Rare - A history lesson

The goose that laid the GoldenEye

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We've mentioned Donkey Kong Country and GoldenEye 007 more times than we've summoned Charlton Heston's ghost, but many of their other games deserve their fair share of attention too.

Killer Instinct, Rare's sole addition to the fighting genre, may not have had the impact of Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, but on SNES and N64 it was technologically way ahead of them both.

Conker's Bad Fur Day, on the other hand, was a razor-sharp parody of everything Rare had achieved with Banjo-Kazooie, with added Matrix bits and toilet humour. And of course, let's not forget Blast Corps.

Like all good things, however, it had to come to an end. In 2002, Rare were bought by Microsoft and, although they made a few interesting games for Xbox and Xbox 360, it's fair to say they never managed to recapture their heyday on SNES and Nintendo 64.

Today, Rare is a very different beast - Tim and Chris Stamper have both left, while the company recently suffered a PR blow after refusing to allow respected fansite MundoRarepermission to shoot a documentary at their studios.

But while their future might be in the hands of Microsoft, Rare's glory days will always be synonymous with Nintendo.

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