Review by paleselan

"Rayman Origins Review"

Let me get this out of the way, Rayman Origins is the best game I've played this year. That's saying a lot, considering I've already beaten close to forty games so far this year. The developers evidently love games, and their love shines through. They crafted an incredible experience with great level design, fun gameplay mechanics, colorful animations, and ebullient music.

Rayman and friends start out the game on a tree chilling out. Each character is making a different sound, whether it be snoring or sneezing. All the sounds together compile to form a pretty loud and cool beat. Apparently, this sound annoys Miss Old Granny Pants, who lives beneath the tree where Rayman is. She sends all her shadow minions up to catch Rayman, because her old head can't take the noise. Other than that, there isn't much of a story. Rayman saves some princesses, who are quite good looking, and some other stuff happens. Confused at my bad explanation? I am too. The game does a horrible job explaining what anything has to do with each other. Heck, when I finished the game I was scratching my head wondering what just happened.

Story aside, this game is great. As players progress through the game they rescue princesses. After each one is rescued they grant Rayman a power. These range from the ability to swim, run up walls, hover in the air, and more. I really liked how all the different types of powers are blended into levels. In Mario, players can only hold one power up at a time, but in Rayman Origins, every power unlocked is used in almost every level. This opens up to limitless gaming combinations and causes the game to never get boring, every level becomes different.

It's quite a large compliment to the developers that the game is so long, but still stays entertaining for the whole time, and will even cause players to keep coming back. The game itself is pretty long, and can take six to eight hours to beat, with over fifty levels to conquer in the main story. Finding each of the three hidden cages in a level, and collecting lots of electoons (the equivalent to coins in Mario) will grant you a Smiley, or that's what I call them. They're like the games collectables. Collecting these Smileys will unlock another twenty or so levels to play through, and even an extra boss. Getting these collectables isn't a chore, since most players will be replaying levels anyway, since they're so fun.

The beginning of the game starts out really easy, and even the later levels aren't that hard. The only real trouble I encountered was in the very last world. I don't see this as a problem, even though a lot of people will be looking for a bigger challenge. If players try getting collectables and getting a lot of electoons that will make the game challenging. This way, the player almost has full control over the difficulty. It is what you make of it.

The graphics look great and everything is hand drawn. It looks like stuff out of a Saturday morning cartoon. There are so many vibrant colors used in the environment and enemy designs, I couldn't stop admiring the skill of the artists. The music also compliments the graphic style perfectly. One half of the music is cool jazz, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The other half of the music is silly and whimsical. The sound of electoons singing will never get old, and I often found my body moving along to the beat. The music is just the type that would cheer up someone's mood.

Overall, Rayman Origins is a must buy. The only bad part of the game is that the story is incomprehensible. But, since the game is so packed, you're getting quite a bit of “bang for your buck”. The content itself is impressive, with tons of variations in levels and gameplay mechanics. Add in a great soundtrack and graphical style and you're left with one of the strongest contenders for Game of The Year.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 12/01/11

Game Release: Rayman Origins (US, 11/15/11)

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