British studio Rare, formerly known as Ultimate Play The Game or Rareware, has been responsible for some of the most eclectic and delightfully swanky titles in the business. Their catalog of games has covered numerous genres, such as platformers, first-person shooters, fighters, and even examples that defy classification.
Many of their games have set industry standards such as Gold eye for Nintendo 64 and killer instinct. Other titles were wonderful experiments like Viva Pinata and Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts. However, not every unique idea at Rare has been lucky enough to become a reality. Unfortunately, there are numerous titles from the studio that players may never be able to play.
10/10 Donkey Kong Country 4 could have found its way onto a Nintendo handheld
Rare has successfully breathed new life into this Donkey Kong franchise with country Games on the Super Nintendo. It was one of the first collaborations between the British developer and Nintendo. However, Microsoft entered the hardware market years later and bought Rare.
While this prevented Rare from developing software for the Big N consoles, Microsoft had no interest in the handheld market. This allowed the company to release a variety of titles on Nintendo’s handhelds. A suggested idea was a 4 country Rate on the DS. While it’s unfortunate that this idea never materialized, Retro Studios filled in the gap Returns and Tropical Frost.
9/10 Unfortunately, Black Widow was dismantled
Black widow was originally conceived as a first-person shooter for the Xbox 360 that switches perspective while controlling a giant mechanical spider. The game would have seen players vault through a cityscape and use this contraption to repel an alien invasion. Players could even use environmental elements as weapons against alien hordes.
While the original game was eventually abandoned, the idea of controlling a giant spider was revived as one of the new playable elemental warriors for another canceled rare title – cameo 2. Maybe the concept would work in one demolition corps reboot.
8/10 Sabreman Stampede
Originally as thought Donkey Kong race, the idea eventually morphed into a blend of racing and open-world sandbox with an old-school character. The intrepid explorer Sabreman made his debut in the game ZX Spectrum saber wolf. The character would be referenced to a fighter named Sabrewulf killer instinct and make a cameo appearance in other titles such as Banjo Tooie.
It wasn’t until the Game Boy Advance restarted that the British adventurer took center stage with a brand new title. However, it shouldn’t be the only one. Sabreman Stampede for the Xbox 360, he would have seen him hunt creatures of the wild and then ride them.
7/10 Kameo 2 would have taken a bold new direction
Cameo elements of power was generally well received, although its gameplay was considered somewhat outdated compared to its contemporaries. To address those criticisms, the sequel would have taken the formula in a bold new direction. While the first game flirted with an open-world structure, cameo 2 would have fully accepted it.
The developers took inspiration from other sandbox titles, such as Assassin’s Creed, and integrated a more realistic art style. All that remains of the game are concept art and a full 3D model of the hero of the same name.
6/10 The Battletoads could have paved their way to the GBA
Years after their arcade swan song, fans had been clamoring for a return of Toads in a modern title. A planned comeback was planned for the Game Boy Advance. The game would have taken on a more modern look with pre-rendered sprites and environments. One factor contributing to the game’s cancellation was the conflicting mandates from higher-ups.
The team was told to stay true to the original titles while also being encouraged to experiment and do your own thing. Though it never came out, some screenshots of the title resurfaced years later.
5/10 Donkey Kong race
With the success of Diddy Kong Racing For the Nintendo 64, the prospect of adopting this winning formula on the much more powerful GameCube was undoubtedly enticing. At Spaceworld 2001, Nintendo presented numerous trailers for upcoming titles, including a pre-rendered presentation of Donkey Kong race.
In a major departure from Diddy’s adventures, racers weren’t just limited to cars, airplanes, and hovercrafts. Cinematics showed the great ape and his friends rising on rhinos, swordfish and even zingers. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s purchase of Rare sealed the title’s fate.
4/10 Banjo Kazooie could have graced the Nintendo DS
While Rare’s partnership with Microsoft barred them from creating titles for Nintendo’s consoles, they were allowed to develop for handhelds like the Game Boy Advance and DS. This resulted in two Banjo Kazooie title for the former. Banjo Pilot was a revised version of Diddy Kong Pilotwhile Grunty’s revenge served as a midquel in between banjo 1 and Tooie.
Both games took on a pre-rendered look similar to that of Rare Donkey Kong country Title. However, handheld play with the polygonal 3D graphics of the original games would have been possible on the DS. Apparently Rare was in the process of making one before sadly it was canned.
3/10 Going almost medieval, Conker had another bad day
Conker fans might be surprised to find two different ideas for a sequel Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Conker’s other bad day would have fleshed out fan-favorite characters like Greg, the diminutive Grim Reaper, and introduced new faces, like a villain named Cuthulpoo.
Chris Seavor said he’s also invested in the world of the squirrel of the same name. become medieval would have evolved into a multiplayer shooter, giving players control of the tediz or squirrels in their bloody battles. The premise would give Greg the Reaper control of this violent war.
2/10 Sundown would have been Rare’s first adult horror title
Following Nightmare on Elm Street and Caught by the Ghoulies, sunset would have been the company’s third foray into the horror genre. However, the tone and audience would have been drastically different. The game would have contained a hefty dose of body horror with gruesome looking creatures caused by an infectious biological organism.
Conceptual artist Peter Hentze quoted John Carpenters the thing, and real sea creatures as main influences on the game’s shocking imagery. However, some of sunset Ideas may have gone a bit too far, like infected child enemies.
1/10 Before The Bear And The Bird, there was Project Dream
Not to be confused with the Media Molecule of the same name dreams, this action-adventure went through many iterations before morphing into a completely different beast. Designer Gregg Mayales was inspired by LucasArts’ graphic adventure titles and several JRPGs. The setting shifted from a lighthearted fantasy of magic to a darker world inhabited by pirates.
During its Super Nintendo period, it would have incorporated the same pre-rendered graphics from Donkey Kong country. Development then moved to the Nintendo 64, where polygonal 3D graphics were adopted. After the success of Super Mario 64, the characters and the genre have been significantly revised. The resulting game was the 3D platformer Banjo Kazooie.
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