Rare Replay is a compilation of titles from Rare’s esteemed thirty year pedigree. There’s thirty titles included all up ranging from the company’s humble beginnings on the ZX Spectrum all through to more recent offerings that appeared on the Xbox 360. For the most part, the selection of games provides a diverse look at Rare’s history in games, and wherever possible most of the titles feel like they’re appropriate for the collection.
But there are definitely some glaring omissions from the collections. Obviously, a large majority of the Nintendo titles that made Rare truly famous are missing, but some versions of the games (like Conker’s Bad Fur Day on Nintendo 64 rather than Conker: Live & Reloaded) may leave some fans disappointed.Rare have stated in pre-release interviews that these weren’t decisions made lightly, and I definitely can empathise. But thankfully, despite a few (completely subjective) disappointments along these lines, Rare Replay as a compilation is one of the best we’ve seen in a generation rife with such projects that merely up the graphical fidelity and call it a day.
Thankfully, however, Rare have not skimped out with the games they have managed to include. Most (if not all) of the Xbox 360 titles come packaged together with all their released downloadable content. Perfect Dark Zero has its iconic Facility map, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts has its L.O.G. Challenges too. In fact, Rare have even gone the extra mile and included the arcade version of Battletoads which has been quite hard to come by if you didn’t live in Europe. They’ve even tweaked the original Battletoads to be slightly more approachable if you so wish, but more on that later.Being a compilation of already existing games, the real differentiating factor that Rare Replay has to get right is in how the whole experience is packaged and presented. Thankfully, the creative minds at Rare have put an incredible amount of love and care into Rare Replay – presenting these games in a unique and quirky way only Rare could. It could be very easy to slap a basic menu on that packages all of these games together, but Rare have truly gone above and beyond.