Rare is one of the most influential studios in the entire history of video games. Even if you take away the games that they made with Nintendo characters, you still have Perfect Dark, Killer Instinct, Jet Force Gemini, Conker, Battletoads and many others. While contemporary titles like Kinect Sports haven’t been hits, Rare’s most recent release, the Rare Replay, is a collection of some of their greatest classics from their 30 years of history. It has tons of extras and is priced at only thirty dollars. But is this a case of quantity over quality or is this thirtieth anniversary collection worth of the Rare name?
From a presentation standpoint Rare did a fantastic job treating this like the celebration it should be. The game opens with a catchy tune showing off a good chunk of the titles in the collection. Then the menu opens up where you have access to all thirty of the games, like games from the 1980s like Jet Pac to more modern titles like Kameo. Each game has its own separate area that plays music, tells you about the game, its release date, and has a list of goals and achievements. It all just looks super slick and booting up a game playing it and exiting out to play another game is as simple as holding down the start menu button and then selecting the next title. My biggest complaint about the collection is the Xbox 360 games run through the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility and not native on the Xbox One. Conker, Jet Force, Killer Instinct, and Blast Corps didn’t get the HD treatment like the Banjo games or Perfect Dark. I understand those were ported to 360 and already available in HD but seeing that extra treatment for a game like Conker would have been nice. These are minor complaints and the overall presentation is superb.
It’s really hard to talk about gameplay for thirty separate games. The most I can really say is most of these games still hold up really well, and if you have some level of nostalgia for them like a lot of people do, then you will get a blast out of replaying them. Rare has added achievements for every single title, a new snapshot mode for certain games that teaches you how to play, and a lot of titles have some amount of bonus content such as making of videos, music to listen to, or concept videos. The behind-the-scenes and making-of content is awesome, there is a lot of it, and most of it has pretty high production values. The problem is most of it is locked behind the collection’s stamp system. To watch certain videos, you need a high enough stamp level. To get this high enough stamp level, you need to unlock achievements and for some of the more interesting stuff, it can take quite a bit of time to unlock; which is a real bummer for fans who are primarily coming for that content. That said, with thirty games for thirty dollars you will probably get your money’s worth even if the collection doesn’t have Wizards and Warriors.
Rare Replay is truly a celebration for fans. There are tons of great games wrapped in an awesome presentation that anyone who has been following Rare for a good chunk of their life like myself will find something to enjoy. Then you throw in the making of content, the low price tag of thrity dollars and it’s hard not to recommend this package to anyone. Ohh yeah Gamestop will finally have Battletoads.
Final Score: 9.0/10