Review: Rayman Legends
Rayman Legends is the sequel to Rayman Origins - a game packed to the brim with charm and fun. Will this one exceed its predecessor or stand underneath its shadow?
- Worth The Time?Hell, yes.
- Things LovedThe ridiculously fun platforming; the orgasmic visuals; the humour and references; the mind-numbingly awesome music levels at the end of each world; tons of stuff to unlock; fun to play with friends; a few hidden surprises I don't want to spoil; it's cheaper than other new releases; pretty much everything.
- Things HatedAbsolutely nothing.
- RecommendationI recommend this to everyone that enjoyed Rayman Origins or any fan of platformers.
- Name: Rayman Legends
- Genre: Platformer
- Players: 1 - 4 players
- Multiplayer: Local 2-4 players
- Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, PC, PS Vita
- Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Price: Xbox 360 and PS3: R499; PC R299; PS Vita R399
- Reviewed On: PS3
We find ourselves once again the overly-colourful and acid-infused landscapes of Rayman and his whacky friends battling it out and jumping on enemies while rescuing hundreds of Teensies along the way.
Rayman Origins surprised many gamers, myself included with its undeniable charm and wackiness.
What set out originally to be a Wii U exclusive got delayed many months and here we are with Rayman Legends releasing on multiple platforms. I believe that the developers and Wii U crowd weren’t all that happy about this delay and I totally understand that, however, I’m sure this was without a doubt, the correct move on Ubisoft’s part.
It’s hasn’t even been that long ago since the release of Origins to begin with and I was really holding my breath in doubt that this one will be as good. Whenever something with the amount of creativity Origins has receives a sequel not far down the line; I’m constantly hoping that it won’t become a quick follow-up in order to reap the success of the previous title for a quick lump of cash.
Let us see what Legends is all about.
We start off this time around with actual spoken dialogue right at the beginning and then it simmers back down to the semi-gibberish and sounds indicating joy or pain we’ve heard back in Origins.
Our story begins this time with Rayman and his mates having slept for over a century and awoken by their friend Murfy. They find out that the Bubble Dreamer’s creeping nightmares have grown while they were sleeping. The nightmares have captured the Teensies and the land’s ten princesess in Rayman’s peaceful and chilled world. It is up to him and his buddies to literally kick off a rescue operation and restore the balance by running and jumping through a series of differently themed worlds varying in degree from whackiness to full-on bonkers.
If you’re tuning in just now – both Rayman Origins and Legends are platformers in the purest sense of the word. Running, jumping, searching, collecting and avoiding every hazardous object will become a series of instincts once you let this one sink its hooks into your fun-sniffling sense and you’ll find it difficult to tear your hands from the controller. Phrases like: “Just one more level”, “I just want to go back and find the one Teensie I missed”, “This part is swiftly kicking my posterior – just one more try and then I’m off to bed” are hollow, because if you’re a fan or the previous game or platformers in general; you’ll want to keep on trying just one more time and find yourself a few hours later having progressed a lot more than you promised yourself some time ago.
I would prefer not comparing Legends the whole time to Origins, but for old time’s sake I just need to say the gameplay of Legends is identical to that of Origins and yet, for some unknown reason – it’s even more fun. The challenge / difficulty do go up as you progress, but never did it feel like I was endangering my controller to meet the nearest wall due to me failing to make a perfect a jump for the umpteenth time.
When you start the game you won’t struggle to collect all the lums or rescue all the Teensies (most of which are hidden). As you unlock more levels and play through them, you’ll often have to backtrack through them to find the previously missed Teensies if you feel the need to collect everything. You will have some leeway if you’re not the type of gamer to collect everything before moving on, however, it is worth mentioning that you will need to rescue enough of these Teensies and complete enough levels to progress and unlock other worlds. (How many times have I mentioned “Teensies”? I think we may be able to start a drinking game here.)
In addition to collecting Teensies and unlocking levels; you will also be able to rescue awesome playable female characters. The levels you need to complete in order to unlock these characters are fast-paced and will test your might if you wish to rescue all the Teensies here as well. These frantic levels are a ton of fun – not unlike the rest of the game.
As you complete more levels, there will be additional “invaded” levels appearing right next to previously completed levels you have to play through in order to free some more, you guessed it: Teensies and gain some additional lums. This may all sound like a tremendous Teensie-infused grind in order to make progress, but do not fear – there’s lots of variety to go around alongside interesting scenarios to keep the gameplay fun and varied.
After you complete a level you’ll see how you fared in collecting lums and unlock different trophies. (That’s in-game trophies – not PS3 trophies.) Between the silver and gold trophy you are given a scratching card. These cards can be scratched to unlock levels from Origins that have been given a Legends touch, Teensies or creatures that give you lums on a daily basis. There is an addictive quality to scratching these cards and finding out what you’ve won.
It’s best to collect as much lums as humanly possible, then sit back and see what you’ve gained after each level. In Origins you came across sizable lums with a crown its head which granted you a brief time to gather other lums and gain a double quantity of them. In Legends we also have this opportunity, but without the king-like lum; you need to collect the lums in the correct order. It may seem overly simplistic, but like in most cases where the lums move around; you’ll have to be careful if you care about collecting them like this. When you encounter a group of lums, all of them will be yellow with the one exception of a purple lum. Collect him first and the next lum will turn purple. Repeat until you have all of the lums and you’re golden.
A new addition to the gameplay is Murfy. A helpful little guy and able to move objects for you, cut the necessary ropes, tickle enemies and even eat through an environment made of cake. His actions are all controlled by pressing the circle button. He adds a new layer to the gameplay and using his actions in time to make your way through the level can sometimes turn out to be very hectic and it requires you to be vigilant.
The more I describe the gameplay and how you have to collect all the things, it certainly sounds more like a chore and a noteworthy grind, but let me assure you that it is definitely not the case.
In addition to play all the levels either alone or up to four players at a time which is already chaotic with two people at a once – a new addition is aptly called “Kung Foot”. A ridiculously fun two to four player soccer-esque game where you have two minutes to score as many goals as possible. An addition that wasn’t necessary, but I’m very satisfied with this unexpected extra. Try this with your friends – you’re guaranteed to have fun.
To summarise the gameplay portion – it’s probably the most fun game of this year and yes, it’s even more fun than Origins. (A feat I once thought impossible.)
The game’s visuals and sounds are the key to enhance the fun-aspect.
Characters and enemies are hilariously animated. The environments are whacky and full of unmistakable love from the developers’ side. You’ll go through areas with different themes, some with semi-realism intact while others are even more cartoonish than actual cartoons.
The soundtrack is one of the most awesome things in the game. The songs fit superbly within the game and go hand in hand with the aesthetic of the terrain you’re currently sprinting/ flying /swimming or jumping through.
I have saved the best for last. At the end of every world, you’ll unlock a musical level. The music is perfectly woven into the gameplay. These levels are worth playing over and over and over again. They always made me smile with a few of them even providing goosebumps. It is the highlight for me in Rayman Legends.
So, do tell me, who is still sober after reading this?