Review by T Airy Ahnry

"Good sidescroller, a little retro"

I got Rayman bundled with Rayman 2 cheaply and decided to try it out. It's a nice enough sidescroller that is enjoyable enough though isn't particularly special given what games have become.

Story: Forget it. You have to rescue the little electoons who have been hidden by the cool-looking Dark. Enough to set up the game and nothing more.

Gameplay/Controls: All the standard platform hops, jumping pirhanas, rolling balls, etc. The controls are fairly responsive, though there are more than a few moves (usually long jumps) that are difficult because you have to get the jump just right, and the controls aren't quite up to it.

The worlds are different enough from each other that you don't get bored through repetition, and the final world has some very clever elements that I haven't seen in another platformer.

The game walks a fairly good line between interesting and difficult. There are probably five spots in the game that are very frustrating either because a move seems impossible or because you can't find one of the cages that you're looking for. The lack of a good walkthrough for the playstation version makes this tougher, and I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people left this one unfinished. It is worth finishing, though, because the last level is the best, by far. 8/10

Difficulty: This is what most people grouse about. The game has some very difficult parts, and not always in a good way. Sometimes it's because you can't find the little cages that you're looking for, but this isn't as frustrating as the times when you know what you want to do but just can't seem to fight the controls into doing it. There are at least a few jumps etc that seem impossible, not because of any lack of skill but simply because the controls are a bit unresponsive. This is to be expected in an older game, I suppose.

In addition, there really isn't a great walkthrough for the Playstation version of this game and it can be frustrating trying to find the hidden cages. One in particular is completely arbitrary and the spot that makes it visible equally so. 4/10

Graphics: Cartoony, retro, nice enough. 8/10

Sound: Jazzy muzak loops, mostly ignored, sometimes toetapping. 7/10

Replayability: Not for me on this kind of game; once it's over, it's over. 0/10

Buy/Rent: At this point, buy. It's cheap and most people won't be able to complete it in just a couple of days.

Overall, the game is fun enough in limited doses, although getting through the entire thing in 5 lives x 3 seems completely impossible. I used the '99 lives' cheat the whole way through, mostly because I resent the number of tries I can have at a game to be limited, and I commonly took 10 tries on a level and bet that some of the harder elements took 50 tries. Go ahead and play it; it's fun enough.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 02/26/03, Updated 02/26/03

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