I will come right out and say it: I am not a real good platforming gamer. At least, not anymore. I used to be. When all the Atari and NES seemed to have to offer was running and jumping, I had those reflexes finely honed. Over the years however, as sports, RPG and strategy games have become my favorites, my skill in platforming has decreased.
Of course, not being as good at them, I tend not to play platformers as much. And to continue the vicious cycle – the less you play them, the worse you get at them. I make exceptions of course. Mario games are a must for me every time they come out. Rayman may be another such series.
I enjoyed the recently released Rayman Legends on Xbox One, which I reviewed over here at Digitally Downloaded. Prior to that however, I spent some time with the Glade of Dreams when I played Rayman Origins on my PlayStation Vita.
Graphics – 10:
Wow these graphics just pop off of the screen. Beautiful, detailed, fluid and full of vibrant colors, they were almost my bane on many occasions, because I wanted to stop and look around when the game itself was pushing me forward (often at breakneck pace). One of the most beautiful games to grace my little Vita’s screens.
Sound & Music – 8:
Fun. Whimsical. Pleasant. Fitting during some of the more frantically paced sections, but also slow during other scenes. None of the music was what I would consider particularly memorable – it will not make its way into a music playback list of mine, but it complimented the game’s action perfectly. Add to it fun sound effects that keep the game lively, and the audio design is solid if not spectacular.
Gameplay – 9:
The key to a game like this is to have smooth, responsive controls. Otherwise, the experience can not only become frustrating, but feel cheap and unfair. Thankfully that is a bridge you never cross here, because Rayman Origins controls wonderfully. It is also a boon that there is more to do than simply run and jump. There are plenty of items in the environment to interact with and while I died plenty of times – I never felt like it was the game’s fault. There was a quick lesson to be learned in how to approach it and I adjusted accordingly to advance.
Intangibles – 7:
Apparently the console versions of this game had a multiplayer mode that is now missing, and that is a shame. The actual game does not take a terribly long time to beat. You can unlock things along the way as you collect ‘Teensies’ and make your way through the game, but the multiplayer seems like a missed opportunity. Thankfully Rayman Origins keeps things fresh throughout due in large part to the excellent level design.
Overall – 8.5:
Between Origins and Legends, Rayman is definitely on my radar going forward. It mixes just enough challenge, gameplay variety, control precision with outstanding video and audio quality to create a platforming game that appeals to someone like me – a gamer who does not consider himself a big fan of platforming titles anymore.
Review by Nick
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