Games being sold together as collections is nothing new. It’s a great way for game makers to squeeze a little bit more life out of their old games. But Rare Replay blows them all away. For $30 you get 30 games that not only illustrate the history of Rare, but of the entire gaming industry.
Rare is a game development studio that has been around for a long time. That’s somewhat unique within the game industry. They’re celebrating their 30th anniversary as a studio. (That’s the premise behind Rare Replay.) They got their start back in the mid-’80s and they’re still making games today. Their most recent project, Sea of Thieves, was revealed at this year’s E3.
To say Rare Replay is vast would be a huge understatement. Among the 30 games are lots of small retro titles, but some entrants, like both Viva Piñata games, Kameo, and Perfect Dark Zero, are huge games in and of themselves. Personally, I think Viva Piñata and Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise are worth the $30 alone. Kameo, which was an Xbox 360 launch title, had its issues but was still a good game. Also on the list are Conker’s Bad Fur Day and Banjo-Kazooie. They look dated, but they’re still games you can sink a couple of hours into.
Besides the games themselves, Rare Replay has lots of behind the scenes tidbits about Rare’s history. The more games you play, the more of this content you unlock. There are also mini-challenges for the games that give you a specific goal and a limited amount of time to complete them. It’s a nice way to get some bite-sized gameplay in when you don’t have a lot of time.
The presentation of the games is great as well. You enter an old-school movie theater and the games are located along the hallway like movie posters. Moving in and out of the games was a breeze. The load times are so short, they’re practically unrecognizable.
But perhaps the best thing about Rare Replay is that it gives you a nice picture of how games have evolved over the years. You’ve got games that were released for the Commodore 64 up through almost every console all the way to the Xbox 360. I think it provides the perfect opportunity for parents to show their kids how games got to where they are today.
Thirty games, the potential for a gaming history lesson, and lots of information on one of the biggest developers in gaming history all for $30. You can’t go wrong with this one.