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Rare Replay Review

Play Nintendo 64 on your Xbox One.

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Rare Replay on Xbox One

Back at E3 2015, when Microsoft announced that they would be releasing Rare Replay, a compilation of the greatest games the studio had developed over the past 30 years, everyone in attendance burst into cheers and applause.

After the company’s acquisition of Rare in 2002, fans were treated to a few new games and then relative silence. The fan beloved studio was relegated to creating DLC and Kinect games, and that just didn’t sit right with those who had followed Rare and had their earliest gaming experiences molded by the talented studio. The announcement of Sea of Thieves and a re-release of 30 classics was more than some could handle, or even believe.


Now that Rare Replay is available for everyone, there is no need to pinch yourself. Microsoft has definitely made good on their word. For $30 you can grab 30 of the best games spanning multiple generations and platforms. From Underwurlde, which released on the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64, to Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts from the Xbox 360. There is so much variety on display, and you can see how the studio adapted and evolved to new technologies and ideas over the three decades that make up their history.

With so many different games available in Rare Replay, everything certainly isn’t for everyone. There are titles that have long been forgotten, as well as a few questionable inclusions (looking at you, Grabbed by the Ghoulies).

However, there is something for everyone within this vast compilation. You’ll be hard-pressed to not find at least one game which will catch your eye and steal your heart as you traverse through the wonderful meadows of nostalgia.

Installing the game is a bit interesting, though. Since some of Rare Replay‘s library was already available on the Xbox 360, they are downloaded separately from the Xbox Store. So, a digital copy of Rare Replay will actually download 10 different games.

You’ll get Rare Replay along with 21 games, plus nine games on the side which include Perfect Dark ZeroBanjo-KazooieKameo, and a few other releases. If you’re worrying about having to constantly switch between games on your dashboard, don’t. Rare Replay allows you to access each of the thirty games directly through its own menus, and you can return to the menu from any game including the Xbox 360 ones.

rare replay

The fact that each game connects is a godsend that eliminates the need to constantly head back to the Xbox One dashboard. This connection also leads to one of Rare Replay‘s best features – Rare Revealed.

As you play through Rare Replay, you’ll earn badges. Earn enough of these badges, and you’ll get a ticket that unlocks something within the Rare Revealed galleries. This can be concept art, conversations with the developers, or even glimpses of games that have yet to be made or were cancelled in the past.

There is a surprising amount of content to be unlocked, and all it takes is for players to play the games they love. Mixing up the action a bit, and to make badges available through more than just trying each game out, are Snapshots. Snapshots are small challenges pulled out of many of the 30 games that test your abilities within a given time limit or limited amount of lives. These range from surviving the infamous hover-bike sequence in Battletoads for 45 seconds to having to pull off tricks in Slalom.

There are also playlists that collect similar Snapshots from across a handful of games and task players with completing them all in a row. These are a bit more challenging since you only get three chances, and if you fail, you start back from the first one. Remembering the intricacies of each game is of the utmost importance, and lends itself to the fun and challenge of Rare Replay‘s challenges.

Now, although Rare Replay packs in a ton of content and lots of neat extras that make it well worth the $30 dollar price-tag, that doesn’t mean it’s without issues. Surprisingly enough, the game has quite a few technical issues that were a bit unexpected, and most of them have to do with controls.

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