Review by supertails61
"Good game, so-so port"
Ah yes, Rayman. The little hero with no arms, legs, or neck, first starred in a sidescroller for the Playstation. This game was fun, challenging, and had great, cartoonish graphics. Next, came Rayman 2: The Great Escape for the N64, and later the PS2. Rayman was a superior 3-D adventure with tons of levels and amazing graphics. So, Rayman 2 got a port and ended up being on the DS. But is it as good as it was when it was first released?
For the most part, Rayman DS is identical to Rayman 2. An evil band of Robot Pirates are lead by Razorbeard, and they've captured the many people in the world, including Rayman. Rayman breaks out of prison with the help of his best friend, Globox, but they get separated as soon as Rayman escapes. So, you have to find Globox and your fairy friend Ly, as well as find the Lums, 1000 pieces of scattered energy.
Gameplay is fairly basic for a 3-D platformer. You'll make your way through numerous levels, jumping and shooting balls of energy from your fist. One of Rayman's signature moves is gliding gently back to the ground using his hair like a helicopter. You'll find lots of puzzles, and some combat, though it isn't a lot, and several fun instances where you ride vehicles, such as a walking bomb shell and a powder keg. These are fun and really mix up the gameplay.
As far as sound goes, everything is fine. Most of the music that plays isn't memorable, but isn't bad or grating either, and sets the mood of the area you're at. As for sound effects, they fit, like the robotic grunts from the Robot Pirates when you attack them or the bouncing of a plum. The sound isn't quite as good considering that it comes out of the DS speakers, but is still good.
Though Rayman DS has the same graphics as Rayman 2, they have been toned down. While Rayman and the other characters look good in 3-D, the problem lies in the textures and backgrounds. They are very muddy, with many ugly, easy-to-see pixels. This being said, the graphics have not been improved at all, only slightly downgraded in some areas, but the graphics still work.
Controls are sadly another problem with Rayman DS, and like the graphics, they were just find in Rayman 2. The biggest problem is that you don't have an analog stick, and going through a 3-D adventure with just a D-pad gets extremely frusting and hurts the thumb. All the other actions work well, but I still find it odd to jump with B instead of A. Even though you can use the thumb strap on the touch screen to mimic analog control, it just doesn't hold a candle to the real thing.
While Rayman 2: The Great Escape was a truly wonderful game, the DS port comes with worse graphics, D-pad control, and a slower frame rate. The game is very fun itself, but if you have an N64 and can find it, I suggest Rayman 2: The Great Escape instead. This is an all right DS game you can have some fun with.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 11/28/06
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