With platformers having existed since the dawn of creation, it’s rare that one comes along and redefines the genre. Rayman Legends doesn’t really do that, but almost does. The sequel to 2011′s highly popular, highly successful Rayman Origins sees the Glade of Dreams in trouble, once again.
The main story, what there is of a story, starts off after a 100 year nap for our heroes, during which the nightmares multiplied and spread, creating new monsters that are worse than before. Dragons, giant toads, sea monsters and even evil luchadores, basically the stuff of someones legends. Enter Rayman and Globox, who are awakened, team up with Murfy to fight these nightmares and save the Teensies.
The gameplay hasn’t changed much from Origins, which isn’t a bad thing, as it was a very tight game when it came to being a platformer. Up to four players are able to jump, glide, punch and stomp their way through beautifully designed, and illustrated levels. As with any good platformer, precision is everything. One ill-timed jump can cause you to miss a secret part of the level, or to meet your untimely doom. Each level is pure eye candy in its art design, with beautifully stunning animations and characters. And once again, each level is littered with Teensies to rescue, Lums to collect, and of course secret doors to uncover.
On the game play front, you can tell the game was originally designed for the Wii U, as many of the levels look like they would make wonderful use of the Wii U’s gamepad, and they do. Although I played a majority of the game on the Xbox 360 version, the Wii U version is just as good. Most of what would have been done on the game pad is mapped out to the controller very nicely. With a press of a button making Murfy do his thing on most objects, It’s a very simplistic system that at times feels more in the way than cohesive to the flow of the game.
The majority of the game will be contained in 5 different words, each packing some very memorable levels, and some stunningly fun final music levels. It shouldn’t take no more than 5-6 hours of game play to finish the main levels, but there are lots more to do than just that. You can replay each level to collect more Teensies, ones that you missed, and unlock more playable characters. There are also quite a few levels from Rayman Origins that are reimagined, and remade for this game. To make sure that you keep coming back, there are daily challenges stages to complete each day, and online record keeping to crown a winner. With all that, along with some other secrets that I will not divulge in this review, Rayman Legends will keep you entertained for some time.
It doesn’t really need to be said again, but the visual design of Rayman Legends is absolutely stunning. The original style of Rayman Origins has been given a major face lift, with lots of extra detail, shading, and other subtle elements. These updates make for a beautifully hand painted style, that will simply blow you away on any TV, and downright pop at you on a HDTV.
The visuals were not the only thing to get an upgrade, the audio is top-tier as well. With hilarious sound effects, and a unforgetable soundtrack. The music brings forth a wonderful energy to keep you going.
Rayman Legends will take you back to being a kid again, and then shove you back into adulthood as the challenging stages test you over and over. The major flaws with this game can be boiled down to the fact that it was originally a Wii U exclusive, and you can tell it from the way the Wii U features work on the other consoles. After all is said and done, even with that one flaw, Rayman Legends is a worthy addition to anyones gaming library.