ONM Remembered – #391

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 11:00 am Comments Off on ONM Remembered – #391

“Saberman is jolted out of blissful retirement (we imagine Rare provide excellent pensions)…”

from Official Nintendo Magazine issue 116 (May 2002)

This era of Rare’s games was a curious one. After rounding off the N64 with excellent (or at least acclaimed at the time) games like Banjo-Tooie, Perfect Dark and Conker’s Bad Fur Day, their output for the GBA and Xbox left something to be desired. I played a bit of Grabbed By The Ghoulies and Saberwulf, and I came away from both with the same question: “is that it?”
The gameplay in both is charmingly simple, but feels like they’re missing something vital; they lack the intense mechanics of Donkey Kong Country, or the thrill of exploration from Banjo-Kazooie. It’s possible they do pick up eventually, but after an hour of gameplay in both you do fear you’ve seen everything they have to offer, and they’re in no rush to escalate the challenge in inventive ways.

Also, hey, ONM had the courtesy to investigate development on Saffire, the Greek-flavoured Tomb Raider-like we last saw when the GameCube was first being hyped! It, uh, looks absolutely nothing like it did last time. Given how the development studio was also known as Saffire, it’s possible they just attached that name to any untitled project they showed off; in this case, some sort of Rainbow Six-em-up. Whatever the case, it got canned, but kudos for telling us anyway.

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