A few months ago I walked around my house, singing “I am the great mighty poo,” and weirded out my roommates like I usually do. None of them had played the game that I was referencing (Conker’s Bad Fur Day), and my attempts to explain the reference did not go well. Then a few days ago, my roommates watched me play Rare Replay for the first time, and when I got to the infamous boss fight against The Great Mighty Poo, they all understood my madness (at least in this particular case).
Rare Replay is a collection of 30 classic games from Rare, a studio that has earned its reputation as an excellent developer over the course of three decades. It’s also an opportunity for those who never got a chance to enjoy some of Rare’s older games to do so now.
For those of you unfamiliar with Rare Replay’s offerings, here is a complete listing of all the titles included in the package:
|Jetpac||Atic Atac||Lunar Jetman|
|Sabre Wulf||Underwurlde||Knight Lore|
|Battletoads (NES)||Cobra Triangle||Snake Rattle N Roll|
|Digger T. Rock||Solar Jetman||R.C. Pro-Am II|
|Battletoads Arcade||Killer Instinct Gold||Blast Corps|
|Banjo-Kazooie||Jet Force Gemini||Perfect Dark|
|Banjo-Tooie||Conker’s Bad Fur Day||Grabbed by the Ghoulie|
|Perfect Dark Zero||Kameo: Elements of Power||Viva Piñata|
|Jetpac Refuelled||Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise||Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts|
If you’ve played these games before, then you already know what you’re in for — 30 great experiences. So what’s new?
The biggest draw for returning players is finding all of these different games that come from so many different consoles (and arcade cabinets) in one place. That should not be understated, seeing as many of these titles originate as far back as the ZX Spectrum. Since all of the games are in one package, Rare Replay takes advantage of it by creating a leveling system. As you play and completes each of the Rare games, you earn “stamps,” and level up, which unlocks extras and featurettes.
The unlockable content is top-notch, with some genuinely interesting and hysterical interviews with various Rare employees, and other unlockable bonuses. Achievement hunters will have a blast hunting down the 10,000 gamerscore available in Rare Replay. Even those who have played all 30 games before will find something fresh in Rare Replay.
Each game in Rare Replay exists exactly as it did in the original version, with the Microsoft Studios logos and the updated controls to fit an Xbox controller being the exceptions. Titles that were available on the Xbox 360 are playable via backwards compatibility, and are identical to those versions. The only issue is the occasional audio glitch in some games, like Conker’s Bad Fur Day, where a low buzz sometimes occurred during cutscenes. I don’t remember that being in the original version of the game, but it was rarely enough to annoy me.
Although the catalog of games is undoubtedly great, there are some games that feel repetitive to include. For example, Viva Pinata and Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise are very similar titles, and since the latter is a direct sequel of the former, it is unlikely that I would choose to play the original game. Meanwhile, some game like Conker’s Live & Reloaded are absent, and I would have loved to replay them (Please, add this one, Rare!).
With a $30 price tag, Rare Replay presents an amazing value. You likely have enjoyed these games before, at least in part, and there is no better way to experience them now than in Rare Replay.