Rare Replay Preview – E3 2015

June 27, 2015

One of the more surprising, but welcome, announcements at Microsoft’s E3 press conference had to be Rare Replay, a collection of games from one of the most venerable game developers of all time. And luckily for us, the game was on show on the floor with the charming help of Nick Burton, New Technology at Rare manning the booth, giving us an insight into what to expect from this awesome package.

The collection includes 30 games, along with 10,000 achievement points, which is a pretty massive slab of gameplay to work through. It’s not completely comprehensive, and there are holes (like Goldeneye), but Rare feels like it’s a pretty definitive overview of their life as a company (bar the Kinect years of course, but it’s perhaps better left alone). There are games that range from the ZX Spectrum all the way up to the Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts 360 game. Interestingly, the 360 games make use of the new backwards compatibility, which means they run inside the 360 BC OS that the Xbox One now features. Of course, popular highlights include the Banjo Kazooie games and the original Conker’s Bad Fur Day – not the Live & Reloaded version as the developers felt the original was what fans were after.


Yes, Battletoads is here, and if you found it hard back in the day just wait until you see it now. Each game has special challenges that will test your skills – and in Battletoads Nick delighted in throwing me into the infinite Turbo Tunnel challenge, where I probably lasted a total of 20 seconds.

It’s the games that you’re not familiar with, however, that might hold the most interest for Rare fans. Games like Jetpac and Atic Atac may seem archaic by today’s standards, but still present a pretty decent challenge, and actually scrub up pretty nicely in their HD debut on the Xbox One. If you’re hoping to get that entire 10,000 achievement points, you’ll have to play through every game, but you’ll probably enjoy how well the early titles hold up, and how they come off as less of a slog and more of a surprise. 

There’s also a lot of extra content, including interviews with key figures and behind the scenes documentaries. Rare actually found a lot of the original voice actors from past games (which Nick was quick to detail to me) including the hunt for the Great and Mighty Poo, who was found and included, and whose rendition of the voice today may surprise you with how little its changed.

On its own, Rare Replay, could actually provide a decent argument for making up the bulk of Xbox’s claim of the ‘Greatest Lineup in History’ this year. It’s certainly fantastic value for money, and a must-have for fans of Rare’s history, from early ZX Spectrum games to collect-a-thons on the N64. Look out for it in August this year.