Rayman Origins Review

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Developer(s): Ubisoft Montpellier
Publisher(s): Ubisoft
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation Vita, PC, 3DS
Release Date(s): 2011 – 2012

In a way, Rayman Origins is a novel experience. In a generation made up largely by games with lifelike graphics and intricate plots, Rayman Origins is a fun video game, nothing more. As such, Rayman Origins must rely on its creative level design, charm, and gameplay to be a success, and the game delivers.  

The most striking element of Rayman Origins is the art style. The worlds of the game range wildly in theme from jungles to mountains to a kitchen-like area and are as exciting to look at, as they are to play through. Each stage is vibrantly colored and richly detailed. Really, words do not do the worlds of Rayman Origins justice.  


The bulk of the game’s action consists of Rayman dashing and jumping his way through the various hazards of each level to reach the Electoons imprisoned at the end. The game introduces new moves, new enemies, and new challenges to conquer at every turn, ensuring that the game never grows stale. In addition, fast paced shooting segments in which the player blasts through scores of enemies from the back of a large mosquito offer even more variety. Rayman Origins sole problem lies in its controls, and admittedly they are minor annoyances. In addition to running and jumping, Rayman comes to learn various other moves, such as wall running and a ground pound attack. Some of these moves feel tighter in execution than others. Rayman’s swimming is somewhat sluggish. While water should be a more difficult area to move through than flat land, the fact that Rayman can at most sustain a single solid hit of damage before death makes one wish that swimming, the primary means of moving though an entire world of the game, was a little bit more responsive. While more trivial, Rayman’s hover ability seems to last a tad too short and the lack of a double jump move seems like a strange omission.


The game has a great deal of replayability as well. In addition to the opportunity to play through the game in cooperative mode, there is a massive amount of items to collect. In addition to the Electoons waiting at the end of the level, most stage have several more groups of Electoons hidden in secret rooms, just waiting to be freed by Rayman. Lums, yellow creatures that are similar to the coins of the Mario games, are abundant, and collecting enough in each stage will yield yet more Electoons. The Electoons themselves unlock special stages in which Rayman must dash through especially difficult stages to chase down treasure chests that hold the Skull Teeth, items that are used to unlock a bonus world. 


A particularly high point of the game is the soundtrack. Each track has a distinct flavor but still manages to fit with other tracks to create a cohesive whole. Some tracks are silly, others frantic, but all of them are catchy. It’s hard not to smile while listening to the music of Rayman Origins. Rayman Origins may not have the epic scale of some other games, but it doesn’t need it to be an entertaining platformer adventure. Combining the cutesy fun of the LittleBigPlanet series with the challenge of Mario’s platformer adventures, Rayman Origins is a game that fans of the genre cannot miss.

Final Score “A Fantastic Platformer” 9.5
Graphics
The game is rendered in a very cartoon-like style, brightly colored and remarkably detailed.
10
Gameplay
While the game is hard at times, both by design and by accident due to controls, a well thought out check point system mitigates these difficulties.
9.0
Value
With five worlds and hundreds of collectables that unlock new characters and stages, this game has some serious longevity.
10
Sound
A Fantastic Soundtrack. The music is varied, fun, and catchy.
10

Review by Jack Jacobs
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Jack Jacobs is a college student from Richmond, VA who styles himself a freelance writer partially because the term “free-lance” originally described a medieval mercenary soldier. While Jack has owned a number of different video game platforms, he is most fond of Nintendo’s little box with the carry handle, the GameCube. If on the off chance you’d like to recruit Jack and his free lance (lance meaning word processor, not battle implement) E-mail him at Jack6894@aol.com. All Articles by Jack.

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