In the absence of an iconic plumber based platformer for the 3DS launch, something else had to step up and carry the platforming torch. Rayman 3D may be a simple port of a game that has already reached it’s mid-teens, but the stroppiness and refusal to get out of bed that so often comes with this age only mildly shows itself to the player, resulting in a game that will please the platforming public, at least until the plumber shows up.
I have to say that Ubisoft have managed to pull some pretty good titles out of the hat for the Nintendo 3DS launch. Two of their four titles however, have simply been ports of previously successful games. Such is the case with Rayman 3D, or Rayman 2 to give the game it’s real name. In it’s day, back on the N64, PlayStation and such, the game was incredibly well received, offering what was a brilliant example of the 3D platforming genre. But that was a long time ago and gamers’ tastes have changed since then. Can it still measure up?
Well, platforming games are fairly easy to get right, and recent games such as Donkey Kong Country Returns shows us that there is still a place in the gamers hearts for a game that involves jumping from one platform to another, gathering collectibles and defeating enemies. Rayman 3D is an almost identical replication of Rayman 2 and offers exactly what you would expect from a 3D platformer.
The ageing Rayman, with his floaty hands and legs, and helicopter-style ears, will spend his time wandering a massive world collecting Lums. There are a huge number to collect, so the completionists out there had better get ready for a fair few hours gaming. Needing to spend this much time in the game, it is good to see that the controls all work relatively well. The circle pad does a good job of providing the movement. It is not quite as good as could be found on the old consoles, but a vast improvement over the DS version. The camera was also an issue on the DS, but seems to have been improved this time around, with the left and right triggers offering control where it is needed.
The 3D effect, which is pretty much the only new aspect added to the game, could have gone either way. On one hand, offering a 3D platformer in 3D makes sense. But on the other hand, it could make precision jumping difficult if not implicated properly. Thankfully, Rayman 3D has offered a very decent 3D experience in which the entire game world leaps from the screen with added depth and perspective. This adds a dimension of intuition to the games’ numerous jumps and leaps which actually seems to make the game easier to play. It doesn’t always work perfectly though, as there are times when items appear on the screen, resulting in the 3D effect becoming slightly less than perfect. But this is only a minor issue.
The main problem that affects Rayman 3D is repetition. Not repetition within the game, but rather the repetition of playing the game again. Anyone who has been gaming for a while will likely have owned at least one platform on which this game has already appeared. As there is nothing new added to the gameplay itself, most gamers who have already enjoyed this title in the past will be unlikely to want to play it again. Adding something new would have been nice.
That being said, there are plenty of younger gamers out there who may not have had the chance to play Rayman 2 and will get a lot of enjoyment from this title. Rayman 3D is a solid platforming game that looks damn good for it’s age, and is really impressive in 3D. If you have yet to play the game, and you can stomach the high prices, then Rayman 3D will provide hours of gaming fun. Those who have played Rayman 2 should probably wait for a plumber.
For the most part, having the 3D turned on gives the game more depth and makes it perhaps easier to play. There are a few issues when items come to the very front of the screen, but overall it is certainly worth having the 3D on and Rayman 3D does a good job of showing how 3D can improve the platforming genre.