Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc
Review by Shiro Sirius
"Easily the best platform game available for the GameCube right now."
Where would we be without Rayman?
The limbless hero, defined by many as one of the kings of his genre, has finally returned in a brand new adventure.
Story - 10/10
Story is a minor part of the game, and while Rayman 3's plot never really strays from the typical ''Save the world from a bad guy'' storyline, the plot is charming and lovable.
What gets this game a perfect ten in this area is the characters. From Globox, who stops in first level to talk to some flowers and quotes Monty Python to try and open a door, to Roméo, a hippy Teensie who plays Globox's stomach like a drum; the game's characters are memorable and nothing short of classic.
Gameplay - 10/10
The basic controls are the same as most other 3D platformers - A jumps, B attacks - and will therefore not take you much time to master.
In addition to his basic moves, Rayman has five power up forms, gained by touching the boxes of washing powder left behind by certain enemies. These forms allow Rayman to fly, attack with more power, fire tornadoes instead of fists, swing from floating metal grabs, or even fire a rocket which he can then guide for a limited amount of time. But beware - these powers only last for a limited amount of time.
The stages are divided into sections, after each section the game saves and you get an update on how many points are required to unlock the next bonus level. If you die, you are returned to the start of the section you are on - but until the final level these sections are quite short (no more than one or two areas big) which removes a lot of challenge from the game as you can die almost without consequence.
Like most 3D platformers, Rayman 3 also has a variety of minigames between levels, some involve snowboarding, some involve piloting Rayman's right shoe in an attempt to catch his left, and some involve an odd level where you slide across panels in an area that can only be described as, to steal a quote from a TV show named Red Dwarf, ''A voyage to trip-out city''.
Sound - 9/10
While nothing in the game is particularly catchy, it's hard to find fault with the soundtrack. Each piece of music fits the area that it plays in perfectly, giving the game a perfect sense of atmosphere.
The voice acting is fantastic, and defiantly not in short supply - Globox and André talk at any chance they get. While Rayman himself rarely talks, his voice actor suits him perfectly.
No terrible dialogue, no stopping and starting speech that sounds like a talking clock - Just perfect, convincing voice acting from start to finish.
Lifespan - 7/10
The main game itself isn't at all long, but there are plenty of things to keep you going after you finish the game. Every time you get a certain amount of points a bonus level is unlocked - some are minigames from other genres, such as Tennis, or a terrible FPS without an 'invert controls' option; others are tests of your playing skills, where you have to guide Rayman over an obstacle course that will put your every skill to the test.
The cages that were once deviously hidden in obscure, remote, and hard to access areas are nowhere near as hard to find as they once were - Just completing the game will force you to get most of them, and the others aren't exactly well hidden.
Total Score - 10/10
With a unique sense of humour, well designed levels, and a wide range of characters that you'll remember for years to come, Rayman 3 is a worthy addition to one of the best series of all time.
Rent or Buy?
If you're a big fan of platforming games, this is a definite buy. While it should be possible to complete the game in one or two rentals, both the replay value and the joy of owning such a classic game are more than worth the money.
If you only intend to play through the game once, however, just rent it.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 02/25/03, Updated 02/25/03
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