Watch and win as we livestream Rare Replay tonight on Beam

Every weekend, Windows Central livestreams an Xbox One or Steam game for 1-2 hours and gives out free games to the cool people who join us during the stream. It's like a live podcast, only you also get to watch a game while chatting with our awesome readers and viewers! We call this show Saturday Game School, because learning about new games is fun.

Tonight on Beam, we played Rare Replay, the Xbox exclusive collection of classic games from Microsoft's Rare studio. Among the included games, Banjo Kazooie is one of the most fun. Read on for impressions, contest winners, and the full video replay.

Rare Replay

Rare Replay Banjo Kazooie

This Xbox One exclusive celebrates the legacy of Microsoft's UK-based Rare studio. Since 1985, Rare has made games for a number of platforms including personal computers, NES, Nintendo 64, and Xbox consoles. The studio languished on Kinect titles for a while, but Rare Replay hopefully marks Rare's return to glory.

Rare Replay collects 30 games spanning from 1985-2008. A few of my favorites: Battletoads Arcade, the Banjo Kazooie platformers, Jetpac Refuelled, RC Pro-Am I and II, and Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise. Grabbed by the Ghoulies for the original Xbox has even been remastered here rather than emulated, so it looks better than ever.

As much as I love this trip through Rare's history, some of the developer's best games didn't make it into the collection. Microsoft chose the aged Conker's Bad Fur Day instead of the vastly superior remake Conker: Live and Reloaded, and the crappy NES Battletoads is here rather than the much-better Super NES sequel. And a few games like Conker's just control terribly, which could have easily been fixed for Rare Replay.

Rare Replay Banjo Kazooie

What Rare Replay really does right is teach modern gamers about the studio's history and provide incentives to play through older games. Snapshots are new optional goals that will unlock bonus content and Achievements when completed. That overall progression system will keep you hopping from game to game — even the really old ones. For the low price of thirty bucks, you're sure to find something to appreciate in Rare Replay.

We gave Rare Replay a glowing review and named it one of the Best Xbox One Games of 2015. Watch us play a selection of games from the collection, including the excellent Banjo Kazooie!

See on the Xbox Store

The Contest

Rare Replay Battletoads

We streamed Rare Replay for ~120 minutes tonight. During that time, we gave out a total of 15 game codes:

  • 12 Rare Replay for Xbox One
  • 3 ADR1FT for Steam (Donated by 505 Games)

See the contest winners at the end of this story.

How to watch Beam livestreams

Rare Replay Banjo Kazooie

We're now streaming on Beam, Microsoft's interactive livestreaming platform. It provides some welcome improvements over Twitch, such as a cleaner website layout, built-in stream interactivity, and extremely low latency.

You can follow our channel at Beam.pro/WindowsCentral. From there, you'll be able to watch the stream and participate in chat directly from any web browser, including the Xbox One and Windows Phone browsers.

To receive email notifications when our Beam streams go live:

  1. First, follow our channel.
  2. Now select your profile from the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. Pick the Account option near the bottom of the menu.
  4. Go to the Notifications tab.
  5. Make sure Send me important email updates on the Beam platform is enabled. This option is labeled deceptively, but it's required for all forms of email notifications.
  6. Click or tap the Email box next to our channel name until a check appears. That's it!
  7. We highly recommend that you set a recurring alarm on your phone. Our weekend stream always starts at the same time (9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific), so the phone reminder can be very helpful.

Beam does not offer Xbox One or Windows Phone apps yet, so watching from the browser is the only option on Microsoft platforms. But Beam does offer apps on Android and iOS. Yes, that's a strange inequity. Native Xbox and Windows 10 support is coming though, so stick with us!

Future streams

Rare Replay RC Pro-Am II

Want to know what's next for Windows Central's weekend Beam programming? We stream a different game every Saturday (and sometimes Sunday). The stream always starts at the same time: 9pm Eastern (8pm Central, 6pm Pacific, 2am GMT). Over the next few weeks, we'll be streaming the following (schedule not finalized):

  • January 28: Mega Man Legacy Collection from Capcom. Watch us play this collection of classic NES platformers and enter for a chance to win it on Xbox One and Steam (plus more prizes)!
  • February 4: Neverwinter from Perfect World Entertainment. We'll revisit this vast free to play MMO and give out more premium prizes for Xbox One and PlayStation 4!

We hope you'll tune in as often as you can! Set a recurring alarm on your phone so you'll always know when it's time for the stream to start.

Winners

Rare Replay

It's rare to find viewers as lucky as these!

Rare Replay for Xbox One

  • Racxie
  • Br4zko
  • ItsJustPepeh
  • lKATYPERRYI
  • BrPalladinoDGM
  • 1biglooser
  • Formologic23
  • WestX
  • IccyAsd
  • KingVant1q
  • jerryperez1977
  • shelbygt5252

ADR1FT for Steam

  • ShihTzuOnYou
  • Withheld
  • TheExtremeG

Tonight's prizes provided by Microsoft and 505 Games. Thanks also to our stream moderators for keeping the peace and giving away the prizes!