Considering Rare Replay and Video Game Compilations

On the eve of the release of Rare Replay, I’m sharing here an article I wrote for United We Game last week about that collection and video game compilations, in general. Am I going to get Rare Replay? Yes. (Not tomorrow, maybe next week. Maybe.) Yet, though I support the collection and Rare as the studio it once was, I’m not shelling out my money unaware. Going into any compilation, I know that a generous handful of games in them aren’t going to receive much attention from me. And considering that lots of older games are available for free to the general public, what’s the sense in paying for what you don’t know you want…yet?


When Rare Replay comes out next week, it will join heralded company alongside the likes of Activision Anthology, Namco Museum, Capcom Classics, along with many others. That of the video game compilation.

Game compilations are nothing new, and, classically speaking, they’ve been a primary way that publishers have pushed out or re-introduced old content to new generations. But collections of older games by single (or a conglomeration of merged) publishers, like Rare Replay, aren’t the only types of compilations out there. Some are simply collections of games that are available for certain media (maybe, like me, you spent your early childhood years riffling through “101 Great PC Games!” instead of doing your homework), while others are collections of specific game series, such as Super Mario All-Stars or the Mega Man Anniversary Collection.

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  1. A lot of the games featured on Rare Replay, such as Blast Corps, are games that never saw a re-release, thus cementing this compilation’s usefulness. Video gaming is a tricky hobby when you think about it. You have to deal with some games only being on that outdated platform and others you can’t play because you don’t have the right machine. It’s not like movies where all you need is a working disc player or literature, which is about as simple as it gets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been using emulators more and more to at least try out older games, but that experience hardly compares to playing games in their original formats. Still, they are useful tools and are one way old games remain in the zeitgeist.

      It’d certainly be cool to see more compilations like Rare Replay in the future, especially if they can give players access to hard-to-come-by classic games, and most especially those that may have only been released in other countries.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Plus, emulators are instrumental for fan translations. It’s how I played some awesome games that were never localized such as Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, Live A Live, Treasure of the Rudras, and the sequel to Ace Attorney Investigations. Emulators are good for those types of games because you don’t need fast reflexes to play them. Meanwhile, with platformers and other action games, I noticed I was much worse at them than if I were playing on a console.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Agreed. On a whim, I tried to play Super Mario World using an emulator, and it was extremely difficult. They are much better suited for simpler, turn-based, and/or less twitchy games.

          Liked by 1 person

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