Rayman Legends

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9.9 Overall Score
Presentation: 10/10
Story: 8/10
Gameplay: 10/10

Gorgeous Art | Fun, Precise Platforming | Delightful Music Levels

No Online Multiplayer

Written by on September 10, 2013 in [, ]

When Rayman Origins was released in 2011 it was critically acclaimed. With near flawless platforming, a fantastic soundtrack and a wonderful art style, it seemed like it would have been a surefire hit for Ubisoft. However, the game was overshadowed by a massive number of games that launched within the same week, including The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Saint’s Row: The Third and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. With its sequel, Rayman Legends, Ubisoft seems to have high hopes that it will sell well, but does the game deserve as much praise as its predecessor?

Rayman Legends takes place years after the events of Rayman Origins. Following the defeat of The Magician at the end of Rayman Origins, the heroes of The Glade of Dreams (the world that Rayman inhabits) have fallen into a deep sleep. The Bubble Dreamer, the creator of the Glade, has been suffering from nightmares in his deep sleep. Those nightmares are unleashed by The Magician and his Dark Teensies. They unleash havoc, capturing the rest of the inhabitants of the land. Once more it’s up to the heroes of the Glade to save everyone from certain destruction.

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If you played Origins, you will likely remember how precise you needed to be with much of the 2D platforming. Rayman Legends, it could be argued, is far more difficult. Origins had a very slow learning curve throughout, with levels not getting extremely difficult until fairly late in the game. Legends, on the other hand, is much more balanced. Once you are through the first few levels, the training wheels are taken off. For fans of the more difficult levels of Origins, this is a welcome treat, with far less time being spent on hand-holding and more time letting you have fun.

One thing that’s absolutely critical in platforming games, like Rayman Legends, is how precise the controls are. Rayman Origins was a shining example of a platformer with incredibly responsive controls and Legends is no different. Movement and character animation is fluid, allowing you to feel like you have total control over your character at all times. Moving through the world is an absolute blast and any time you die, it feels like it’s your own fault.

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When Rayman Legends was first announced, it was a Wii U exclusive. The initial trailers showed how the game would incorporate the Wii U gamepad, using a character named Murfy. In the Wii U version of the game, at certain points Murfy will show up and you control him using the gamepad. He can flip levers, cut ropes and rotate rooms, using the Wii U’s touch screen. In the Xbox 360 version, all of that has been reduced to simple button presses, meaning that he will show up and you will have to simply press the B button to perform his tasks.

However, when playing on the Xbox 360, there are things that he simply cannot do. In the Wii U version, there are statues and signs that Murfy can press using the touch pad to unlock more collectables. In the 360 version, the signs and statues are still there, but you can’t do anything with them as Murfy is only present for certain levels. The controls for Murfy work decently enough, but it would have been nice to see these things removed from the non-Wii U version of the game.

The true star of Rayman Legends has to be the musical levels. These levels have you running through a level in time with various songs. In “Castle Rock” you are escaping from a collapsing castle to a version of Ram Jam’s classic, Black Betty. One level has you outrunning a water monster to Woo Hoo by The 5.6.7.8’s. The way that the levels are designed really make you feel like you are playing a rhythm game. When you punch an enemy, a snare drum will hit. When you slide down a chain, a guitar riff will start. They are so incredibly well designed that you’ll likely want a game that is just made from those levels.

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Each level in Rayman Legends has a ton of collectables. As you go through each level, you’ll have to rescue Teensies from the nightmare creatures. These are often hidden away, meaning you have to do quite a bit of exploration in a level to get them all. Teensies allow you to access new levels in the game and, as a result, you don’t need to play every stage in any particular order. The game also features Lums, which are Rayman’s equivalent to Mario’s coins, and these unlock new characters to play as.

Rayman Legends is absolutely packed full of content. It features daily and weekly challenge levels, with “Extreme” difficulty versions of each. Once you’ve unlocked enough Teensies, you’ll be able to play “Invaded” versions of previous levels, which force you to beat them within sixty seconds. There are a ton of remastered Rayman Origins levels included. The game has full co-op support and includes Kung Foot, a 2D soccer game that might be one of the most underappreciated features the game has. In order to unlock everything that Rayman Legends has to offer, you’ll be playing for a very long time.

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The Ubi Art engine is working overtime in Rayman Legends. The change from a more cartoonish color scheme to having more pastels and subdued colors makes the game look even better. The music is brilliant (even outside the specific music levels) and deserving of a ton of praise. The Rayman Legends team worked hard to create a game with such style and it shows.

The only omission from Rayman Legends is the same one that it had from Rayman Origins. Legends fails to feature online multiplayer. This is a feature that was sorely missing in Origins and is notably absent in Legends. That said, playing 4 player couch co-op is an absolute blast.

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Rayman Origins was one of the best platformers of this generation. It’s incredible then that Rayman Legends is an even better game. Not only is all of the precise platforming you’ve grown to love there, but there is a ton of brand new content. Rayman Legends does have a couple of minor flaws, but you will certainly forget about them after playing for even a few minutes. Legends is a love letter to fans of Origins and it might very well be the best platformer of this generation.

A copy of Rayman Legends was provided to The Married Gamers for review.

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Author: Addam Kearney View all posts by

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