The latest adventure with the hero who can’t lick his own elbow.
Rayman has walked a rocky road to finally get Legends into the stores. First, Rayman Legends was announced as a Wii U exclusive that was meant to launch ages ago. Then, for reasons only known to Ubisoft and Nintendo, it was announced that the game would be arriving on other platforms, and the launch was delayed. Many fans were upset by the delays. But now it has arrived, I think we can say that Rayman Legends was worth the wait.
Much like the previous Rayman title, the game that finally moved the limbless hero from under the shadow of those damn Rabbids, Rayman Legends starts with our hero asleep. This time however, he has been asleep for a hundred years before he and his friends are once again awakened to sort out the chaos that has taken hold in their world. Cue some epic 2D platforming action as the player runs, jumps, slides, swings and slaps his way through more levels than you could shake a Lum at.
Not that you would want to shake a Lum at anything, as collecting the the singing Lums is what the game is all about. Well, that and freeing Teensies trapped in cages throughout the games imaginatively designed levels. This is something we have all seen before though in Rayman Origins. But perhaps the most significant new addition to Rayman Legends is Murfy as an accompanying character. Levels are littered with areas that will find Murfy having to perform some action or other so that Rayman, Globox or one of the other characters can proceed. The actions are simple, worthy of a little fairy-like creature, but necessary, such as flipping a switch, cutting a rope or tickling an enemy.
While missing out on the Wii U exclusive control of Murfy, thanks to the Wii U’s innovative GamePad, it could well be that the non-touch control method of playing the game is easier. I haven’t had the chance to check the game out on the Wii U, but having the fairy-like Murfy perform actions in the Xbox360 version of Rayman Legends was a simple matter of positioning and the tap of a button. Does it make the game easier? Probably. Does it make the game less entertaining than the Wii U version? I very much doubt it. I can’t see any platformer getting more entertaining than this.
Freeing the Teensies from their cages is the key to progressing in the game and unlocking new levels. Some of these Teensies will be easy to find as the player simply makes their way through the level. However, other incarcerated Teensies will be hidden or difficult to reach and the player will have to explore hidden areas and make tricky moves to gather them all.
Another step up from Rayman Origins can be found in the visuals. Rayman Origins was a good looking game, but Legends takes it one step further into the realms of beauty. The hand drawn environments look simply stunning, but the real highlight are the impressively diverse and detailed bosses. It is easy to say that Rayman Legends is one of the best looking games on the Xbox360, and one of the best looking platformers ever made.
Legends packs in five differently themed worlds to work through, each with a healthy number of levels to play. The already mentioned gorgeous bosses make up one of the highlights for each of the worlds, with the standard pattern learning gameplay providing a nice challenge. However, the real highlights are the musical levels which have been highly publicised. In these, the player will run through a level at speed and with the rhythm of the music playing in the background. The music itself may be hit or miss, but the way these levels flow with such precision make them incredibly satisfying and worthy of a game of their own.
Collect Lums in the game to receive scratch cards. The rewards from these scratch cards are varied and can include more Lums, pets or even new levels for the “Return to Origins” mode, which are remixed levels from Rayman Origins. This only adds to an already content filled Rayman offering.
And talking of more content, four player co-op returns to add some crazy platforming action to the game. Playing with others is absolute chaos, but will have the participants rolling around with laughter. There are also challenges to be had and the drive to retry previously completed levels to get everything, make it through quicker or find missed secrets is strong.
Rayman Origins marked the return of the limbless hero to platforming goodness, leaving the mini-game loving Rabbids behind. Now, Rayman Legends has taken the series one step further into the realms of greatness. Rayman Legends offers tight gameplay in gorgeous surroundings, and enough content to keep the game fresh for ages. This is one of the best platforming games ever made and if I were a plumber, I would be worried.