"The 3D platformer I had always been looking for."

Rayman 2 is the first game I bought with my Dreamcast, alongside with Shenmue. I remember the vendor laughing ''Yeah, you'll play Shenmue and your girlfriend'll play Rayman.''. But I DID play Rayman 2 over and over again, and I'm still playing it today, and I'm actually quite amazed by how I enjoy it after several years of playing. This is a game I'm NOT going to sell, ever. But now to the ranking.

STORY : 8/10
The story itself is somewhat dull : you juste escaped from Razorbeard, leader of the Space Pirates who shattered the heart of the world into 1000 Light Lums. You have to regain your powers, collect the Lums and finally kick the bad guy's butt. A good idea would be to awaken Polokus, the sleeping god... and to do so, you have to collect four masks, hidden in dungeons and guarded by... guess what... bosses. So nothing new here. So why an eight? Because of the characters the guys at Ubi Soft designed. They are hilarious. You all know Rayman, but the Globox tribe, Ly the Fairy, Polokus, the Teensies, all of the secondary characters are highly lovable and... just... nice. Do you know many games in which you'll grow fond of a rocket with legs? The Rayman story is average. The Rayman universe is poetic. Poetry is a rare value in video games.

GRAPHICS : 9/10
Not a ten here, because if any game on DC deserves a ten it's Shenmue 2. But this is the most beautiful platformer I've ever played. The graphics are incredibly detailed, colorful and crispy. You can look for an imperfection or a bug for ages, you won't find any. The passages underwater just blow you away, the lights effects could be from a PS2 game, and the atmospheres are great. The nightmare level, with its Tim Burton-ish graphics, is almost creepy. ... Well, I think I've made myself clear here. Rayman 2 is graphically amazing. I think it's only bettered by Mario Sunshine.

CONTROLS :10/10
There's not a problem. Not a single problem!! Rayman reacts instantly to your slightest touch on the pad, and it's all really precise. Just try to jump from platform to platform WITHOUT the helicopter, and you'll see how easy it is to anticipate wether you can cross a gap or not. The auto-aim is really well-thought, it's not too easy but not too hard. The camera is ALWAYS okay, which is just unbelievable given how often unsolved this problem is in 3D games in general.

GAMEPLAY :10/10
Prepare for pure pleasure here. Because this is the most innovative platformer I know. Yeah, of course, it'll seem basic at the start, but as long as you progress forward throughout the game, you'll have to deal with tons and tons of genial ideas. A few examples? Once, you'll have to slide on a rail and avoid obstacles... only with the stick, because the only thing you can do is turn around the rail, 360° style, as you're tied to it. You'll have to ride a lavaproof fruit motored backwards by your own shots (play it, you'll understand). You'll have to drive a flying boat on airstreams in a maze of canyons. And the list goes on and on and on...

MUSIC : 7/10
It's all right, but it's really uneven. And there's not enough of it. The bosses (all of them original and fun to beat) are accompanied with very cool music, a short leitmotiv you won't get out of your head, and a few of the level music really appealed me (like in the 1st level), but overall this could have been better.

SFX : 9/10
This is not for the game sounds, which are as good as in any other game... this is for the Rayman language!!! The characters speak to one another in some hilarious gibberish, made of several languages, and the voice acting is really good, especially as it contains no real words!! ACE!

REPLAYABILITY VALUE :9/10
I may be weird, but I can't get tired of playing this game. Some levels are so big, so beautiful (The Fire and Rock Temple) and so rewarding to beat (the last level, before the duel with Razorbeard!!), that I just keep playing it over and over again. Oh, and I still haven't got all the lums... if anyone has, tell me if the ending changes!

CONCLUSION :
Strong points :
.Technically perfect
.Big and sometimes hard, but not unbeatable
.Packed with tremendous gameplaying ideas
.''Yeah!! Rayman!!''

Flaws :
.Not many enemies : understand this game is more about exploring a level than shooting villains. If what you like most in Mario is jumping on turtles, you won't like Rayman 2.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/02/02, Updated 10/02/02


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