It wasn't until after I'd repeatedly pummeled an oversized rat's testicles that I realized why preserving video game history is so important. Were it not forRare Replay, an anthology of 30 games spanning 32 years, I'd never have played Battletoads Arcade and would've missed one of the finest moments from one of gaming's most storied developers.
Replay is an invaluable record of developer Rare's legacy, but it's neither complete nor perfect. Before Microsoft purchased the studio for $375 million in 2002, Rare made games almost exclusively for Nintendo. GoldenEye and theDonkey Kong Country series (arguably its biggest hits) are absent here thanks to publishing and licensing deals, while other games have been scrubbed free of Nintendo references entirely. While Replay's remastered contents are the best they'll likely ever look, games aren't movies, and visuals are only one part of the equation here. So can a slick, modern package make up for any shortcomings that result from playing decades-old games? The answer isn't so simple and it fluctuates wildly from one classic Rare title to the next.