Grant Kirkhope was a composer for Rare in its glory days, creating the soundtracks to Goldeneye, Perfect Dark and Banjo-Tooie to name a few games. The man is therefore and absolute chuffin’ legend, but he is an upset legend who is aghast at what Rare has become since Microsoft brought them out. Rare has gone from being at the top of the ‘who’s who’ list in gaming to the bottom of the ‘who the fuck is that’ list of people nobody care about. They have gone from making Triple A games like Perfect Dark to making Avatars and Wii Sports clones. Nobody is impressed, and Grant isn’t the only person who could cry about it.
Microsoft took the finest Scotch whisky and mixed it with store brand Coke. What they have done is outright vandalism. Rare’s standards in gaming have plummeted and effectively destroyed a company that made everyone else making games look a bit lazy and unoriginal. Well the Quality ain’t that bad I guess, it the lack of games, both ingeneral and what people want, and the fact what they do make doesn’t blow anyone away anymore. It’s all run of the mill.
It seems to me that perhaps Nintendo is what made Rare great. It has to be said whenever Nintendo team up with another developer they always manage to bring the best out in them…After all FZero GX is probably the best racing game Sega ever put its name to. Nintendo makes an incredible slave master and they will wait untill they feel something is cooked to perfection. I’m sure Rare wanted to kill Nintendo at times, But Nintendo was Rares muse and dedicated Nintendo fans became Rare’s No.1 customers, No.1 fans and No.1 priority.
To us fans, Nintendo was the fish and rare was the chips. You could swap your fish for a battered sausage or a pie, but you still had to have the chips. I think in many ways if we had the choice over loosing Rare or loosing Mario, I think most really would have said ‘lose Mario’ not like that would ever be a choice. So many of us did chose to get an Xbox just to keep up with Rare, and most of us realised the magic had gone and we didn’t need to worry at all. Nintendo found some more chips with Retro and it turned out Rare had become an overcooked fritter. Perhaps the warning signs were there for Nintendo. Many big names had left Rare while they were still owned by Nintendo and the last few games they made for Nintendo were not as generously reviewed by the critics. Nintendo may have been rather sly and sold Microsoft an Edsel.
So Grant might be wrong, the decline at Rare could be down to a natural decline from the top as times change having lost core people from that golden era. Nevertheless, half the battle for Rare was simply to make sequels and only 2 in 10 years have emerged both of which changed too much and lacked both the content and detail people expect. Whoever told them Banjo Kazooie needed redesigning needs shooting. In fact the only good thing Rare has done since leaving Nintendo is the Banjo-Kazooie Nuts and Bolt orchestral medley.
Nintendo may have been Rares muse-come-slave master, but Microsoft wanted Rare badly and has endless resources, they have decided to take Rare in this direction and they could undo the damage if they really wanted to put Rares name back on the map, but clearly they are not interested. Rare proves if nothing else that Microsoft loves to piss money away on toys they get bored with very fast. I feel for Grant Kirkhope, and I am really glad he’s spoke out. It isn’t just us fanboys who are angry. And please Nintendo GIVE THIS MAN A JOB, his music, belongs on a Nintendo console, and frankly you need him, your music on the New super Mario Bros game is a as dull as ditchwater.