Game Review: Rare Replay

blog_recommendedWhat can you say about a disc compiling 30 games from the legends at Rare? The answer is simple – sold! As I spend weeks playing a catalogue of Rare games from Downhill Skiing right up to Viva Piñata.

It’s not often that a compilation of games is released and deemed a must have, but with Rare Replay that’s exactly the case. Spanning over three decades the game takes you through gaming history, starting with its inception as Ultimate Play the game developing for the ZX Spectrum (Jetpac, Atic Atac). Onto its landmark N64 successes (Banjo Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day) and the more modern games after its acquisition by Microsoft (Viva Piñata, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts). Rare Replay also has the courtesy of ignoring all of the Kinect games developed under the Rare name so as not to sully such a glorious collection.

However, every golden collection has its flaws; one such being that some of Rare’s biggest hits aren’t on the game. This is mainly due to licensing issues, but games like Goldeneye and the Donkey Kong series running all the way from Donkey Kong Country to Donkey Kong 64 are some of the biggest games Rare produced and having them missing makes the collection feel a little incomplete.

Exclusive to Xbox One

Exclusive to Xbox One

Negativity aside, even without those games the collection has so much to offer it’s hard not to be impressed. There are different game modes; full game mode or you can play small sections of the game under a time and life limit. Not only does this get you invested in some of the harder to play older generation games, but also allows the competitive side of your inner child to glow as you decimate time limits and high scores. The CRT filter is also a thing of beauty taking most of the pre flat screen generation games and adding a warm fuzz to them while also rounding the screen, it’s not the real thing but you can see the effort put in to make it as nostalgic as possible. Another feature for the older games is the inclusion of a rewind functionality, making some of the more frustrating games (Battletoads) more forgiving and finally giving you a chance to beat some of the ludicrously hard retro games.

As well as catering to retro fans there are also a slew of more modern and quite frankly massive games. With full size games like Viva Piñata, Banjo Kazooie, Perfect Dark and Conker’s Bad Fur Day the whole package offers hundreds of hours of game play, almost to the point where Rare Replay becomes your only game. The combination of being able to play retro favourites such as R.C. Pro-Am II or Killer Instinct Gold and then jump into a marathon Viva Piñata session is such a perfect juxtaposition of gaming it makes you play on and on.

This is by far the best value I’ve ever seen for a game and Rare Replay is a must have for any games collection – proving itself for nostalgic retro game players and younger gamers alike.


Author – Hal, Plymouth store