Review by Betaman214

"Alright port, but not great"

I've played Rayman for a while and I think it's safe to say that there are a lot of ports of the games out there. Rayman 2 was the worst of the porting frenzy, but the original Rayman had quite a few as well. This review is (of course) going to cover the Gameboy Advance port of the game for your reading pleasure. So here we go...

Popping the game into my GBA, I was greeted with the familiar (and in my opinion, more fitting for the Rayman franchise!) Rainbow Ubisoft logo. It was good, but the Orchestral tune that is in every other version was replaced with a rather horrid and INCREDIBLY high version of one of the BandLand themes. This not only replaced the Logo theme, but the Title theme to the game as well. Speaking of the title screen, instead of receiving any introduction, I was told to pick a language and to decide whether I wanted the music on or not. Being from America, and being a big fan of the soundtrack, I picked English and chose the Music on option. The title screen itself, however was VERY dithered from the original ones. Instead of just being Rayman, it was a pixely version of the logo with ADVANCE poorly added onto the bottom of it. Selecting a file, I decided to see how the game played. Upon starting, I was met with a horrendous rendition of the opening movie from the CD versions of the game, and a very vague and unconvincing version of the original story. What gets me though, is the text for the Instructions were almost directly ripped from the Original Atari Jaguar manual of the game. Why they couldn't just port the text in or use the images from the Jaguar version is beyond me.

Intro and titlescreen finished, I got to the map screen to find it almost unchanged from the original game, albeit slightly more washed out. I also noticed that Rayman appeared in front of the medallions that marked the levels as opposed to behind them; a nice change if I do say so myself. Getting right into it, I selected Pink Plant Woods and got to playing! Now gameplay wise, it plays just like any other version of Rayman that you can find. However, graphics and sounds wise, it's a mess of beeps and pixels.

For one thing, Rayman is incredibly washed out. Any sprite that was supposed to be very large (Such as Betilla the Fairy's body, the photographer's body, Most bosses, and the medallion) is drawn normal size (About the size of Rayman) and stretched to about 2X the size it was. This makes things that are better rendered look strange when drawn with the larger objects. The Medallion that you see whenever you break open a cage is a prime example of this screwup. (It looks like they took the medallion off the map and stretched it to fit.) Rayman is rendered the same way that he was back in 1995, with each part being drawn

Off the topic of graphics, I'll go to the other main issue this game has: The sound track and the terrible sound effects.
The original Soundtrack for Rayman was simply MASSIVE. There were enough tracks there to spawn a CD, which some versions actually let you use the game disk as. However, the soundtrack in this is poor. Even the Atari Jaguar version, the FIRST version, had more tracks than this port did. There are 17 tracks in this game. And all of them except the Dream Forest music were poorly reproduced. Most are re-used in areas that don't fit, such as Mr. Dark's boss music in Bandland and The Gameover music in the File select screen. Now, the sound effects are almost exactly like the PC Versions. This makes it sound incredibly strange. Tings make a strange pop noise, and sometimes the sounds block the music out! Even the Atari Jaguar version had better sound effects than this, and it was made for a 64 bit console that had a 16 bit processor! The GBA can handle more than that! It's just damn laziness on the developer's part.

Final words: It was an alright port if you can get around the washed out and horridly resized graphics. And the terribly made soundtrack. And the awful rehash of the intro movie. And the lack of the Breakout game that was in the PC port that this port tries so hard to be like.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 07/08/11

Game Release: Rayman Advance (US, 06/11/01)

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