Defining An Era
We’ve seen plenty of re-releases throughout the current console generation, from HD remasters and remakes, to trilogy-wielding collections, but one thing’s for sure – nothing’s come close to what the Rare Replay Collection has to offer. Featuring 30 hand-picked titles from Rare’s diverse catalog, this collection not only marks the company’s 30th anniversary but it also serves as a treasure trove for those who grew up playing these games as well as newcomers to experience.
While I may be too young to have experienced some of Rare’s older titles like Killer Instinct and Battletoads, this collection finally gave me the chance to check out titles everyone older than me had always talked about. While these games may be old and basic in regards to today’s gaming standards, it was a great chance to compare how far gaming has evolved over such a short period of time.
The Rare Replay collection comes with classic titles like JetPac and Atic Atac that came out back in 1983 all the way to the Xbox 360 games like Viva Pinata and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. There’s plenty on offer here and it’s obviously something you won’t get through within the week.
I first started my foray into the collection by playing games I hadn’t touched before. As a gamer who entered into the world of gaming during an era dominated by the Nintendo 64, I didn’t have a chance to play and experience titles like Atic Atac and Cobra Triangle — which I’m currently addicted to. The older games are presented well, with borders you can turn on and off as it keeps the aspect ratio. You can even rewind some of the older games at your command if you happen to suck really badly (like I did with Cobra Triangle). There weren’t any noticeable performance issues with the games either, which is a big plus.
After experiencing the older catalogue, I jumped into the Nintendo 64 games, most I’m fairly familiar with. The games were pretty much presented in their original forms. From Jet Force Gemini to my all time favourite, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, it was like reliving my childhood all over again. I also noticed the multiplayer sections of Conker’s Bad Fur Day are still intact and you can jump into split-screen multiplayer on the same console like back in the old days, too.
While Banjo-Kazooie came out on the Nintendo 64 originally, the version included in the Rare Replay collection is the remastered edition that was released previously on the Xbox 360. This is the same for Banjo-Tooie and Perfect Dark as well. The remastered versions of these titles come in a widescreen format with some slight gameplay changes and graphical updates.
Most of the games were presented and integrated well in the Rare Replay app but the Xbox 360 titles seemed out of place as they’re launched as a separate entity. There’s probably a reason why they didn’t integrate this but it hinders on the overall experience. There’s also the question as to why they included the 360 version of these games when the remastered version of Conker’s Bad Fur Day wasn’t included. It seems a little inconsistent in the choice but nonetheless, it’s still a solid line-up.
If you thought that was a lot of games to sink your teeth into, the team didn’t stop there, also throwing in a bunch of extras including mini-games called Snapshots. Snapshots are pretty much small sections of the classic game presented in a time-based challenge where players must achieve a certain goal within a set time limit. These sections are fun and often represented a different approach to the original design of the classic game. There’s also a bonus documentary feature called Rare Revealed that showcases over an hour worth of footage showing behind the scenes of the development of some games plus the studio’s history.
Not all of the Rare games were featured in the collection as you can notice classic titles such as Goldeneye and Donkey Kong are missing, but it’s expected considering there’s licences attached to them. The team probably had to draw the line somewhere but I believe there’s lots of things here for everyone.
The Rare Replay collection is a must-have for our gaming generation whether it be for veterans or newcomers. It shows a significant evolution by not only a company but with gaming in general, showcasing just how far the medium has grown from the classic retro days to the modern era. The nostalgic value here is incredible and I cannot fathom any reason to not have this in your library.
Developer: Rare Ltd
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platforms: Xbox One
A review code was provided by the publisher.