Ubisoft releases legendary new addition to Rayman series
Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 13:09
Rayman, Globox and all the tiny little Teensies return to all their run-and-jump platforming goodness in “Rayman Legends,” the sequel to 2011’s critically acclaimed “Rayman Origins.”
Developed by Ubisoft Montpellier and directed by Michel Ancel (Rayman, Beyond Good & Evil, and Raving Rabbids), Legends (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Microsoft Window, and PS Vita) brings back some of the same concepts that made Origins such an innovative and captivating side-scrolling platformer, and builds it into one of the best games of the year.
The plot involves Rayman, Globox, and their tiny little blue wizarding friends, the Teensies, as they discover new worlds through magical painting portals. Along the way, players will collect the fairy-like Lums, rescue captured Teensies from cages, and try to thwart the plans of the evil Teensy, who makes a diabolical return from Origins.
The yellow Lums that players collect will be used to unlock new and exciting Heroes, which can be accessed at any time in the Heroes Gallery. In addition to the myriad of Rayman, Globox and Teensy variations that can be played, Legends introduces brand new characters to the clique; the warrior princesses. Each warrior princess can be found hidden deep within levels, and once the princess’ level is played, they can be used in any other level in Legends.
Rescued Teensies are one of the most important elements of Legends, as the number of Teensies rescued is necessary to unlock new and more challenging levels. And don’t be fooled by the colorful, vibrant design of this game; these levels are challenging.
Players will find themselves coasting through some levels, and then all of a sudden a certain booby trap or puzzle will keep them scratching their head for lengthy spells. This is what makes Legends such an extraordinary game; the ability to make the puzzles challenging enough to keep the player interested, but not so challenging that rage quit levels reach over 9,000.
The levels are all vibrant, whimsical and beautifully constructed. Players will feel like they are actually playing in a world inside of a piece of painted art.
And the score for Legends is absolutely masterful. Some of the best orchestral arrangements I’ve ever heard in a video game are found this game. What is really impressive is the use of song and rhythm in some of the games running levels. In one level in particular, the song “Black Betty” is used in perfect synchronization with the obstacles in the level, and is performed with its own Rayman jargon and flair.
The first player experience of Legends is definitely powerful on its own, but the real fun comes from playing with a buddy or two or three. Legends allows up to 4-player co-op, where players can jump in and out of the action seamlessly. Need to go make a couple of hot pockets in the microwave or a Taco Bell run? No problem. Legends doesn’t drag you down and make you wait on other players to catch up to the action.
However, the advantage of having multiple Raymen comes into play during some of the larger than life boss fights. The bosses in Legends are not to be thought of as tiny tasks, as most of the bosses in the game will take up most of the player’s TV screen.
There are also other multiplayer options for those who like to compete instead of work together. The Kung Foot mini-game, a stripped down version of soccer, is actually pretty fun, and players will find themselves both frustrated and giggling with enjoyment as they compete against their friends.
“Rayman Legends” is a great example of how the old-school side-scrolling games of yesteryear can compete with some of the large scale 3-D games of the new generation. It’s an amazing platformer that has no trouble keeping gamers interested with its comical, vibrant presentation.