Written by Twisted Ideas
Our old limbless friend is back. Two years after his triumphant return to the 2D realm and finally having a Rayman game be about him, he’s back for a second helping. Rayman Legends has a lot to prove. Rayman Origins was a great game but was overshadowed by strong the Triple A lineup of 2011. There’s a strong lineup this year as well so does Rayman have what it takes to stand with the best?
What is it?
Rayman Legends (as well as Origins) s a back to basics 2D platformer. There’s a story probably. It’s not significant to the point where the game drops it immediately after the game starts. The core gameplay hasn’t changed too much other than a few tweaks. You can play alone or up to four player offline co-op. Each level has several platforming challenges, enemies and even the level itself that it throws at you. Levels themselves aren’t too difficult but the challenge comes with collecting the Lums and the Teensies. The main levels give bonuses for collecting 600 Lums and finding the 10 hidden Teensies in the level. Lums unlock new characters and Teensies are required to progress through the game.
Co-Op makes levels easier and more entertaining.
Rayman Legends builds on top of the Origins original design for the better. Rayman doesn’t slide as much when he stops making the platforming feel tighter during slower levels that requires patience. Next is the only new control mechanic in the game. Murfy, your flying frog friend thing, can interact with the stage opening new paths in fixed part of some levels. The mechanic was designed for the Wii U gamepad. Players use the touch pad to help you partners or the A.I. (if playing singleplayer) progress. On the PS3 and 360 it’s only a button press.
There are three additional level types that unlock as you find more Teensies. Rescue levels typically consist of endurance platforming sections where you have to keep moving or the stage kills you. These levels unlock viking princesses as new playable characters. Invasion levels requires you race to the end to save three Teensies before they are launched into space. Music levels are unlocked after a world boss is defeated. These are rhythm based levels set to remixed music such as “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor.
You have a lifetime total of Lums and when you reach certain milestones new characters are unlocked. If you collect 75% of the Lum goal in a level then you unlock Lucky Tickets. Lucky Tickets can reward more Lums, Teensies, creatures or Rayman Origins levels. “Back to Origins” levels are the original stages from Origins but using the current collection system.
You can complete against players online in Challenges. There 4 challenges you can participate in, two daily and two weekly. You have to post your best time or score in order to rank in the Cup brackets for rewards. The rewards are roughly scored as so: The bottom 51%-90% earn bronze, the middle 21%-50% earns silver, the top 2%-20% earn gold and the top 1% earns diamond. These rewards improve your Awesomeness (online ranking) and rewards you with Lums.
How does it look
The game’s composed of 2D artwork identical to Rayman Origins. The levels and the characters are bright, vivid and pleasing to the eye. The game uses CG for the bosses and some of the stage effects. They are colored in a way that blends well with existing visual style.The faster paced levels manages to be dynamic and impressive.
There’s a lot of fire in the game too.
How does it sound?
The music isn’t as memorable as Rayman Origins’ mainly because was bizarre and catchy. The music from back then used a lot of trumpets, flutes and loads of uncommon instruments for a majority of the soundtrack. There was also significant use of strange high-pitched chanting that had my friends question what I was doing. Legends uses a lot of Orchestral. It’s good but with an epic music in games it blends too much in the background instead of standing out. The exception is the music stages that are not only fun to play but have are great to listen to even if you haven’t heard the original music.
Plus you get to rock out with some grannies.
What do I think?
When I played Rayman Origins I fell in love with the game. There aren’t too many 2D platformers anymore. Most exist only as indie titles or the next New Super Mario Bros. What I loved about Origins is that it gave you a lot of challenge expecting skill from those who want to complete everything. Legends tones down the difficulty. There are more checkpoints than before. Origins had most checkpoints after you left the room breaking the levels and the pace by having them in several small areas. Legends has checkpoints after difficult sections but it doesn’t always occur after a room is finished. This allows the game to have a level be in a large area without having to break the flow for players who can play the level quickly. The collection aspect is much easier because there are fewer opportunities to permanently miss collectables and less riskier ones than in Origins.
I love how they brought back the Origin’s levels. Ubisoft know that not many people played Rayman Origins and they’ve given it to us as a gift. I was wondering why there were level types missing but now I know where they are. They didn’t have to retread the same ground, something that Mario has a bad habit of doing occasionally. I still recommend Rayman Origins for anyone looking for a challenge. It’s much harder to earn all the rewards than the remixed levels in Legends. There is also a party game “Kung Foot”. It’s just a neat little soccer game that can get pretty intense if you have a full group involved.
Should you buy it?
Rayman Legends is one of the purest and entertaining video game experiences I’ve had in a long time. It doesn’t take itself too seriously but not to the point where it’s self-aware or satire. It’s expertly designed, action packed and full of content. There are over 120 levels in the game and daily and weekly challenges to challenge yourself and the world. The game also isn’t as punishing so playing the game co-op is equally as entertaining. Rayman Legends lacks the appeal of the more serious The Last of Us or the recently released Grand Theft Auto V. However, Rayman Legends is a different game than any mature title. It stands as a leader in the 2D market where the likes of Mario, Donkey Kong and any creative indie game struggles to keep up. Do not miss this game.