. But why is it not doing it anymore? Well, I think that most importantly, the things that used to make Rare unique, have now become standard fare in videogames. Or in other words, games that look jaw-dropping are no longer exceptions. They are a lot more common. Remember Donkey Kong World on the SNES? When it was being introduced to the world by one of Nintendo's big boys and everyone assumed it was a game to be played on Project Reality (or later known as the N64), but was actually on the SNES? That is really what Rare has lost. The ability to produce games that visually stand out from the crowd.

Is that what you would call a casualty from being in the next-gen wars? I suppose it is. But then, Rare games actually used to be fun and original as well. And that spark has long since gone. And of course, all it takes is one superb game to make Rare relevant again. But Rare seems to want to mimic the Nintendo effect and craft the one game that will appeal to everyone. Young and old. Obsessive gamer and casual player. But does such a beast exist? Rare had better hope to find it soon. There is only so much patience my nostalgia will allow.
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PostSubject: Re: The demise of Rare   Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:38 am

Let me count the ways in which you are so very very wrong.

For a start, if you were any kind of gamer, then you would of known of Rare as Rare since their NES days, and the likes of R.C. Pro Am, Bermuda Triangle, Battletoads, and Snake, Rattle, & Roll.

Now onto your hated games.

Kameo: Awesome!

PD0: Okay if shonky.

Grabbed By The Ghoulies: Nothing else quite like it.

Viva Pinata: See above.

And where was Conker in that list!? We shall discount the N64 version, because while it may have been more risque and sweary, like everything else on the system, it looked like complete and utter shit, no contest.
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PostSubject: Re: The demise of Rare   Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:30 pm

Before this thread descends into some sort of Eurogamer shout-fest, let me just point out a few things. I have never owned a NES. And that's not because I am not a "gamer", but because I grew up in Germany. And the fact of the matter is that the Master System was a lot more popular on the continent than the NES. So I missed all the Rare games on the NES.

One thing to also remember is that I don't hate the three Rare games on the 360. Well, apart from Viva Pinata. That, I hate. But my point was that there used to be more original output from Rare that used to be more fun to play. And I realise that 'fun' is a subjective term. That is why anything that gets posted by me about any game is to be remembered to be my opinion. I remember the fun that I used to have when I played Goldeneye and what was for it's time, quite a revolutionary multi-player mode. The way it rewarded several play throughs and I look at the 360 equivalent in Perfect Dark Zero and by comparison there is nowhere near the same leap in terms of originality there. Or the fun. And that is why I think that the magic has gone.

As for Grabbed by the Ghoulies and Viva Pinata, well, there may have been not anything else quite like it, but again, in my opinion, that is not a good quality. Grabbed by the ghoulies was simply room after room of clearing ghoulies. Yes, loads of rooms there were. Loads of different ghoulies there were. But it was all so..., boring. But again. Only my opinion. Marmite tastes different for loads of people, too.

And Viva Pinata? An interesting concept, very well done, but again, not how I like to spend my gaming time.

And you thought everything on the N64 looked like complete and utter shit?
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PostSubject: Re: The demise of Rare   Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:53 pm

Well, by complete and utter shit, I mean it looked like my TV screen had recently been coated in a thick layer of Vaseline.

That, or I had suddenly developed a severe case of cataracts.
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