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Sabre Wulf was one of the first games that Rareware released under its initial name, Ultimate. Two decades later, it seems like the company will conclude its development of Game Boy Advance games with the same title. Although much has changed since its Commodore 64 days, Sabre Wulf still stars the Sabreman who resembles a crazy old toothless miner with a pristine white mustache.
This is beginning to look like the year for excellent platform games for the Game Boy Advance. Not only has Nintendo brought out its classic platform games of yesteryear, but also its new games have been pleasantly surprising and extremely hard to put down. Adding to their ranks is Sabre Wulf, a platform game with RPG elements and an interesting premise to boot. Brought to us by Rare and THQ, certainly no strangers to the GBA, this is a game that asks us to overlook the game’s oddly title and see it for what it really is . . . a platform game with a lot to like.
In den Achtzigerjahren waren die Jungs von Rare noch unter dem Namen Ultimate bekannt. Unter diesem Label feierte Sabre Wulf damals Premiere und zog sofort unzählige Zocker in seinen Bann. Nicht viele Games bleiben vom Zahn der Zeit so unbeschadet wie dieser Titel.
20 years ago there was only one game developer you could really trust. Going by the justifiably arrogant and typically long-winded Ultimate Play The Game, this Ashby-De-La-Zouch based company had - in just over 12 months - churned out six bona fide classics on the Sinclair Spectrum. Cookie, Pssst!, Trans Am, Jet Pac for the humble 16k version, and Lunar Jetman and Atic Atac for the 48k.
Rare cranks up the quirk with Sabrewulf, a simple, unassuming, and hard-to-dislike platformer about an old British explorer with a giant safari hat and an ageless wolf that hides shiny things in 2D side-scrolling lairs.
Back before Rare was Rare, it was a small English gaming outfit known as Ultimate, creating games for the Spectrum Sinclair computer platform. The computer flopped hard in the states but had a strong following in Europe, and many of the great European game creators got their start on that platform. Sabre Wulf was one the team's early efforts for the Spectrum. The game saw a port to the popular-in-the-US Commodore 64 system, but even with that conversion chances are if you grew up playing games in the states, you probably never even heard of the game. The Game Boy Advance version of Sabre Wulf brings back the Sabreman and Sabre Wulf characters to the scene, but the game itself is an entirely unique creation that puts heavy focus on old-school platforming and simplistic gameplay elements.
Way back when -- before most GBA owners' parents had even met -- Sabre Wulf was wowing gamers on an obscure computer system (the Sinclair ZX Spectrum to be precise). The game was developed by Ultimate, which later became Rare. Sensing the obvious void in today's gaming world of a title featuring the battle between an aging hero and a kleptomaniacal wolf, the company decided to dip into its past and resurrect the series. Published by THQ, the result is a very unique handheld title that will challenge your brain as well as your thumbs.
Au final, Sabre Wulf se révèle suffisamment original et accrocheur pour séduire n'importe quel joueur et le scotcher bêtement sur sa GBA. Dommage que certains nuages assombrissent le paysage, tel que le côté très répétitif de l'action, aussi bien dans l'enchaînement des niveaux que dans l'obligation de refaire certains passages à plusieurs reprises, parfois en raison d'un problème de réponse des commandes en plus.
Back in 1984, a company called Ultimate released a game called Sabre Wulf for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer, a machine that never got much fame in North America, but did pretty well over in Europe. That game was a maze-based adventure that put you in the role of Sabreman, a khaki-clad man on safari, as he searched for four pieces of an amulet that could be used to trap the insidious beast, Sabre Wulf, inside a statue. The game is remembered fondly by most that played it. Now, 20 years later, Ultimate has become Rare, the popular Microsoft-owned developer responsible for games like Banjo-Kazooie and, more recently, Grabbed by the Ghoulies. But the developer is returning to its roots with a 2D platformer with some puzzle elements that picks up where the original Sabre Wulf left off. The resulting game, also called Sabre Wulf, is a fun little game with some interesting gameplay mechanics and some of the Rare charm that you've come to expect.
It's a good thing the play control is spot on because while the early levels are short and easy, the later levels are simply brutal as precise jumps are the order of this platformer. You must also use your creatures resourcefully. There are tons of levels and you can replay them all to get a better score and treasure. Sabre Wulf is a decent romp, but there are far better GBA platformers out there and there probably aren't very many US gamers who will get all the ‘in-jokes' about Rare's past games in Sabre Wulf. But at least the game is budget priced.