Real Talk By: KJ
Rare Replay (XO) is one massive bundle. Titles spawning from the ZX Spectrum computer all the way to Xbox 360 have been represented. However, some key titles are missing. Blame heavy licensing issues. If you’re looking for Goldeneye, Star Fox Adventures, or any Donkey Kong Country games, it’s not happening. No worries, after-all, you’re getting 30 games for 30 dollars. Here is the lineup:
Atic Atac, Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Battletoads, Battletoads Arcade, Blast Corps, Cobra Triangle, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Digger T. Rock, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Gunfright, Jet Force Gemini, Jetpac, Jetpac Refuelled, Kameo: Elements of Power, Killer Instinct Gold, Knight Lore, Lunar Jetman, Perfect Dark, Perfect Dark Zero, R.C. Pro-Am, R.C. Pro-Am 2, Sabre Wulf, Slalom, Snake Rattle n Roll, Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warpship, Underwurlde, Viva Pinata, and Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise. So there’s a lot of quality, and some can be viewed as bonuses for buying. Just depends on what caters to you.
Along with Battletoads NES, we get the timeless evil highway level in-tact. Thankfully this emulation has an unlimited lives option. So the game can actually be completed! Moving forward, this is the first time that Battletoads Arcade is on home consoles. The violence may surprise folks. Blood everywhere, and Head Decapitations are present. Rare was allowed to push the boundaries since Arcade policies were lax.
Another feature for the real oldies is the use of rewind, perfect for R.C. Pro AM. When hitting an oil puddle and spinning, out now you can fix it. The feature is also Golden when playing Slalom. Trying to ski downhill before time runs out, avoiding everything in sight. That’s a tough feat, thankfully we can pull a Forza and redo. Snapshot challenges are assigned to the older games too. For example: Beat enemies the fastest. Survive an onslaught for 15 secs. The difficulty is high.
One thing cannot be ignored. The game package and Xbox Marketplace listing labels the online as 2-32 players. However, neither is specific on the titles it covers. Only games that had the option prior to Rare Replay work. Nothing extra was added. So Perfect Dark and Zero will still go online. I was very disappointed that Battletoads Arcade doesn’t have the feature. The wait has been so long for any sort of Toads acknowledgement. This should be addressed. Rare patched the layout on Jet Force Gemini to accommodate modern controllers (Conker next please). A patch to make some of these games online ready would be appreciated. R.C. Pro AM II, I’m looking at you. The couch-play fun-factor on both mentioned titles is incredibly high. Pretty sure it would translate well to a wider audience.
To store everything on the marquee, you’re going to need 50GB of free space. The X360 Games are separate downloads, so expect your games and apps section to be loaded up with squares once installation is complete. Wish the transition between games was smoother. Going from Blast Corps to Banjo Kazooie takes way too long. Also, Nuts and Bots has some frame-rate hiccups. This was a surprise to see. The Xbox One should be able to handle smooth transitions, and every single game here with no problem.
Screen filter options range from Border art, to a CRT presentation. I found myself many times turning it off, as it makes some games seem too blurry. Maybe that was the goal. We have seen it carried-out better from the competition. Final Fight: Double Impact comes to mind. Full-screen adjustments are available in Jet Force Gemini, but this is just because the original game had the option. There needs to be some sort of master control that can streamline across all games. Screen Brightness/Filters, Game Volumes, Control Preferences. Unless the game itself gives you controller configuration options, it is unavailable. Despite the gripes, The grouping of games and overall price tag is tough to pass up.
RR rewards gamers for playing it by offering well-produced behind the scenes videos. Theses accompaniments delve deep into the history of this company. How Conker started off as a kids platformer, then slowly morphed into a tale about a raging alcoholic. The origin of Banjo Kazooie, Killer Instinct. It is all very well told and worth the effort to unlock. From the opening song, to the opera house menu screens, the user interface looks classy and cool. Invite friends over, this will get you the most mileage. Just like the old days in that respect. Gamers from casual to the absolute diehards will find something that should appease them. One thing I gathered from playing and seeing all the documentaries, this is one company that is still relevant. Why? They were never scared to try new things. Bringing fresh concepts to established genres. Setting trends.
Rare Replay Gets
4 Out of 5
+Superb Behind The Scenes Videos
-Limited Master Control Options
-Navigation Between Certain Games Can Be Sluggish
-More Online Ready Games. It’s 2015.