Review by WishingTikal
"A fun but frustrating platformer, nothing more"
It seems you don't need arms and legs to be a hero, just hair and a fist. Rayman is back in another weird adventure but in a darker world this time. But no, it really doesn't fit Rayman.
Globox, Rayman's friend, has swallowed a Dark Lum and disappeared so Rayman must find him. The robot pirates also are after Globox and the powers the Dark Lum gave him. He'll travel through a strange and hostile world in order to bring him back and find someone to cure him. He'll be help by his friends Ly the fairy, Murfy and the Teensies thorough his quest. Not a too common story but not very original either.
Stunning and amazing backgrounds mixed with a piece of strangeness make Rayman's world unique. Everything seems to have been done with a lot of attention and details. The enemies lack a little originality and sometimes you'll find yourself wondering ''Can I fight something else than robot pirates?''. The dark and gloomy feel added to this game of the franchise will become boring quickly. I mean, all the entire game has this feel, every single level. Forget about the beautiful and magical worlds of other Rayman games, this one sets in a world of darkness. But without any doubts, the graphics are well done, weird yet enjoyable.
What music ? Was that sound I heard while playing music ? I know a game that sets in a gloomy world needs gloomy music but do you really want to hear that kind of music during all your play time ? Weird instrumental sounds were the music in this game. Talking of the sounds, they are no better than the music. Did I enjoyed hearing Rayman's scream every times he jumped ? No. I didn't and you won't.
Is it just me or is there a level identical to a level I played in Tarzan ?? And what's with this level that looks exactly the same as Bowser's Castle in Mario Kart ?? Also, why is there a level with a loop just like Sonic's levels ?? What were they trying to do ? If they wanted levels different than the platformer ones, they didn't need to put a water skiing level and a kart racing level similar to other games, they aren't doing great with this. Where's the originality here ? Rayman, stay in your good old platformer levels. Though, I enjoyed the flying barrel and walking missile levels, it differs from the rest of the game and is enjoyable. The platformer levels are fun but hard. Not as hard as other rayman games I know of *coughraymanforevercough* but still not easy. Not too hard at first, but harder as the game progresses. There is a lot to do, from collecting Lums, freeing fairies in cages, and solving simple puzzles to advance to the exit of the level so it changes from just destroying enemies but some levels are too simple and uninspired. For the most part of these levels, the thing is to jump from platform to platform, avoiding the obstacles. But the problem here is, you need to stand on the very edge of the platform to jump to the other one or you won't reach it, not cool. How many times did I had to start over a level simply because I missed the platform by one inch ? Too many for me to remember. The difficulty of Rayman seems to lower the fun. It sure isn't Kirby but too hard games aren't fun, they are frustrating. Rayman can do a lot of moves, like flying, jumping, throwing his fist and more but can't swim (maybe because he has no arms ?) and you can get more moves as you advance further in the game. The controls are net but sometimes you get hurt and you don't even know why. You're one feet away from the enemy but somehow, he hurt you. Some enemies are also too hard to destroy even if there's an original way to destroy them. Why can't we simply punch them with Rayman's fist ? No, you need to jump, avoid the enemy's hit, punch him and repeat this 3 or 4 times. When you get hit or hit the enemy, the character or enemies become invisible for a short time but it's really frustrating when you can't see your character, even for a short time, and accidentally fall in the water (remember, Rayman can't swim). The bosses are fun to beat but some are pretty hard and one of them even (strangely) looks like a character of Monster Inc. ! (hey... Ubisoft ?)
Play Time/Replayability -7/10
It's a short game (4 main worlds) if you're a platformer master but its difficulty may slow you a bit and you'll often have to start over a level a lot of times before completing it so it could take you a long time. Some levels are so frustrating you'll want to give away the game. Rayman should keep you busy with all the lums to collect and fairies to free but it's hard and not worth completing only for some bonus. Will you replay this game for a second time ? Maybe, if you're at your grandma's house.
Overall : 7/10
If you want a good platformer, buy Rayman Advance (which I really enjoyed), I think this one is more worth your money and time. But Rayman 3 is still an enjoyable and innovative game and I enjoyed playing it once. The extras if you have the GameCube version are also a good reason to buy this game. But don't misunderstand me, this platformer is a good one.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 04/26/03, Updated 05/30/03
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