Rare sure has a long history of developing fantastic games. I must say that it came as a surprise when they announced that a compilation of thirty games will soon come out. In fact, last month I wrote An Obituary for Classic Game Compilations, but I was mistaken. Compilations are far from dead. Not only is Rare Replay on its way; Mega Man Legacy Collection was recently announced, too. Anyway, I figured I'd highlight some Rare titles that I'm most looking forward to, so hopefully this helps whet your appetite.
Keeping it old-school
One of my favourite NES games growing up was Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warpship. The intense difficulty of having to deal with gravity, lug giant ship parts around, and battle enemies all while trying not to crash is a winning formula that makes for one addicting game. Luckily, not only do we get that buried treasure, we also get its prequels in the form of Jetpac and Lunar Jetman. Considering I've never had a ZX Spectrum, I unfortunately haven't played many of the early games that'll be featured in Rare Replay. However, I look forward to exploring the action/adventure mazes in Atic Atac, fending off jungle creatures in Sabre Wulf, jumping through the Underwurlde, and stalking outlaws in Gunfright. One game that piques my interest is Knight Lore since it was a huge inspiration for Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos which is another favourite NES game of mine. Whether they're familiar experiences, prequels, or entirely new to me; playing these retro games is going to be one incredible trip back to the past.
If you can't join 'em, beat 'em
One genre that's underrepresented in today's market is beat 'em ups and there are plenty to enjoy here. First off, we not only get to play the frustrating king of the brawlers that is the original Battletoads, we also get the gory, irreverent, and far less common arcade version! If you thought punching your way through rats with a buddy as Rash, Zitz, and Pimple was cool on the NES, then prepare yourself for its off the wall arcade sequel. It's going to be radical, dude! If modern games are more your thing then the original Xbox's underrated gem Grabbed by the Ghoulies may be more up your alley. With simple controls, working your way through the seemingly endless onslaught of challenges can be quite a riot. Although not a beat 'em up, the classic fighter Killer Instinct Gold will appeal to those looking for more personal one-on-one melee battles. Overall, you can trust Rare to deliver bare-knuckle gameplay at its best.
Platforming in the third dimension
When 3D platformers started to become commonplace, Banjo-Kazooie stepped in and raised the bar even higher. Not only did it receive universal acclaim, it also inspired many future "buddy platform" game series such as Jak and Daxter and Ratchet & Clank. Who knew a bear with a bird in his backpack could achieve such great success together? As if the original isn't enough, the direct sequel Banjo-Tooie is included as well as the spin-off known as Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts where you can make your own vehicles. Of course, when you're feeling naughty you can play the sophomorically cheeky Conker's Bad Fur Day. Although I've played plenty of Banjo-Kazooie, I have yet to play Conker, so I'm very curious what all the fuss is about. Back to family-friendly entertainment, Kameo: Elements of Power seamlessly combines shape-shifting, platforming, and action in a vast beautiful world. In the end, Rare forever changed the way we run and jump.
There are too many titles to cover in just one simple article, so I'll go over some other highlights. If you love overhead racers like Super Sprint then R.C. Pro-Am and its sequel will knock your socks off with the ability to shoot your opponents. Also included is the similar Cobra Triangle which features boats instead of cars. When it comes to shooters, Jet Force Gemini is a great third-person game where you blast invading insects and obviously for first-person fans there's both Perfect Dark and Perfect Dark Zero. Even though GoldenEye 007 is sadly missing, the Perfect Dark series is a more than worthy successor that you and three friends can enjoy simultaneously. For those who enjoy destruction, Blast Corps' explosive gameplay mechanics where you creatively try to demolish targets will satisfy your craving for chaos. If you're looking for something more peaceful, the life simulation game Viva Pinata and its follow-up Trouble in Paradise are included. When it comes to games, I can accurately say that Rare really is a Jack of all trades.
Those are the games that I'm excited to check out when Rare Replay finally releases on August 4. What games are you most looking forward to playing (or replaying)? Let's talk about them below!