Review by Rayman FREAK
"A great challenge for any sidescroller lover!"
Back in 1995, the dawn of a new era began: The era of 3 Dimensional games, thought to abolish sidescrollers forever. One of the first Playstation games (Playstation being the first system to support actual 3D environments) WAS a sidescroller. When you are asked of your opinion of a great sidescroller, you normally think of the classics, such as Mario and Sonic. Well this game will burn in my mind as the game that comes to mind when I am asked to tell someone my favorite sidescroller. I give you, Rayman.
Now when a bloodthirsty FPS blood-and-guts-loving gamer picks this game up, they will simply turn it down because the graphics look ''Kiddy.'' Well, they're supposed to be! And for a good reason: It propells you into a lushous paradise that you could only imagine in your dreams; a feeling that I've never been able to find in any other game (except, of course, in Pikmin). But don't be fooled by it's kiddy appearence: This game is not to be taken lightly. It's NOT, I repeat, NOT an easy game! Now this is getting a bit off of the topic of graphics, so I'll save that speech for later. The sprite animation is great as well. In most of the old sidescrollers like Sonic and Mario, the characters feet move so fast that it doesn't look real. Well for those of you who want a sidescroller where the characters feet stay in place when they step down and don't just lift up the very next second creating that blurred foot affect, this is the game for you. Rayman's feet opperate like an actual humans; they don't slide accross a grass surface as if it were ice! And it's all thanks to the power of the Playstation. This holds true if Rayman is walking OR running. Now in the new era of 3D games, this element is very easy to achieve. Well OSG's (old school gamers) will most defeinatelly (sp) appreciate this fact. It's not one of those run of the mill slapped-together-in-one-second side scrollers. The time was taken to make sure that the backgrounds and animations were at their best. That's what I look for in a good sidescroller, and that's what I got in Rayman.
Another ''Kiddy'' element is found here. Most of the sound affects are like something out of a cartoon. This adds to the magic of the game. This game was probably the first game to use that element, and they used it well. Gex Gecko was probably the second to use it, or maybe it was Crash Bandicoot (1), but that doesn't matter that much. While some of the first PSX games like Crash started the 3D era, Rayman started the cartoony sound FX era. The music is also kiddy, but once again, this adds to the dreamy paradise element that I told you about. Also, the orchestra playing the music was enourmous. Almost every instrument you can think of is in the game! Some sounds may have been made by synthesizers, but they must have been some of the best synthesizers of their time!
Although not so appealing, the idea was new and original. In a nutshell, a cloaked villan named Mr. Dark, whose face is entirely hidden except for two glowing yellow eyes, steals the great protoon: The keeper of all of the balance and order in the world. With this gone, the electoons, who used to gravitate around it, loosed their natural stability and were scattered. Losing it's balance and order, the creatures of the world began to mutate and go insane. Now under Mr. Darks command, they captured the electoons and hid them away. Rayman decides to save the world by saving EVERY LAST ELECTOON IN THE WORLD!!! Now this is not an easy task, and there is no way of getting around it, unless you cheat. It's not a save-the-princess game, it's a save-the-world-from-total-insanity game. This may not appeal to you, but the originality appeals to me.
The sprite control helps out alot in the score above. It's simply incredible. I deducted a point because of it's difficulty which can cause utte frustration, but the allure will keep you coming back for more until you beat the game, which will take a while unless you use a stratagy guide, of which there are few. The controlls are easy to learn and master. They're extremely basic, making it so much more appealing. It's not complicated at all (like having to press Down to enter doors in Blaster Master), so even a monkey could do it. However, this game is HARD! Some people say it's just tetious because you have to repeat some levels thousands of times before you find the cages, but I say that some of the puzzles and bosses can just blow your mind. Those that get easily frustrated should either not buy this game, or keep a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOT of stress-relieving drugs in the kitchen! (Just kidding) I won't spoil anything, so I'll leave you with this thought: If something is hard to do, but will give you possibly the most fun you've had in your life, is it worth doing? (My answer is undoubtably ''Yes'')
Buy/Rent: Sidescroll lovers looking for a fun-filled challenge should buy. FPS gamers that adore the sight of victims keeling over in pain after tasting the searing kiss of hot lead from a bullet traveling at over the speeds of sound, but would like to be relieved of their love for gore before they become a terrorist should rent it to be introduced to a game that can be fun without pain and suffering.
One of the best challenges that I've had in my life, not only because of the great graphics and SFX, but also because of the extreme challenge that it provides. There IS a reason why it's on PSX's Greatest Hit's list, and this review explains it all.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/06/02, Updated 01/06/02
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