I don’t have quite the same emotional investment in Rare as another writer around here, shying away from the Nintendo 64 in favor of the PlayStation back in the day, but it’s always nice to see a major publisher give a genuinely likable character a second chance. Revivals are all the rage these days, mainly because these characters’ absence is causing lots of rage, and Microsoft is sitting on a goldmine of retired characters thanks to Rare’s old line up.
One such character is Conker, the foul-mouthed squirrel. He was originally teased to be making a comeback in Microsoft’s game making software Project Spark, but we now know in what capacity he will be returning. Conker will be starring in an original episodic game series made using Project Spark called Conker’s Big Reunion. The game will take place ten years after Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and it will follow the squirrel as his attempts to have a reunion go a little sour.
If The Great Mighty Poo makes an appearance, I’ll be happy.
Team Dakota will be heading up Conker’s Big Reunion, and Episode 1 will be released on April 23 along with 200-300 assets. It’s not Rare, but then again, Rare is not exactly Rare anymore either. Some were hoping for a full game release, but I think this is the best we’re going to get. At least he’s not just there to make a cameo in the trailers to sell a few extra copies. I’m on board because I’m interested in seeing how Project Spark can work as a platform for an established video game series.
Plus, I am not disillusioned into thinking Microsoft has any other secret plans for Conker ever again. Double Helix and Iron Galaxy revived Killer Instinct in a big way. Retro Studios has Donkey Kong Country firing on all fronts. Microsoft has been teasing a new Battletoads recently. Even Rare is believed to be working on a true Banjo Kazooie game right now, while former Rare devs are working on a spiritual successor called Project Ukulele.
If all of these projects prove to be fruitful, can we stop complaining about Rare’s old IP? Or are we not satisfied until Joanna Dark and James Bond get that long overdue crossover game?