Rare Replay makes it all accessible and helps you understand why it matters. This is the retro games compilation as a virtual museum, but if so it is the good kind of museum the kind that entertains and engages while it is busy educating. Rare Replay is an upcoming video game compilation developed by Rare and published by Microsoft Studios for the Xbox One. It is a collection of 30 video games all previously developed by Rare in celebration of the company’s 30th anniversary.
This presentation is a lot of fun, pulling you back to play and replay games that can, at times, be prickly or confusing. If Rare Replay has a fault, it is that it presents some of its oldest games with the bare minimum of instructions, making it a challenge to work out what you are supposed to be doing or why you are doing it even if you actually played the games when they first came out.
On the plus side, automatic saves when you quit and a handy instant rewind feature make playing them a little easier than it was back in the day, when checkpoints were non-existent and you were often expected just to keep practicing at a game until you could complete it in one sitting.
Where Replay really hits the high notes is when it gets to Rare’s nineties heyday when it worked closely with Nintendo. Banjo-Kazooie’s visuals have not aged well, but there were good reasons why it was so often compared to Super Mario 64, and those reasons still stand up today.
The same goes for its sequel, Banjo-Tooie, and for Perfect Dark; Rare’s spiritual successor to Goldeneye and a slick, entertaining shooter even now, despite its primitive graphics and over-use of lens flare effects.
Rare has said there is still a possibility of adding more games to the collection via downloadable content. While most of the games run via emulation or Xbox 360 backwards compatibility, Grabbed by the Ghoulies was remastered to run natively on the Xbox One. The compilation was released for the Xbox One on August 4, 2015.
Not all the oldies are goldies and some of the earliest struggle to hold up, but any compilation that can pull in classic platformers, pioneering shooters and cult-classics like Viva Pinata and is sequel are worth your time. Replay is a celebration, and these are games worth celebrating.