Review by Jump_Man7

"Rayman is Back!"

The Good: Caters to Both Casual and Advanced Players | Beautiful Art Direction | Creative Level Design | Challenging but not Frustrating | Hilarious Characters | Great Variety in Levels | Multiplayer
The Bad: Simple Bosses | Flying Levels are dull | Not much replayability
Recommendation: Pick this up if you're a fan of platformers or if you're looking for a very fun game that anyone can get into

Rayman Origins is the latest and greatest entry in the Rayman series. Origins is a near flawless platform game that does everything right. From the gorgeous looks of the game to the perfect controls, there isn't much to complain about in what is arguably the best 2D platformer this generation. The limbless wonder is back and better than ever!

Gameplay:

If you've played any platformer then you know what the deal is. You play as Rayman, Globox or one of their friends as you hop and bop around each level trying to collect as many Lums as you can. The more Lums (pronounced looms) you collect, the higher your score is once you complete the level. It's an interesting system where instead of being rewarded with extra lives for each hundred coins/lums you collect, you're instead rewarded with more characters, hidden levels and other extra goodies.

And herein lies the crux or what Rayman Origins is all about. The goal of each level isn't to just reach the end but instead to collect as many Lums as possible once you reach the end. While you're at it, you'll also be looking for hidden areas in each level to snag more medals. These medals are used to unlock hidden levels that provide a real challenge for expert players.

This creates an interesting dynamic where an experienced gamer is rewarded for performing impressive feats of skill while at the same time does not punish a novice players for simply “moving right.” Another feature you'll find in the game is that there are no lives. You can die a thousand times in a level and continue about your business. While this may look like a cheap way to make the game easier, it really isn't. This feature makes it so that you won't be punished if you make a mistake while exploring an area or if you backtrack to make sure you've snatched all the lums.

There is an interesting assortment of levels you'll find in Rayman Origins. Aside from the standard run and jump levels, you'll also find flying levels, underwater levels, chase levels and more. These levels are spread out throughout the game to keep the flow going and provide a dose of variety to keep things interesting.

For the most part, you'll find that Origins isn't too much of a challenge if you're just plowing through levels. That is until you reach the latter part of the game where there is a noticeable spike in difficulty. If those levels aren't challenging enough, the chase levels certainly will be. In these stages, your objective is to chase down a runaway treasure chest through some of the most daunting levels in platforming history. Seriously, some of these levels can get extremely difficult if you're not up to speed with all of Rayman's abilities. These levels are optional but if you beat them all you get access to one of the most intense challenging levels to ever grace a video game: The Land of the Livid Dead.

Other than that, there isn't much else to say. You'll be running, jumping, hopping off walls and performing other standard feats you'd find in platformers. Rayman can punch and kick through enemies and will also learn more abilities as he progressed through the game, such as the ability to run up walls or shrink in size.

There is a multiplayer feature that's a ton of fun. Although it's great to knock each other around as you try to collect all the lums, I find the game to be most enjoyable if played alone.

The few bosses in the game are entertaining and look great, but aren't too much of a challenge. After a few hits, they're down and out. They don't put up much of a fight so the feeling of satisfaction after you beat one is not there. Another weak part of the game would be the flying levels. In these levels, you ride a Mosquito (or it rides you in the case of Globox) and try to maneuver through a scrolling level while enemies try to attack you. I found this to get real dull after a while as there wasn't much you could do on the mosquito. This was definitely the most lackluster aspect of the game and one I hope they improve on if they ever do a sequel.

Content:

Rayman has some fun unlockables you can earn by collecting medals. Unlike most other modern platformers, the unlockables are actually practical and fun. You won't be killing yourself trying to unlock concept art or a piece of a soundtrack. Instead you'll be unlocking different characters. Granted, the majority of these characters are palette swaps of the default characters, they're still much more enjoyable than the unlockables you'll find in other platformers.

There are ten worlds set across five landscapes. Each world has around four or five levels and one chase level. It's a nice way to keep the pace of the game flowing as you're not stuck in one locale for too long.

The entire game will last you around twenty or so hours if you're looking to collect everything. There isn't much replayability once you've completed the main game and finished the Land of the Livid Dead level. Each stage has a time trial you can try your hands at, but outside of that there isn't much else.

Presentation:

Rayman Origins is a stunning game graphically. The art is completely gorgeous. The levels come to life and the characters move so smoothly. It's absolutely beautiful and one of the defining aspects of the game.

Each world is so interesting and strays from the norm of other platformers. What I mean by that is that each world provides a fun spin to the standards. The snow levels also have hilarious cuisine themes, the water levels have singing lums, and the desert levels have instruments as their themes. They're really fun twists that are appreciated.

The game is so whimsical and fun that you can't help but crack a smile from time to time. The characters are hilarious and beaming with personality. Globox is especially fun to see in action. If his crouching stance doesn't get you to laugh, nothing will. It's a game that's hard not to like.

The Verdict:

There isn't much to complain about with this game. Everything flows together well and the pace of the adventure is never ruined. Rayman is challenging, looks great and above all else, fun! While there are a few hiccups when it comes to boss battles and the flying levels, everything else is solid.

Rayman Origins doesn't revolutionize the platforming genre, but it sure as hell perfected it. This just might be the best 2D platformer we've seen this generation. Go out and pick this game up. It's entertaining and at the end of the day that's all that matters.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/13/12

Game Release: Rayman Origins (US, 11/15/11)


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