The Top 7… shameless rip-offs

The games that stole from the best attempting to beat the rest


7. Banjo Kazooie

Ripped off: Super Mario 64

The photocopied premise: A fat character jumps through portals into a series of colourful 3D platform worlds, collecting valuables in an effort to rescue a loved one.

What it borrowed: Rare are fine developers in their own right (well, in their halcyon-coated N64 heyday). But that didn%26rsquo;t stop them rolling into the Mushroom Kingdom, holding up all the idea banks and stealing as many of the Italian toilet jockey%26rsquo;s mechanics and moves as they could stuff into dollar-branded bags.

Levels that were accessed through a central hub, the obsessive hoovering up of collectibles to further your progression, even Mario%26rsquo;s athletic collection of jumps, all ripped straight from Miyamoto%26rsquo;s magnum opus. To be fair, two years had passed since Mario 64%26rsquo;s release and Banjo was the first real AAA platformer released after the N64%26rsquo;s launch. So the borrowed ideas seemed fresher than they might, had the game been released closer to Mario%26rsquo;s Mushroom Kingdom escapades.

How to make a Mario 64 knock-off

Is it really just a rip-off?

No. Thanks to Rare%26rsquo;s superior dry British wit and ninja-esque N64 programming powers, Banjo was both an imminently likeable and beautiful looking platformer. While it may have stolen many of Mario 64%26rsquo;s structural ideas, it succeeded by being more ambitious and varied, if not anywhere near as groundbreaking.

Ripped off: Metal Gear Solid

The photocopied premise: A crack government agent is aided by a sexy Asian operative as he tries to avert a nuclear holocaust.

What it borrowed: Most of the Gear%26rsquo;s storytelling techniques. Filter%26rsquo;s multilayered, convoluted plot about government conspiracies, nuclear weapons and backstabbing were taken straight from Snake%26rsquo;s sweaty palms.

Both games also feature protagonists who unwittingly infect innocent civilians with viruses. And Gabe Logan%26rsquo;s cinematic cut-scenes were obviously influenced heavily by Kojima%26rsquo;s earlier overly talkative, yet superbly directed story scenes.

How to make a Metal Gear Solid knock-off

Is it really just a rip-off?

Oh yes. And an overrated one at that. For some reason, folks seemed to think the game%26rsquo;s ridiculously dark and fairly boring levels constituted grit. The stealth also paled in comparison to the Gear, thanks to A.I. so inbred it makes Deliverance%26rsquo;s hillbillies look like Harvard graduates. At least Gabe Logan was every bit the charismatic equal to Solid Snake%26hellip; minus the cool one-liners%26hellip; or charm%26hellip; or personality.

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