Today I want to talk about game compilations and what makes a great game collection in my opinion. Recently I have been playing Rare Replay, and to whoever didn’t play or read anything about the collection here is a small introduction. Rare Replay consist of 30 games developed by Rare Ltd studio from multiple consoles starting from the ZX Spectrum to the Xbox 360. Each game is presented by beautiful art, release date, some info and a snapshot mode. The snapshot mode is challenges from the game that you get awarded stickers by completing. The stickers increase your overall level and unlocks special feature videos from the studio behind the games.
Game compilations has increased in volume since the 7th generation of consoles (PS3, Xbox360 and Wii). We have seen many recent games being remastered again for the 8th generation consoles. And to some degree game collection lost what made them special. Recent remasters include: Tomb Raider Definitive edition, Sleeping dogs definitive edition, God of War III Remastered and Gears of War Ultimate edition. On last gen we have seen collections like Prince of Persia collection, Sly Cooper Collection, Sega Mega drive (Genesis) Collection and God of War Collections. From the sample I have given, you can notice that last gen’s collections included more than one game while this gen’s remasters are consistent of one games only.
I personally own The Sega Mega drive collection and Prince of Persia collections in addition to Rare Replay recently. I will start with Sega Mega Drive Ultimate collection and describe why it is an example of a good collection.
Sega mega drive ultimate collection was released in 2009 and includes 48 games. It includes many classics and worth having games that you have missed in the older game systems era. The selection menu is well designed, each game you highlight will show a video and some info about the game. You can play the games and use save stats that were not available before.
Rare Replay was released in 2015 and it includes 30 games. The selection menu is represented as a theatre and each game is represented as a piece of art. The presentation in this game is the best I have seen, they put time and effort into making it. Each game as mentioned earlier has snapshots which are challenges of some of the levels of the games. Feature videos are presented to give an idea of the studio and their games.
From these two collection you can notice one similarity, the game is more than a collection, but more like an encyclopedia. It appreciate each game, describes it to you, and let you play it in fun ways. And that is what makes a great collection. Rare Replay made many things right. However, there are more that can be done, it might take a lot of time to make but it is worth it to preserve old games that deserve to be kept in the history books of gaming.
If I were to suggest how the next game collection might be, I would base it on Rare Replay. Starting from the menu, making an attractive menu that shows the name of the game, its cover, release date and genre. As you chose the game it will give you a video presentation of the game in the middle, info on the left side and a level selection on the right. Level selection would be added so you can choose which level of the game you want to jump to, and that will be very helpful in case of games that are hard to beat and there it limited continues (Battletoads). Speaking of limited continues, I would add a new mode to every game to have unlimited continues so you can play through it without getting a game over screen if you wish to do so. And challenges mode will be to test your skills on some of the levels.
Aside from the games, having a video section with exclusive behind the scenes if available and even interviews would be a great addition. Having the original box arts and advertisement materials available to see would be cool too. Games shouldn’t include ones from the latest previous generation (PS4 collection must not include PS3 games, maximum must be PS2 games)
So far my perfect collection consist of:
-More than 5 games
-Attractive menu and representation
-Level selection for each game
-Unlimited continues for each game
-Exclusive behind the scene interviews with the developers
-Original box arts, Advertisement materials
-No games from one generation behind
That will make a game collection lovable by the consumer while being fun and informative at the same time. In my opinion, game collections must be history books of the gaming industry and not reasons to sell games that have been slightly modified to run on a better hardware.