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Old 01-14-2012, 11:06 AM   #1
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Please rate this review: Rayman Origins

High: Challenging and fun gameplay
Low: Inconsistent difficulty for the secret rooms
WTF: Easy boss fights

Long ago in the mists of time where rabbits and Rayman didn’t co-exist, and revolve around mini games on the Kinect, and the Wii, it was an interesting and challenging game on the Playstation 1. Ubisoft since then has returned to their roots and has brought us Rayman Origins, a 2D platformer, created for the current generation.

Rayman Origins starts of with Rayman, and his friends, sleeping in the wilderness, coincidently next to the home of an ill-tempered skeleton lady and her husband. Their loud snoring frustrates and drives the skeleton lady over the edge, so she unleashes hell upon the land, and its up to Rayman and company to put an end to it.

The first thing you’ll notice about Rayman Origins is that it looks beautiful. The game practically radiates with colour and detail, a lot of effort has clearly gone into the animation and environments. As you progress through the game you’ll go to different levels, each holds different stages of variety and fun music soundtracks, Forests, a desert filled with giant instruments, a level which looks like the inside of kitchen from hell and more, a lot of creativity has gone into the level design. About three quarters into the game you’ll have to revisit all the environments you have completed, but it’s hardly a deal breaker.

The animations complement the game, and go hand In hand with the level design and the characters. Everything fits together quite seamlessly; the environments all have a function, from moving platforms to help you proceed, to rotating saw blades and collapsing tunnels that are hell bent on killing you. Something that I enjoyed about Rayman Origins is that it never takes itself seriously; the characters and even the enemies portray both innocence and humour, which is refreshing for this generation of gaming.

The story is pretty non-existent from beginning to end, you’re given an objective to follow through on till the end, save the world, following through level to level with barely character interaction and no character development.

The actual playing of the game is very simple, go from start of the level to the end, collecting as many Lums as you can and saving Electoons from secret rooms. At the end of the level the Lums you collect are converted into Electoons. The amount of Electoons you collect help unlock additional levels, and challenging treasure chasing levels. There are reasons to go back to completed levels. Time trials, where you must complete the level, as fast as you can before the timer runs out. On the way to the end of each level you’ll come up against enemies to kill, you deal with them by jumping on them, punching them, or even using the environment in some cases. As you progress you will unlock new powers, hair gliding, wall running etc. The powers you earn fit in with the flow of the game, and all the ones you earn always seem appropriate for situations throughout the game. There is also a local co-op option, where up to four players can drop in and out, unfortunately I never got a chance to experience this for myself, there’s also not an online option to go with the offline co-op, which was disappointing.

Raymans difficulty curve is mostly consistent. The game starts from very easy to foaming from the mouth from sheer frustration, and you will die, you will die a lot, and after an unknown amount of deaths a message will pop up and ask you if you want to stay or leave, and no matter how many times I would choose the stay option it would continuously pop up regardless, which I found both patronizing and frustrating. No matter how many times I died I never got the feeling my deaths were cheap or unfair, it also offers a competent checkpoint system, which finds a good balance between stages.
Unfortunately most of the boss fights are almost insultingly easy, and I found myself having barely any trouble with them, dying only a few times. Another thing that threw me off a bit was how inconsistent the challenge was for the hidden rooms, on one hand some of the rooms are incredibly easy, and on the other some of the rooms are very challenging. The controls handle well, you always feel as though you are in complete control, which you will need to complete this game you’ll need skill, and quick reflexes.

Overall, Rayman origins has earned its rights to be a full retail game, and is worth every penny, varied levels, beautiful visuals, interesting level design and an overall challenging experience. With few flaws, Rayman Origins is a must buy.

by Kieron Alleyne

Disclosure: This game was obtained via the publisher and reviewed on the Xbox 360. Approximately 10 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode.

Parents: According to the game the age group is 7+, contains mild violence.

Deaf & hard of hearing: Secret rooms make noise, to help you spot them, which will make things even harder for the hard of hearing. All dialogue is done by text.

Last edited by KIERON; 01-19-2012 at 02:22 PM.
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