A Rare treat.
Compilations are pretty common in the gaming business. Sega seems to pump one out every generation, well at least one anyways. I love these packages, as they give me a chance to play a bunch of past games all in one spot. When Microsoft announced at E3 that the next one of these would be coming from none other than Rare, I lost it. I admit, I am a total fanboy of the company. I love almost every game they have ever produced, so the idea of having a sort of greatest hits collection for $30 had me ecstatic.
Of course the collection is only as good as its presentation, and bringing titles from the 8-bit era all the way up through last gen could be tricky. I am glad to say that Rare has pulled it off better than almost any other company to date.
Price I’d Pay: $29.99
Multiplayer: Various titles, online and off
There are 30 titles in the Rare Replay. Nine of them are Xbox 360 titles, all of which download separately from the core package. Everything is accessible from the game gallery, and I could even delete the 360 games to save space. The entire package eats up around 50GB of space. It is worth noting that the 360 games are actually different downloads than the backward compatible ones I already owned, likely because they all include all of the released DLC for each one.
The presentation is stellar. The entire package is themed around a play, complete with an opening musical number. The posters that roll between screens are really neat, and the sheer amount of content to unlock and explore is impressive. Behind the scenes videos, making of videos, and undiscovered Rare games and music are all part of package, and the unlock system is brilliant.
Gamers are rewarded stamps for milestones in each game – booting up the game, playing as all the characters in Killer Instinct Gold, and so on. It’s a brilliant system to keep people playing and exploring. Everything is tracked within the game, so it was easy to see how close I was to each milestone.
The older games also have something called Snapshots, which are bite-sized portions of the game. For example in Battletoads Arcade I had to take down 15 rats in less than a minute. These are cool challenges that also award stamps and Achievements, oh and the Achievements. There is a total of 10,000 Gamerscore to be earned, with 4,000 being tied to the package, and the other 6,000 belonging to the 360 titles. Of course if you already own those games and have those points, you cannot earn them again.
One of the things that really stood out is just how well everything is presented. Cheat codes are built into each game. There are separate options for every title. Exiting back to the core menu is as simple as holding down the Menu button, even in the 360 games. The titles have also been revamped in some ways, for example Grabbed by the Ghoulies is now a slick 1080p running at 60 frames per second. N64 titles have also received some nice up-scaling making them look how I remember, not how they actually looked. These aren’t remasters though, all older games are presented in a boxed window complete with artwork that can be turned on and off, and even a CRT filter for some nostalgia goggles.
The sheer amount of accessibility added to these titles is what makes them great. Save states, cheat codes, in some cases customizable controls. They have really taken the time to re-touch all the classic games. The 360 titles are the same ones we played last generation, but the fact that there are nine of those on top of 21 other titles for $30 seems insanely under-priced. This is one heck of a package. Rare has also been forthcoming about future plans, including a post-release patch to add a modern control scheme to Jet Force Gemini (I think most people forgot how weird those controls were) and even a hint of adding more games via DLC. As a Rare fan, this package is a dream come true.
This collection really is a no-brainer, especially for fans of Rare’s classic works. There are 30 games here, and all of them are amazingly well-designed. This isn’t one of those cheap packages that boast quantity over quality, it is quite the opposite. There are titles on here some would pay $30 alone for, and the care taken to bring them to Xbox One is greatly appreciated. If you own an Xbox One, this is one collection you should definitely not miss.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.