"How Does He Function Without Those Limbs Anyways?"

In the land of video-gaming, platforms and sports reign supreme in terms of quantity. Every cutesy mascot, every big company logo will always end up in a platform game. In the swarm of mediocre, overly adorable platformers, great giants such as Mario and Sonic conquer over them all and rake in the dough. One mascot, a French limbless creature named Rayman, may not have the marketing behind him, but he does have the power to make a better-then-average platformer.

Story: 7/10

One lazy night in the lands of Rayman's world, a dark force stirs. A swarm of evil bug-like creatures called the Dark Lums terrorize the public and try to conquer the world. Their leader, a cunning Lum named Andre, leads them towards the Heart of the World for him to complete his plan. Along the way, Rayman's pudgy friend Globox swallows the Dark Lum King and brings upon Rayman's head the anger of a thousand Dark Lums. In order to cure Globox of his stomachache, Rayman agrees to bring him to qualified Teensie doctors to fix the problem.

Now, why Rayman didn't just lock his friend up in a safe place and let Globox's body just work the Dark Lum out of his system remains a mystery to me. Oh, because there would be no game and no villain to beat up. ;)

Graphics: 9/10

Hmmm...The beautiful lands of Rayman 2 seemed to have deteriorated in this game. For some odd reason, the backgrounds don't look as awe-inspiring as the last game. Sure, they're not so ugly that you have to shield your eyes, but the environment is a step backwards from the Fairy Glade and the Tomb of the Ancients from Rayman 2.

Character models are humorous. Rayman looks like Rayman, (his look updates with each installment, it seems.) the enemies look funny and dangerous at the same time, and some of his friends look just like the funny-looking pathetic souls that they are.

The CGI scenes will take your breath away. I swear on it.

Gameplay: 8/10

Well, Rayman doesn't need to collect 1,000 lums anymore. Instead, its a regular beat the stage game. However, you aren't going to impress anyone with lackluster scores unless you collect points and do crazy combos. Collecting major points will unlock bonuses in the menus, so beat those bad guys and do those stunts. (There are also Teensie cages to break like last time, but this time they aren't mandatory.)

As you beat the game, things will be unlocked in your bonus menu. Stuff like CGI scenes to be replayed, Mini-games to be beaten, and bonus videos to make your sides split. The mini-games are fun, but they won't keep you coming back for more. They are just something to pass the time at best.

Control: 9/10

The control works like a charm. The camera will be a pain sometimes, but I'll be darned if I find a 3D Platformer with perfect camera...

Sound: 10/10

Colorful music, but once again they have periods where the music fades away and leaves you with silence. The voices more then make up for this. Voice-acting is very lively, with Rayman speaking in a determined somewhat arrogant tone, Globox bumbling like the idiot he was born to be, and Teensies squeaking in voices that would fit perfectly in the Muppets show.

Sound Effects are funny. Enemies make rather funny dying sounds when killed.

Replayability: 7/10

Some parts in the game are fun to go back and beat again, but then again there are some parts in the game that will frustrate you so badly that you won't even bother with that level anymore.

Some people will shelf this after its finished, and others will continue playing. It really depends on what kind of person you are.

To Buy or To Rent?

Rent first if you have any second doubts, then buy if you find this game at your level of playing. Fans of Rayman will eagerly snatch this up.

My final words is that Rayman 3 is not the graphic giant that Rayman 2: The Great Escape was, but it won't fail to please. The series has taken a more humorous approach, so expect more laughs then cries of anguish when you play this game. Above all, Rayman proves that being scientifically impossible has its own rewards.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 03/02/04

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