Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What Would Have Been: Rare



 
  Imagine waiting in eager joy as the long awaited Nintendo GameCube is nearing release. Look at all of the games Nintendo Power is covering that shall soon see launch on this new futuristic purple cube. Oh and Rare is definitely going to deliver some awesome games!

  The GameCube launches and Rares first title sees the light of day! Star Fox Adventures is born and while it is not an actual "Star Fox" title, it still is a decent game on it's own. Fans are ultimately discouraged but there isn't much worry, it's very early in the GameCubes life.

  Well, I assume we all know where this is going. September 24th, 2002, Microsoft purchases all of Rare for a full first party acquisition. Rare had a few games that were actually either ready to ship or still in planning and development phases for the GameCube.

  First up and perhaps the most completed was Donkey Kong Racing. This game was supposed to fill the void until Mario Kart Double Dash would arrive three years later. This was a practice that was proven to work given Diddy Kong Racing did the same for Mario Kart 64.


       

 While the game was near completion, it had to be scrapped due to Nintendo now owning the rights to Donkey Kong. An attempt to salvage the title came about in using a Rare character that starred in a series of older Rare games called Sabreman. Ultimately it would have been the same game but with Sabreman characters. It was scrapped as well.

  Another title that did not see release was BattleToads for the Game Boy Advance. This game saw many issues as the original games creators did not agree on many of the changes that this game was aiming for. For one the Nintendo Entertainment System version would be seen as too difficult these days and Microsoft was hoping to have a version for the Xbox. All in all, it was too short of a development time and too little care for a continuation of the franchise.

  A ROM exists of the half baked build.



 Now onto games that actually DID see a release.

  Star Fox Adventures was Rares last game published by Nintendo but it actually began as a game called Dinosaur Planet. It also was supposed to appear on the Nintendo 64.

  Now when the whole merger was occurring there was an announcement from Rare about their next big adventure game. The game began as a name, Grabbed by the Ghoulies. Everyone was expecting this to be a new Conker game for the GameCube. The merger came and the game became a beat em' up because of the tight time constraints Microsoft placed on Rare to have a game out to support the Xbox. Couple this with the fact that the game was starting to be built on GameCube architecture before the merger.

  Two Game Boy Advance games were in development that used the Donkey Kong franchise while the games were being built. We had Diddy Kong Pilot and Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers.

  Diddy Kong Pilot became Banjo Pilot while Coconut Crackers became known as It's Mister Pants. Both games saw no changes to the game play besides character assets.

  While Rare now has a lot of new staff that focus on the Kinect, there is still a glimmer of what they once were as a company in that once shiny gold logo.

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