Review by DarthMarth
"A true classic; one of the best PC games ever."
Although I usually start my reviews with a sum-up of how I got the game, I've had Rayman 2: The Great Escape for so long I don't remember a thing. The fact that I still play this game testifies to its greatness. (As well as the fact that I haven't been able to play it for several years due to mysterious technical glitches) Rayman 2 is a truly classic game, with colorful, incredibly fun levels and great gameplay.
Rayman 2's 3-D graphics were no less than stunning back when the game was new, and even now (that is, 2005), they aren't that bad. Each levels (and the characters) is brilliantly, colorfully animated, with great textures, lighting, and polygons. Although the levels aren't realistic at all, their fantasy nature and color helps you enjoy being in Rayman's world.
The game's sound effects are great; Rayman makes many different noises for all his actions, and all the enemies and environments make different sounds as well. The game has plenty of dialogue in cutscenes; the characters speak some kind of gibberish with English subtitles. Each character has a different and cool-sounding "voice," from the whisper of Murfy (a flying encyclopedia who gives you hints throughout the game) to the mystical-sounding echoes of Li (a mysterious fairy who gives Rayman various powers as you collect Silver Lums; more on that later). The game's music is superb; each level has several distinctive tunes of its own, so it's hard to get bored of them.
Rayman 2's story is slightly unoriginal, but having a new storyline is next to impossible these days, anyway. Basically, robot pirates led by the sinister Admiral Razorbeard have invaded the whimsical world of Rayman, imprisoning everyone and coming close to world domination. As the game starts, the limbless hero Rayman, lying in a jail cell on the pirate flagship, finds that his best friend Globox the frog, has become his new cellmate. It turns out Globox smuggled a Silver Lum in his mouth, allowing Rayman to shoot energy from his fist again. He uses this new power to escape, but on the way, he and Globox are separated. The game starts as he plummets through the atmosphere to earth, intent on freeing everyone from the pirates. He later learns that to save the world, he must collect 4 magical masks to awaken the powerful guardian of the world, Polokus.
As usual, this is where Rayman 2 really shines. The game is a mix of the action and platformer genres; Rayman runs, jumps, and floats with his unique hair through the game's beautiful levels. He can trigger things or defeat enemies by shooting energy from his fist. This attack receives a few upgrades as you progress through the game. These upgrades come in the form of Silver Lums, powerful balls of energy given mainly by Li. They are just one of the many power-ups you'll find; your main objective is to collect pieces of the primordial energy core, Yellow Lums, and break cages to free captives of the pirates. Rayman can collect and find several other colors of Lums which do things like replenish his life or serve as save stations. (The game can only be saved permanently in the Hall of Doors, a hub between the different levels)
The game's controls are fairly good, assuming you play with a game pad/joystick. (Which unfortunately, isn't an option for me now) The controls for Rayman are simple and easy to use, though it can be a real challenge to control him with the keyboard. Assuming you have a joystick, the game is also not too difficult. (Although I never did beat the final boss)
The gameplay is Rayman 2 is fairly simple, but this only helps it to work even more. There are many puzzles and other challenges in the game, guaranteed to keep you busy for a while.
Despite the game's incredibly great levels, you probably won't want to play the game through a second time after beating it. (Unless you wait a few years, like I did; it seems completely new after this) However, the game has a great deal of levels with lots of Yellow Lums and Creates to collect, so beating the game the first time will likely take wuite a while. It's guaranteed to keep you occupied for a long, long time.
For one thing, computer games can't be rented. For another thing, these is no reason not to buy this classic! (If you can still find it, that it) Buy it now!
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 02/05/05
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