Developer(s): Ubisoft Montpellier
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita, Wii U
Review Platform: Wii U
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Graphics don’t make a game. I can stomach any aesthetic travesty as long as the gameplay is captivating and engaging. But when you have visuals so beautiful, so breathtaking, and so mesmerizing they make you pause and appreciate a single screenshot… then graphics become far more imperative to the experience. Such is the case with Ubisoft’s latest masterpiece Rayman Legends, a game so stunning I replayed the first few levels just to stare at the gorgeously painted backgrounds. Of course, the visuals would mean nothing if the gameplay didn’t compliment the illustrative glamour. Fortunately, Rayman’s side scrolling extravaganza is not only a blast to play, it may be one of the best and most innovative platformers since Mario Galaxy.
If you think that Rayman Legends is a mere extension of its predecessor, you’re in for a surprise. Legends puts Origins to shame with its absurdly creative level designs and plethora of content. Every level is an invitation to discover something new and unseen. Just when you think the game couldn’t get more thrilling and chaotic, Legends spits out another surprise, and another…and another. The constant stream of creativity is contagious, making it impossible to put down the controller once you’ve ventured through the first few stages.
They say less is more and Legends perfectly captures the developer’s design simplicity expertise that’s accentuated by a strong core foundation. After completing each level (or painting as they’re called in the game), I was in awe at just how much diversity was accomplished with only a few button presses. This is old school platforming at its very finest. It’s less about complex actions and button combinations and more about establishing rhythm and flow within levels. Rayman Legends may radiate with cutesy creatures and vibrant colors, but this is an unquestionably challenging spectacle of ingenious complexity that demands exceptional player skills and quick reflexes.
If the breathtaking graphics and superb gameplay aren’t convincing enough, the game boasts an insane amount of content. From the endless amount of collectibles to unlockable re-mastered Origins levels and an amusing soccer mini game, Rayman Legends refuses to stop throwing surprises around every corner.
Rayman Legends was originally designed for the Wii U prior to Ubisoft’s decision to port it to the PS3 and Xbox 360. While the other offerings are still brilliant, the Wii U version is without a doubt the best one. There are numerous levels designed specifically for the Wii U touch screen and using the Xbox 360 and PS3 analog sticks feels extremely counterintuitive. On Wii U’s gamepad, however, the touch controls are surprisingly fun and responsive. Overcoming environmental obstacles with Rayman’s flying frog Murphy is incredibly satisfying, particularly when playing with friends via couch co-op.
Local co-op has never been this exciting. Online multiplayer may have taken center stage this generation, but the thrill of gathering your friends on a sofa in front of the TV is an irreplaceable experience. The Wii U version of the game supports up to five players (the fifth player controlling the gamepad) and being able to undertake challenges with everyone on the same screen is absolutely exhilarating…although oftentimes chaotic.
This may be one of the first times this generation where I couldn’t find any faults with a game. Looking for imperfections only resulted in further appreciation for just how well Rayman Legends was made. I haven’t felt this enamored by a title in years. With an industry in desperate need of innovation and fresh ideas, Rayman Legends is the savior the genre so desperately needed. While the new consoles are just around the corner and everyone seems ready to move on, Rayman Legends shouldn’t be ignored…even if it’s the last title you buy this generation.
|Final Score||“A Flawless Masterpiece”||10|
Rayman Legends is the prettiest 2-D platformer ever made…and it may be one of the best looking games of this generation. If you find any faults with the game's aesthetics…you shouldn't be playing video games.
Precise and responsive…and incredibly challenging. This is old school gaming at its very finest. Absolutely flawless.
There's so much to do and so much to collect, it will make your head spin. Rayman Legends puts so many AAA titles to shame it's mind boggling. Bravo Ubisoft!
The music stages are some of the most exciting moments in Rayman Legends and every sound effect compliments the superb soundtrack flawlessly.
Review by Tin Salamunic
Tin Salamunic is the founder of The Game Scouts. He is a Video Game Journalist during the day and illustrator by night. He's been obsessed with video games since the early NES days, collecting every major system and game on the market. Video games are the reason he pursued the illustration career and he hopes to be creative director for a video game company one day. All Articles by Tin