It’s time to celebrate you, baby. It’s time to play you like we should.
Along with the announcement of Xbox One’s backwards compatibility also came more good news for gamers with a yearning for nostalgia. Rare Replay was announced at Xbox’s E3 press conference promising to deliver 30 of Rare’s most prized titles in one convenient package. With the lack of new exclusive titles for next-gen consoles, having such a prized collection of classics is sure to work in Xbox One’s favor. Some of the best things about Rare Replay aren’t even the games themselves.
One of my favorite special features is the Rare Revealed section. This portion of Rare Replay is a collection of short documentary video clips focusing on the history of games in the collection, behind-the-scenes interviews, and videos detailing Rare games that went into development but never got made. These videos can be unlocked by completing various milestones for each game (more on that later). There are over 90 minutes worth of video footage, so there’s plenty to uncover about each game along with the ones Rare wasn’t able to bring public. There are also nine Xbox 360 titles included in the collection including Banjo-Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and Grabbed by the Ghoulies which I got to see. And although it wasn’t a complete graphics upgrade, there are tiny details that are noticeably different.
Snap Shot Challenges provide an added bonus with five challenges for each game: two easy, two medium, and one hard. These challenges are designed to highlight the most memorable portions of each game. I got the chance to test out the Snap Shot Challenge for Battletoads and it sure brought back memories of my childhood. The challenge consisted of lasting 45 seconds in the Turbo Tunnel raceway. Yeah, that's tough!
It was a lot of fun but of course just as frustrating as it was when I was a kid. I lasted about 27 seconds but was told that during the E3 conference there was a player on the show floor who lasted 30 minutes in the Turbo tunnel challenge. The ability to surpass the Snap Shot Challenge goals is one way leaderboards factor into the gameplay and will give m competitive players more ways to best each other.
As for the games themselves, no matter how old they are, their charm is more than intact. One thing that is particularly convenient about them is that you can save your game at any time. There are even some games where you can rewind time like in R.C. Pro-Am. When playing some of the older titles you can click on the right stick and turn on a CRT filter that gives you the feeling of playing on an old television. This also adds to the arcade style feel with some older games showcased in 4:3 also having a decorative border based on the games artwork. If you’ve ever bought a retro title on a console, then chances are you’ve seen that type of decal work before. When you go to the game to select it, it’s also given its own staging area of sorts with the milestone listed on the left, game in the center, and trivia on the right-hand side.
I love console ports of retro games because it reminds me of why I fell in love with games in the first place. The first game I ever downloaded on my Xbox 360 was Galaga because it was one of my favorite arcade games growing up. That’s why I’m so happy Rare’s providing us with an incredible collection that will be appreciated by longtime fans and an entirely new generation of gamers too. Rare Replay will be available on Xbox One on August 4, 2015 for $29.99.