Rayman Legends: Possibly the best platformer I have ever played

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From the team behind the successful Rayman Origins (touted by many as one of the greatest platformers of all time) comes Rayman Legends, Ubisoft’s latest entry into the once Nintendo-dominated field. Originally a Wii-U exclusive, Ubisoft pulled the game before its February 26th release date in order to port to the other systems, as Wii-U sales were lacking. To make up for the wait, dozens of new stages, characters and unlockables were added as a makeup for the new September 3rd release. Was it worth the wait? Read on to find out.

Rayman Legends (Xbox360/Ps3/WiiU/PC/Vita) is more of a refinement of the series than a new entry, as it takes many aspects from its superb predecessor, namely graphics, accessibility and story (or lack thereof). As a group of your friends (the Teensies) have been kidnapped at night, it’s up to you and your friends to save them and restore the balance. Typical videogame plight aside, it’s somewhat of a good thing that the story takes a backseat here, because the development team clearly focused their effort into making the game a blast to play. And a blast it is.

The game consists of a main hub in which you, playing as Rayman or any of his friends you unlock through the campaign, enter various worlds, themselves containing different stages, separated via paintings. As confusing as it sounds, it basically boils down to picking a character you like and jumping into a painting to find the missing Teensies and bring them back with you. It is here in the various levels that Rayman flexes its strongest muscles. Each stage, aside from sharing a theme (forest, desert, volcano, etc) plays differently than the ones before. They each focus on a different aspect of your character like air gliding, animal riding, speed running and swimming, all the while not coming off as generic. While doing so, these levels also gradually increase in difficulty as the campaign progresses. By the game’s end, you will be pulling off YouTube-worthy montages with little effort while still feeling accomplished. This ‘carrot at the end of the stick’ formula works perfectly in that every time I thought I got used to the games mechanics, they would implement them in a way I never imagined, which made putting the controller down all the more difficult.

The gameplay, however, is not the first thing you see when starting at snippets of this game; it’s the graphics that stand out. I can easily say it is one of the most gorgeous games I have ever played in any medium. The blend between hand drawn graphics and watercolor painting is pure blissful magic, and something that must simply be seen to be believed and thoroughly enjoyed. Couple this with some rather amazing animation on the sprites and you have a true feast for the eyes. Run at full speed and duck and watch as your character goes into a dive and slides along the screen. Punch an enemy at a wall and watch them slide down in the liveliness of a Warner Bros. cartoon. Run by flowers on the ground and watch as they bob in your wake. This is a really pretty game to look at.This alone would merit a full price release, but they added several more features to the bundle. New rhythmic music stages litter the game, wherein you are tasked with making it to the end of the stage as music plays along your every move. They are easily my favorite part of the game and will be the ones you go back to again and again for thrills.

There is also a new drop-in, drop-out soccer mode, collectable animals, online leaderboards, daily challenges. Also, just like Origins, every stage is playable with up to 3 other people at once.

Bottom Line: This may be the greatest platformer I have ever played, and I am a HUGE Super Mario Bros. 3 fan. Everything in that Mario game is here, but refined over the 25 year gap. With loud, vibrant graphics, easy to use controls with hidden depth, multiple hidden secrets, tons of replay-ability, and perfect difficulty, the list of things this game does right is amazing. But at the end of it all, the game is just fun. Addictive, timeless, simplistic fun. Buy this now, and you will agree with me. It’s that good.

Next Review: Final Fantasy XIV- A Realm Reborn

About The Author

Ayodeji Asagaba

Hey everyone, Ayodeji "Vatsu" Asagba, the master of all things that bleep. bloop and/or bop on campus. As a hardcore gamer I pride myself in having a vast assortment and knowledge of all the prior and upcoming games out there, regardless of console (except Mac, cause eww) and I hope my reviews provide a helpful insight for those of you on the fence about certain purchases, or that they at least help entertain you. For any questions, comments, input, or if you would want to play something together, please feel free to email me at aa329@njit.edu

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