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DK Rap photo
DK Rap

Yes, Nintendo, this Kong IS one hell of a guy


The Wii U port of Donkey Kong 64 says the swear
Apr 16
// Jordan Devore
And let's keep it that way. None of that "heck" monkey business. Or Donkey Kong Frappuccinos.
Conker photo
Conker

A better look at our beloved Conker in Project Spark


DLC releasing April 23 for $9.99 / 1,000 Tokens
Apr 16
// Jordan Devore
That last trailer for Conker's arrival in Project Spark didn't go over so well. There was no getting around the disappointment of seeing a long abandoned (but never forgotten!) character return not in his own adventure, but ...
Game News Haikus photo
Game News Haikus

Game News Haikus: EarthBound, The Last of Us, Mortal Kombat X, and more


Zen distilled stories
Apr 14
// Darren Nakamura
I wrote a thing about The Last of Us last week, and despite the use of measured language, there were accusations of extreme opinions on either side. Come on, people. That is not very zen. Find your nirvana. In this series, w...
Conker photo
Conker

Microsoft again gives the finger to Conker fans


This is what everyone wants, right?
Apr 08
// Brett Makedonski
At its E3 press conference last year, Microsoft openly mocked Conker fans with a reveal that the infamous squirrel would be added to the free-to-download Project Spark. Everyone knew that this wasn't what anyone wanted ...
Smash Bros. photo
Smash Bros.

Xbox boss would like to see Banjo-Kazooie as Smash Bros. DLC


We're crossing a lot of companies and properties here
Apr 03
// Brett Makedonski
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer likes to talk about games. However, that doesn't mean that he restricts himself to only talking about titles that his company's working on. No, he'll discuss anything, even Nintendo properties. When ...
Rare's next game photo
Rare's next game

Fans will be 'really happy to see' Rare's next game


Former Rare developer drops hints
Mar 23
// Jordan Devore
In recent months, there's been talk of Rare "building a uniquely Rare game," but that's as much as we've gotten -- talk. While I'm looking forward to seeing if that project comes to fruition, Playtonic has more of my attentio...
Conker photo
Conker

Conker returns in episodic form starting next month!


Inside of Project Spark
Mar 19
// Jed Whitaker
Great news, Conker fans: he is finally coming back in his own episodic game. Sort of. Remember when Microsoft announced Conker would be in Project Spark? Well, Conker makes his debut in Project Spark on April 23 for Windows ...
Project Ukulele photo
Project Ukulele

Former Rare devs share first look at Banjo successor


Project Ukulele coming to Kickstarter this May
Mar 14
// Kyle MacGregor
Today at EGX Rezzed, Playtonic showcased the first in-engine screenshots of Project Ukulele. Speaking at the event, the seven-man team of former Rare veterans said they were blown away by the fan response to their recently an...
Project Ukulele photo
Project Ukulele

David Wise and Grant Kirkhope join Project Ukulele


Kameo's Steve Burke, too
Feb 16
// Jordan Devore
I need to take some deep breaths here. Former Rare developers are creating a spiritual successor to "those fondly remembered platforming adventures we built in the past," and they've brought on Grant Kirkhope, David Wise, an...
Ex-Rare 3D platformer photo
Ex-Rare 3D platformer

Could this be it? A true Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor?


From people who worked on BK, Donkey Kong Country, and Viva Piñata
Feb 10
// Jordan Devore
We've been let down before, but I'm unable to contain my enthusiasm for Playtonic Games' Project Ukulele, a new platforming adventure from the people we want making this type of game. Formed by six former Rare staffers, the s...
Battletoads shirt photo
Battletoads shirt

Nice Battletoads shirt, Phil Spencer


The head of Xbox is fashionable, as always
Jan 21
// Jordan Devore
During Microsoft's Windows 10 livestream this morning, Xbox boss Phil Spencer showed up to talk about what he knows: games. Fable Legends is headed to PC with DirectX 12 and cross-platform play with Xbox One, which is nice and all, but did you see Phil's shirt? That's Battletoads alright. The time is now.
Battletoads chatter photo
Battletoads chatter

Microsoft's Ken Lobb discusses Rare IP, mentions Battletoads specifically


While a new game may not currently be in the works, it's not out of the question
Jan 11
// Rob Morrow
Back in November we ran a story on the head of Microsoft's Xbox division Phil Spencer's visit to Rare's offices where he tweeted about having a look at its latest project. This visit, coupled with the filing for the...
Amiibo photo
Amiibo

Amiibogeddon continues: more conflicting reports on the Holy Trinity, GameStop says they're gone


Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, and Marth, Amen
Dec 11
// Chris Carter
Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, and Marth. Are they or aren't they discontinued? Recently, we've obtained conflicting information from Nintendo, PR, and multiple retail locations, so it's really hard to tell -- but we have a few m...
Amiibo photo
Amiibo

Amiibogeddon update: Toys "R" Us no longer carrying the 'holy trinity'


And lo, a terrible plague befell the land
Dec 09
// Jonathan Holmes
[Image assistance from CJ Melendez] We've yet to get a straight answer from Nintendo about the Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, and Marth Amiibo's collective status on the endangered toy species list. First we hear they are discont...
Rare photo
Rare

Head of Xbox: 'Rare is building a uniquely Rare game'


Feel like we've heard this one before
Nov 11
// Jordan Devore
When Rare announces its next game in what I hope will be a matter of months, not years, I'm going to look back on this post just like how I'm planning to revisit this Battleborn description. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer twe...
Tengami photo
Tengami

Former Rare devs return to Nintendo consoles on Nov. 13


Diddy Kong Racing dev goes indie with origami beauty
Nov 08
// Jonathan Holmes
November 13 is a big day for the Wii U. It's the day that Mario Kart 8 unofficially becomes Super Kart Bros.. As a huge fan of both Excitebike and F-Zero, I'm just as excited for this DLC as I am about Smash Bros. for the Wi...
Games with Gold photo
Games with Gold

October's Games with Gold are among my favorites


Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise, Red Faction: Guerrilla, and Volgarr the Viking
Oct 30
// Jordan Devore
Two of my favorite Xbox 360 games will be free next month for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise is up first on Saturday, November 1. You'll have through November 15 to download the adorable...
Donkey Kong Country photo
Donkey Kong Country

Donkey Kong Country trilogy returning to Virtual Console in the UK


And the Donkey Kong Land series is headed to 3DS
Oct 13
// Jordan Devore
Back in November 2012, Nintendo removed the Donkey Kong Country series from the Wii's Virtual Console for some reason that, to my knowledge, was never publicly addressed. But those games will resurface this month on Wii U alo...
Rareware photo
Rareware

Xbox boss on Rare in a post-Kinect Sports world


Maybe the studio is finally working on its next Perfect Dark or Banjo Kazooie
Aug 17
// Kyle MacGregor
Rare's time in the sun may be a distant memory, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer still feels the developer has bright days ahead. Speaking with CVG, Spencer said the British studio "should, can and will be" an important part of Mic...
Banjo-Kazooie photo
Banjo-Kazooie

Oh hey, an excuse to talk about Banjo-Kazooie


Both games bundled on Xbox 360
Jul 09
// Jordan Devore
Before 4J Studios became involved with the console versions of Minecraft, it ported Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie to Xbox Live Arcade -- rather well, I might add. If you haven't yet played them on Xbox 360, they're worth a re...
Rare photo
Rare

Rare is 'working on a couple things' right now


They can't all by Kinect Sports titles, so that's something
Jun 19
// Jordan Devore
I shouldn't do this to myself, but I can't help it. I can't not wonder what Rare is up to, even if the talent that made the studio so beloved in its prime has largely moved on. Microsoft's Phil Spencer told Eurogamer that Rar...
Rare photo
Rare

Layoffs at Rare as studio undergoes 'methodology' change


Around 20 employees laid off
May 19
// Jordan Devore
It seems Rare's latest, Kinect: Sports Rivals, wasn't able to meet expectations. CVG has learned from sources that "just under" 20 staffers were laid off, including long-time programmer Chris Sutherland (Donkey Kong Country, ...
Rare photo
Rare

Rare 'evaluating' what to work on next


We all know what we'd like them to do
May 16
// Jordan Devore
You know, it's gotten to the point where I'd take just about anything from Rare over another game made exclusively for Kinect. It doesn't even have to be a new Banjo-Kazooie, Viva Pinata, or Perfect Dark -- just something tha...
Banjo-Kazooie photo
Banjo-Kazooie

That Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor 'fell to bits'


It just couldn't come together as a side project
Apr 21
// Jordan Devore
Too good to be true, I worried, when first hearing about a spiritual successor to the Banjo-Kazooie series that was to be made by former Rare staffers. "Mingy Jongo." Perhaps that name still rests in your memory. I had forgot...
Sup Holmes photo
Get to know the people that make great videogames
Some weeks ago on Sup Holmes, we welcomed Chris Seavor of Gory Detail to the program. Chris got his start in games working on the original Killer Instinct at Rare. From the sound of it, Rare was able to harness the best...

Kinect Sports photo
Kinect Sports

Kinect Sports Rivals has a Battletoads reference in it


I'll hold your hand while we cry for Rare
Apr 07
// Chris Carter
As the sands of time continue to drop in this hourglass called life, it's easy to forget things -- even major elements of our childhood. For instance, I completely forgot Rare was responsible for the amazing Battletoads ...

Review: Kinect Sports Rivals

Apr 07 // Chris Carter
Kinect Sports Rivals (Xbox One)Developer: RarePublisher: Microsoft StudiosRelease: April 8, 2014MSRP: $59.99 Rivals begins with an interesting avatar creation process led by David Tennant of Dr. Who fame. It's a fantastic intro for any piece of entertainment, as Tennant has a perfect voice for it, especially when you consider the fact that this is his first foray into videogames. Kinect has come a long way since the original iteration, and now you can play closer to the TV as well as enjoy some of the enhanced scanning capabilities. The scanning module can detect glasses and facial hair, as well as your general physique. It takes a few minutes, but the results are pretty incredible -- at least, they were spot-on for me outside of a slightly bigger head than I would have liked. Against all odds this Kinect-only game allows you to control all of the menus from a controller -- additionally, you can fight with hand pointer motions, or employ the smooth voice controls to navigate the menu. Personally, I'm just glad they added options this time around, and this should be considered standard for all motion-based games. The theme of Rivals is decidedly contemporary, sporting licensed music for its soundtrack like Calvin Harris' "Let's Go" and "Feel So Close." It's trendy for sure, but not in an annoying or particularly dated way. It helps that the tunes are upbeat in general, making it a tad easier to get into the game. There's also a bit of advertising in the game during some of the events (mostly logos) -- just to warn you. [embed]272531:53287:0[/embed] Before you jump into the sport of your choice, you have to do a few wakeraces first, then climbing and so on until you unlock all six activities. In other words, it's a medium-paced trickle that doesn't take more than an hour to complete, and just straddles the line of frustratingly slow and acceptable crescendo. Similar to the middling pacing, Rivals attempts to build a world of strange characters and "teams" that litter the miniature story, which comprises of three factions: the Eagle Legion (spartan-like), the Wolf Clan (tribal), and the Viper Network (futuristic hackers). If you've played Dance Central before you'll have a clue as to what the characterizations are like. While the characters never really stood out for me, the world is convincingly beautiful. I love all of the vibrant colors used (particularly the neon green and bright blue hues for the water) in the game, and some of the events (like wakeracing) are particularly entrancing. Sometimes the universe is difficult to see during all the action, but similar to Nintendo's Wii Sport Resort island, I wouldn't mind visiting it myself. There are six sports included in all: wakeracing, rock climbing, target practice, soccer, bowling, and tennis (unlocked in that order). If you've been waiting for a follow-up to Waverace 64, the wake event in Rivals is similarly designed, and a ton of fun. The Kinect 2.0 actually works like a charm, allowing you to move your arms forward and backward to simulate the direction of handlebars. You can also lean to the sides for sharp turns, or lean forwards and backwards for flips. Speed boost power-ups are sprung by stomping or using voice commands (again, the option is great). That's pretty much it, and everything functioned as advertised without any frustration on my part. The track itself is also gorgeous and detailed, and even though I wish there were more power-ups and hazards outside of mines, it's fun to play based on the control scheme alone. Climbing is easily my favorite event, which I didn't expect in the slightest. All you have to do here is raise your arms above your head, and grab onto the appropriate hold with the correct hand, then pull down to raise yourself up. If there's a gap you need to clear, you can raise your torso or actually jump to have your character leap up the mountain in turn. You can also relive your most wildest American Gladiators fantasies by grabbing people and chucking them off the wall.  You'll look ridiculous doing it, but like wakeracing, the motion aspect actually works. There's a lot of strategic play involved, as only holding onto one hold will drain your stamina bar and cause you to fall, and sometimes you'll need to move fast to grab onto something. It's also extremely difficult to learn, and like playing Guitar Hero for the very first time, I legitimately felt like I was using a new control scheme and not just a gimmick. Target practice is also fun, and in an endearing move to lefties, you can use either hand for this one. All you have to do is point your finger or hand at the screen to move around an accurate reticle, and Rivals will automatically fire at targets. There's a light puzzle element involved, with numbers that you have to shoot in an increasing order for bonus points, or skull targets that cause a loss in score. You'll also have to occasionally dodge to the left or right to avoid turret fire. It's a simple, nuanced addition that makes everything feels more action-packed. Soccer, however, feels like a completely wasted opportunity by comparison. This is a one-on-one sport, involving passes and shots with your feet and head as you square off with a goalie, and on the other end, square off against a striker. While goal keeping is fun enough as you attempt to block shots with precision, shooting is a bit of a farce. You'll have to go through this elongated and boring process of shooting downfield against foosball-like defense, which just feels like a waste of time. The shots also aren't very accurate and not a good demonstration of the tech. For these reasons and more, I'll most likely never play it again.If you loved Wii Sports you'll love bowling, but it feels oddly out of place in an otherwise fast-paced sports title. It works as advertised, but it's very bare-bones, and also ridiculous to see a giant futuristic crowd cheer for a bowling match. In general, bowling feels like a completely underwhelming and throwaway (ha) addition -- like it was added in to pad the game. Lastly we have Tennis, which packs a lot more punch by comparison. Because the Kinect recognizes nearly every appendage, you'll be able to serve by throwing the ball up with your free hand, and whacking it with your dominant racket hand. The process is incredibly nuanced, as you can swing normally, or mix things up with top spins, backspins, and lobs. Even though you can't technically feel the impact of hits, contact has a definite weight to it, and the over-emphasized neon effects of slicing a ball help add more character to the proceedings. There's a limited amount of actual movement, but your arms will feel tired by the end. I got pretty into it in fact, sometimes swinging with two hands, which is by no means required. If any combination of those games sounds enticing to you, Kinect Sports Rivals offers up a ton of content to mess around with, including its own Hub app that collects all your scores, friendships, and leaderboard information. You can also submit photos, participate in ongoing challenges and events, start a rivalry, and customize your character with new clothing options. Local multiplayer will up your enjoyment considerably. Kinect Sports Rivals has an inexcusable amount of wasted space with bowling and soccer, but the other four activities are engaging, and the world is charming and appealing enough to win over most of the gamers who enjoyed Wii Sports. If you have a family who likes getting together and play games like this, go ahead and pull the trigger -- all other curious parties should wait for a sale to compensate for the weak activities.
Kinect Sports Review photo
A semi-middling rivalry
The original Kinect Sports for the Xbox 360 did exactly what it set out to to do. It didn't set the world on fire or reinvent gaming as we know it, but it showed that despite some gimmicky features, the Kinect actually w...

GoldenEye 007 photo
GoldenEye 007

What's the Klobb got to do, got to do with GoldenEye 007's design secrets?


Who needs a Klobb when it's just so broken?
Apr 03
// Brittany Vincent
If you ever spent a night or two demolishing friends in GoldenEye 007's illustrious multiplayer, you're probably intimately familiar with the Klobb, arguably one of the weakest weapons in the game. You surely know of the gun,...

Sup Holmes finishes off with Conker's Chris Seavor

Mar 23 // Jonathan Holmes
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Sup Holmes photo
Get to know the people that make great videogames
Oh my god, it's the last Sup Holmes on Dtoid! Ahhh! What does that even mean? We'll find out soon enough, as the Sup Holmes year 3 Kickstarter is set to go live any second now. In the meantime, why not tune in to the show tod...

Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

New Killer Instinct Killer Cuts album is in the works


Such a feeling
Mar 01
// Wesley Ruscher
Killer Instinct composer Mick Gordon, has announced that a new version of Killer Cuts is scheduled to release this March. The album will feature music Gordon created for the Xbox One reboot of Rare's classic fighting game. No...

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