It’s not often a game is released that includes so much content, it’s actually tough to experience it all. The Orange Box by Valve comes to mind as an example of one such bundle. Now, there is another – The Rare Replay for the Xbox One. Rare Replay is a collection of 30 games that were all created over the past 30 years or so and made by one company, Rare. These games are a mix of their biggest and best that have released over the years by Rare and have landed on a number of consoles during that time. Some you may have never heard of (depending on your age) while others are household names at this point. Regardless of when you became a fan of video games, there is something in this collection that will no doubt be something you’ll want to play (full list at the bottom of this post). Plus, at $30 for 30 games, it’s a pretty amazing deal. So with that ringing endorsement from me, you know there is something in this collection for video game fans, but one question remains, can your kid play it? Let’s find out.
Since Rare Replay spans a number of consoles and decades, it’s safe to assume that a number of games are going to be completely safe for younger kids to play it. The Rare Replay contains 30 games ranging from Atic Atac for the ZX Spectrum to Xbox 360 games including Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts and Viva Pinata. Video games have come a long way and this assortment of games demonstrates that perfectly. Most of the older games that are included are perfectly suited for kids in terms of no violence, but they may be somewhat different than what your kids are used to. This is by no means saying that they shouldn’t play it. This is a great way to show your kids where video games have come and where they are going. My son is only 21 months old right now, but as he gets older and is able to to understand video games, this will be one that I bring out to show just how games have evolved since his father was a child. Rare Replay is a virtual museum of gaming that shows the early starts of wild imagination and limited technology through the present where technology has evolved and imagination was able to keep up. Playing the games in order is almost a surreal experience as you hop from 8 bit, to 16 bit, and on through the generations and graphical fidelity. Your kid may groan as you take those turns in RC Pro Am or ski down the slope in Slalom while reminiscing of your glory days on your parents couch playing your NES on Christmas Day in ’89, but that’s OK. They just don’t understand. Over time though, I think they’ll get a good understanding of the rich history of games from one of gaming’s biggest game companies from the past few decades.
While there are certainly a lot of classics from the golden age of video games, there are plenty more that your kids may find much more easier to play. What defines easier? Most likely games with higher resolutions and pixel counts that are more relatable to the HD games of the current generation. Games like Blast Corps and Banjo Kazooie are amazing games from the N64 era that can be enjoyed by gamers of all ages, especially Banjo Kazooie. Banjo is a game that is represented multiple times in this series and with good cause. Banjo the bear and his bird friend Kazooie represent some of the best platforming in gaming. The story is extremely kid friendly and the humor is solid throughout. The Xbox 360 release, Nuts and Bolts, even throws in a really fun vehicle creation sub-game that could be a game in and of itself. The N64 era is well represented with another classic, Perfect Dark, but depending on your kids age and stance on violence, you might want to age gate this for the younger crowd. You play as Joanna Dark, who is a spy and kills pretty much everyone she comes across. It’s nothing as violent as current day Call of Duty games, but it’s death and shooting nonetheless. In terms of video game violence, you could do a lot worse, but it’s worth mentioning.
Another set of console that is well represented in this collection is the Xbox and Xbox 360. Grabbed by the Ghoulies begins this era on the Xbox and is a fun little romp through a haunted house that kids will have fun playing. The 360 has a large number of games with many being extremely kid friendly. The most kid friendly – Viva Pinata. Viva Pinata is a game based on a television show that has you building and maintaining a garden for pinata animals. If that sounds simples, it’s because it is, but it’s also very in-depth in the possibilities give to you with your garden. There are two games in this series and both are very appropriate for kids. Kameo is another game that is from the 360 generation, and is appropriate for older kids and does well in showing how the Xbox 360 generation began. With the newest generation represented in gaming, it goes without saying that these titles will be the most favored by kids who are used to higher graphical settings in current generations of games. Most are perfectly suitable for most kids, but you’re going to want to take note of the next paragraph.
While many of the games you’ll find in the Rare Replay bundle will be very appropriate for kids, there are definitely some that are not. Chief among these are Conkers Bad Fur Day. Conker is a personal favorite of mine. I played this as a teenager and absolutely loved it for it’s crude humor, adult movie references, and outlandish battles. It’s those same three things I mentioned that make this game absolutely, positively not for kids. From the drunk shenanigans of Conker to the sexual innuendos, this is an adult game that should only be enjoyed by the parents after the kids go to bed. Another game that isn’t for kids would be Killer Instinct. This 2D fighter is an awesome game to play, but the violence might put it above your comfortable level when it comes to allowing younger kids to play it. The Perfect Dark games are borderline in my opinion. Growing up, I can remember playing them during my preteen years and it was fine. Most parents allowed their kids to play these games along with it’s close cousin Goldeneye, but today is a different time. You’re going to have to play it yourself first or watch a video online to find out if you are comfortable with Perfect Dark, but if the kids can’t play it, you most certainly should as it is classic gaming as it’s finest.
Rare Replay is a rare gem in today’s overpriced game market. You get 30 games for 30 bucks, and the games present are nothing to scoff at. Both you and your kids will find a lot to enjoy here and the evolutionary tale of gaming coming into it’s own and flourishing with both technology and imagination is amazing to witness. With 10,000 gamerscore available and a lot of extras including a “Rare Revealed” section that opens up documentaries and other behind the scenes goodies based on gameplay stats make this a wise purchase for any gamer on a budget. If this was a straight up review, I would easily award this game a high 80 or 90 for it’s games and it’s value. Since this is a “Can Your Kid Play It” though, we give out a simple yes or no. With this game it’s tough, because you’re not grading one game, but 30. So, with that in mind…
Can Your Kid Play It: Yes, except for a couple games mentioned in the post.