Review by MathewManson

"Challenging and frustrating."

Platform games are industry standard in the world of video games...well they were in the nineties. From the transition from eight-bit gaming to sixteen-bit gaming—the platform genre seemed to have lost its touch—general problem is “difficulty”. The majority of platform games after the eight-bit era were neither difficult nor challenging. Heading from the sixteen-bit era to the thirty-two-bit era, we experience a change...noticeably the quality of video games, though many video games started to increase in difficulty again. “Rayman” happens to be the most difficult platform game that I have ever had both the pleasure and displeasure of playing.

The most basic plots are usually the best plots for games of this genre. The problem is that it's the typical plot used for the majority of platform games has become rather stale at this point—meaning that a platform game on a new generation system should be able to offer more. The basis for plot in platform games still hasn't had any leap since the arrival of the Nintendo Entertainment System classic; Super Mario Bros. There's nothing I need to explain about the story, other than the fact it flows well and is great for the platform genre.

Beautiful...this game looks absolutely beautiful. The evolution of graphics in the two-dimensional range was huge during the release of this game. Looking at Rayman would generally make somebody feel as if they're looking at a form of cartoon. Everything on and off screen is smooth, though everything requires a large loading time—this is common with any game on the Sony Playstation, especially this early into its life-span. Only one issue other than loading times I have come across—there's a lack of colour during specific parts of the game which tend to end up looking overall...rather bland—making the experience weak compared to the majority of the game.

Rayman—this video game has the most odd and genius soundtracks I have ever experienced. It sounds as if the composers had played a lot of Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario, and the Legend of Zelda. The entire soundtrack feels as if it is based on the soundtracks of games from those three series. The tracks suit the themes that come along throughout the game, though can become frustrating as the pleasant sounds can become a nightmare. The music can become obnoxious due to the concentration needed in order to play throughout the game due to (which will be mentioned soon) the extreme difficulty that Rayman has to offer.

When it comes to the platform genre—both game-play and general control happen to be the most important aspects. While everything else in this game has been top quality, the game-play takes a little tumble due a factor which can be a blessing, though for Rayman...it's a curse. This game is unbelievably difficult—which supports the rumours that this game was never properly tested by Ubisoft. Rayman's problem in relation to difficulty is based on your hit-points, extra lives, continues, slippery environments, endless onslaught of enemies, and an incredible amount of trial and error. You are given many hit-points, though almost everything can cause loss to those points—hard to tell what is hazardous and what isn't. Extra lives are scattered throughout the entire game, though they're rare and often require risking your current life to obtain. For all I know...there are no extra continues other than the original five that you begin with—thus making trial and error more tedious than anything. Almost everything is slippery, though the good controls make up for a lot of it, it's still slippery to the point that the majority of difficult jumps and landings go either for you or against you based on chance. The enemies re-spawn at the most inappropriate of times. Enemies have one simple goal in Rayman, and this goal is to follow a simple pattern which along with other enemies and environmental hazards—it's a nightmare. The patterns are various, and if you go close enough to an enemy they will break the pattern and attack you. Trial and error is the problem that Rayman has. If you had unlimited lives or unlimited continues, there wouldn't be much of a problem. Once you lose all of your continues you're stuck at wherever you saved last—left with barely any lives and having to get to the next save-point with those lives whilst going through the harsh trial and error.

May it seem that I have been harsh on Rayman itself? The two major problems I had with the game which caused me to be filled with frustration was simply the lack of continues and the trial and error. You either have one or the other, not both for a game of the platform genre. If one is a fan of the platform genre and is willing to give themselves a large challenge, then Rayman is the perfect game for them. Whether found for the original Sony Playstation or downloaded on the Sony Playstation 3...Rayman is not a difficult game to locate—providing hours of either challenging or frustrating entertainment—maybe both.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 11/28/12

Game Release: Rayman (EU, 05/29/08)


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