Rare Replay Review
Rare Replay Box Art
System: Xbox One
Dev: Rare
Pub: Microsoft Studios
Release: August 4, 2015
Players: 1-4
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080i Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Strong Language

The Snapshots and Playlists modes take some cues from Nintendo's NES Remix. Snapshots are bite-sized challenges for specific games, while Playlists take a specific objective such as a time limit or score attack, and wrap it around a handful of games with a set number of lives. Cheats are kept at bay in these modes, so skill is the only avenue to rack up milestones and stamps. Unfortunately, this mode has a fairly limited selection of titles. I can understand the barrier of adding challenges for the Xbox 360 games that run through the prior generation console's dedicated application, but leaving out Snapshots and Playlists for the Nintendo 64 lineup of games is quite disheartening.

Rare Replay Screenshot

Stamps, of which there are three hundred and thirty, fill your profile card and denote your rank. When thresholds are breached a new piece of content is unlocked in the Rare Revealed gallery. The documentaries are particularly interesting to watch, giving glimpses into the creation of many of the great games included, as well a general history of the company itself. The passion for creating fun games is evident with each member interviewed. It's refreshingly considerate that the now Microsoft-owned developer was allowed to share some praise of their partnership with Nintendo. The featurettes, along with a museum of concept art, music montages, and glimpses into some of Rare's never released projects, make Rare Revealed one of the more outstanding collections of unlockable content found in games today.

As smooth as Rare Replay is to behold and navigate, I did run into a couple of frustrating glitches. Blast Corps (my favorite of the bunch) slapped me several times with game freezing bugs. I also received an odd error message a couple of times during my playthrough of Viva Piñata, which lost sync to the host game and proclaimed that there was an error reading my disc and that I should eject it and try again, despite the fact that this was a digital download. Only the Xbox 360 games allow for online multiplayer through the Xbox Live service, so sadly the classics are limited to local multiplayer. Still, if you have a bunch of friends milling around your house all the time, Rare Replay is a great way to get some quick, nostalgic, cooperative and competitive action in.

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Rare developed games seldom see a remastered version or show up on a digital back catalog due to the company having changed ownership. Thus, seeing a compilation as robust as Rare Replay allows wistful gamers the chance to relive precious memories faded for decades, and others the opportunity to enjoy some of the greatest games of the past by one of the most lauded developers of the time. Yes, the collection is missing a few of its best, but for a mere thirty dollars and hundreds of hours of enjoyment, it's a hard sell not to recommend adding this album to your library.

By
Sean Engemann
Contributing Writer
Date: August 3, 2015

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.2
Graphics
These aren't remastered games, so the age of the visuals is in plain view. However, the presentation of the collection itself via the whimsical puppetry is top notch.
4.6
Control
Navigating between games and modes is about as smooth as I've seen in any game. The classic control schematics adapt exceptionally well to the Xbox One controller.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Rare knew how to put catchy music in their games. You'll be humming these tunes in your head long after you put down the controller.
4.3
Play Value
There are a few notable games missing, and Snapshots and Playlists should have been included for the N64 games. But 30 great games for $30 makes any complaints about value seem petty.
4.4
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Celebrate Rare's 30th Anniversary with a jaw-dropping collection of 30 iconic games, lovingly presented for Xbox One.
  • Enjoy over 60 minutes of behind-the-scenes interviews and footage.
  • 10,000 Gamerscore points available and 700+ hours of gameplay.
  • Tackle snapshot challenges and enjoy exclusive bonus features.

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