Top positive review
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Mario has been usurped
on 11 September 2013
Rayman genuinely has become the modern king of platforming, usurping Mario from his long held throne. Ubisoft have once again released a solid, challenging yet fun platformer with solid game mechanics.
Every element of the game has been lovingly and meticulously honed to perfection. The hand drawn sprites are stunning, the level designs have been lovingly crafted and the music is a joy to behold. Enemy designs are varied and brilliantly comical, playable characters are numerous but a little less creative (many of the unlocks are the same as original characters with different colour schemes or with an additional element added, for example, a helmet on Rayman). The gibberish versions of popular songs such as Black Betty and the like never fail to raise a smile in the musical levels. Each platform, enemy and collectable has been placed with meaning and precision. All of these factors add up to a very enjoyable experience, possibly even better than the amazing Rayman Origins.
The game has oodles of content. A great number of humorously named stages are available from the start and more are quickly unlocked by rescuing trapped Teensies. Each unique stage has a musical level which the player must dash through as quickly as possible leaping obstacles and smashing enemies in time to the music. These levels are fantastic fun, definitely my favourite aspect of the game. Scratch cards are earned for collecting Lums (the currency of the game similar to coins in Mario or rings in Sonic) and these can be used to unlock other rewards such as levels from older Rayman games, multiplayer elements and collectable creatures who offer you daily rewards. There are many unlockable characters that can be purchased using Lums, however, as already mentioned, many of them are very similar to each other and a little uninspiring. The Vita version is missing a handful of levels that were available in the PS3, Wii U and 360 versions on release but Ubisoft have promised to patch them in with a later update. Granted, they should have been included from the off, but with a little patience we can get them with a future update.
Multiplayer fans might be disappointed by what is on offer in this version of Rayman as you cannot connect with random players via the internet, you need to have numerous friends with a Vita and the game and connect via the friends list or adhoc mode. To compensate for this, Ubisoft have included an online daily challenge mode in which you can compete against players from across the world by setting times in obstacle courses and distance challenges. This can be fun, but it is extremely difficult to reach the top of the leaderboards; there must be some cracking players out there as so far I have only been able to achieve silver medal rewards.
What are the downsides? Well, they are few and far between but some do exist. The Murfy levels on the Vita have been slated for their control mechanics and I must admit that these stages are somewhat of a lowlight for the game. They grow steadily more frustrating as you progress; the use of the gyroscope, where you tilt the Vita to move things on screen, is poorly implemented and sometimes you'll die as a result of this fault. Stages within the game are littered with hidden areas and rewards and some of these can be difficult to spot on the small screen of the Vita. Although this is not a gamebreaking problem it might cause frustration for completionists who miss a hidden door or Teensy. The biggest downer, however, is the final set of Legends stages, Livid Dead Party. This section is truly horrendous, essentially forcing you to replay the brilliant musical levels blind by heavily distorting the screen. Not at all fun and you can't help but wonder how the idea ever got the okay for inclusion in the final release of the game.
Overall, though, I highly recommend Rayman Legends to anyone who has ever had a love affair with the classic platformers of old. The game is ideal for playing on the go, has plenty of content and replayability and with the promised patch, there is yet more to come!
Move over Mario and Sonic, we have a new platforming king!