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!
Rare Replay is basically a greatest hits compilation from the Rare Library. There will be a total of 30 games included with the release:
|Atic Atac||1983||ZX Spectrum|
|Lunar Jetman||1983||ZX Spectrum|
|Sabre Wulf||1984||ZX Spectrum|
|Knight Lore||1984||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|
|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|
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.
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.