Jet Force Gemini, Nintendo 64 game from Rare, is coming to Nintendo Switch Online in December. Will it stand the test of time?
There’s a big problem with the Nintendo 64 library on Nintendo Switch Online: a sizable chunk of the good titles for the system were released by a studio that is now owned by a rival business. Rare was considered one of the best, if not the best, developers of N64 games. In the 90s Nintendo owned a controlling interest of Rare’s stock and their games were released exclusively on the N64. Early in the Gamecube era, Nintendo cut Rare loose and Microsoft, needing reasons for people to purchase their new XBox console, bought them outright.
So as the Nintendo 64 library on NSO has filled up, one big question has been what they’re going to do when they run out of first-party games. Most of the remainder of memorable titles on that system came from Rare — are they going to negotiate for them or are they going to bother? Yes, Banjo-Kazooie has been there for a while, but it could’ve been a one-off. At best, we figured, we could hope for Donkey Kong 64 and that’d be about it.
We were very pleased to hear last night that Nintendo’s next Nintendo Switch Online title is Rare’s Jet Force Gemini. Released around the same time as Donkey Kong 64, it’s a very original title about two space twins and their dog who run around an alien planet shooting an enemy army of giant insects. Overshadowed but beloved by those who owned it, we didn’t think we’d ever see it here. But it’s coming!
If there’s a downside to Jet Force Gemini, it’s the control scheme, which was awkward in 1999 and feels even more painful now. It could even potentially be made worse by the remap to Switch controls, unless you have an N64 controller for the system. But once you get started on JFG, you should enjoy it enough to play through the pain.