Author Topic: The 11 tales of Rare for N64 - What do you think of the RareWare games for N64?  (Read 1584 times)


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I have been collecting a lot of Nintendo64 games recently because after seeing Nintendo plans for the console on Switch it just felt a better idea get the original hardware and start collecting for it.

Since I wanted to read experiences from people that are passionate about the console I found a thread that mentioned RareWare published 11 games for the console so I wanted to post it here too if members of the forum could like to share their thoughts or experiences playing these games, of course if you want to talk about just one or you actually don't like some of these games is also fine.

- The 11 games from RareWare for the console are:

- Banjo - Kazooie
- Banjo - Tooie
- Blast Corps
- Conker Bad Fur Day
- Diddy Kong Racing
- Donkey Kong 64
- GoldenEye 007
- Jet Force Gemini
- Killer Instinct Gold
- Mickey Speedway USA
- Perfect Dark

These are my personal thoughts, I won't write a lot, though.

- Banjo - Kazooie [Worthwhile]

Well, it helped shaping a genre, and sincerely it never fails feeling memorable, not much too say, it's just one of these universally acclaimed games that everyone have talked a lot about it.

- Banjo - Tooie - [Worthwhile]

I don't think Banjo - Tooie is forgotten but most merits seems to always fall into the original game, a shame because Banjo - Tooie is also terrific and I am specially fond for It trying to expand everything that made the original so great, also I love they put a FPS level that makes a great job feeling like a more friendly version of GoldenEye.

- Blast Corps - [Not played it yet]

I got a copy not long ago but I just tested it it worked, still I have always notice a lot of people having fond memories of it, and sincerely the concept itself still feels fairly creative and unique even nowadays.

- Conker Bad Fur Day - [Mixed opinions]

It's a fine game, but I don't think is amazing, and sincerely most of it felt like an endurance patience test, still is Worthwhile beating it at least once but... eh maybe we will talk more about it someday.

- Diddy Kong Racing - [Worthwhile]

One of the most cheerful games I ever played, I feel specially attached to the "Select your character" screen and the overall feeling, it's just one of these games that is useful for put and play if you are feeling down and need to talk with yourself, it's a terrific game.

- Donkey Kong 64 - [Not played it yet]

Bought it alongside the expansion pak because someone offered a really good price for both, but once again I just tested it worked, the only comment I will leave for now is that it clearly feels like Banjo - Kazooie with a Donkey Kong skin and it has a pretty interesting development story.

- GoldenEye 007 - [Worthwhile]

Classic between classics and helped shaping a genre, sincerely I don't think there much to say about it, it's still memorable and is always fun to just start it again.

- Jet Force Gemini - [Not played it yet]

I have no idea why I never played this one, when I used to read Nintendo Magazines they talked like 4 times mentioning how great it was and Banjo - Tooie that I loved had cameos for the game, I assume something happened...? Anyway at the time I wrote this I ordered a copy so I will find out soon if I missed a great experience.

- Killer Instinct Gold - [Worthwhile]

Yeah, I love this game, it's frenetic, it's fast and is 90s coolness at his best, sincerely the perfect balance between style and substance.

- Mickey Speedway USA - [Mixed opinions]

Mickey Speedway USA is a fine game and curiously it was made using the Diddy Kong Racing engine, but... well, the truth is that I can't stop feeling the game is a duller version of Diddy Kong Racing, for example the circuits have nothing interesting at all besides being filled with speed booster and while I assume is fault of the cartridge limitations, I am not fan of seeing the circuits failing to include any reference to the Disney World, it feels weird and make a good job making the game looks more generic, anyway, the game is still decent and enjoyable but clear your expectations before playing it.

- Perfect Dark - [Worthwhile]

I can't stop thinking Perfect Dark is arguably a mess that had way too much luck the game ended being actually a truly great experience that sold millions of copies and had an universally acclaim, I won't go deeper but the development story for the game certainly revealed the original plans were too different and the conflicts around it are some of the reasons Rare ended losing important figures in the industry that helped creating some of their more acclaimed games, but hey that's a story for another day.

The game itself is remarkable and is a great experience full of content and memorable moments.

Though... I want to mention I completely forgot how messy the original frame rate was, I had no memory the game ran at 15fps per second...


These are my personal thoughts, while I have some issues with some of these games or I never played a bunch I believe they clearly had talent and passion behind the curtains, and hopefully they will inspire more people that play them in the future.

What do you think about the 11 tales of Rareware for the Nintendo64?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2022, 10:59:27 pm by mrkonasoni »
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Banjo-Kazooie - Brilliant - It's one of my all time favorite games and I think it was better than Super Mario 64.  It's much like with Diddy Kong Racing, where Mario Kart came first, but to me DKR was the more fun game that I would rather replay.

Banjo-Tooie - Great - This wasn't as tidy of a game as the first one, but I still thought it was a great time.

Blast Corps - Quirky, but fun - Not much to say on it, but I didn't mind it.

Conker's Bad Fur Day - Quirky, but fun - It wasn't as good as the BK games or even Donkey Kong 64, because it's more of a goof on those kinds of games, rather than being a proper like 3D platformer, but it was still entertaining.

Diddy Kong Racing 64 - Brilliant - Like I brought up before, I think its better than Mario Kart 64.  Just as good racing, multiple vehicle types, story mode, it's amazing and I'm pissed we haven't had a sequel of any sort yet.

Donkey Kong 64A little bloated, but fun - This was them hitting "peak" 3D Platformer in that they went overboard with the collectathon stuff to the point of absurdity.  It's still fun, it's just not nearly as good as Banjo-Kazooie.

Goldeneye 007 - Brilliant - Both great singleplayer and great multiplayer, it's fantastic.  There's just so much that can be done in both and I put a bunch of time into this back in the day.

Jet Force Gemini - Eh - I dont' remember this game a ton, but I remember not being a huge fan.  Not that it was bad, it just didn't do much for me.

Killer Instinct Gold - Cool - I didn't play this game a whole lot, but KI is cool.

Mickey Speedway USAFine - I remember this being essentially Mario Kart 64 Lite, which isn't a bad thing, but when Mario Kart 64 and Diddy Kong Racing exist, there's sorta no reason to play this one unless you just want to play Disney characters.

Perfect Dark - Brilliant - I thought this was just as neat as Goldeneye, though I would say I probably liked Goldeneye more, but it was a fun ass shooter.

I've played them all and think they're all really fun, even mickey speedway

If I had to pick a favorite then I'd probably go with banjo tooie


I just returned home from the mall. I just purchased GoldenEye 007. I'm currently staring out my window for a FedEx truck to pull up with my, new to me, N64. I cant wait, lol.
Personally, I think RARE was a top dev team. Great games.

I would have to say that Rare probably had the most outstanding catalog of games for the N64. While other companies did have great hits (Nintendo and Lucasarts had gems), Rare had a dolid collection. I agree with much of the opinions so far, however I did want to chime in about Jet Force Gemini and Blast Corps. Jet Force Gemeni I feel is relatively underrated. It is a fun game. From what I remember it was hard (13 year old self bias may be in play there) but it had a lot of action. I won't say its a great game, but definitely worth a play. Blast Corps on the other had I thought was awesome. I played the heck out of the game, completed it, and then LOVED the *teaser* space missions! It is absolutely a quirky game, and you will feel like it is slow to get in to, but stick with it and it gets very challenging and incredibly fun. I would say it is a must play (and it is cheap) a must own for any N64 gamer.

I personally enjoyed the games by Rare just as much as first party Nintendo games on the N64. The three specifically that I played a ton were Goldeneye, Banjo Kazooie, and Perfect Dark. I also played all the other N64 Rare titles except Mickey's Speedway and Banjo Tooie. I still absolutely love all their games, particularly the first three I mentioned.

Jet Force Gemeni I feel is relatively underrated. It is a fun game. From what I remember it was hard (13 year old self bias may be in play there) but it had a lot of action. I won't say its a great game, but definitely worth a play.

Jet force gemini is awesome, one of my all time favorites. Its a wonky game at first and it expects a lot from the player, but if you stick with it then it rewards you heavily


Jet Force and Perfect Dark I missed out on (I moved on from N64 by the time it arrived). I felt that all the rest were high quality games and some of the best of the era. The only exception being Mickey Speedway which instead of feeling like a true competitor to MK64 like Diddy Kong Racing did, was more like just a poor man's MK64. Not sure what they were thinking.

If I had to pick a best one, it would be Goldeneye 007.


I've been playing the version of Banjo-Kazooie on the Xbox 360 store, and it functions so well! The music is great, the movement feels fluid and natural, though not as controlled as Mario 64 is. You're doing yourself a disservice by not playing this charming and fantastic experience.

The only other one I've played is Goldeneye. I've only watched Dr. No, so I haven't seen the movie this is based off, or even played the single player mode, but the multiplayer is so dang fun, ESPECIALLY with cheat codes.


I played all of them except Mickey. I loved Killer Instinct Gold and Goldeneye. The others were not for me, I just was never a 3d platformer kind of guy. I want to go back to Perfect Dark sometime, I love cyberpunk settings.

But KI Gold is amazing in my top 5 for N64 (along with non-Rare games Starfox 64, Waverace 64, Robotron, and Sin and Punishment).
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This is going to sound like gaming blasphemy, but…
I’m not really a big fan of ANY of those Rare N64 games.

I’ve at least rented 7 of the 11 listed games, and none really blew me away.
Goldeneye was honestly clunky and frustrating (rarely played the multiplayer though, and I know that’s where the game gets most of its positive reputation from)

I quit playing Conker because the gameplay just didn’t hold up.

Blast Corps was fun for a while but quickly got really hard and frustrating. Actually reminds me of another Rare game, Snake Rattle & Roll, which also played well but got too hard too fast.

Perfect Dark was just average. Rented it but was not compelled to buy it.

Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64, and KIGold are ok. Rented BK & DK64 and had fun with them but never bought them. KIGold is a technically impressive port of the arcade game but just doesn’t have the same edge as KI1.

Not popular opinions, I know. But just being honest.


I've played at least 9 of the 11 games they released for the N64, but only played 2 of them thoroughly: Donkey Kong 64 and Jet Force Gemini. Rare had it going on during the N64 era, they had some really nice titles that offered something for almost everyone and, even though I don't particularly care for some of them, they were undeniably quality releases.

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Rare in the 90s was my favorite developer at any given era in gaming. I was a HUGE N64 fan (still am) and a HUGE Rareware fan back then. To me, they made the system was it was. My ranking...

1. Conker's Bad Fur Day - My favorite of the bunch. Absolutely love and adore this game. Funniest game I ever played. Conker is one of my favorite characters in any video game ever. It was revolutionary to me at the time, because so few games had the humor and adult content it had, especially on Nintendo. Replaying this game feels like watching your favorite comedy movie. It never gets old to me.

2. Diddy Kong Racing - My favorite racing game of all time (yes even over any Mario Kart). I have such a huge amount of nostalgia for it, but I definitely think it holds up extremely well today. The track designs were excellent, the adventure mode is so much fun, the characters are mostly charming, the music is great...and this is one of the few games I think I truly mastered. I haven't played it in several years but back in the day I was unbeatable at it.

3. Banjo-Kazooie - Amazing platformer, and only 2nd to Super Mario 64 in 3D platforming IMO. In some ways even beats Mario 64 at its own game. Just an absolute gem. Great soundtrack, great level design, great gameplay, this and Super Mario 64 are the 3D platformer gold standard especially in the 90s.

4. Donkey Kong 64 - Huge DK fan, especially the old DKC games on SNES. DK64 wasn't quite as amazing as those gems, but it's still a very solid game. Maybe a bit too much of a collect-a-thon, but even at the time I loved switching between characters and accessing different areas with them. Also, first time DK was in 3D in a platformer so I was blown away.

5. Goldeneye 007 - Not really a big FPS fan but even back then I loved this game. I was really into it mostly for multiplayer, like most people, and without that aspect I'd rank this much lower. The single player campaign is really good but I find it hard to go back to and enjoy today.

6. Perfect Dark - Again much like Goldeneye this was mostly fun in multiplayer. Objectively I think this is a better game than Goldeneye. But for some reason Goldeneye was more fun.

7. Banjo-Tooie - Great sequel to a great game, I found this game to be a lot harder in many ways and a little less enjoyable. There was a lot of backtracking if I recall. Still great, but just shy of amazing.

8. Killer Instinct Gold - Great fighting game. Not one of the best ever, but still very solid, very competent, and still fun to play to this day. Too bad I suck at it.

9. Jet Force Gemini - Now don't get me wrong, just because I placed this game at 9th place means I dislike it. i think it's a very solid action adventure game. I have never finished this game however. I enjoy it, but it's a bit too mazelike and too difficult for my tastes, and not always difficult for the right reasons (controls, slowdown, etc). But overall a very solid game. A proper remake would be amazing.

10. Mickey Speedway USA - Good solid kart racer, but after seeing what they could do with Diddy Kong Racing, this game felt very barebones and underwhelming. I was especially disappointed with the tracks which I felt should've had more Disney flair than just boring roads throughout America. But, it handled well and I had some fun with it.

11. Blast Corps - I never understood the point of this game. Well, that's not true, I know you blow up buildings for points, but it never felt fun to me. This is probably the only Rareware N64 game I don't really care for. I know it has its fans, and I get that it's supposed to be a pick up and play arcade style game, but I just never got into it. I still own it, though, so maybe one day.

Just a reminder, since nobody seems to have brought it up yet, BlastCorps was a launch window game for N64 which partially explains why it was so basic. Rare were real heroes on the 64 and it's a shame the MS sale happened.

Anyways, my thoughts...

Banjo-Kazooie- Didn't own back in the day but remember playing in Treasure Trove Cove at a kiosk. Great game, great music, like Mario 63 with more inspired level gimmicks.

Banjo-Tooie. I did have this one and the soundtrack is burned into my mind, it is the background music of my life. The "lightly continuing" plot and interconnected overworld feel like a preview of the PS2 era of platformers that were in development during it's release.

Blast Corps- As I said, more tech demo than game, still fun though.

Conker- Just watched LPs of this one, though I own it. The jokes look more fun than the gameplay, making it perfect for a watch.

DK Racing- Heck yeah, this was my jam back in the day, loved playing multiplayer in the igloo. Music is great too, even though the midi tracks hurt my ears now.

DK 64- Just rented this one back in the day due to not owning a memory pak. Everyone complains about backtracking for bananas in this game but the truth is that the level design sucked too. Other then Frantic Factory, Angry Aztec and the final boss fight level traversal was a pain. I loved DKC 1+2 but skip this please.

GoldenEye- Loved this game so much I brought a GameShark just to get even more out of it.

Jet Force Gemini- Never played, heard it gets hard fast, some of the game's music is boss though. It's a shame that an all ages single player shooter like this can't get made in this day and age. I bet one would be successful, this least looks like an N64 fortnight character-wise.

KI Gold- Never played, heard that this was the least good KI game.

Mickey's Speedway- Should be a hit on paper but just isn't, I guess the A-team we're doing JFG instead. Also some characters are locked behind Gameboy connectivity, and nuts to that.

Perfect Dark- Another one that I didn't have as a kid due to the memory pak. Shame as I loved GE and this looks like the missing link between it and later console shooters.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2022, 11:15:44 pm by scraph4ppy »