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Review: Rayman Legends

Rayman was a bit of a problem child for Ubisoft. People loved the unique hero in the past but lost their affection somewhere in the middle. Ubisoft needed to reinvent one of its oldest characters, they needed to reintroduce the audience to Rayman. Thanks to Rayman Origins, the character gained back the love he deserved. Does the sequel, Rayman Legends, deliver the same amount of fun and love? Find out in this review.

Rayman Legends was slated as a Wii U exclusive when first revealed and would launch short after Nintendo’s console hit stores. Too bad for the fans, the game got delayed and was released months later to allow versions on PS3, 360 and Vita as well. The delay wasn’t received with happy faces but we’re sure those smiles will reappear fast enough once you got your hands on this game. Ubisoft created this game on the success of Origins and even added some new interesting features.

First things first, before you can start an adventure, you need a story. Don’t expect a big story filled with twists and surprises. Rayman Legends still is a platformer pur sang so the story is quite light. We find our heroes in a deep sleep after their previous adventures saving the Teenies. While everybody was sleeping, evil rose from its ashes once more to steal away the Teenies again. It’s Rayman’ best friend Murphy that could bring salvation for the Teenies. Murphy woke up Rayman and Globox as fast as he could to start a new adventure together.

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(Murphy can cut ropes for you).

The addition of Murphy isn’t only important for the story, Murphy plays an important role in some of the levels as well. New to Rayman Legends are the levels where the player can count on Murphy’s help. Murphy will be able to cut down several obstacles or even take down some enemies while you’re running through the level. In the console versions you can command Murphy to help you out by pushing just one button. On Wii U, you can control Murphy’ actions on the GamePad. Wii U gamers will therefore gain more control over Murphy and this can be an advantage during complex levels. Either way you play it, Murphy can really help out Rayman to reach the goal. Playing as Murphy and Rayman at the same time is something you’ll have to get used to; but once you understand the system you’ll absolutely love the interaction between both characters.

Aside of the Murphy levels you’ll also face the more regular ones, where you play as Rayman or another member of the crazy cast. Those levels are more similar to the ones found in Rayman Origins but all have one thing in common, creativity. Thanks to the powerful UbiArt FrameWork engine, everything looks like a gorgeous cartoon filled with impressive backgrounds. You’ll notice strange creatures in the background while running through the woods or other levels. Every level is created with a lot of details and patience. Each level is a beautiful painting where you want to stay as long as possible. The goal of the levels is to reach the end without getting hit by enemies or obstacles. Sounds rather easy but don’t be mistaken, Rayman Legends will put your skills to the test… As much as possible.

 

The game stays enjoyable from start to finish.

 

The game starts as a rather standard platform game where Rayman has to jump and punch in order to dodge the enemies. After a while however, the game will introduce new types of levels such as music-based, speed-based and of course the Murphy-based levels.  As you might have guessed, music plays an important role in the music-based levels. Everything you do in those levels must be connected to the music you hear. Rayman has to jump, punch and fly on the beats of the music. When you get hit by an enemy or obstacle or you can’t follow the beat, you need to restart. The music levels are new in Rayman Legends and offer a fresh and fun experience. The combination between music and platforming works incredibly well.

Speed-levels are the hardest in the game and don’t allow the slightest mistake. Those levels have a very narrow time frame where you’re not allowed to make mistakes. If you make one mistake in a run through a speed-level, you’ll need to restart the entire level. Those are definitely the hardest levels to complete but not impossible. Rayman Legends offers a challenge but doesn’t ask for the impossible. Ubisoft really found the right balance in the difficulty in order for the game to stay enjoyable from start to finish.

rayman-legends-1371043109-4 (You’ll also have to face impressive 3D bosses).

To keep the levels even more enjoyable, Ubisoft made sure there was enough to collect and discover in every level. You’ll find Teenies in each level, some of them are wide in the open while others need to be found in secret areas. You’ll need Teenies to unlock new levels and new characters. Next to the Teenies you’ll also be able to collect the golden Lums. Collecting those is important for the final ranking at the end. If you collect a lot of Lums you’ll gain gold on the level where you collected them. The more golden levels, the more extras such as Rayman Origins levels you’ll unlock. Finding all Lums and Teenies is a hard task but it certainly makes all levels re-playable for many times.

Why go on an adventure on your own?

Rayman Legends can be played on your own but you can also invite some friends to play together. You’ll be able to play with up to 4 (or 5 on Wii U) players to go on the adventure together. Running through the levels as a team is fun but can become frustrating as well. You’re able to punch and sabotage each other while playing so if you don’t play the correct way, you will never reach the end of the level. If you play as a normal team you’ll get the same satisfaction and fun ride as the single player.

Aside from the main levels you’ll also be able to play some of the fun mini-games such as a soccer interpretation in the Rayman universe. The multiplayer is without a doubt a smart move and makes this game more enjoyable for a long time to come.

Conclusion.

Rayman Legends was built on the success of Rayman Origins and there’s nothing wrong with that. Legends offers the same high quality platform gameplay as its older brother but includes some new innovations. The new levels, music and mini-games all fit in the big picture. Rayman Legends is one big puzzle where all small pieces fit perfectly. It’s a challenging game with a lot of collecting but it’s definitely worth the try. Rayman really deserves to be one of the big players in the industry again, not a lot of platform games can reach this level of perfection.

9/10

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.