Review by Braben
"At long least!, a linear 3D platformer for the N64."
Rayman 2 is not just another 3D platformer, at least not for me, this is a 3D platformer like 3D platformers were meant to be, which is unlike most Nintendo 3D platformers, Rayman 2 is more like games such as Crash Bandicoot (at least the very first Crash Bandicoot, the only one I have played), we have a path to follow instead of a huge world to explore, so we don`t have to be running from one place to another looking for coins or special items or that crap anymore, here once we find the exit, the next stage awaits, and that is the way it should be, I mean, it is ok if there were only a few, or well, a nice amount of games that work like Super Mario 64, but at least 99% of the 3D platformers for the N64 are Super Mario clones, and as at least 95% of the games available for the N64 are 3D platformers, who wouldn`t be sick of them?, and if you think that I consider them horrible only because there are so many you are wrong, not only there are too many, they all work exactly in the same way, with absolutely nothing new to offer, it is like playing the same game with different charters or from another company, that is all.
The plot is about Rayman having to rescue his humble friends from a cheap pirate called Razorbeard after escaping from the prison he was imprisoned in. Then he also has to do other things but I can`t remember what exactly.
Rayman 2`s graphics are absolutely stunning, this game has the best 3D graphics I have ever seen in a N64 3D platformer, I guess that not even Donkey Kong 64 had such great visuals, they are incredibly smooth and the palette of colours is magnificent, they are superbly soft and good looking, and this enhanced buy the mystical and odd but pleasant mood of the game, because Rayman 2 it is set in a truly weird but nice world. Gorgeous visuals.
As usual, there is not that much music, that is the big problem, but well, the few tunes are nothing exceptional.
As I said before, the reason why I like this game so much is that it has a linear gameplay, the stages are no longer incredibly big scenarios where you have waste your time exploring and finding tons and tons of items or any other special things, here there is a main path and to get to another level you have to follow that path almost strictly, all the stages have a starting and an ending point.
The only little problem with the gameplay is that the scenarios are all kind of similar, the world of Rayman 2 is very nice as I said before, a weird but nice looking and very original place, but I would say that there is barely any difference between the first and the last scenario in the game. This may sound terribly boring bad no matter from where you look at it, but the truth is that the problem is not bad as it sounds, and of course they are not exactly the same, but they all have a similar feel.
Rayman 2 also has a fair amount of those typical kind-of mini games we see in these games and that make everything a bit different from just running and jumping, but well, they are not mini-games exactly, they are things like a stage where we have to ride a rocket to fly through some parts of a stage, or surfing in a swamp while a big monster with a truly big mouth (and well proportioned teeth) chases us, and some other things. There moments are great and never annoying, we only have to do these things once in a while, and so there is no way to get tired of them unlike other games like Donkey Kong 64 where so many mini-games and such in the end were exasperating.
Our movements are like in any other 3D game in the N64 and the only thing that makes this one a bit different is that we can shoot weird balls to destroy enemies, we can`t jump over their heads to eliminate them, so I guess we can say this is a more action packed plarformer, but only a little.
The world map is also very standard, we won`t have to be exploring to find the access to each stage or any crap like that, just choose a stage, press the button, and in a few second we are there. The map is a bit so-so, but well, at least we don`t have to access each level by exploring a huge hall or anything like that, that is enough reason to love this map system.
There is some, but it is pretty badly done, the thing is that we have to find some kind of shinning wisps called Lums (or Looms?, I can remember well) that are hidden in each stage, but in general they are quite hard to find and I can`t remember what they were for.
Rayman 2 is a brilliant 3D platform game, I played it even after having played basically every single 3D platformer for the N64, I was sick of them, and I just tried it to waste time because I was bored, and as one day one of my sister`s friends took this game to our house and forgot to take it with her once she left, I started playing, and after a few hours I was surprised because I was really enjoying it. So if you like 3D platformers but you are tired of exploring like a moron, this is your game. Very good.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/14/04
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