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Rare is a company that’s been in the hearts of gamers for over three decades. It has worked on the likes of Donkey Kong Country and 007 Golden Eye, which shaped a generation of gamers. Last year the Microsoft-owned company released a compilation containing some of their best titles, but is it enough to save grace with a developer fallen from favour?
Looking at video game compilations is always a difficult task. Does one look at each and every game individually, writing a review that would equal the likes of the Iliad or Odyssey, or does one look at the collection as a whole? I’ve opted for the latter because while I near the ripe old age of 30, I’m not inclined to sink another 30 years of my life into a single piece of written text.
Appropriately then, the Rare Replay collection is filled with 30 games from the company’s lifespan, which date back to Rare’s predecessor, Ultimate Play the Game. Titles such as Jetpac, R.C. Pro-Am, and Killer Instinct Gold, are part of the collection, but licenced and Nintendo-owned content is absent from the package. With the amount it titles in Rare Replay, it’s enough to keep any gamer satisfied for a very long time.
Each of the 30 games are near flawlessly emulated with the help of several emulators included in the package. Of course, the center-pieces of the collection are the Xbox 360 games, such as Vivia Pinata, and Kameo: Elements of Power. The games seem to keep their original platform problems, such as Viva Pinata dropping frames when there’s too much on-screen action. Apart from the Xbox 360 titles, the older titles run incredibly well and I didn’t notice any problems with them at all.
Another problem with the collection comes from the in-game achievements. The notifications don’t always work. It’s a rare occurrence (pun intended!), but can get on your nerves in you aim to unlock all of the content.
Speaking of content, the Rare Replay package in a wealth of archival content, such as developer interviews, but a lot of it is hidden behind in-game achievements. You’ll need to grind to unlock all of the bonus content.
Overall the entire package has been designed to keep you going for hours and hours on end. I’ll come right out and say it: You can purchase the Xbox One just for just collection. Not only will you be entertained for weeks, but so will your family as well. I’m pretty sure one of your kids will utter their first innocent swear words out loud when trying to ace Battle Toads or Viva Pinata.
Verdict: Rare has put together a stellar compilation of games from the studio’s history. While it’s missing a few worthwhile gems, everything else more than makes up for the price point. I can without a doubt say Rare Reply should be in every Xbox One library of games.