In honour of next week’s release of Rayman: Origins for the 3DS, Nintendo has re-released Rayman’s first foray into the world of Nintendo handhelds: Rayman. Is this oft overlooked version of Rayman’s first adventure worth your cash this week? Find out after the break.
Developer: Ubi e-Studios
Publisher: Ubi Soft Entertainment
Original Release Date: March 2000
Released near the end of the Game Boy Color’s lifespan, Rayman features Ubisoft’s loveable protagonist in an adventure spanning seven worlds (excluding the incredibly challenging secret world) to save the Toons from the evil Mr. Dark. If you were hoping for more storyline with your platformer, sorry, that’s it, but hey: who plays platformers for their stellar stories anyways?
I want to say right off the bat, this game is gorgeous considering the system it was released on. Colours really explond, and I have to say I was beyond impressed with how fluid the game felt, and while the sound and music in the game is good, it’s nothing spectacular. I can’t say there were any songs that after hours of gameplay were stuck in my head, but I will say, there is quite a variety in the number of tracks that appear in the game, and they are used to build mood incredibly well.
Pretty graphics and sound however don’t make a game, and I’m pleased to say that Rayman plays just as well as it looks. The controls in this game are unbelievably tight and difficulty constantly felt just right. Rayman has 5 hits before he loses a life, and that’s ample with the amount of recovery hearts you’ll encounter in the game. There’s one thing I absolutely loved as well: Deaths always felt fair. It never felt like the game threw a curveball just to score a cheap death, they were always a result of my mistakes, and next time you returned to that part of the stage, you knew better. Very reminiscent of old school platformers and I have to say kudos to Ubi e-Studios for keeping each level fresh and introducing new gameplay elements. Simply put, this game is not afraid to throw a challenge at you, and it’s expertly clever in the way it does so.
There are a couple of complaints however. Enemies are ridiculously underused in the game, which is a shame because while the environment itself is against you, I found some of my best challengers came from Mr. Dark’s minions. I found that compared to other platformers, Rayman just let enemies in general fall to the wayside, in all but one very memorable stage. Additionally, there were moments where the explanation of power-ups could have been handled better, especially for what is the first game in the series. I spent many a minute attempting to grasp rings that I couldn’t yet on my first play through. Finally, if you’re playing this on your 3DS you are incredibly lucky to not have to write down generated passwords that act as the “save” system.
Replay value was astounding with the title as well. Rayman unlocks abilities as he moves from world to world, and while completing your first run through may only take a couple of hours, upon completion you’re presented with a world map to go back to previously visited worlds and collect any missing Toons that you couldn’t access before without your newly acquired skills. This presents a challenge in itself with the exploration, but once you collect all 30 missing Toons, you’ll unlock a new, secret world full of platforming that is sure to challenge even the hardiest of gamer.