[PS3/Vita Review] Rayman Legends
The Glade of Dreams is in trouble once again! During a 100-year nap, the nightmares multiplied and spread, creating new monsters even more terrifying than before! These creatures are the stuff of legend… Dragons, giant toads, sea monsters, and even evil luchadores. With the help of Murfy, Rayman and Globox awake and must now help fight these nightmares and save the Teensies!
Rayman Legends is a platformer developed by Ubisoft Montpellier. This game had initially been announced as a Wii U exclusive, but had been confirmed last February to be coming to all current generation systems, including the PC, Xbox 360 and PS Vita!
This game is meant to be a sequel to Rayman Origins, which was released in 2011. I played Origins a lot, and I thought it was a really great platformer. In my opinion, Rayman Legends is much more than a simple sequel, thanks in great part to the amount of new ideas and levels it includes. It even includes a remastered version of most of the levels of Rayman Origins!
Rayman Legends – Launch Trailer
Rayman Legends is a 2D platformer, and your ultimate goal is to save the Teensies – your tiny friends – from the clutches of the evil Dark Teensies. This game has ultra-precise controls and an tuitive gameplay which makes it a lot of fun. While I HAVE played Origins before, a new comer in the series might notice that the difficulty of the levels, while being always fair, raises quickly as soon as you finish a few levels! The checkpoints are perfectly well placed though, so you’re never going too far back when you miss a jump or get hit by an enemy.
Although it gets tougher towards the end, Rayman Legends is a very rewarding game. In each level, you have to collects Lums (they are mostly like coins in the Mario universe), and each time you reach the end of a level, the Lums will be added and depending on how many you managed to get, you’ll get a rating (bronze, silver or gold), and a Lucky Ticket. If you manage to reach the gold rating – which are usually reachable- a fanfare starts and the characters go all-out partying!
Also, when completing a few set requisites (beating the boss of a world for instance), you’ll gain an “Awesomeness” Level (how cool is that!). Gaining Awesomeness grants access to daily and weekly challenges, which are special levels ranked via global Leaderboards, and a good reason to come back to play once the main game has been completed.
The Lucky Tickets I mentioned earlier are scratch cards that give you random perks. They can contain a Teensy, some Lums (you have to collect a whole bunch of them for one of the trophies), or unlock a level you can’t go to yet! This makes the progression in this game non-linear because the hub in which levels can be chosen is quickly unlocked way ahead of where you’re actually at.
This game is also amazing when played in local co-op (up to 4 players on your couch simultaneously). I played most of the game with either my wife or my kids (each player can choose his/her own avatar). Also, it’s neat that even if the people accompanying you aren’t as good as you are *no offense to anyone who have played with me* – the game is still amazing to play!
Rayman Legends includes the main Legends campaign, plus most of the levels of Origins remastered (those levels are unlocked with Lucky Tickets), meaning you get two games for the price of one! As you progress through the game, you’ll also unlock “Invasion” levels, which are crazy speed runs of some levels. In each Invasion level, 3 teensies are hooked to rockets, and when the timer reaches 40, 50 and 60 seconds, one teensy is launched in the sky. You can guess your objective is to reach the end as fast as you can!
The Legends campaign contains 6 different worlds: Teensies in Trouble, Toad Story, Fiesta de los Muertos, 20 000 Lums Under the Sea, Olympus Maximus and (after completing the game) Living Dead Party. Each world contains a huge boss with epic fights, and each contains a bonus stage in which you must run and jump or hit the enemies in rhythm with the background song (remember the precise controls I praised earlier?). These level aren’t actually really hard, and they’re a blast to play!
The game also includes an insanely awesome “Kung Foot” mode which is a crazy soccer mini-game using the game engine. It’s only playable in local co-op, but I have had a LOT of fun when playing. Kung Foot is a MUST PLAY mini-game when you get friends at home! To get the big picture of how crazy Kung Foot is you can check the following video:
Rayman Legends – Polaris Kung Foot Tournament – FINALS
Rayman Legends is hand-drawn and uses the UbiArt Framework. The game engine is gorgeous and runs in 1080p / 60fps. There is also a lot going on in the worlds because, if you stop moving and check around, you’ll notice that everything is alive. I also remember that I fell to my death once because my attention was caught by something going on in the background of the level I was playing.
For a platforming game, I admit I was quickly impressed by the quality of the soundtrack. The main theme is great, and most of the level themes are also great! The bonus musical levels are classic songs remixed, and those are also amazing!
Rayman Legends on PS Vita
The Playstation Vita version of Rayman Legends is every bit as good as the PS3 release, and is actually a bit closer to the Wii U version since it features some of the controls found on Nintendo’s most recent console (such as touchscreen controlled levels). On top of that, it even has exclusive two outfits that are unlocked only for those playing the Vita version, on top of 5 touchscreen heavy challenge levels that are only for those playing on Sony’s latest portable.
At first it seemed as if the PS Vita version of Rayman Legends had less content in comparison to the other home console releases since it was missing the “Invasion” levels, but Ubisoft has already clarified that they are on their way thanks to a patch that should be released soon, so don’t make that keep you away from Rayman Legends on Vita if you want to enjoy some awesome 2D Platforming on the go.
Rayman Legends is a platforming masterpiece. Featuring over 120 levels, most of Rayman Origins’ campaign, and a lot of craziness through the game, you can see that Ubisoft had fun creating this game… as least as much fun as I had playing it! I can definitely see myself still playing this game with some friends in a few months to play the musical levels and Kung Foot!
If you read all this and are still not convinced, you can go to the PlayStation Store and download the demo to try it first hand. It comes with 2 levels from the first world, and the bonus musical level “Castle Rock”.
PSN Game size: 2Gb
You can purchase Rayman Legends from Amazon.com here or on the PSN.
This review is based on a review copy sent by Ubisoft.