Not much lately, but Derail Valley when I have time. It's a fun first-person train driving game.
That's something I have to try myself. I wasn't aware the Beta for that game was leaked? I'd have to question how that even happened. I of course appreciate that Star Fox Adventures gave spotlight to Fox and put him on foot. It's neat, but I think I'd have still preffered Dinsour Planet just based on how creative and different the premise was. I always thought that was one of Nintendo's scummier moves, to pressure Rare into killing it's own original IP, just to have Star Fox wear it's corpse like Buffalo Bill. Never sat right for me. I do appreciate learning that it's actually possible to downlaod the beta of that game. One of the many things to put on my to play list.
That's possible, from what interviews I read, Rare had some pressure from Miyamoto. Though, I was probably remembering it a little worse than how it was actually worded. I do recall that there was a pretty severe internal division in Rare about what to do. I suppose it might be a bit too harsh to blame Nintendo for what could just be an honest suggestion. It's still a bit personally disappointing to me to see Star Fox Adventures in Place of Dinosaur planet but it might be more fair to say Rare's internal division was self inflicted more than an outside party's fault.I didn't get notified of this for some reason.
But yeah. Someone found it and just put it online.
And from the interviews I've read over the years, Nintendo didn't exactly pressure Rare. If there was any pressure, it was from the senior leads of Rare put onto the developers to nearly completely rewrite what they had. But even that was only mild disappointment. It was more of a suggestion from Shigeru Miyamoto to use StarFox instead based on how the gaming climate was turning. Lead software engineer, Phil Tossell recounts Nintendo wasn't even interfering with development and gave Rare basically free reign. Nintendo and Rare had a very good relationship.
When you think about it, it actually makes a bit of sense. Dinosaur Planet was being developed at the tail end of an aging, commercially failed console. Nintendo saw this and reached out asking if they'd like to use the StarFox license instead. Rare decided to also switch to GameCube for obvious reasons. But new IP's at a hardware's launch are risky for any studio. StarFox wasn't Mario or Zelda, but it was still hot at the time after 64 and could do numbers if it launched with the GameCube's opening years. Rare historically was extremely successful with Nintendo's IP's. They could only really benefit from it.
Dinosaur Planet's development in the first place was actually *very* turbulent. Before Krystal and Sabre, it was initially to be a game starring Timber the Tiger (who was also supposed to be the original star of Diddy Kong Racing.)
Despite it's legacy, you can still see how much work went into it despite the small team which is likely the real reason the game didn't pan out so perfectly. The lighting, texture, detailed animation work, and facial expressions were showstoppers. Combat was particularly eyecatching for a Nintendo entry as well and there was an overall rich art direction. There was also still that classic RareWare variety in gameplay. Honestly, becoming a StarFox game was likely the best outcome Dinosaur Planet as a concept could have even had.
It has a few serious difficulty spikes and sometimes it throws you at things you're not quite ready for due to RNGesus giving you the screwie on gear drops, but as aRPGs go it's one of my favorites. Biggest gripe is that the number bar is a terrible way to manage skills, especially if you have a lot of them.I broke my keyboard while playing this game. I don't want to play it anymore.