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First released in 1999, "Rayman 2: The Great Escape" was the franchise's first venture out of 2D side-scrolling and into a fully 3D platformer. It was released for the Playstation, Dreamcast, Nintendo 64 and PC - and later adapted to the Playstation 2, Nintendo DS and iPhone - but this review is for the PC version in particular. The Great Escape was one of the formative games of my childhood (whoops, showing my youth) but I replayed it recently and found it was still as good as I remembered it.
Our titular floppy-haired, limbless hero has a real quest on his hands. Admiral Razorbeard and his robotic space-pirates have been out destroying harmless planets, and have now turned their attentions to Rayman's home, the Glade of Dreams, spoiling the land and enslaving its people. They've broken the Heart of the World into a thousand pieces, upsetting the balance of nature so that dangerous creatures proliferate, the population is weakened, and our beleaguered hero loses his powers. Rayman makes a narrow escape from Razorbeard's flying ship, only to find himself alone with just the barest of his powers left; he sets out to find his friends, recover his strength, and hopefully defeat the pirates and repair the damage they've wrought on his homeland. To do so he must enlist the help of Polokus, the dormant Spirit of the World, who can only be awoken by the uniting of four magical masks. Guess who's got to brave the depths of ancient tombs and temples to find those masks? Yep, there's no rest for Rayman, but at least he can't say his legs get tired.
The game is a quintessential platformer, with all the action you'd expect from one: jumping, climbing, negotiating obstacles, obliterating some enemies. But there's also much more to it than that. Rayman can also swing, swim, slide, strafe, and of course use his helicopter hair to float that extra distance, and the gameplay makes full use of all the mechanics at its disposal. Each level brings something fresh to the table, whether water-skiing over a swamp or making a long, tense helicopter descent down a huge ravine. The game sets a high standard from the beginning, but paces itself well and remains clever and inventive throughout.
There are about twenty main levels to play through, all of them unique and visually lush, and also a couple of bonus levels that are unlocked if you meet the criteria. As well as getting Rayman through the levels unscathed, there are other objectives to work on: gathering lums and freeing prisoners from cages. The lums are floating balls of light with different colours denoting different properties: for example, yellow to unlock further levels, red to recover health, green as a checkpoint, and blue to recover oxygen when underwater. The cages contain poor souls left to rot by the pirates: you can usually hear their cries for help from nearby, but sometimes the cages are hidden out of sight or are inaccessible until a later stage, adding a nice treasure-hunt element. There are several boss fights and big action sequences, but success is mainly down to tactics and timing, and once you've worked out a strategy you can breeze through without getting unfairly stuck. The game strikes a good balance between fast-paced sequences, strategic action, and relaxing exploration.
The central hub of the game is The Hall of Doors, from which Rayman can access new areas as they're unlocked, or travel back to replay old ones. Sometimes previous levels need to be revisited to develop the plot and explore new sub-levels, but you can also switch back and forth in your own time if you missed some objectives or just want to admire a favourite area again. The levels themselves are essentially linear, but their spaciousness and atmosphere makes them feel satisfying to explore. The whole game's pretty deeply engrained in my muscle memory now, so I can play through the whole thing in around five hours, but if you haven't played it before it should keep you entertained for days.
The graphics are delightfully colourful and quirky, and their comic flair and bold shapes have helped the game age well. It's a bit primitive and rough around the edges, but surprisingly good-looking for a game of its age, with Michel Ancel's uniquely whimsical designs remaining lovely to look at. The world is charmingly animated, populated with nice little touches, like harmless fish and butterflies drifting about their business. Though the characters speak in peculiar subtitled gibberish, there's a lot of physical humour expressed through their animations, like Rayman's victorious little Cossack dance at the end of each level, or penchant for bouncing his own torso around like a basketball when left idle.
Eric Chevalier's musical score is kooky and memorable, really bringing each level to life: magical glades and woodlands, gloomy swamps and temples, clanky and ominous robot-pirate strongholds. It's a diverse but distinctive score, some of my favourite music from any game, and a perfect marriage with the quirky visuals.
The controls and camera are simple and quite intuitive, though not completely spot-on. Control configuration is very limited, but since the default layout is a simple one (but old-school - arrow keys rather than WASD) I've never felt the need to alter them. Some players recommend using a gamepad, but I've always played it with a keyboard and never had any trouble. The camera mostly remains behind Rayman, but it can be panned around him clockwise and anti-clockwise, and holding down Numpad 0 activates a first-person "look mode" which is useful for orientating yourself or admiring a nice view. The camera can be more of a hindrance than a help at times, changing to a counter-intuitive fixed angle for some scenes. Thankfully these moments are brief, and the controls are otherwise solid and forgiving, so even if the camera's gone awry you should manage not to send Rayman to his death.
Overall, it's a great game for players of all ages, though some levels might be a bit spooky and difficult for younger children. The Cave of Bad Dreams scared me when I was young, though I see the funny side of it now! It's still a very charming, cartoonish and non-violent game, if you're picking it up for a young gamer, though I'd recommend it to just about anybody.
Rayman 2: The Great Escape is currently free on Steam if you pre-order Rayman Origins (£19.99) before March 29th. Otherwise, it's very easy to find an old copy for a pound or so at your nearest second-hand game shop. Though it's an old game by today's standards, I still highly recommend it as a near-perfect example of a 3D platformer.
Rayman 2 may have been released a long time ago now, but it remains an enduring game in my collection, and one that is, in my opinion, one of the best sequels that gaming has ever seen. The first game was great, with its fantastical levels full of strange, wonderful creatures, but Rayman 2 is something else, and although not quite the looker it once was anymore, it was widely regarded as one of the best looking games of its time.
The plot involves the strange and evil Admiral Razorbeard taking over the world, leading a band of robot pirates in the process. Rayman, however, along with his friend Globox, endeavours to save the world by collecting 4 magical masks that can be combined to raise a mythical God that will put a stop to Razorbeard's evil ploy. However, when Rayman is separated from Globox, Rayman will have to traverse the world alone, using his powerful fists to hunt down the four masks spread throughout.
Rayman 2 really excels with its gameplay though; it lovingly combines platforming and adventure elements with action, making for a game that's virtually got something to just about please everyone. Rayman is able to shoot energy out of his fists which he can use to defeat enemies and also to destroy environmental blockages. What's more, he can also gain upgrades throughout the game that allow him to become even more super-powered. The game is fun to play without being overly difficult, meaning it's not going to take up too long, but crackles with energy and fun from start to finish. However, I would recommend shelling out on a joystick, as playing this with a keyboard and mouse is rather uncomfortable indeed.
Still, for a visually impressive, extremely fun and well-crafted adventure game, there are few better than its generation.
I played this a long time ago and it was annoying.
The concept is fine as were the sound and graphics at the time. The flaw is the camera, it doesn't move with your character in the way you may expect it to. Whereas with most games the camera is positioned behind your character or through the eyes of the character as standard with the mouse permitting you to view different angles, this is not. The camera is free movement, it is not hooked on to the back of the character or the characters own view which is ridiculous. Rayman can fly, jump etc. and a lot of the levels require you to jump from and to different platforms to avoid hazards. There's nothing quite as ridiculously annoying as flying only to find that your character is completely out of view or the camera or having to keep moving the mouse to change the view every time you jump to dodge a hazard especially when the jumps have to be done in quick succession.
It would be an ok time waster if it weren't for the stupidly annoying camera. Far better for kids than adults and considering the big improvement in graphics and gameplay since the time of release of this game you're better off going with something newer, something that won't make you want to punch the monitor in frustration.
This is the second adventure with Rayman, this time he's in 3D. As before the graphics are colourful and the sound effects and music are amazing. There are 20 levels to play all with a unique style and theme which will keep you playing for hours. Rayman is a cartoon styled character with arms, feet, head and a body but no arms and legs. He is played as a third person game, the camera angles are great and a rotate camera key can be used if the view is at an awkward position, the controls are slightly different to what I was used to in other third person games like Tomb Raider, but they are quite easy to get used to. In this adventure he encounters more weird and wacky characters and will enter many more new worlds than he has in the previous game. Rayman's mission is to defeat Admiral Razorbeard and the Pirates and banish them from the Glades of Dreams and save his friends from slavery. Rayman encounters many of his friends along the way who help him with his quest, a few of these characters are: Globox: - he is Rayman's best friend and helps in many parts of the game, he has the power to create rain clouds which destroys electrical beams, make plants grow and put out fires. Murfy - is Rayman's guide, giving him hints along his journey. He appears where stone of thought appear in the ground and can be summoned at any time. Ly - a powerful fairy that helps Rayman by collecting energy and creating silver Lumz which give Rayman new powers which gives him the ability to grab purple Lumz to swing across gaps, helicopter hair and power punch. Polokus - the creator of the world who is in an eternal sleep, he is the most powerful and Rayman needs his help to destroy the pirates, the only way of doing this is to find 4 masks hidden around the world. The Teensies - Small wise beings who show Rayman new worlds through the Hall of Doors. The intro begins with Rayman being captured by Admiral Ra
zorbeard and the pirates after they have invaded the Glade of Dreams. Globox one of Rayman's many friends escapes to get help. The game starts with Globox captured and taken to where Rayman is being held, he brings with him a sliver Lumz and gives it to Rayman, this brings back Rayman's punch power and he escapes the pirates. As Rayman cannot defeat the Pirates by himself he starts his adventure by finding the four masks which will awake Polokus, who he needs help from to defeat the Pirates leader Admiral Razorbeard. This takes up most of the game and Rayman will come up against may strange pirates and enemies on the way. Rayman also uses Lumz which are scattered everywhere, they come in many colours: Blue - Rayman can collect these when swimming underwater as they are used to restore his air meter. Purple Lumz - these are the same as the ones in the previous game, Rayman can grab these and swing across large gaps. Green Lumz - are used in levels as save places so if Rayman dies he wont have to start from the beginning of the level. Silver Lumz - gives Rayman new powers. Yellow Lumz - are collected through the game so that Rayman can access new worlds through the hall of doors, the teensies will only let him pass if he has a sufficient amount. There are many tricky parts in this game which will keep you glued to the computer for hours trying to overcome them. Rayman will travel through the game in may ways such as water skiing through swamps, steering a pirate ship and riding on walking/flying shells. There are a few bonus levels through the game, the two main ones are a race against Ly the Fairy, the other is available at the end of each level if all the yellow Lumz are collected. They aren't very hard and not worth much but still fun to play. Even though this is a long game and will keep you playing for more than 40 hours, it's very addictive and you will not bore of it easily, some parts are t
ricky to get through but overall the game is easy navigate through and is playable for all ages. This is definitely on of my favourite games. System Requirements: Operating System: Windows 95/98 or ME CPU type and Speed: Pentium 133 or higher Hard Drive Space: 220Mb Memory: 32Mb or higher Graphics: 4mb Direct x 6.1 compatible graphics card CD-ROM: 2x or faster CD ROM Audio: Any Direct x 6.1 compatible sound card
Rayman two came included with the new PC i purchased the other day. Whilst i was messing about trying to get the CD copier to work i notice a load of cd's in a box, Rayman 2 was the first one i pulled out so i fired into the cd drive and loaded it up...and so it began! I played on it for about an hour just getting used to the controls and just pushing the limbless sole to his maximum capabilities. I left it for a few hours but i couldn't resist going back for more. But this time i was playing serious. I raced through the first level hungry for more of a challenge in the levels to come. So onto the second round which wasn't really hard but i got to blow away a few pirates which is always fun! I kept goin for about two hours and managed to get to the 'land of bad dreams', and thats were i have stayed for the last few days, and now i'm stuck! The game is really addictive and i would recommend it to any one with a PC or playstation. I also have a list of cheats for the PC version so if you would like this information please feel free to e-mail me.
Rayman cheats for PS1 Big Rayman After the Ubi Soft logo appears, press and hold L1, L2, R1, R2. Keep holding these buttons until the animation of the brick wall appears. Continue to hold these buttons and press Start. KEEP HOLDING DOWN EVERYTHING INCLUDING START, then release everything when the screen turns black. Disable levels Turn on your PSX and don't press anything until it comes to the screen with "rayman" in bubble letters. Then hold Triangle, Square and Start. Wait until the screen shakes then select the level(s) that you want to skip Extra Continues When you've lost your last man and are down to two or fewer continues, press Start to continue your game, then press Up, Down, Right, Left for 10 free continues. Full Power-Ups and 99 Lives While playing, pause the game and hold R1 + R2 + L2. While holding these buttons, press Circle, Right, Square, Left, Circle. If that doesn't work, pause the game by pressing Start. Press and hold L2. Continue to hold L2, and press and hold R1. Holding both L2 and R1, press and hold L1. Now press and hold R2 while holding the others. Now release them in this order: L1, L2, R2, then R1. Now tap Circle. Press and hold Left, press and hold Circle, press and hold Square, and press and hold Triangle. Release them in this order: Left, Triangle, Square, then Circle. Passwords Free the elec-toons with this set of passwords. Please note that these passwords only work in the American version of the game.
Rayman is so brill, but it is really very challenging.This is not just a game for kids because its NOT easy! The game challenges you to find different paths, tools and tricks to get the cages and lums. I am not in love with all the camera angle work, but for a major jump to 3D.. The different amazingly colourful worlds are all unique and beautiful. You have got to try this game out, its worth it to the last penny.
Rayman 2 is an eclectic mix off stunning graphics, quality gamplay and an all round good game. It is visually stimulating and is jam packed with exciting and interesting things to do. The game follows on from Rayman 1 and gives you the oportunity to continue with Raymans milingering quest to save the world from devastation. After first playing the game I instantly decided that it was the best game I'd seen for a long time. I also noted that it was a great improvment from Rayman 1 where the graphics were 2D; although were still good. In the game you come across many characters, you have to fight the bad quys, free the little people and recieve help from your own personal fairy. Overall Rayman 2 is a game for anyone who wants to take a little time out to enjoy themselves!
Having Rayman on the palystation I decided on this game for the PC. The graphics are good (cartoon). As usual with the rayman games rayman has so good mannerisms, its quite diffiuclt in places and there is some spott on level design I found the controls easy to use and the collision detection is fine but I did notice a few doggy bits later in the game. Warp to another level now its fun. My brother can beat me pants down on this game and he is only seven.
Ray,am 2 is a very happy, pleasant little game, strikingly like a cartoony version of Zelda and not quite as difficult, but still very fun to play for most people I think. Rayman's mannerisms and the little touchs everywhere make the game very appealing and show off its good design and programming, and its length and difficulty is almost spot on. The controls are easy to operate and the collision detection is perfect. The menu which allows you to go back to levels if you have forgotten to do something on one of them is a masterpiece, featuring a virtual map of the levels and Rayman running about offering different reactoins when you stop at each stages 'warp'. A very enjoyable game over all.