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Well what can i say? For starters, its a great port of a great game! Although its a port of the Dreamcast version, i mainly compare it to the N64 version, as i own it.
Compared to the N64 version, the graphics are marginally better, but made a lot sharper/crisper due to the higher resolution, even when the N64 uses the expansion pak.
The controls are helped greatly due to the 3DS's addition of an analog thumbstick, which is far more accurate and usable than the PSP's analog stick. It allows for brilliant 360 degree movement and is positioned in just the right place. The camera does get annoying sometimes, but its generally ok, and i remember that the original version also had camera issues.
The story line isn't really that great, but the missions on it are very good, as I'm sure you'll know if you played the original. There are lots of varied enemies, each requiring you to deal differently with them.
The main point everyone buys the 3DS for is probably the 3D, and Rayman makes good use of it. When approaching objects that come close to the camera, its almost as if it's about to touch you, i actually moved my head back by instinct when the camera went through a plant.
Really this is an almost direct port of the original, the upgraded resolution makes it look slightly better, and the 3D effects gives it that extra WOW factor, but don't expect it to be something different, because it isn't.
This is a good game to get in a bundle with a 3DS and possibly one of, if not the best launch game, but i wouldn't spend £30 on it, when already owning the N64 version.
Although I was excited about the Nintendo 3DS coming out, I wasn't massively thrilled about the release games, which mainly seemed to be split between fighting/pilot games and kids' games. However, I decided to select Rayman 3D as my game of choice. The bonus was that it was just £10 from Tesco when buying the console as well. It's currently available on Amazon for around £25, a whole £10 cheaper than on the high street.
The game comes on a small chipped disc, and you simply insert it into the 3DS in much the same way as with the previous consoles. You may need to flick across some of the screens on the DS to navigate to the opening screen, adjust the angle you're holding the 3DS at, and then you're ready to go. The game starts with a little intro scene which you can skip through after you've set up your first user (three letters, designed for initials) to distinguish different people's games.
The 3DS now has a small, comfortable joystick controller ('circle pad') as well as the directional pad and usual buttons. You don't need to use the stylus for the game; you control Rayman using the stick and the A button to jump. Rayman can walk, jump, jump from side to side between walls to gain height, swing from vines and probably other things that I haven't got to yet.
The controls take a bit of time to getting used to - at least for me - possibly because there's a joystick involved and some parts require quite specific jumps. I'm still a little frustrated by the fact that Rayman dies instantly from falling into the river, but not from falling from a great height.
The 3Ds has a slider so you can turn the 3D up or turn it off altogether. I messed around a bit and found that the highest setting was fine, although it did take me twenty minutes or so to get used to playing the game in 3D. It's really strange at first, and you have to hold the 3DS at the right angle, but once you get used to it you get thoroughly lost in the game. It's not until a 3D plant spikes out in front of you, or you notice the realism of the water, that you remember you're playing something very new and fun. That's not to say that the 3D fades into the background so you don't notice it; it's just weird how quickly you adapt to it and how 'real' it feels. The Guardian rather harshly gave the game three stars, mainly based on the fact that the 3D and camera angles get in the way of gameplay. I've not experienced this to be honest, although I would say that the quality of the 3D isn't as good as some of the other games, like Nintendogs. However, it's far better than others in my opinion (I'm looking at you Pilotwings). Nintendo advises that children under 6 shouldn't play with 3D turned on.
Playing the game
I wasn't really expecting the game to be a port of an old game (Rayman 2), but it is. For that reason, if you're a Rayman fan, you will most likely have played this game before in a different format. My boyfriend recognised it straight away and it was definitely a retro-style thing for him (although it was a good hour before I managed to convince him that it was my turn). However, it's 'new' to me, and for that reason I was coming to it as if it were a fresh game. If you have played it before, that doesn't necessarily mean the whole game is a write-off, but it does depend how much you enjoyed the original.
For those who don't know, Rayman is a standard RPG game, where you play a distinctive character who wanders around the worlds to collect sprites and other things. The ultimate goal is to collect four masks, and there's plenty to explore and plenty of creatures, enemies and tasks along the way. There are places to grab hints from if you need them, but other than that it's pretty much left up to you to wander round and explore. To be honest it's not that difficult to find your way around, although being someone who likes to know and collect everything in games, I did go through parts of it wondering if I'd missed something out. If you like structured games where you're guided through everything, this game - and most RPGs - probably aren't for you. For that reason I would say that younger kids aren't really going to enjoy this, and I think it's a game that would be suited from age 10ish to adult.
The different scenes are beautiful, and the attention to detail with butterflies flying around and so on is great. However, there are a few graphics (in particular Rayman himself) that could have done with being a bit sharper and a bit smoother, but these are surprisingly few and far between for a game that's originally an old port. If this is one of your first 3DS games, you're probably going to be impressed. If you're picking this up six months or a year down the line, then you're probably not going to think it's amazing unless you're a Rayman fan. At the moment though, there's a relatively limited choice out there, so for your RPG fix Rayman isn't a bad choice in my opinion.
I can't compare it to the old version because I've never played it, but Rayman 3D is good to look at and will hold your attention for an hour or two at a time. The 3D is great, I've not had any camera angle issues so far, and the scenery and worlds are well put together. If you want a brand new game or you don't like exploring type games, then go for something else, but you could do a lot worse than Rayman 3D.