Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier (France)
Rating: E10+ (Everyone age 10 and up)
After a successful spinoff with Raving Rabbids, Rayman returns to the platforming genre in Rayman Origins. With a vibrant color palette painted across the environments and an all-new adventure, Rayman Origins is a throwback to the platformers of the past, with a high-definition twist. Don’t worry about what happened to your limbs, here’s the review.
Look…Colors! Can you believe it?
Rayman Origins looks like a simple child’s game; however, looks are very deceiving. In a year dominated by the urban jungle of big cities, Rayman Origins is refreshing. Rather than having browns and grays, the color palette is filled with vibrant, dynamic colors, and all of this is necessary for the beautiful artwork which has gone into making the game. Not only are the environments beautiful, but the characters are animated wonderfully as well. While playing, the animation doesn’t slow down one bit. When rushing through levels, a game with this much detail in both environments and character animations tends to try to catch up; however, this isn’t the case in Rayman Origins.
The story is very simple and almost lacking. In the Glade of Dreams, Rayman, his best friend Globox, and some Teensie friends are sleeping. Their rhythmic snoring disturbs an old granny from the Land of the Livid Dead, who retaliates by sending out an evil army of horrendous creatures. They Capture the Electoons and Nymphs that inhabit the world and throw it into chaos. It’s up to Rayman and his crew to save the day and restore order to the Glade of Dreams.
The controls mostly involve movement from left to right, with a few cases of backtracking for hidden areas, jumping, hovering, and punching. Everything works with great fluidity and controls are sharp and responsive. This helps with the seemingly simplistic style of the game. Although some levels may be slightly frustrating, upon completion we felt a sense of accomplishment after making it through.
The controller is full of juice.
Rayman Origins can be a single-player experience or you can have up to four-player co-op, which makes the game slightly easier. Personally, we feel that two-player co-op hits the sweet spot in terms of the challenge to fun ratio. That’s not to say that the four-player experience is flawed, but it really might depend on who the four people playing are. Also, proponents of online play will be upset that Rayman Origins does not have an online function. If you really don’t want to play through the game as a single player, you’ll have to find some people that will play the game with you… in person.
Alongside the controls and the environments, the sound fits the feeling of the game very well. Rayman Origins’ soundtrack itself reminds us of a simpler time, as the music is upbeat and lively. It makes us smile just listening to the songs in the levels and the music when you pop some of the bubbles containing the creatures used as a form of currency.
Kal Penn was in a trailer?
It’s hard to say where Rayman Origins misses the mark, because the fact of the matter is that it doesn’t miss much. Everything in the game, from the environments to the controls to the soundtrack, works and blends together well. It’s almost like the Saturday morning cartoon shows of video games, but a classic one that both kids and the “core gamer” can enjoy. The game exhibits an aura of danger while maintaining a humorous undertone and colorful environments.
We would highly recommend at least renting this game first. If you are that “core gamer”, or if you’re buying for a younger gamer, it’s a definite buy. This game mixes the best elements of platform gaming, both challenging and encouraging the player to keep trying to make it to the end of the level. Rayman Origins is something of a tribute to the classic platform games of the past, yet the environments alone make for some of the most beautiful artwork we’ve seen in a game this year.
Multiplayer is local only and while we’re not a major proponent of online gaming, it seems that Ubisoft missed the chance to get online gamers on board with Rayman Origins. Everything but the lack of story progression fits very well. However, maybe it’s not so much the story that matters but more the journey of the characters throughout the game.
Final Verdict: Rayman Origins gets 8 limbless hand punches out of 10.
[xrr rating=8/10, max_stars=10]
This review is based on a retail copy of the Playstation 3 version of Rayman Origins by Ubisoft