Rayman Legends – Review

Rayman Legends, originally a Wii U exclusive but now released on pretty much every format under the sun, is a fantastic game.

A sequel to the critically acclaimed but poor selling Rayman Origins, it improves on its predecessor in almost every way.

The controls are tight which allow for some excellent platform maneuvers and speed runs. In fact, the controls are so well refined that even the underwater levels, usually hated by gamers everywhere, are fun to play through. Rayman glides through the water with effortless ease, helping to make its underwater levels fun to play, rather than a chore to overcome.

Graphically, this game is a masterclass. It may only be a 2D platformer, but the UBI Art engine has managed to make this game world seem vibrant and colorful and, at times, alive. There were moments, such as the start of the below underwater level (pictured below), that I just had to sit back and admire how beautiful this game was, in all of its two dimensionality.

Rayman-Legends01

 

But then, as I continued to swim deeper into the level, the light started to disappear, replaced by shadows  and overwhelming levels of algae-green.

Rayman-Legends02

 

What added to the scene above was the music. As I swum deeper it subtly changed from a happy tune at the start to a Bond-style guitar riff, to match the dress of the enemies and the underwater lasers I was facing. The sound direction in this game is top notch, from the music to the sound effects… everything meshes together to create a brilliant, vibrant, fun experience.

The Bond reference is itself a sign of the fun the game has with pop culture references. As I played the game through to completion I spotted references to Terminator 2, Super Metroid and even a whole level played to the beat of a song played during Kill Bill.

The Wii U version is set apart from all other versions because of it’s touchscreen levels, In these levels, called “Murphy” levels, you control Murphy using a combination of the touchscreen and the game pad’s gyroscope. These levels are one of the few things I didn’t enjoy about Rayman Legends. They felt cumbersome and tacked on, and broke the flow of the otherwise fast and vibrant platforming action of the other levels, They were designed as part of the game when it was meant to be a Wii U exclusive, but that doesn’t make them any better. In the non-Wii U versions they’re still there, but are controlled using a controller as per normal. It may actually be a better experience on non-Wii U systems, but I can’t say for sure, as I only reviewed the Wii U version of the game.

The only other gripe I have is that at times the game can be too easy. This may or may not be a problem for you if you’re looking for a fun diversion rather than the hair pulling difficulty of a challenging platformer like Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze. But it does mean the game can be finished in just a few days. There are time trial challenges, which are actually very hard, but these are optional, not mandatory, so the main game itself is really a breeze.

All in all, I’d recommend you buy this game. It’s a top notch game and will keep you entertained for a while, if not a long while.

Final Score: 9 out of 10. 

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