Rare may just be the most fitting name for a gaming company there ever was or will be. The guys and girls at Rare lived up to their name for over a decade producing some iconic, genre defining games that remain a true rarity in terms of quality and originality.
Rare Replay puts a glorious gloss on 30 of these memorable games that dominated childhoods and bombarded the screens of the young and old from the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. Capable of distracting adults and keeping kids thoroughly entertained, Rare’s gaming gems like Banjo-Kazooie and Conkers Bad Fur Day paved the way for a new era of gaming.
But as with most things, has time inevitably rusted these games away to a point where no amount of high definition gloss can cover it up?
Well the answer in short is no, but a pair of nostalgia glasses will help cover up the inevitable and relatively few blemishes of father time.
In terms of graphics, the majority of games available hold up remarkably well with the HD gloss making the aesthetics a lot easier to take in after so many years. Although visually improved, the original artistic feel remains the same across all the included games ensuring no whimsical nostalgia is lost.
Considering the sheer amount of gaming content squeezed into the one collection with 39 full length games, it’s not too surprising that load times are quite long. Some title screens alone can take nearly a minute to load. But if you remember what it was like waiting with impatient anticipation for their original versions to load than these are a non-issue. And as they say, all good things come to those who wait.
Considering some of the games on offer here released over a decade ago, just how playable are the games on Rare Replay you ask? Well although not without there inevitable bugs, glitches and confusing moments, the games on the whole run rather smoothly. If you still have some old school gamer in you, the dated feel of the games shouldn’t bother you too much and in fact come as a welcome challenge in an age of straight forward games renowned for their tendency to hand hold.
That said, you can now save on the go, saving you the pain of those cruelling long treks between checkpoints. But this feature doesn’t detract from the experience, simply giving you more time to enjoy the diverse range of games on offer.
And what a selection you have! From Cobra Triangle and Battletoads to Banjo-Kazooie, Blast Corps and Conker’s Bad Fur Day, good luck deciding which game to jump into first. Perhaps it’s the fan-boy in me but I’d suggest Banjo-Kazooie as a perfect starting point, the dynamic duo of bird and bear remains just as endearing all these years later with the game itself remaining one of the best 3D platformers around.
One surprising aspect of the compilation is its stylish presentation. Instead of just being a bunch of memorable games chucked together, Rare Replay makes use of stellar music and charming transitions to make it a complete nostalgic experience. No short cuts were evidently taken by Rare as they take us on this splendid trip down memory lane.
So regardless of what game you played back in the golden 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s, Rare Replay is an experience not to miss out on. Rare is evidently the gift that just keeps on giving and Rare Reply will show you why the gaming company is so worthy of its name.
Review by Joshua Thomas