Review by CC Ricers

"Awesome game, but whoa, it's kind of hard..."

Rayman Advance was one of the first games when I got my GBA, all shiny and new. I never played any of the Rayman games before, so I chose this hoping it would be a fun platformer.

The goal of the game is pretty simple: collect all the Electoons (they're trapped in cages) and defeat Mr. Dark at the end. Many of the stages look deceptively short, but there are various nooks that you can go through and find new areas. You also get a sense of progress in that you gain new abilities along the way. Use them to better explore the levels, and you will also have to backtrack to the previous ones in order to get the Electoons you have missed. One quirk about this game is that extra lives are saved. And any lost lives are saved too, unfortunately. So if your game ends, you gotta continue that game with only one life. It's kind of annoying to go back and rack up extra lives.

Let's face it; I bought this game mostly for the bright, colorful graphics. The levels look amazing, and the sprites are bigger than what you're used to in platform games. Rayman's world is a bright, imaginative, psychedelic one. The designers have a thing with putting eyes on many objects. You stand on a platform, oh it has eyes. Then you're walking and whoa, that eye shot a lightning bolt at you. Pretty strange stuff. All the enemies are drawn in detail, and the scenery is fresh and goes beyond the "ice, water, lava" kind of stuff in similar games. There's two sides of the coin, however. The boss sprites aren't so detailed as much as they are stretched, and look pixelated. And since everything is drawn bigger, it's makes for problems in a smaller screen, especially platform games. You cannot scout that far ahead, and places that look like bottomless pits might be passageways to other areas, and you'll end up missing them.

The music can range from all right to annoying, especially when it seems louder. Everything sounds tinny, and when you think this is an issue with early GBA games, I played Tony Hawk Advance 2 and I knew the portable had some potential in kicking out some good jams. So yeah, the music is forgettable, and there's no way to turn it off. The sound effects are good, however, and most of them have a cartoony feel to them, to better complement the bright graphics.

Remember that the point of this is to collect all those Electoons but damn, some of those guys are sure hard to find! Young kids might find it frustrating, especially since you have collect all of the ones from the previous worlds before you can visit the last world. Other games like Yoshi's Island have that sort of thing, but at least it's optional. For a GBA platformer this sure has a lot of playing time to put into.

Final words
For a GBA launch title this game is quite impressive. It's kind of a tech demo of what the system can do in terms of graphics but also, it's a long, fun engaging adventure. People that enjoy the Mario or DKC kind of platform games should become adjusted to this, but it's not necessarily for everyone. As I said before, it demands more playing time so it should be a satisfying purchase for most people.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 12/20/04

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