Review by Gbness

"A solid platformer for the PS2."

The Rayman series is a good platform series, but it just has never succeeded in seeing such fortune as Mario, Pac-Man, Sonic, or some other platform heroes have. It's never been hyped near as much as they have, and it's not near as popular. Still, Rayman has seen some glory. From the recent release of Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc to all the GameBoy and PC games that were released, Rayman has won some good fame, but he just cannot compare to the likes of other platforming heroes. He's just not near as good.

In Rayman 2, the game focuses on Rayman, who has been mixed up in a lot of chaos. He and his best friend Globox have been captured by pirates. Also, the world's core has been shattered into one thousand ''Lums'', all of which have extreme power. Rayman used to be extremely powerful, but he's now lost all of his powers. His fairy friend Ly has also been kidnapped. However, Globox gives Rayman a Lum that he got from Ly earlier, and then Rayman breaks out of the prison that he and Globox are trapped in.

However, in getting out, Globox disappears and Rayman doesn't see him again for a while. Rayman is then in the open world and his adventure is to first find his friends, and then go out and find four masks of immense power. Now the story of Rayman 2 is good, I don't mind saying that. The only problem is that Sony just did not work on the originality of it. This storyline is still great, but there are so many games and movies with similar stories that it's not even funny. It's really amazing at what people think of these days.

The game has pretty good and easy to understand control. You can move with the Left Analog Stick, jump with X, shoot with Square or Circle, and lock on to an enemy with the L2 button. Also, if you jump in the air twice with the X button, the helicopter on Rayman's head will lift him above the ground and he will hover. Also in water, Rayman can swim. However, the Yellow Lums that you collect in the game can be traded for valuable abilities. There are tons of these, so Rayman 2 has a lot to do.

Rayman 2 is definitely not for you if you aren't a fan of games that have a whole lot to collect. There is the challenge of collecting all 1,000 Lums in the entire game, but that really isn't too hard considering later you receive a radar that will indicate the locations of all of the Lums. The real challenge is getting all the abilities that Rayman can get. Although you only have to buy them, you'll be quite poor because they go for very high prices. It's just a pain in the neck getting the Lums too, since there are only three places where you can buy the abilities.

Actually though, Rayman 2 is a pretty linear game. Believe it or not, this is a good side to the game because if it wasn't linear it'd be extremely complex. Rayman 2 also features some pretty cool levels, especially the one where you meet up with Globox. Collecting Lums and fairies takes a pretty long time to start getting old. The game itself isn't very long or difficult, although the final fights can really shake some of the stuff out of you. There are also some pirates that you need to be clever to dodge the almighty attacks of, so the challenge evens out.

For a platformer anyway, Rayman 2 has a great deal of side quests that come with it. To start it off there's a game where one of Globox's kids is trying to beat a pirate in a race to find a witch, there's a soccer game with Globox's children, and there's even a dogfight between Rayman and Ly that you can play! There are several races with Ly, a shooting game, and a roller coaster game. Most of the games are accessed by getting fairies and going to Ly's house, and they definitely add a little to the game's innovation and replay value, I have to say.

Rayman 2 is nothing short of the PlayStation2's capabilities in terms of graphical power. There's still that things about Rayman, how his limbs are not attached, but since Rayman has pretty much always been like that, I feel it's unfair to criticize the game too much when it comes to that area. The backgrounds of the game are quite detailed and beautiful, and the characters of the game are also vividly detailed. Some of the more advanced pirates of this game look quite awesome, and the guardian of the Cave of Bad Dreams is excellent. Overall the graphics are excellent.

Music in most platformer games is usually not that amazing, and Rayman 2 is no exception. Even though most of the game's music fits with the game extremely nicely, I haven't played the game for six months and now I can only remember one song, whereas in some RPGs I could wait for six years and still remember nearly most of the music. So overall the game isn't that high in terms of music, but it's not like this kind of game is actually meant to be high in the area of music.

Sound is a little better, although there is one minor glitch I encountered: sometimes when Rayman uses his helicopter, the sound of it will not stop. It just continues on and on until you leave the level or turn the game off. The voices in the game are pretty good, and the sounds of most of the pirates shooting sounds fairly realistic. A good deal of the voices featured in the game are quality as well, and if you don't encounter the glitch I just mentioned then the sounds Rayman will make are good.

Sadly, Rayman 2 does not have a very high amount of replay value. Sure, you will want to complete the game and finally show Admiral Razorbeard who his maker is, but once you do that the game will lose most of its magic. Still, it isn't a total loss. A lot of the games are quite innovative and add to the game's fun, and it may be worth taking another shot at it if you are a Rayman fan or just a fan of platformers... but if you aren't the game won't be near as much fun the second time around.

The Good

-Lots of nice mini-games and things to collect.
-The music and sound are good enough.
-Some of the best graphics on the PS2.

The Bad

-A little music needs to be a bit more memorable.
-Replay value is not very high.
-The game contains some glitches.

Overall, Rayman 2 is a very solid action platformer game for the PS2. Yes, there are many better platformers that can be found on the system. Those range from Jak & Daxter to Ratchet & Clank, but still if you see this at your local video store, I definitely recommend giving Rayman 2 a rental. It's definitely worth that at the very least, because you can probably complete it in a week or so. If you can find it for $20 or less, you should probably buy it. It has most of the things needed for a great game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 10/28/03

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