The rise and blah of Rareware

Sloppy Seconds = Rarely Fun 360Rare

used to be amazing right? They used to teach us what was fun: Golden Eye. Perfect Dark. Banjo Kazooie. Freakin Donkey Kong! Were we just young and delusional? Lately, it feels like Rare doesn’t know how to count higher than 64. Perfect Dark Zero BLOWS. Kameo gets no mercy either. When two different generations of gamers lose their virginity in between the beginning of a game’s production and its final release, you know you have automatically failed.100s of enemies on screen at onceIt took a good SEVEN years for Rare to make Kameo, and yes, they got yanked from Nintendo’s Gamecube to Microsoft’s Xbox 360, so you have to cut them some slack. But 7 years? Come on! Kameo was gorgeous in the way that only Black and White 2 and Oblivion has yet to show, but does Rare deserve my 50 bucks cuz they know how to bump map polygons and parallax map their environments? Ok, maybe… but they could have at least made their game last longer than Frodo’s cinematic trilogy. Kameo should have been the best 360 launch game by far, but instead it was short, boring, and contained shallow unexplored levels, gameplay, and plot.Such a let downWhen Microsoft stole Rare from Nintendo I gave up my Gamecube for Lent out of frustration with Nintendo for letting that happen. Now I’m gladly waving goodbye to Rare knowing they won’t taint the Revolution’s speculative future launch. Every summer I still go home and play Goldeneye 64 and Perfect Dark 64 all night with my friends at least once. Now that I own a 360 and Perfect Dark Zero that still won’t change a bit. The pizza man will never come to my door and say “Hey – are you guys playing Perfect Dark Zero? Great game!” FPS’s have dominated on the PC in recent years, and it was Rare’s responsibility to bring back more attention to the console FPS’s, but it seems like Bungie will have to do the job alone as they figure out what to do with the next Halo. This game’s style is unpleasant to most(guys and girls alike), and its gameplay is so bad that there are constant arrows on the ground telling you where to go and what to do. You don’t need to know much more than that. Oh yeah, the multiplayer sucks too.It seems an ironic self fulfilling prophecy that Rare’s name now only best describes your odds of having fun in it’s titles. Nobody likes sloppy seconds.Nice ass, too bad she's boringOnce I’m finally sober from celebrating E3 in its entirety next month, expect full reviews on several 360 launch games from me, and not many of them will be optimistic. So for now, lets hear it – what old school Rare games do you guys still love the most? I’m not afraid to say Banjo Tooie – it might be kiddy, but it was one of the most impressive 64 games of all, and it was the only 64 platformer game that gave Super Mario 64 a run for its money in depth and detail.

Tom Fronczak