Review by CChan

"The limbless wonder is back, and now he's in an all-round perfect 3D graphics with simply tons of things to explore!"

I’m expecting Rayman 2 as the same as every other action and adventure games that are released already and boy, was I wrong. As Rayman 2 was already released for the Nintendo system, Playstation and PC, porting the whole game to Dreamcast sounds like a rather silly idea. But a few extremely cool new levels, tons of mini-games installed within with a secret access to the Globox disc make this game the king to other versions of Rayman 2.

Graphics – 10
Couldn’t be better. The 2D graphics of the older brother Rayman is already stunning before and now, fully in perfect rotating modeled 3D graphics. Characters, moving objects, enemies, background, mosquitoes and many other objects are re-created in a better formula of colours. Of course, having more than a million colours make Rayman 2 really bright and ‘cheery’. The lighting source in most of the levels are used effectively that makes this game look slightly real, despite its ‘cartoony’ aspects.

Music – 10
Water splish-splashing about and sound of tidal waves with their own sound effects fits into the realism category. Honestly, you’ll feel as if you’re now lying down in the ocean while saving the day. All of the sound effects are quite all right; you know the usual ones, lightning, fire, attacks, punches, barrels and many others.

There are dozens of background music available, all in different sort of forms for different type of levels. As some levels will make you feel as if you’re in Resident Evil: Code Veronica, the background music will twist into a dreadful, deadly, scary tune that will surely scare you to the end of the other world. Another good thing that can be seen in most Dreamcast games is the voice. Though the voice is totally in French, there will be an English text specially done for us bad-French talkers (surprisingly, only the introduction voice is in English).

Gameplay – 10
Simple. Simple. Medium. Medium. Hard. Hard. Hard. The game will proceed from the easiest level which even a baby could pass through to the hardest level beyond which needs you to oil up your brains for hours. Even the second level already requires you to have great controls with an action game like this, together with quick thinking which could save you from any danger.

There are more than 10 levels for you to sneak in to, up to 18 levels to be exact, excluding the button-mashing bonus levels and other secret levels for you to play and explore. Most levels take a long time to complete, resulting over 40 hours of gameplay, that is, if you completed the whole game correctly first time through.

The enemies that consist of jumping and snapping piranhas together with robotic pirates are not really difficult to defeat. The only thing that could prevents you from getting further is the design of the level itself. Every levels will have their own theme, ranging from the slippery ice, bulbs of scorching hot lava, friendly mental green environment, even including a ghastly place which you must enter.

At certain levels, you can ride with joy through the titanic levels by using the Walking Shell, an odd little animal that will chase you quickly along and you’ll need to tame it before riding on it. You can jump anywhere you like with it and boost yourself easily while sitting on the Walking Shell. Just beware not to let the easiness enter your head and you could just slip off and fall to the endless holes.

Ssssam, another animal which is Rayman’s friend will also appear in a level and you can deliberately enjoy controlling it, swinging through marshes. You can also take a barrel and light it up with fire which makes it a temporary rocket which zips through tunnels, holes and many others. You’ll also need to rescue lots of Rayman’s friends through the humongous stages, each with their own theme.

You can find yourself in one huge cavern with lava pouring in it which you need to ride on a purple plum (it’s found in the original Rayman before). There’s also another level which requires you to zip through the slippery floors, wide ocean that needs you to gasp for breath after a few minutes, beside the shore and in jungle full of snappy creatures and buzzing mosquitoes. Not only that, there will be a level which will simply make you scream if you turn off the lights, what with the ghastly tune and annoying snapping monster after you.

Rayman will also get his powers little by little after you completed a few levels. You’ll start off with his attack, upgraded from his original ‘fist’ attack which now allow him to throw white power ball across enemies and the power can repel back if knocked against walls and obstacles. There are many confusing and deliberately difficult tasks that you must complete, some requires you to jump from platforms to platforms, climb on sticky spider webs, avoiding yourself from being melted to death and worst of all, eaten by a huge, scary monster.

Other than the Halloween-like part, you must collect beautiful and bright orbs, called Lums. There are different type of Lums in this game but you need to collect the important Lum of all, yellow Lum, which allows you to access to the other worlds with the help of the odd characters, the Teensies. These Lums is said to hold the whole world before but shattered and destroyed by the evil, lurky pirates. So, this means you need to collect all 1000 Lums, scattered all over the world. There will be also a story which you can always look that will be revealed more and more if you have enough of those yellow Lums.

The red Lums will heal your life little by little and these are essential to your success. The green one will act like a save point and every time your pitiful Rayman dies, he will return to the place where you last touch the green Lum. The blue one is only useful underwater, which acts like a bubble. It contains air and will let you stay longer down the water (if you played the game Sonic the Hedgehog before, you’re bound to know that you’ll need to collect some bubbles for him to breath).

There will be also lots of cages for you to hit and free the creatures inside. To find them, you’ll need to hear the agony cries of “Help me! Help me!” which shows you that you’re getting near to them. Most of the cages will also contain yellow Lum so be sure to look out for them. Bosses are also prepared for you to fight and defeat, so don’t fret that the game is too boring for you. Most of time, you’ll need to use your thinking skills as well as your talent as a gamer. The bosses won’t be at the end of every single level but only at certain stages, the more important one that is essential to Rayman’s progress.

Story – 8
The story is plain simple as you may have heard on thousand of other games series. The pirates are now terrorizing the world and they have broke up the main hold which breaks into 1000 yellow Lums pieces. Rayman’s friends are also trapped, some of them in cages so Rayman must rescue of all of them and defeat the evil guys, espeacially the head of the pirates, Captain Razorbeard. Simple story line, isn’t it?

Replay Value – 9
Adventure games like this is always fun to play, so I’m sure you’ll be coming back for more. As there are more than 10 levels, each of them are tremendously long, I’m sure you’ll be taking a long time to complete every one. Other than that, you’ll also need to search every nook and cranny for to complete a grand total of 1000 yellow Lums. The interesting secret levels that lie ahead in the game adds even more replay value to the game.

Overall – 10
Rayman 2 is another interesting adventure game to play but at some levels, the difficulty is so intense that you feel as if you’re killing 1000 zombies in a time. As there are simply tons of things that you could do, as well as explore, this game won’t really be a boring to you. Enjoy the incredible graphics that UbiSoft has bring you, as well as every single aspect that you certainly will enjoy.

Rayman
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+ Huge, gigantic levels for you to explore!
+ Expect yourself to be totally addicted!
+ Graphics, perfect. Music, perfect. Gameplay, super perfect.

Pirates
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- Some levels are too hard!
- Storyline is not really that exciting, except for the pirates part.
- Err... any more?


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/02/00, Updated 10/02/00


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