Thursday, 20 August 2015

Rare Replay

I've always been a fan of Rare, the UK based developer that has undeniably created some of the best gaming experiences of all time. Though they've always been a beacon of creativity and genius, their  7 year partnership with Nintendo helped solidify just how special they truly were. That said, since they latched onto Microsoft in 2002, they've very clearly lost the spark of invention that was once within them. Since Microsoft quite literally decimated what was once an incredible developer, they've now been regulated to creating Kinect titles. However, with the upcoming Sea of Thieves looking promising, Rare just might be on track in terms of output. With this latest compilation of some of their greatest works, it stands as a stark reminder of once was... and what might be again.


Developed by Rare and out now on Xbox One comes Rare Replay, one of the best gaming compilations of all time. Since being founded by Tim and Chris Stamper in 1985, Rare has developed games for a whole slew of consoles, the best of which are included here. However, before we get into what marvels you can jump into in Rare Replay, there are a few great Rare games that sadly didn't make the cut because of certain legalities. The two big games that everyone wanted to be included on the compilation which aren't are Goldeneye 64 and Donkey Kong Country. It's a shame that two of the best games Rare has created aren't here, but all of that aside, there's enough here for hours upon hours of gameplay.


There are 30 games within Rare Replay, and though everyone has an opinion on what should and shouldn't have been included, there's a lovely range of classics to play. From the early Rare games such as Jetpac, Atic Atac, Underwurlde and Slalom, to more recent titles like Viva Piñata, Perfect Dark Zero and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Rare Replay covers the length and breath of 25 years worth of Rare titles. However chances are, like 99% of gamers out there, you're most interested in the Nintendo era of Rare games available, and with classics such as Killer Instinct Gold, Blast Corps, Banjo-Kazooie, Jet Force Gemini, Perfect Dark and Conker's Bad Fur Day here, Rare Replay has nailed it in terms of titles. The best part about all of the titles here is the fact that they completely stay intact. Far too often do these re-releases ans compilations suffer from updates in graphics, tweaks and general George Lucas style changes. Outside of the fact that you can now use save states and even reverse time in certain games, Rare Replay keeps the games exactly how you remembered them. I won't bore you with reviewing every title here, but apart from a few clunkers like Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Perfect Dark Zero and Kameo, the amount of choice, genius and fun here is staggering.


Outside of the games available there's also a few extras to enjoy, and Rare Replay does this superbly. There's a few short documentaries to watch which chronicle the creation of certain games within the compilation, as well as the ability to listen to previously unreleased Rare-related music and a chance to take a peek at unseen concept art. With these fantastic extras serving as a side dish next to the meal that are the 30 available games, it all comes together to make Rare Replay an awesome and unforgettable experience. Granted there are some frame-rate issues with the more modern games (I don't know why though, as the originals were fine), but those small issues aside, Rare Replay is well worth looking into. Oh and yeah, this shits got Battletoads dude. Yup.

Rare Replay shows everyone else how a gaming compilation should be done. 5/5.

★★★★★

Denis Murphy


Rare Replay at CeX


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