Rare Replay hits store shelves next month and with thirty games to choose from, not only will this title keep you entertained for hours but it will give you a shot of nostalgia that nobody can resist. However, with big Rare titles such as Donkey Kong Country, GoldenEye, Star Fox Adventures or Diddy Kong Racing, some might be wondering if there is worth to this time capsule for video games. This list will highlight the top five games for the new title that will be available to play.
- Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Ah Conker, that lovely little squirrel who looked oh so cute and may have even lulled some unsuspecting parents into thinking that he was a mascot of gaming for children. While the game was initially meant to be aimed at kids, Rare took it in a completely different direction and made one of the most innovative games on the N64.
Conker was portrayed in a completely different light to the way he was on Diddy Kong Racing and Conker’s Pocket Tales, the preceding game that received fairly poor reviews. He was now a degenerate alcoholic who could not stop swearing. During the game, he has to avoid the minions of the Panther King, who wants to turn Conker into a table leg.
In a time where all we had was Mario, Zelda and Banjo Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day blew the field wide open and everyone who played it knows that it has a special place in their hearts.
You could either play this with Rare Replay, or you could go on ebay and spend the best part of £250 trying to find one. Pretty clear choice here, guys.
P.S. There’s a boss called The Great Mighty Poo. Need I say more.
While Conker was an adult version of platform games like Banjo-Kazooie, the loveable bear and bird combo were the original breakaway stars of the Nintendo platform universe that had made it as a really popular option outside of Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong.
What Banjo-Kazooie did really well was build on successful games that had already come out for the N64, and Super Mario 64 was obviously the best one to model on. You can see basic similarities between the games; where Mario had coins, Banjo-Kazooie had musical notes, puzzle pieces and Jinjos. If you’re ever going to follow a platform game on the same console, you’d want it to be that one.
But where Mario 64 was a more developed series, Banjo came in and was kind of like it’s goofy cousin. Mario 64 was defined, the controls were spectacular, but with Banjo, there was so much more fun to be had with that game.
So far, for £20 you have Banjo-Kazooie and Conker’s Bad Fur Day. That’s a win for everyone who has the nostalgia of the N64.
This is a real throwback to the early 90s here and is the oldest game on this list. Battletoads came out for the NES and if you haven’t played it, try it for the first time in co-op mode.
Forums on the darkest corners of the internet still talk about how hard this game was to this day, especially in co-op mode. The most infuriating thing about the co-op mode was that if one of the players used up all their lives, it was game over for both of you.
Playing as Rash, Zitz or Pimple (great names guys, your mother must have really loved you), you have to traverse twelve levels of mainly un-dodgeable crap that is going to kill you. A slight exaggeration, but monsters will be coming at you from every angle in this game.
There is a fairly recognisable story to Battletoads in that your brother and a princess get kidnapped and you have to rescue them, so it’s not exactly original, but it focuses more on the combat than on the worlds you have to make your way through. What is refreshing though is it tackles boss fights in a different manner to most games of the era — the first boss fight you have to go through changes the camera to your enemy’s perspective and you have to throw rocks at it while dodging what it’s trying to hit you with.
Battletoads has gone down in the annals of history for being one of the hardest games ever. If you think you have the mettle to beat it, the challenge has been set.
- Perfect Dark
What is essentially a sequel to GoldenEye, Perfect Dark took the franchise to another place with outstanding visuals and a great storyline to boot.
You play as Joanna Dark and the aim of the game is to try and figure out what dataDyne are up to. They’re a company that have reached new levels in technological breakthroughs recently, but it might not necessarily be such a good thing.
What separates Perfect Dark from the rest of the pack is that, while still mainly a shooting game, you also have to use your brain to figure out how to beat some levels, due to the tricky puzzles you have to solve to proceed through some of the levels.
Receiving outstandingly high reviews from sources like IGN and GameSpot, Perfect Dark drew critical acclaim and while everybody remembers GoldenEye as the quintessential shooter of the N64, many people thought that Perfect Dark built upon that franchise’s foundations and built an even better game. Some blasphemers even dared to say that Perfect Dark’s multiplayer was the best of the entire generation.
- Viva Piñata
While definitely at the younger demographic with exciting colours and easy playability, Viva Piñata came out in 2006 and can be best described as a cross between The Sims and Animal Crossing.
Since Microsoft purchased Rare Ltd. in 2002, a lot of the bigger games the company produced stayed with Nintendo, games such as the aforementioned Donkey Kong, or Star Fox, so Rare itself hasn’t seen much in the way of outstanding reviews in the past 13 years. However, that being said, Viva Piñata has probably been their biggest success since the merger.
A game which, like The Sims and Animal Crossing, has endless playability, each Piñata that stays on your land has a unique personality and lots of them will interact with each other. A very simple premise that has been a popular one ever since The Sims came out way back in 2000, the Piñatas will go on about their day to day and your job is to keep them happy and expand what they can do and where they can go.
Once again, Rare has taken something here and flipped it on it’s head, taking simulation games to a new level. There is so much to do that will leave you wanting more and more, hours after you’ve started.
To sum up, Rare have had a very productive life as a studio and will continue to do so, but with Rare Replay, you get a chance to relive the glory years that accompanied the N64, with games that can now be incredibly hard to get hold of. For the cheap price of just £20, you can own thirty games and that will keep you busy until the bigger titles come out later this year.