A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Rare Replay is a collection of 30 games spanning 30 years of a development studio. The age-appropriateness of these games varies wildly. There are some family-friendly arcade and racing games but also first- and third-person shooters and fighting games. Players can kill enemies with guns and other weapons, and there's blood and some gore (in one game). Though it appears to feature a cute cartoon character, one game called Conker's Bad Fur Day contains strong violence, sexual references, profanity, and alcohol consumption.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In this package created exclusively for Xbox One owners, Microsoft has compiled 30 previous games from award-winning U.K. developer Rare and made them all available for a dollar apiece. RARE REPLAY is a value-priced collection that includes many games from the '80s to 2008, including many instant classics for now-defunct video game platforms. These range from Battletoads and Banjo-Kazooie for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) to Killer Instinct Gold for Nintendo 64 (N64). It even includes Perfect Dark, Kameo, and Viva Piñata for the Xbox 360. Seasoned fans can import their existing saved progress and achievements from these more recent games to earn additional points and increase their Gamerscores. Along with more than 700 hours of gameplay, some of these games include bonus content, including new challenges, behind-the-scenes interviews, and previously unreleased footage.
Is it any good?
Commemorating Rare's 30th birthday, this is a treasure trove of gaming goodness. Not all games hold up as well as others, of course (such as many of the ZX Spectrum and NES titles), but many of them do, including most of the N64 and Xbox 360 titles. Now, because lots of these older games were created for standard-definition TVs, they only take up the center of your wide-screen HDTV and have game-specific graphics along the borders. Not only do these games work on Xbox One, Microsoft also added some goodies along with retrospective interviews, documentaries, bonus Gamerscore incentives, and more.
In fact, included in this collection is the clever Snapshots mode that lets you play bite-size highlights and challenges from these games, just in case you don't feel like playing them from start to finish. Playing Snapshots of games rewards you with stamps, which can be redeemed for the aforementioned extra goodies. Highlights include the 8-bit arcade game Battletoads, the isometric racer R.C. Pro-AM, the irreverent humor of Conker's Bad Fur Day, action and platforming in Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, and the first-person thriller Perfect Dark. Even Kameo is a gem of a find, about an adventuring elf princess. Both seasoned gamers and younger players will find value in this greatest hits collection from one of the industry's biggest names.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether Microsoft should bundle games based on the studio (Rare) instead of content. Are parents OK with kid-friendly games such as Viva Piñata and Slalom being part of the same collection as mature, violent games like Killer Instinct Gold and Conker’s Bad Fur Day?
Talk about nostalgia. Why do people care so much for older games, toys, movies, or other forms of entertainment? Are these better than newer releases?
- Platforms: Xbox One
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Microsoft Studios
- Release date: August 7, 2015
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Bugs, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Music and Sing-Along, Robots, Space and Aliens, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Language, Mature Humor, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence
For kids who love action
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.