Rare Replay Review
By Lex Lutz
Microsoft Studios and Rare released the much-anticipated “Rare Replay” collection this week as an Xbox One exclusive. The collection features 30 Rare games to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary, including beloved titles like Battletoads, Perfect Dark, and Banjo-Kazooie. Read the full review for “Rare Replay” after the jump.
“Rare Replay” was greeted with overwhelming excitement when the title was announced at this year’s E3. There has been a growing market for retro games, with companies such as GameStop bringing back previous generations of consoles and games for sale. The desire to return to the past, to return to the games you loved as a kid, is as strong as ever.
I was a bit apprehensive at the announcement of “Rare Replay” out of fear that while it would provide me with these classic games, it would be a mess as some other collections I’ve played in the past have been. I found the navigation of “Rare Replay” to be very simple yet elegantly designed, with a nice little opening number to kick things off. Some of the older titles such as Conker’s Bad Fur Day are framed in a wallpaper theme to maintain the original 4:3 aspect ratio. You can click through the gallery of the 30 games at ease, choosing to have them in alphabetical or chronological order. Each game has its own sub-menu that shows off some gameplay and gives you some more background on the game. While I’m sure most players remember exactly when they became obsessed with Perfect Dark, for a younger gamer like myself it was nice to know the exact year of release without having to look it up. Small touches such as that and a menu giving me the controller layout and simple navigation are something I never take for granted and was pleased with in “Rare Replay”.
As for the actual games themselves, the experience will be different for each player. For me, venturing into this set was less of a nostalgic trip and more of an introduction to 30 years of critically acclaimed games I had mostly only heard of. I’ve previously played some of Conker, Perfect Dark (multiplayer only), and that’s about it. At 23 years old, I’m not certain if I’m the main demographic for sales of “Rare Replay”, but I can say it’s interesting to see just how far games have come. Despite having one hell of a shock going from Batman: Arkham Knight to Conker’s Bad Fur Day, it was exciting to venture into these older games, especially with the rewind feature to help me actually finish some games without starting from scratch.
While some other Rare classics were missing from the collection due to licensing issues (GoldenEye and Donkey Kong Country to name a few), “Rare Replay” is a nice venture back in time for gamers old and young. At $30, the collection is certainly worth the price of the price of admission, even if the games aren’t quite as good as you remember them being.