Simply going on quantity Rare Replay sets a new standard for the compilation videogame. The collection is made up of thirty titles spanning a length of time not far off the entire duration of videogame history. Beginning with Jetpack in 1983 and ending with Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts in 2008, it moves from retro to modern and strikes an interesting balance between old and new games.
Back in September last year I imported an NTSC-J Xbox 360 and began my mission to acquire all the weird and wonderful CAVE games that never made it outside of Japan. Unfortunately the large cost of both the console and the rare import shmups meant that in order to prevent financial ruin I had to put my quest on a temporary hold. But although it took longer than expected I think I’ve finally got them all, and today I’ll run through everything new in the collection since last time.
With Halloween less than a week away I’m sure there’s only one thing on everyone’s mind; appropriate games for the occasion. This could be a terrifying horror game, an atmospheric Gothic adventure, or maybe just something with a giant pumpkin boss. Whatever you’re into there’s probably something for you in my list of Halloween recommendations.
This week I bought a Japanese Xbox 360 and a selection of import games. Most of these are made by CAVE, who specialise in manic shooters and have ported their arcade classics to the console. With few of their titles making their way out of Japan, and many enforcing a region lockout, their library is perhaps the main reason for purchasing a Japanese system. Today I will look at the advantages and disadvantages of importing, as well as some of the games doing so will give you access to.
Deathsmiles is a manic shooter made by CAVE; the undeniable masters of the genre. It takes many of the concepts found in their DoDonPachi series but instead of space ships and tanks you have a cast Gothic Lolita girls fighting evil demons with magic. Sure, it may be a little ‘Japanese’ for some, but underneath the weirdness (which you may actually quite like) you have an incredibly addictive, rewarding, and well made game designed to push you to your limits.
A lot of the time the value of a retro game is directly related to its quality; there’s higher demand for good games so naturally they should cost more. However, there are other factors at play too, for example rarity and desirability. There’s even a few great games that didn’t sell too well, and now there are more than enough copies to go around. Today I’ve gathered ten of my favourite titles that are not only brilliant, but for a variety of reasons are completely worthless too.
The premise of Call of Duty: Ghosts is a lot like that of 24 Season 6; the calamity isn’t prevented, the nuke goes off, and a load of people are blown up, although in the case of Ghosts it’s technically a giant space laser used to fry California. Think the Hammer of Dawn but bigger and you’re halfway there. Infinity Ward’s latest game combines a grim future with familiar gameplay, and takes the series in an interesting, if slightly confused, new direction.
Assassin’s Creed IV is the fifth Assassin’s Creed game in five years, pretty crazy right? But whilst some of the past entries gained notoriety for offering little variation in character and setting, Black Flag takes to the seas with astounding ambition, and proves to be as much of a step forward for the series as Assassin’s Creed III was last year. This latest title removes a few of the previous game’s most notable flaws, keeps a few, and adds a couple of new ones, all whilst retaining the signature Assassin’s Creed gameplay.
Sequels can be a tricky business, although you wouldn’t think so from 2011’s Batman: Arkham City, the poster child for how to make a perfect follow up. But by successfully expanding upon the first game in a meaningful way, it also asked a very tricky question; what now? Progress must surely hit a brick wall eventually, and the whole ‘prequel’ angle may have been the first clue that ideas were running low. That and the fact that Rocksteady’s Batman baby had been snatched away from them and given to Warner Brothers to raise. Perhaps it’s no surprise that Batman: Arkham Origins is a fairly troubled child.