Review by LanMan_themovie

Reviewed: 03/14/03 | Updated: 03/14/03

Can it Compare to Rayman 2?

Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc Review

Rayman has been a very memorable and enjoyable character for nearly ten years now, and many have eagerly awaited his next return to the console relm. First things first though, Rayman 3 doesn't quite hold a candle to Rayman 2, it just wasn't to be. Put simply, Rayman 2 is better than Rayman 3 in every way except for graphics, voice, and extra mini-games, and the contrast is disappointing enough that you'll want to try not to compare in order to get the full enjoyment out of it. So try and put that out of your mind. Because though Rayman 3’s scoring system, linearity, power-up system, and overall gameplay experience are quite a step down from its predecessor, the game still has a lot of segments to enjoy.

First for the good points. The voice casting is awesome, and hearing John Leguizamo as Globox is one of the best parts of the game, as is Murphy, your sidekick that starts out the game. The overall writing and sarcasm infused in this Rayman are one of the standout highlights of this venture. The things the Teensies say throughout the game are a little strange and seem more like something a bunch of drunk writers made up one night around a table (Is 'I have to go make my bed' funny to you?). But the overall effect of the voice acting is great and adds a lot of personality. As for other good points, the graphics are still top notch with good texture work, lighting, and above average level aesthetic design. The new power-up system, while some may not like as much as Rayman 2, still carries it’s own cool new perks of its own.

However, one of the first bizarre things is that the whole thing took a turn for the dark and decadent, which was questionable judgment. The beautiful environments of Rayman 2 are still sorely missed by contrast. And speaking of beautiful environments, there is no glorious overworld to tie the levels together. It's all linear, level after level, which eats into the gameplay enjoyment. The levels themselves are pretty well designed and have you figuring out doors and switches while collecting gems and power-ups, which brings us to the next point.

The collection system was one of Rayman 2's stronger points. There was a counter at the top that made sense - ''amount collected''/''total'', so you always knew if there was something missing in the level. You never had to recollect things twice. You saved up those ''lums'' to buy better permanent power-ups for Rayman. In Rayman 3, however, you have no idea how well you do until the level is over and it basically says ''you screwed up'', slaps you with a big frowning face, gives you some stars that no on knows what are for, and sends you on your way. This shoots the replay value in the foot, because even if you want to go back to that level, you still don't know if you're even doing better or not until the end, and it says ''nope, still didn't get 'em all. Too bad''. The rewards are in the way of extra mini-games and videos, which are still pretty fun in their own right.

The multiplayer aspects can be pretty fun and includes one of the more enjoyable cube-GBA link-ups to date. They are short and good for a few thrills - nothing amazing but it still they're still fun little rewards to earn throughout the game.

Overall, Rayman is still a platform game that is worth trying out. If you're looking for the successor to the beautiful Rayman 2, put that out of your mind or you'll be sadly disappointed. If you're just looking for a platformer to rent while you're waiting for Zelda or something else to come along, a Rayman 3 rental might fill that gap nicely.

Presentation: 9.0
Great menus, FMV's, extras, and comedic talent. Some may not be thrilled with the grimmer settings.

Graphics: 9.0
Great textures and lighting with smooth framerates and great animation.

Sound: 9.0
Dolby Pro Logic II is put to good use, but the real star is the excellent voice acting.

Gameplay: 7.5
The jumping and control is good. Camera is good. But some may want a little more than that. The new reworked collection system takes some of the fun out of the game.

Lasting Appeal: 7.7
Some nice arcade-like games to play for a few kicks, but the game structure keeps the motivation down for replaying levels. The overall game is short enough to finish on a rental.

Overall Score: 7.9

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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