Let me start by making it clear that Rare Replay is not a game. Rare Replay is an opportunity. For a penny under £20, you become the proud owner of 30 games from popular developers Rare.
The collection includes titles spanning over 30 years, beginning with Jet Pac, released in 1983, and ending with Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts released in 2008. The collection boasts a massive 10,000 gamerscore available for players and will take a serious investment of time to get the full amount.
Even doing the basic maths, to play an hour of each game would take 30 hours total. Some of the earlier games from ’83 and ’84 pose more of a challenge to a gaming experience of an hour as they are quite basic, however each game in the collection is more satisfying, lengthy and detailed than the last.
The only way I can see fit to effectively review the games is with a very short summary of each. So hear goes, hold on to your hats!
Jet Pac– 2D game in which the player controllers an astronaut with a jet pack and laser. The jet pack allows the player to rise of the ascend or hover around the map, which has a few platforms that can be landed on. There is a base for a rocket and pieces on the platform. The player must construct the rocket and then fuel it, climb into it and leave all whiles avoiding touching the alien shapes that travel across the screen. Each level increases in difficulty as the aliens change movement patterns and speed. Basic on all counts but good fun!
Lunar Jetman– 2D sidescroller in which the player loads a bomb onto a lunar vehicle and drives it to an alien base, whilst patching the lunar surface for driving along and, of course, avoid the aliens. This game is very difficult but enjoyable! You are safe within your vehicle, very unsafe outside of it and it will take some trial and error before you really get to grips with what you are doing.
Atic Atac– The first of many early maze games, you are tasked with escaping the creepy mazes using sets of coloured keys and objects. Without a guide, it is easy to feel trapped and lost. At some point I will revisit this with one to see if it is easy to beat. The enemies, timed doors, secret pathways and items seem advanced for such an old game and it plays fairly. It doesn’t feel hard enough to require a guide, just a solid bit of time to invest in learning the layout.
Sabre Wulf– Another maze game full of animals and monsters. The mechanics seem slightly odd to figure out and I only spent a short amount of time playing this one. Unless lined up horizontally with enemies, it seems the game might not register your hits and often registers theirs. This can be frustrating and therefore a guide might be a good resource to figure this one out! Movement is very smooth though and the maze looks very large so should offer a decent bit of venturing and surprises.
Underwurlde– A side scrolling maze adventure in which the enemies bump into you in order to bump you of your course. The game is concerned with adventuring for objects by jumping and bouncing around the map like a rubber ball. Whilst a good mechanic, it can be very frustrating, but others may enjoy the challenge in this one with some patience. The look of this game greatly improves on any previous titles in the collection, but is still 2D.
Knight Lore– An early attempt at 3D graphics, this game greatly emphasises the third dimension, though with limited success. It’s worth a look but the fixed camera angle and hard to interpret puzzles can make it challenging. If someone can master this game, you deserve some serious kudos! It also has some element of story to it as you search for the cure to your werewolf affliction. If it is possible to become cured, it will certainly take some serious time and effort!
Gunfright– Gunfright is a vast and empty Western town in which you lay down the law as the sheriff, searching out and shooting crooks whilst searching for your most wanted. It also has a 3 dimensional feel, though the design is more basic than Knight Lore. You do however experience the map in a more fluid way, loading as you go rather than room by room. Certainly worth a good look!
Slalom– A classic 2D time trial racer from a third person perspective behind a slalom skier. It’s great fun and surprisingly challenging as you dodge other skiers, sledgers, snowmen and snow piles. If you can beat all the levels, you have more patience than I! This one does take me back though, and I can certainly make more sense of this game than others.
RC Pro-am and RC Pro Am 2– A remote control car racing game from a bird’s eye view. It has a simple levelling system and the second instalment improved the steering greatly. It’s good light fun! And does get the competitive spirit going as you try to beat the AI drivers, sometimes by playing dirty and using weapons!
Cobra Triangle– Objective based speedboat racing and dragon fighting fun. It’s a bit crazy but worth a look! Part racer, part fighter, all water! The graphics are bright, the sound set shows improvement on anything previous and the loose campaign style seeks to be beaten.
Snake Rattle n Roll– An odd puzzle game in which you control a snake, eating pieces to add length to your body and taking on enemies on the map before exiting within the time limit. It’s from a bird’s eye view, is a decent example of 2.5D (objects percieved from a fixed angle to appear to have depth) and is definitely an ideal light game to spend a little time on! After a while you will likely get a feel for the maps, enemies and perks, just stay out of the water or the jaws tones will precede your doom!
Solar Jetman– Solar Jetman is a 2D zero gravity sim in which you navigate an ship, or the classic jetman, to salvage parts around the planets you are on. There are enemies including static positioned cannons and roving aliens but the challenge is more manageable. The game puts emphasis on exploration and on steering with the heavy objects you collect. I’m a real fan of this one!
Digger T Rock– A tomb maze adventure game with lots of hidden passages. It is no doubt a sprawling 2D platformer but at times the slow puzzles and progression makes its difficult to stick with. This is no doubt someone’s cup of tea though!
Battletoads and Battletoads Arcade– Battletoads is in it’s own league and getting both the original and arcade version is great! The original battletoads is a sprawling campaign of various play styles but arcade focuses on action! Just be glad you are not feeding an arcade machine with your hard earned as the game is very challenging but allows you to continue without hassle. The graphics and sound as attention grabbing, testosterone-fuelled and amazing fun! You could spend hours here!
Killer Instinct Gold– The classic fighter that spawned the xbox one remake. It’s graphics are solid, and the first real venture into 3D (though mainly on a 2D plain), if fighters are your thing, this is were you will spend your time! I will learn my combos and keep pushing for the ultra combo!
Blast Corps– Blast Corps is were Rare Replay really picks up for me. It’s a large map destruction sim with voicing, 3D graphics and a basic objective across various arenas, destroy as much as you can! This one should appeal across the board and I will definitely be playing this one for many hours!
Banjo Kazooie, Banjo Tooie and Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts– Banjo Kazooie and it’s follow ups are great games! Think Spyro or Rachet and Clank and you have the right idea for Banjo Kazooie! Again, a pleasure to play, appealing to anyone who likes a collect adventure game with some basic combat. Nuts and Bolts, the most recent game in the collection is up graphically stunning with innovative gameplay elements. Play these, in order, and ask yourself how much you would have paid for these alone!
Jet Force Gemini– Jet Force Gemini really takes me back! It’s an epic space adventure shooter with some crazy controls (which can be swapped out) and alien races. If you remember this the first time round, you will love it just the same now. If you’ve never played it, see if you can get into it!
Perfect Dark and Perfect Dark Zero– A first person shooter! 2 first person shooters! Perfect Dark is reminiscent of Goldeneye but with a female lead rather than 007. The campaign is good fun and full of gadgets. Just try not to get lost! The voice acting in this game is particularly entertaining with enemies often exclaiming “Why me?!” on death, to which my answer is usually, “You tried to shoot me first!”
Conker’s Bad Fur Day– Conker’s gives the player a warning before they start the game. It’s regarding the crude humour within. It’s not ideal for your 10 year old, but a team or upwards should be OK. Again, if you remember this the first time, it’s just as good but if you are new to Conker’s you are in for an epic adventure full of unsavoury characters, experiences and…songs? Yes. You are in for a wild ride!
Grabbed by the Ghoulies– This game was an unknown to me but I really got into it! It looks great, has light haunted house style gameplay and is very humorous. I truly feel that this game would be perfectly comfortable as an arcade release on the xbox one now! Definitely a good surprise!
Kameo– Another epic adventure, with a hint more magic involved. I’m yet to begin this one in earnest but I’m definitely prepared to sign off around 50 hours to venturing around this charming game! Seriously, if you are this far down the review and still not convinced that there is a whole host of great content to dive into then you only need to know that these are continuing to improve in ages, gameplay and content! Just buy it, buy it, buy it!
Viva Pinata and Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise– Do you want to be a pinata on an epic adventure? Who doesn’t! Do you want two adventures? Of course you do! Are you still wondering how all of these games will cost you £20? So am I! I shouldn’t even need to offer details on Viva Pinata! It’s so recent it’s probably on some of your shelves! Charming, colourful fun!
Jetpac Refuelled– A modern reskin for the game that started it all. It’s flashy, techy and speaks volumes about how far Rare have come!
I honestly can’t praise this game changer any more. It is no surprise that this collection has been so highly grossing already. It’s the other sid of the coin completely from the leading franchises that come out every twelve months demanding increasing sums of money for a few new features. Instead rare has snook in, asked if we still like the games we did when we were little and then sweetened the deal by asking for so little. I think this is the best £20 you could invest on a game right now.
This is the best £20 you can spend right now for the Xbox One. 30 games, hundreds of hours and a nostalgia overdose! I can’t think of a good reason why someone shouldn’t buy this!