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Rare, founded in 1985, is probably best known for their Nintendo games.  Dating all the way back to the NES days and leading to an exclusive partnership from 1994 to 2001.  During those years Rare released some amazing games, including one of the best shooters and 3D platformers of all time.  In 2002 Rare was purchased by Microsoft.  They worked on several great first party Xbox games before basically fading into obscurity with Kinect.  For years, fans have been looking for Rare to return to form.  And, while we will have to wait a little longer for that, Microsoft has decided to help remind us just how amazing Rare is.

The 2015 Electronics Entertainment Expo was held June 9th through June 14.  If you are unfamiliar with E3, it’s a trade show for video game publishers and developers.  This year, there were a ton of new games shown for fall 2015 and beyond.  Over the new few weeks I’m going to highlight a few of my favorite games shown at the show.

Ever since Phil Spencer took over Xbox, he has been focused on delivering games to the hardcore fans of the Xbox family.  You have seen the Xbox take a step away from Kinect to focus on the traditional, controller driven, experiences.  For years fans have wondered when Microsoft would let Rare actually make traditional (see: Non Kinect) games again.  That is coming, hopefully next year, with Sea of Thieves (more on that in a later post).  However, in the meantime, Microsoft has announced a Rare collection disc…and it’s coming out in less than a month!

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Rare Replay is basically a greatest hits compilation from the Rare Library.  There will be a total of 30 games included with the release:

Title Year Release Platform
Jetpac 1983 ZX Spectrum
Atic Atac 1983 ZX Spectrum
Lunar Jetman 1983 ZX Spectrum
Sabre Wulf 1984 ZX Spectrum
Underwurlde 1984 ZX Spectrum
Knight Lore 1984 ZX Spectrum
Gunfright 1985 ZX Spectrum
Slalom 1986 Nintendo Entertainment System
R.C. Pro-Am 1987 Nintendo Entertainment System
Cobra Triangle 1989 Nintendo Entertainment System
Snake Rattle ‘n’ Roll 1990 Nintendo Entertainment System
Digger T. Rock: Legend of the Lost City 1990 Nintendo Entertainment System
Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warpship 1990 Nintendo Entertainment System
Battletoads 1991 Nintendo Entertainment System
R.C. Pro-Am II 1992 Nintendo Entertainment System
Battletoads Arcade 1994 Arcade
Killer Instinct Gold 1996 Nintendo 64
Blast Corps 1997 Nintendo 64
Banjo-Kazooie 1998 Nintendo 64 (Xbox Live Arcade port)
Jet Force Gemini 1999 Nintendo 64
Perfect Dark 2000 Xbox Live Arcade
Banjo-Tooie 2000 Nintendo 64 (Xbox Live Arcade port)
Conker’s Bad Fur Day 2001 Nintendo 64
Grabbed by the Ghoulies 2003 Xbox
Perfect Dark Zero 2005 Xbox 360
Kameo: Elements of Power 2005 Xbox 360
Viva Piñata 2006 Xbox 360
Jetpac Refuelled 2006 Xbox Live Arcade
Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise 2008 Xbox 360
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts 2008 Xbox 360

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It’s also worth noting that the game will be available at retail and downloadable for $30.  That is $1 a game!  There is also a really cool feature called Snapshots.  This mode is very similar to what Nintendo did with NES Remix a few years ago.  You will be playing snapshots of the various Rare games with different rules or objectives.  Oh, and the game will feature a whopping 10,000 Gamerscore.

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As perfect as it sounds, there are a few huge games missing from the line up.  Namely, Donkey Kong Country and Goldeneye.  It’s not hard to understand, neither Rare or Microsoft own those IP. But still, having a true Rare collection without DK or Goldeneye is saddening.  The only other complaint you might have is that it appears nothing has really been added to the game.  No up scaling, no remodeling, no new game specific modes, etc.  These are the exact games you played all of those years ago, for better or worse.


The good news is, we won’t be waiting long to enjoy this great collection.  It launches exclusively for Xbox One on August 4th.  Look for a full review and let’s plays on the site following release.

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