* Prices may differ from that shown
It might sound an odd thing to say of a 2011 PS3 game, but Rayman Origin is pretty much about as retro a game as you can get.
Don't believe me? Well, let's take a look at the evidence. Get past its sumptuous visuals and stunning sound and Rayman is thoroughly unoriginal. It's basically a traditional 2D platform game that requires you to run from right to left, leaping on platforms to get to otherwise inaccessible areas, avoiding or killing enemies and collecting items (in this case the oddly named Yums). In other words, it's doing nothing that Mario wasn't doing 20 years ago.
Lest this be taken as a criticism, let me assure you that a total lack of originality is unimportant when a game is as good as this. At the end of the day, Rayman: Origins is successful because it remembers one essential ingredient that so many modern games forget: it's fun. Its difficulty level is well pitched so that it is instantly accessible to gamers of all ages. It's a game that pretty much anyone stands a chance of completing, but it's big enough to offer a reasonable challenge (though not a tough one) to seasoned gamers. There's lots of levels, lots to collect and plenty of extras to unlock. Each level has a number of different challenges, including a time trial mode where you have to complete it within a separate time limit. As such it has good longevity and plenty of replay value.
Rayman Origins has that elusive addictive element. When playing it, you are having so much fun that you don't want to stop. Many is the time that I have sat there thinking "I'll stop when I get to the end of this level"... and then when I get to the end, I decide that perhaps I'll just have a quick peek at the next level to see what it is like... and so on. If you are not careful you could become addicted to Rayman Origins very easily and allow it to consume too much of your life. It really is that good.
On the whole, level design is very good. Whilst it might be mostly linear, levels do offer hidden sections or difficult to acquire items that you often ignore on your first run through, so even when you have completed a level, there is a reason to go back and explore it further. Just occasionally, level design can seem slightly unfair, with unexpected hazards catching you unaware (shifting ground, for example, is a bit of a shock the first time it happens). These are pretty minor niggles, though.
Graphically, it has to be one of the best looking games on the PS3. Even Mrs SWSt, who is not a fan of computer games, looked at it and commented how pretty it was. It might be something of a cliché, but playing Rayman Origins really is like playing a cartoon. The visuals are just stunning; there is no other word for them. Cartoon-like, full of character and beautiful to look at they demonstrate to any doubters that computer graphics can be a form of artwork comparable to more traditional things like paintings.
The graphics are imaginative and come with a huge dollop of Gallic quirkiness. Rayman himself is a cute and appealing little chap with his disconnected limbs and quiff hairstyle and everything you come across radiates charm. Even the bad guys look cute, yet menacing and it almost seems a shame to squish them. Unlike some games, the cuteness doesn't feel forced but fits perfectly into the gaming world which has been created. Rayman Origins might be retro in terms of its gameplay, but in terms of the presentation, it's definitely 21st century.
Rayman's visuals just ooze quality and attention to detail. The way the enemies expand when you hit them once is funny, the way Rayman wobbles and utters a cute little moan when teetering on platform edge - it all adds to the charm. Even relatively static screens, like the map screen look fantastic, whilst the silhouetted inter-level screen (which appears whilst the next level is loading) looks so good that you don't even care when there is a pause in the action to access the disk.
Sound is of equally high quality. The sound effects of the various characters perfectly match the look and feel of the game and make them feel even more menacing/cute. Like the graphics, the sound effects would not be out of place in a cartoon and the tunes are equally jolly and appealing. Given that the number of tunes in the game are limited, they should perhaps become annoying after a while, but somehow, they don't and you'll find yourself cheerfully whistling or singing along to them whilst playing.
The controls are so intuitive that it almost seems pointless mentioning them. They have been fine-tuned to perfection so that Rayman is highly responsive to your movements or button presses. If there's a slight criticism, it's that just occasionally, jumps need to be so pixel perfect that some leaps can be a little frustrating, but the excellent controls at least go some way towards tempering that.
As you've probably guessed, I am struggling to come up with much negative to say about Rayman: Origins. The couple of minor criticisms are the small ones I have already mentioned: the occasional reliance on pixel perfect jumps, the relative ease of the title (like the Lego games, you have infinite lives) and the fact that level design can be a little sneaky. The crucial point, though, is that none of these things spoil the game - they simply make you all the more determined to do a little better next time around.
As a veteran (and sometimes slightly jaded) gamer, Rayman reminds me why I fell in love with computer games in the first place and have spent so much time playing them. There are few games on any system that I would class as "must-own" titles, but Rayman Origins is definitely one.
(c) Copyright SWSt 2012
Rayman has finally returned to a major platform for the first time in 8 years, and is appearing in his first game since 2005. Rayman Origins returns to the oldschool 2D platform style of the original games, a move that, while risky, pays off.
Rayman Origins does have a plot: Rayman and his friends are relaxing in the Snoring Tree within the Glade of Dreams. But they disturb an old granny from the Land of the Livid Dead, who sends an army of creatures across the world, capturing the Electoons and imprisoning Betilla the Nymph, as well as her sisters. Rayman then has to set out to free Betilla and her sisters, as well as collecting enough Electoons to restore the Glade of Dreams. The plot is quirky and comical, which adds to the charm of the game, although it doesn't really have much depth.
Despite this, you do not need to pay any attention to the story in order to enjoy the game. The game is plat forming at its finest. You jump across platforms, defeat enemies, climb walls, and swim through water. The goal of each level is extremely simple; as Rayman (or one of the other characters), you must make your way through the level, collecting Lums and trying to find the cages that contain the Electoons. There will very often be hidden passages containing all but one of the cages containing the Electoons on each level, with the last cage being at the end of the level. There are also gold coins, which when collected will give you a large number of Lums, though to reach the coin you very often have to put yourself at risk. You can also try and collect Skull Teeth. Collecting 10 of these throughout the game will allow you to enter the 8th optional world; the Land of Livid Dead.
There are 7 worlds in the game (with an optional 8th world). Each world within the game has its own specific look and music, which really adds to the experience, as you will never begin to get bored with the layout of levels. Each area contains different enemies, which have to be defeated in different ways.
While the game can get frustrating at points, it is never due to poor gaming mechanics. As Rayman Origins is a lot like classic platform games, you need to spend time to work out how to best go about certain parts of a level. Failing to do so will often result in your death, which is where you may become frustrated.
Though the game starts you off as Rayman, the Snoring Tree section of the game also acts as character selection screen. The game starts by giving you the option of playing as Rayman, Globox or one of two Teensie's. However, the further you progress in the game, the more characters you can unlock to play as.
Overall, Rayman Origins is a great game, which returns to the roots of the 2D style of gameplay, which will appeal to a lot of older gamers.
Rayman has returned to his roots - creator Michel Ancel has created a truly beautiful masterpiece here in the form of a classic 2d side scrolling platform adventure!
Created in stunning HD, this new version of the classic Rayman franchise is truly a work of art and is in my opinion of the most beautiful and visually stimulating games ever made. Definitely my game of the yaer so far!
When the glade of dreams is over-run by Darktoons, it is up to Rayman to save the day and restore peace to the glade. It comprises of over 60 levels over 12 unique worlds of beautiful and breath-taking animation. Its not just the stunning graphics that keep you entertained though, the game itself is addictive and fun to play, challenging but not frustrating or unfair. This is by no means just a kids game, everyone can enjoy it. Particularly if like me, you miss the games from the 'good old days' and are sick of the current games market and what it has to offer.
The game plays well and keeps you hooked throughout, its not so easy that you get bored, but not so difficult that you end up hating it. It is challenging enough so that you feel rewarded when you complete a stage. The single player is good, and feels very much like the original Rayman game for the Playstation1, only updated. Rayman Origins also offers a 4 way multiplayer option (local only, not online) which is hilarious to play with your friends.
There is hours of gameplay involved in the game, with many collectables and time trials, and for the PS3 - trophies aswell, this game is definitely worth the money. Retailing at around £15 I would consider it a bargain, as I bought it on release day at £42.99!
To summarise, this is a good fun game to play on your own or with friends. It will keep you hooked for hours and is beautifully designed and animated.!
The Rayman series is one of those bizarrely unloved franchises that seems to persist despite never finding the success it deserves. This is, perhaps, because while it achieves a great deal, it has never really lived up to its own potential, with Rayman titles of the past often feeling strangely unsatisfying. This probably has a lot to do with the series origins as one of the only 2D platformers in a time when the rest of the world had jumped on the 3D bandwagon and rode out of town. After the original Rayman, a tough but satisfying platformer with beautiful hand drawn graphics, we were introduced instead to the world of Rayman 2. The sequel was an ambitious 3D platformer, very much inspired by Mario 64, and was as successful as the series would ever really be.
The problem was that Rayman's 3D outings contained very little of the characters, style and gameplay of the original game, essentially forging a brand new series. Now, a whopping seventeen years later, Ubisoft returns to the world of the very first Rayman game with Rayman Origins, a title that captures the spirit of the series so perfectly that it's hard to believe things were ever done differently.
Rayman Origins can be summed up in much the same way as the first Rayman game, a 2D platformer in an age of 3D games, featuring astonishing hand drawn graphics and a zany sense of humour. Plot details are thin on the ground with that basic outline being that Rayman and his lazy buddies have been sleeping all day and disturbing these monsters underground with their snoring. These monsters get very unhappy and decided to cause havoc, as a result Rayman must go from level to level, beating them up and collecting Purple smiley faces called Lums. The game wastes little time on it, focusing instead on getting you playing as soon as possible. There is an overworld and a basic level hub where you can choose characters and unlock extras, but most of the time you're just going to be going from one level to the next in sequence. Each level flows nicely into the next so it feels like an almost seamless experience carrying you to the finish, it's a hard game to put down.
Gameplay is fairly simply and will be familiar to anyone who played games in the 90s. You run from one side of the screen to the other, your goal will be somewhere over to the right and you must traverse the environment to reach it. Enemies will obstruct you and must be defeated, and along the way you will be able to collect various powerups and unlockables. As you progress, Rayman will gain new abilities, and you will be able to revisit previously completed levels and access different areas for different collectables. Gameplay always feels tight and well balanced which was something of a surprise to me. These sort of games are really coming back in fashion with a lot of other retro genres, but developers seem to forget how important it is to make the play right. Any who has played the very iffy Sonic the Hedgehog 4 knows how wrong a character's jump can feel. It can throw off the entire game. Rayman Origins never feels uncomfortable or awkward and that's a really great achievement. After a little time with the game, it's easy to find yourself really meshing with the controls, smoothly going through levels like a rollercoaster. Best of all, you never feel like the game is cheating. When it's difficult, and it often is very challenging, it's not because it's poorly coded are the developers are using some cheap tactic to extend the length.
The game also features co-op play which is a lot of fun, offering different ways to work through the levels. Here the game really comes to life and it's nice to see a game that really lets you play with family and friends together in the same room.
A lot has been made of Rayman Origin's graphics and it becomes obvious why from the moment you get it running. Rayman Origins is a stunningly beautiful game. Each background, platform, character, enemy and object is a work of art and on the PS3 it is output at full 1080p resolution. The attention to detail is phenomenal with the whole effect looking like a living, breathing cartoon. It has to be seen to be believed, because it all fits together with the most incredible sense of depth. Despite being a 2D game, characters and platforms really feel separated from the backgrounds. It reminds me of the old Parallax Scrolling techniques that were big on 16 bit games consoles, which made different elements of the background pan at different speeds creating a more distant effect. This game isn't just amazing, it is absolutely perfect to see.
However, for me the most impressive side of Rayman Origins is the soundtrack, which is perhaps more impressive than its visuals. The game has such a defined sound right from the start, but it's also a true dynamic soundtrack that moulds and shifts to what's happening on the screen. Some of the best pieces of music involved the lightly satirical pieces that accompany the game's mosquito flight sequences, the first of which sounds like a bombing run in an old war film. Each event in gameplay has its own unique sound and none of them sound out of place. It's a pleasure to listen to a compliments the visuals perfectly.
Rayman Origins is a tricky game to review because I really don't want to say it's perfect. After all, nothing is ever perfect, and I'm sure I can strain to think of some flaws. For example, the game apes the original Rayman beautifully and yet it jams in characters and elements from later games, including a lot of the zany humour when it's not really necessary. It's a little light on explanations early on, and some of the hub area's unlockables seem overly difficult and not worth the effort. But these flaws are all very, very minor and I can honestly say that I have never played a game so beautiful, so seamless and so well designed as Rayman Origins. It is easily my favourite game right now, and probably will be for some time to come.
Rayman Oringins is a game that has been devolved and published by Ubisoft. The game has been made for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Playstation Vita. This is a review of the version for Playstation 3.
It's a Screen scrolling Platformer and you have to travel through worlds defeating enemies and following the action packed storyline.
Pros and Cons
Good looking gameworld
I'm glad that there is a new Rayman game, I have always enjoyed playing Rayman games. When I was growing up in my childhood.
This game plays really well, in some ways it feels a lot like the old Ryman games to play but it has a huge updated feel and I feel that it works well. In my opinion the game has been designed with the idea of the user. The game feels like it just wants you to keep playing it no matter what gets in your way or if you find that you are stuck the gameplay gets rather addictive.
The singleplayer story is very easy to understand but I thought that was a good thing, I did find that playing singlepalyer was entertaining and there was always lots of things to do and find.
I liked the boss battles for you to get stuck into, I felt that it was rewarding when I had completed a difficult level then when I had completed the boss battle it did make me feel rewarded in a way that I have not found in some of the other big single player games released to date, I liked that.
In my opinion I like the multiplayer experience, there is no online mutliplayer but there is a co op mode. You can play with up to four players and it works well because the advantage of having extra people is weighed out because it gets so mad you can loose what your doing and where your character is doing.
I feel like the story is basic I wont spoil it for you but it's simple to follow and it's easy to play, no complicated twists and turns to try and follow. Although there are lots of characters to meet and some downright funny moments in the story.
The graphics in this game are beautiful, I can feel that the art design team have done a good job. The levels are so beautifully drawn that you will get charmed by them over and over again. It's very pretty for a side view game.
Value for Money
There is a lot to do in this game, lots to find, lots to unlock, It feels like there is so much jam packed into this game. There is hours of gameplay in both the singleplayer and multiplayer. game modes. What you get with this game is a lot, a good length and varied difficultly singleplayer and multiplayer co op experience.
I bought the collectors edition and I do feel like I got value for money with the collectors edition but I am a big Rayman fan so if you are a big fan then I recommend you to pay the extra price.
Exclusive box and cover design
Official art book
Like I said I have been looking forward to this game for along time, it has a lot going for it and I would recommend this game to you if your a Rayman fan or not.
It may only be the start of January but I can see Rayman Origins being my favourite game of this year, if you are looking for a break from shoot 'em ups, role play or too complex 3D platform games, then Rayman Origins takes it back to basics with one of the most fun, beautiful and compelling 2D scrolling platformers that I can remember playing. Ever. Over the past few weeks I've spent far too long being caught up in the magical world of Rayman which has proved to be a delightful place from start to finish.
Ubisoft have taken an established but recently dormant character, the no-limbed Rayman, and brought it bang up to date with HD graphics, whilst managing to make a game that is massively playable but challenging enough even for a seasoned gamer. Right from the off of playing this game it is like a breath of fresh air. The differences start with the fact that you can play in co-op with up to 4 players (so far I've played with 3 much of the time), in your front room. There's no online playing here, what there is the ability to grab up to 4 controllers and play seamlessly within a beautifully rendered hand drawn somewhat surreal and fun universe.
We are in familiar territory as the game starts off as part tutorial part game. You need to work your way through different worlds - there are 10 worlds in all in five different universes (adding up to about 60 levels), and as you work your way through you unlock different and varied challenges but also different abilities. Rayman and his side-kicks Globox and the Teenies learn to smash, swim, fly and climb walls as you progress through the central hub of the Glade of Dreams a mystical place from which they set off on their quest.
Not, to my shame, being familiar with Rayman from previous games, the Rayman universe was new to me, and though in all honesty the story is pretty irrelevant to me, perhaps for aficionados of the series it might be pertinent to explain that the game sees the Bubble Dreamer having had nightmares and the world being taken over by the creatures of his bad dreams. Enter Rayman who has to step in to save the Electoons (pink blobby creatures) whilst being fuelled by Lums, blobs of energy, that he and his co-players have to collect whilst freeing the Electoons from their cages in the games and occasionally chasing the odd Nymph or two and beating Bosses along the way. To those of us not familiar with Rayman this is your basic scrolling 2D platformer where you earn coins (the Lums) and have to battle to the end of each level to progress, so far so familiar. What, for me, makes the twist is the humour which is inherent to the game, from having to swing off a cartoon hand, to Rayman and Globus themselves who are cartoonesque, to being serenaded by a host of Lums, Rayman is quirky, original and downright fun from the off even if you have never played it before.
Ubisoft say themselves (http://raymanorigins.uk.ubi.com/blog/) that they wanted to make the game accessible to beginners but also challenging to "veterans" - and I think that they have managed to achieve this. Due to the facts that the controls work seamlessly and are intuitive (basic X= jump and square = smash with a little bit of using the R2 for extra functions like sprint) and that the game gets progressively more difficult so that you become more skilled without realising it, the game achieves what it sets out to. Because you have an infinite amount of lives, when you die you just miss out on the opportunity to collect more lums or to access a hidden area (there are 2 in each level with more hidden Electoon cages in them to add to the one at the end of each level). This means you can carry on through the game no matter how many times you die, generous amounts of waystages/save points mean that you don't have to start all over again and make the game a true exercise in how to write a game that is not too frustrating in a senseless way but yet not too easy.
Playing in co-op makes the game much quicker progression wise and also more fun, though when you are at 3 players the screen does get a bit messy, in general the camera keeps up well with the action though any player lagging too far behind will find they leave the action unexpectedly. When you "die" in this manner or by getting killed by any number of enemies, prickly, firey or exploding things you become a bubble which your partner can smash in order to regenerate you. When the going does get tricky this doubles, triples or quadruples your chances depending on how many people are playing, which is handy though playing in co-op you can, and do, inadvertently kill rather than help your partner from time to time. This adds to the interest whilst meaning you have to strike a balance between everyone for themselves and helping each other.
All the kinds of challenges you would expect to face from an old skool platform game are there in abundance; making your way through worlds that crumble, jumping off things, on things that move, swinging, floating and even swimming all in a detailed and varied hand- drawn background. At times there's a bit of a Disney feel to the game as you jump on huge forks or glide around an underwater panorama, but get lulled into a sense of false security and a sinister black clawed hand is there to grab you and in parts the game is really very challenging. We have unlocked all the levels but doing so took some doing and in parts we were given the opportunity to move onto the next world after failing in epic manner on a couple of the levels with a gentle "it's getting dangerous here - stay?" - if you choose not to the next world is unlocked with no penalty, other than the fact that you miss out on the Loons at the end of the level.
You will find yourself going back and playing levels you have previously played a lot to find hidden areas you missed or to up the number of Lums you won so that you can increase how completed your medallion (a sort of medal which tracks your score) is at the end of each level. The only thing at all I could criticise about this game is that the map allowing you to do this is a tad confusing at first in all honesty, you seem to have to use circle to go back more than is strictly necessary to find out where you are and what you need to do. This was confusing at first to say the least and yet you have to go back to the map regularly to progress and also to go back to the Snoring Tree where the Bubble Dreamer is and where you can also change to different incarnations of the basic characters, all of whom have different abilities. Bar the bewildering map there is really nothing negative about the game at all, even the loading map is a thing of beauty that makes the waiting and transition for levels to load almost enjoyable. The soundtrack too is pure pleasure, though some of the much repeated anthems of the core characters such as the joyful Loons are perhaps a little too memorable, in the main the music enhances the experience of playing seamlessly and in a natural seeming fashion. This is gaming at it's best with all the recent add ons such as Move interactivity stripped back to the core - this game doesn't need any gimmics at all to be the brilliant experience that it is to play. Once you have finished you can go back to the levels to complete time trials and to try and collect anything you missed the first couple of times, the longevity of this game like everything else is truly excellent.
As I have probably made clear I've been well and truly sucked into the Rayman Universe with this game, which, at the £17.99 I paid for it (currently £26.44 on amazon, but the price fluctuates wildly) was quite frankly a bargain given the amount of enjoyment we have had playing with it. This game manages to be easy enough for an eight and five year old to play along with but challenging for anyone who has been playing platforms from the start, and it's just one huge breath of fresh air. The graphics are just the most amazing I think I have ever seen on any game and the most original I've experienced since playing Kirby's Epic Yarn on Wii - on Playstation 3 in HD they are pretty hard to surpass in my opinion.
I would defy any gamer to not enjoy Rayman on some level, be it racing on the back of a Giant Mosquito blasting things or trying to survive a flaming crumbling inferno. Highly, highly recommended and then some, this is, quite simply, a future classic game.