I’ve been a fan of the limbless wonder for a while now, I’ve still got fond memories of beating the old Dreamcast version and more recently got sucked into a frenzy of level beating jumping and helicoptering in the excellent ‘Rayman Origins’ on the Vita (which I would highly recommend you get if you’re a Vita owner). So hearing that the 3rd installation of the classic series ‘Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc’ was going to get an HD refresh filled me with a sense of joy.
Yes, I’ll admit it… I love platformers. There, I said it. Give me a good platformer over a shooter any day of the week. This was Rayman’s last “classic” outing before he had all that trouble with Rabbids, who now seem to have taken on a life of their own and left our floaty handed hero alone.
The plot was fairly simple for this, a dark lum is attempting to taint the heart of the world with the help of his army. That’s pretty much it, no counter schemes or plots to be discovered, refreshingly straight forward and all told through rather lovely cutscenes.
It’s worth noting that Rayman 3 HD literally is an HD revamp. There’s nothing extra that’s been added. It’s just the original game with a sparkly new suit of clothes. So how does the scrub and polish of an HD makeover fare on this 2003 classic?
The clothes in question do look rather good.
The one thing that the Rayman series has always had is a wonderful visual style, with plenty of vibrant colors for both the scenery and it’s inhabitants. These are all presented in a very smooth detailed environment that looks luscious thanks to the HD upgrade, no complaints here at all.
The audio features all the usual quirky voice acting and musical cues as you’d expect. It’s well put together and nothing seems out of place or forced, although the repeated shouts for help from Teenies you need to save can get a tad annoying.
The gameplay itself is a good solid platformer. Everything Rayman does, be it collecting gems or bashing baddies, generates points and these points unlock bonus mini games.
You’ve got you standard fist flinging ranged punch, which has always been one of my favorite moves from any videogame, along with his helicopter hair to help out with those hard to reach places. Along with these, there are power up suits available that have a time limit to them, but their purpose is related to solving a puzzle of some kind in the area you’re in, so it’s not a limitation. In fact it adds a little bit of spice to the proceedings.
The disco surfing sequence between the stages can be a bit of an assault on the senses, but it’s rather enjoyable once you get used to it.
There are 9 worlds for you to wander through and marvel at. In fact, I would recommend that you do stop at a quiet point and just pan the camera round to truly appreciate the work that the team have done on the visuals. The worlds themselves cover all the standards of platforming with the usual snow/ice and desert levels in the mix.
So yes, they’ve done a great job on the graphics and haven’t changed anything gameplay wise which to a certain extent is no bad thing. As I said, it’s a good solid platformer and you don’t get many of those these days. Sadly though, one of the things that plagued the game on it’s original release hasn’t been altered, the camera. Quite often you’ll find it swinging around at just the wrong time or sitting in such a position that you can’t quite work out what’s going on or where a ledge you need to get to is. To say it can be annoying in places would be kind.
This said, if you like platformers then I’d recommend downloading this one and experiencing some good old fashioned gaming that doesn’t involving warfare, be it of the Modern or Historic variety. It’s a luscious looking revamp of a very decent game. Go on, give it a try, especially if you’ve only played the 2D Rayman Origins. This is how Rayman originally came to us, after all… And I for one am glad he’s back.