Rayman Origins was one of the first games I picked up during my Vita’s launch, was my favorite launch title and is still one of my favorite Vita games overall. Time has passed, and Ubisoft has released a sequel to the hit game in the popular series, but does it deliver on the charm and fun factor of the original game? No, it surpasses it in almost every aspect.
Rayman Legends was originally conceived as a Wii U exclusive title, which does show in the final game. However, as most predicted, Ubisoft’s newest entry into the acclaimed series made it to other home consoles as well as Sony’s powerhouse handheld, the PlayStation Vita. What results is yet another stunning looking Vita game that is an absolute blast to play. The game starts off rather simply, with a basic introduction to the game’s nearly non-existent storyline and awesome cast of characters. Then, right off the bat, the game throws things into gear, starting off simplistic and eventually transitioning into some of the best platforming seen in this generation. Throw in some breaks to the usual gameplay with the Murfy sections, and you have some incredibly well-done hours of gameplay to keep players returning.
As noted earlier, the game’s Murfy sections change things up a bit, especially on the Vita version of the system. On home consoles, players take control of both the character and Murfy, platforming and solving quick, precise-timing puzzles to advance further in the level. On the Vita version, an AI controls the playable character and players play as Murfy, solving the puzzles to advance the character in the level. This system definitely works out well, and is actually rather fun to play.
One thing that made Rayman Origins stand out was its absolutely amazing soundtrack, and that goes no different here. Rayman Legends packs its beautifully crafted levels with a robust soundtrack that sounds great alongside the colorful environments. It seems this time, however, that Ubisoft knew how well its soundtrack was and doubled up by creating entire stages that focus its speedrunning, platform elements on the music in the background. Throw in the fact that these stages are backed by remixed versions of classic songs, such as “Eye of the Tiger,” and “Woo Hoo,” and you got easily some of the best stages in the game. Rayman Legends is also visually stunning, packing colorful and vibrant color palettes in the many stages seen in the game. Bosses and transitions look better than ever with the slight stylistic changes in Legends, as opposed to Origins. Easily one of the better looking Vita games out today.
If these fun stages, awesome soundtracks and nice change ups weren’t enough, Rayman Legends has some robust boss fights. While they don’t change much to the usual Platform genre boss fights, the style of the game and its charm add a unique flavor to these levels. The bosses are often hilarious in their own respect, as well, uniquely designed to fit into the world they are from. The Luchador level, for example, has players fighting off a giant Mexican wrestler. The underwater stage – yes, a platformer fan’s worst nightmare – features a giant dragon-fish creature, and it goes on from there. Between an hilarious end to these bosses and the all out fun that can be had with these challenges, Rayman Legends topples some of the competition when it comes to boss fights, even arguably so of the Super Mario series.
While Rayman Legends, like its predecessor, features a multiplayer component, I wasn’t able to try out this feature. Due to one of the game’s biggest issues, there was no real way for me to try the multiplayer out. This issue is, of course, the lack of an online multiplayer mode. All is done through ad-hoc, and unfortunately I know nobody nearby where I live that owns this game.
The game also comes jam packed with tons and tons of content. Between throwback galleries to the first title, and extra challenges to run through, players can come back to Rayman Legends plenty of times before they start running out of things to do. Unfortunately, however, players have reported that the promised bonus levels were missing from the PlayStation Vita version. Since then, however, Ubisoft has confirmed that these levels will make it to the PlayStation Vita via a free update.
In short, Rayman Legends does live up to its predecessor, and even surpasses it in many aspects. The game plays wonderfully, looks beautiful, and sounds great. Throw in an robust amount of content and incredibly fun mechanics, and you have a game that will leave you picking up your Vita system a lot more than usual. The game changes its pace numerous times, including the Murfy stages, soundtrack inspired stages, and some of the best boss fights seen in a platformer to date. While I did not get to try the game’s co-op, it goes without saying that the lack of an online multiplayer component, save for leaderboards, is a disappointment. Overall, the game is one to be enjoyed, and a must own for Vita owners.
- Fun gameplay mechanics, and nice changes of pace in the many Murfy sections and boss fights
- Soundtrack inspired levels are some of the most fun you’ll ever have
- The game’s soundtrack once again impresses
- Visually stunning, improving greatly from Rayman Origins
- Packed with content, opening up hours of gameplay
- Lack of any true story
- No online co-op
Jalen’s Perspective (PS3 Version)
I was given the opportunity to play the PlayStation 3 version of Rayman Legends and much of what Damien said above evens up my thoughts about the game. As someone who’s never played a Rayman game before and (forgive me) wasn’t impressed by the Rayman Origins demo on Vita, I couldn’t put Legends down. The visuals are captivating and vibrant, to say the least, and the fast-paced puzzles kept my attention focused on the game for countless hours.
The $60 price tag may be off-putting for many, considering Legends is a 2D side-scrolling platformer, but the game is packed with so much content, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth and then some. While it lacks an online multi-player component, you should definitely pick it up if you’re looking for a fun game to play with friends and family.
[iGo Gaming was given review copies of Rayman Legends courtesy of Ubisoft]