If you have grown up playing the Nintendo 64 in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, you probably had gotten your hands on a video game developed by Rare. This game developer was known for it’s high quality titles such as Perfect Dark, Banjo Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64 and more. Great titles like these are what formed a empire within the game industry as every single title that pushed out frequently earned the highest praise and scores due to their popularity. Fast forwarding to today and Rare is now owned by the company Microsoft; a great or bad move depending on who you ask. Since their acquisition to Mirosoft, Rare has developed games like Perfect Dark: Zero, Viva Pinata, Jet Pac: Refulled and Kameo, which supported the Xbox 360 during its lifespan.
Enter the Rare Replay Collection, a collection of 30+ Rare titles that aren’t owned by Nintendo’s IP’s (Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong Racing). This collection sports amazing value as it contains 30 games for $30; Even cheaper if you pre-order it at the Microsoft Store and earn yourself a $10 Gift Card. The game collection does feature some other items as well, such as the game mode ‘snapshots’ which is comprised of a list of challenges featured throughout a few of the select games found inside this collection. For each game found in the Snapshot mode, there are a total of five challenges for the gamer to complete; with each one getting progressively harder as you complete the challenges. While the snapshot mode seems to only cater to the older 8-bit & 16-bit games, it was moderately challenging to complete some of these snapshots. One example was in RC Pro AM, where you are a lap behind everyone else, and you have nine laps to get into first place. This challenge was a definite struggle, especially when you are used to modern day control schemes. Most of these challenges with the exception of a couple classic games were easy enough to complete within a few hours of gameplay, but it provided that extra level of completion when plowing through countless arcade games.
Bottom Line, whether you are a seasoned veteran or a new player, getting into the feel for Rare’s classic titles; Old or new, there is something here for you to enjoy.
This marks the first time a game like Conker’s Bad Fur Day & Blast Corps was ported to a future console, since their original release back on the Nintendo 64, and it didn’t change one bit, which is what I expect to see in a collection like this. While Xbox 360 titles of the classics sports Xbox Live integration and HD visuals, I couldn’t complain about these either as it breathed new life into an already terrific platform. I really enjoyed having this in there, it meant I wasn’t bound to the old-school graphics which may have not supported wide-screen; a feature I tend to enjoy a little too much. When it came down to the classic games like SabreWulf, Knight Lore, Atic Atac & RC Pro-AM, were exactly how I remember them from the good ol’ days. Rare was even kind enough to ad a ‘CRT’ filter to some titles to give you an authentic ‘old-school’ feel which was a very nice touch. Bottom Line, whether you are a seasoned veteran or a new player, getting into the feel for Rare’s classic titles; Old or new, there is something here for you to enjoy.
The one disappointing part about the package was that the classic games even sported the same lag as it’s classic counter-parts; something that shouldn’t be affecting the power of the Xbox One at all. You’d think that they would attempt to use a part of the processing power featured in the next-generation hardware to help the game out so it doesn’t experience these slowdowns, but maybe this was intended to keep the game as close to its original state as possible. To each their own.
Rare also documented a lot of ‘Making of’ videos, showcasing the thoughts and ideas behind the creation of games like Banjo Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day and more. To add to this, Rare added Unreleased trailers, unreleased music for the games, Concept art & designs and more to unlock as you play through the library of titles. You earn the right to view all of this content based on the amount of stamps you have collected in the game, which is typically awarded by completed the previously mentioned snapshots and earning achievements throughout all of Rare’s titles.
To conclude, Microsoft’s Rare Replay Collection feels more like a homage to their fans than a retail game. Sporting 30 rare titles ranging from the ZX Spectrum to the Xbox 360 for $30 was an amazing idea as it introduces the modern day gamers to titles they may have skipped or never seen. Even if you don’t play half of the games included in the package, you are still walking away with a great experience with games like Banjo Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Kameo, Viva Pinata and Blast Corps.
Review Score: 9/10
+ Classic games remain intact
+ Great selection of games/dollar
+ Snapshots provide extra level of challenge
– No widescreen option for classic games