It seems like cashing in on your company’s old games is a new trend in the gaming industry, but Rare Replay is no disappointment. The Xbox One exclusive features games throughout Rare’s history, minus GoldenEye 007 and Donkey Kong Country due to licensing issues. While those two games are probably the most recognized out of all their titles, it’s still great to see all their classics brought back to life on the Xbox One.
Rare Replay will give you a strong feeling of nostalgia if you’re over a certain age, or it will bore you to death and make you angry if you’re under a certain age. It’s definitely not for everybody, and since you need 50GB of space to fit everything on your X1, you probably won’t be interested in it unless you played their classics in the first place.
The company did a great job at connecting their past and future together, and even the classics are more exciting, especially since they added cheats to make things a bit easier for us. As you make progress throughout the games you will be rewarded with behind-the-scenes footage from Rare, including interviews and clips on their unreleased video games.
Rare put this compilation together in an effort to celebrate their 30th anniversary, making them one of the most experienced gaming companies in existence. They put together emulators to bring back classics and only made edits when necessary, so the experience is pretty much the same as it was when the games first came out. In fact, there are six emulators included in Replay, including an Xbox 360 emulator. However, they worked with their parent company, Microsoft, to make that happen.
Blast Corps and Killer Instinct Gold are definitely my two favorites, and I seriously can’t get enough of Killer Instinct, it brings back so many memories. Other good ones included are Jet Force Gemini, Banjo-Kazooie, R.C. Pro-Am, and Battletoads Arcade. Still, there’s like thirty games to choose from so it depends on what you used to play. If you’ve never played any of their classics you might not appreciate them now.
For the price, you can’t beat it. Banjo-Kazooie might be from 1998, but this game is still one of the best 3D platformers I ever played. Replaying some of these classics actually made me realize that graphics aren’t everything, and I think a lot of the newer game developers are overlooking what makes a game truly great.
Rare Replay did everything right with this compilation, even the gallery-styled menu is perfect in my opinion. Rare kept it real with the classics made before the Nintendo 64, and you will find that they’re not remastered to fit a widescreen display like you might imagine. Instead, they surrounded the 4:3 game by an arcade-style border, giving it an authentic look. It’s perfect.
Some of these games even emulate the appearance of an old CRT television, with a slight increase in brightness around the edges and everything. You may or may not like this, but you will think you’re using an old TV once you get sucked into the game you’re playing. Younger gamers might not be familiar with this so it won’t have the same effect on everybody, but I certainly appreciated it.
The newer games included in the Replay compilation are the Viva Pinata titles, which are more calm and laid back than the earlier games. The first Viva Pinata game was released in 2006 and the second in 2008, so they aren’t too new. Basically, you plant your garden and watch different critters populate the world. It’s a very calm game, not really my thing, but they did deserve a spot in this compilation.
Perfect Dark was alright, however Perfect Dark Zero was terrible. Rare didn’t go back and fix their mistakes so you would suddenly fall in love with the titles you used to hate. Instead they kept it honest and reminded everybody of their previous work. Hate it or love it. The only thing they did manage to change was the way games save, and this is definitely a good thing. If you remember, old Nintendo games did not save automatically and it was very easy to lose progress if you couldn’t get to a save checkpoint or if you simply forgot to save.
Another great new addition Rare included in these classics is the ability to rewind up to 10 seconds of gameplay without getting punished for it. Yes, you can go back and fix your mistakes if you’re fast enough. Some of these classics are so frustrating that you need to rewind and get a second chance.
Snapshots are also a nice feature, and if you’re familiar with NES Remix then you have an idea of what they are. These Snapshots are essentially minigames based on pre-N64 games, with challenges like keeping a civilian alive and safe for a minute straight in Cobra Triangle or beating your high score in an endless version of Turbo Tunnel. Snapshots are addicting, but very challenging.
It’s disappointing for the fans that Donkey Kong Country wasn’t included, but this is obviously because of Nintendo’s ownership of the series, and we all know how Nintendo can be. Goldeneye 007 would have been great to play again too, and not being able to include these two classics must have been a disappointment for Rare as well. Still, they have made many other great games and this compilation proves it.
I highly recommend you purchase Rare Replay for your Xbox One if you played any of Rare’s games during your childhood. It will bring back memories, it was literally designed to bring back memories and make you feel like you did when you played them the first time. You will need 50 GB of space to use up on your Xbox One’s HD, but you don’t have to keep the content you don’t like. I recommend giving every game a try (maybe not Perfect Dark Zero), Rare did a great job of putting together a worthy compilation!