If you ask any person from my generation, who was into platform games, which was one of the most iconic platform titles of the era, most of the replies you'd get, would be Rayman. The Rayman franchise managed to build a huge cult following with its witty characteristics and loveable charm. After so much time and idiotic spin offs, I wouldn’t have believed that this title would reprise its platforming throne in this generation, but I was astounded when it was announced last year, and ever since I saw the gameplay last June I turned into a horny teenage boy anticipating the first time he subtly cups a breast.
Plot: In the magical world called 'the Glade of Dreams', Rayman and his friends are relaxing and taking a nap. They start snoring heavily, and the noise disturbs a grumpy old lady from the Land of the Living Dead, who gets pissed off and sends an army of even more pissed off creatures across the world to wreak havoc. Some Electoons and Nymphs are capture and it’s up to Rayman and his pals to liberate them and rid the world of these creatures.
Audio & Video: The audio quality of this game is 'fricken' amazing, everything is done in pristine quality audio with one of the most amazing, charming, and funny soundtracks ever. The soundtrack might sound childish, it builds such an amazing atmosphere by adapting to each and every environment of the game. The visuals can only be described as brilliant, you cannot really compare them to such games like BF3 or Killzone, but damn the picture looks like it was freshly painted earlier in the morning! The 2.5D effect is rendered excellently, with amazing effects that left me amazed, such as out of focus objects in the foreground that suddenly wake up and walk along the screen randomly. Some levels create an amazing atmosphere that kept me stuck to the TV without flinching, such as the underwater levels resembling the PSN game flow. I have never sounded so excited for such a game of this genre; it is almost unbelievable how a cartoonish game looks and sounds so unbelievably good and manager to create such a bond between you and the character.
Gameplay: The game is a 2.5D platformer, loyal to its roots, with a tweaked levelling system and basic attributes you win at the end of each stage. There are no radicall re-inventions and no complicated weapon and inventory system. The mosquito levels (resembling Galaga style levels) return to the series with one stage at the midpoint of each world. The gameplay mechanics are great, and the controls feel smooth and responsive. The only problem I had was with the button configuration; I would have rather had the hover key assigned to the sprint key than as a double jump key, as it would have felt better when competing in the speed challanges, but that I just in my opinion.
Personal Experience: After seeing the spin offs and witnessing the best characters in gaming being milked to their demise, I was reluctant in believing that Ubisoft would be so respectful to roots of this franchise, and manage to give us such an amazing gaming experience. I will conclude by saying that Rayman is back, and thanks to the original team behind the creation of this franchise, this generation can experience what I felt 16 years ago, and fall in love with this amazing series. Make sure you go ahead and buy this title, even if you never played any of its predecessors, cause it’s well worth the time invested in it.
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Written by Matthew C.