Dark Light

The recent cancellation of Scalebound has had me wondering about the future of Microsoft’s other IPs. These primarily include franchises that Microsoft acquired after buying Rareware (who were known for their glorious days under Nintendo starting from the NES upto the Nintendo 64 era) however their franchises have either been dormant or been declining in quality and reception since seeing hushed entries on the Xbox and Xbox 360.

The reason behind this is that after being bought out by Microsoft, several key members and staff began to leave the company due to mismanagement and discouragement of creative vision by Microsoft. As of now, none of the older Rare folks remain at Microsoft and have instead set up their own studios like Gory Detail and Playtonic Games and that means that we will never get such great games again.

Let’s have a look at five franchises that I would like to see make a return via official sequels or spiritual successors.

5. Battletoads:

A cult classic, this side scroller beat ’em up for the NES featuring humanoid toads was one of the first games to bring Rare into the limelight and is well known to be brutal in terms of difficulty. Sadly the last game it got was on the arcades in 1994.

4. Viva Pinata:

Okay so this is not really a “dead” franchise but MS hasn’t shown an interest in this franchise since the last release in 2008 (Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise for the Nintendo DS). Revolving around building a garden for living, breathing pinatas and protecting them from other wild pinatas (yeah I know it sounds boring but the game is a lot of fun) provides a nice mix between life simulation and strategy and is one of the most quirkiest titles I’ve ever played.

3. Jet Force Gemini:

A sci-fi third person shooter released for the N64 in 1999 was a great culmination of various Rae games like Goldeneye 007 and Banjo-Kazooie, with its fast paced shooting and open ended levels with an emphasis of exploration. A modern remake/remaster would be more than welcome.

2. Conker’s Bad Fur day:

Another N64 classic, this mature themed 3D platformer starring a foul mouthed anthromorphic squirrel was one of the most surprising releases on the console introducing adult humor, plenty of profanity and a dark tone that was never seen before in platformers. Sadly, Conker’s reputation has been run into the ground with Project Spark and the Hololens augmented reality game. Guess Conker’s only true return to form will be through a spiritual successor.

1. Banjo Kazooie:

Banjo-Kazooie was one of the finest releases of the N64 and was Rare’s most popular franchise. A very unique 3D platformer collectathon involving a bear named Banjo and his bird friend Kazooie on a journey to save Banjo’s sister Tooty who’s been kidnapped by the evil witch Gruntilda. It followed in the footsteps of Super Mario 64 and goes a step further with a massive overworld, nine worlds and plenty of creative level design, This is one of the best platformers I’ve ever played and I’m glad to see that it’s getting a spiritual successor with Playtonic Games’ Yooka-Laylee:

Which Rare games would you guys like to see be revived? Let me know in the comments below.

  1. I have to ask, what about Goldeneye007? I’ve read Rare doesn’t own the ip, neither does Nintendo, nor does Microsoft. Well who does, and why won’t they make an actual Goldeneye007 N64 remake?? Not that Reloaded crap, i’m talking a level per level remake of N64’s Goldeneye with improved graphics, online multiplayer support, etc. Nintendo Switch would make a KILLING if they launched with an exclusive like that.

    1. GoldenEye 007 was fully remade in HD but scrapped. Nintendo owned some of it as did EA at the time as they had the Bond license but nobody had permission to use Pierce Brosnan or other likenesses so it just ended up going on the back burner. Too many people wanted a piece of the pie and everyone just said forget it.

    2. If I’m not wrong, Activison owns rights to the Goldeneye games. So I don’t think it’ll ever see the light of day, sadly.

  2. jet force gemini is a massive failure to capitalist, i just assumed id get one on xbox and then xbox 360 and then i gave up. microsoft has had and continues to allow the wrong people to lead the xbox division. xbox is a greek tragedy.

    1. Well this is more of a personal list tbh and I never played Perfect Dark. I loved Viva Pinata tho, the concept is pretty unique (unlike Perfect Dark which is a standard FPS game) and I’d definitely love a current gen remake or sequel 🙂

      1. Well there goes your credibility. Perfect Dark at its time of release was nothing like anything else on the market. The weapons, level design, multiplayer WITH BOTS, customization of bot AI etc all put it probably at least 5 years ahead of its time. I’m not saying its better than Viva Piniata was for you. But calling Perfect Dark a “just like every other shooter” shooter is comical.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts