There are few games out there that can match Rayman Legends. It sets a new standard in charm and creativity, and it should positively be played by just about anyone with even the slightest interest in videogames.
Picking up from where Rayman Origins left off, Legends takes everything one step above. It seems Rayman and his gang are still the laziest bunch ever. During one of their usual group snoring sessions, some baddies decided to take over and yadda yadda.
Any excuse is valid for putting out yet another incredible platforming game. It’s no hyperbole: Rayman Legends is quite possibly the best platformer out on current platforms. It’s absolutely gorgeous and colorful, full of personality and a heck of a lot of fun any way you decide to tackle it, even more if you have some friends around to couch co-op.
Even if you haven’t had a chance to play Origins, Legends has you covered. It includes a big chunk of its levels, added in with new challenges and secrets, along with its already sizable musically inspired worlds. Each of these worlds is broken up into stages, rated by difficulty and type. Some levels require you to be fast, while others throw in a wrench on the gears for good measure – why not turn Rayman into a low flying duck?
Varied is one word that could easily be applied to Legends repeatedly, from the different style given to each of its theme worlds to the ability to partake in daily and weekly challenges, which are in a category of their own.
While it’s easy to throw out adjectives towards this game, there’s certainly good reason. Platformers have been in an all time low lately, and even when they happened to come out often back in the day, they tended to be awful. On the other side of the spectrum, Rayman Legends not only exalts the qualities of previous games in the series, it also sets some pretty high standards for future titles in the genre. It plays with your expectations of what a platformer is, going beyond the mere and now overly boring gameplay of simply landing stomps on enemies’ heads.
Legends values exploration, ingenuity and skill, all the while delivering an incredibly enjoyable experience that’s ready to thrill you just as well as it’s willing to test and laugh at your skills. While some levels can be considered laughably easy, they’re designed in a way that even when you are carried, the reward at the end is amazing. An example lies in every world’s closing stage, that puts rhythm and musicality into the forefront, creating all sorts of melodies through your jumps and attacks.
Truly finishing levels requires patience, thanks to some deviously designed maps that just happen to hide all sorts of secrets just about everywhere – all of which are counted and tallied towards a total that awards you medals as well as special items that count toward a completion total.
Progression is measured by how many of the cute blueish Teensies you, who were taken captive and hidden throughout levels, as well as Lums you pick up – the basic currency for unlocking new characters to play. Lums also contribute to leveling up your Awesomeness meter, which is tied to how many daily and weekly challenges you can partake.
Simply put, there’s a crap ton to do in this game.
Originally concocted for the WiiU, Rayman Legends was delayed for a few months in order to reach a wider audience on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Vita and PC. Although the latter systems lack the touch screen functionality of Nintendo’s version (except for the Vita), nothing else was lost in the transition.
The touch sections involve a pixie friend of Rayman’s, who helps along opening paths throughout certain stages, which honestly, feels much less tacked on non touch screen consoles. That’s evident of quick paced levels, where a touch of a button plays much better than having to find a spot on screen to click through.
As mentioned before, Rayman Legends is even better with friends around for cooperative play. Taking a cue from New Super Mario Wii, when playing co-op, falling into pits or running out of health doesn’t mean game over – you make it back in a bubble that can be popped by another player. Sadly, that also means the overall challenge might feel considerably toned down when playing with friends.
Rayman Legends is absurdly beautiful, making use of hand drawn and ridiculously well-animated characters, and respectably contained 3D models here and there. Along with Origins, Rayman Legends is by far the best looking sidescroller out at the moment. Its music is also noteworthy, including a lot of instruments you probably wouldn’t consider listening in a videogame, from ukuleles or just plain whistling, to a collage of grunts that form a surprisingly enjoyable rendition of a heavy metal concert. For real.
It’s commendable to see that in today’s world of entertainment a game like Rayman Legends can see the light of day. Loaded with an absurd amount of personality and charm, as well as loads of replayability, there are little to no better uses for your time. Just pop this sucker in and enjoy the ride.