Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rayman Origins Review

Platformers seem to be a lost art. These days if you want true platforming title you are going to need a Nintendo 3DS or iPhone. These titles are good but you won't find that $50 console experience that you are looking for. Rayman Origins is an ode to platformers of old, providing an exhilirating experience that will be an absolute hit for anyone who can appreciate a good platformer when they see one. This is a basic game, but in a world where huge set pieces and unnecessary violence rules this is a welcome addition. Platforming has been takes back to its roots and Rayman Origins lives up with the very best games of this genre. While it has been some time between true Rayman titles, I can feel like this title will warrant a sequel much sooner.


Rayman Origins proves that if anything, platformers can still work in todays environment. What's more important is that a good platforming game doesn't have to be a 20 year rehash with 8 bit graphics from older generations. This title proves that 2D visuals can still look amazing and some stunning artistic style will go along way to creating a beautiful game. The enemies, characters, world and level layout are alive, expressive and distinct. Rayman is a charming game and every aspect simply oozes with creativity which is out of the normal yet works so incredibly well when packaged together.

Rayman and friends are the same as always, the enemies are creative and the bosses in the game quite possibly take the award for coolest looking characters I have ever seen. Levels flow together with such beauty that the crazy nature of the game seems almost normal. Fighting dinosaurs armed with forks or running on watermelons that are floating in the arctic ocean just makes sense and will make you continually smile at the craziness of the game.

The art direction in Rayman Origins is unparalleled and unique to this game. Beautiful, vibrant colours and a constantly changing atmosphere in the game makes this a spectacule to behold for those lucky enough to play the game. It's easy for developers to fall into the standard cycle of character creation and bland worlds, credit needs to be given for this stunning piece of design. There are no flashy special effects or quicktime events, just creative art style and a brilliant overlap of 2D visuals in a slightly 3D world.

Keeping with the direction of the franchise, all the characters in the game don't have voice acting and merely grunts and sound effects accompanied with text. This is suited well for this game like many others featuring unrealistic characters. Not giving a voice to Rayman and his many friends lets the mind explore endless possibilities and gives the user their own personal adventure. The musical score for this title also fits with the game direction with a lighthearted nature that is perfectly intertwined with the pacing of each level. Ubisoft need to be commended for putting such a strong package together that is at the absolute pinnacle of any platformer I have ever played.


It's hard to put into words what Rayman Origins is to me. In one aspect it is your standard platformer which starts out simple with jump and attack as your only options, before growing into a complicated beast that puts many actions at your disposal. This is basically what every platformer is at its base roots, what makes Rayman Origins so special is the adventure which accompanies this format.

The story is light on detail and is to be expected when no one can speak. Rayman and friends are snoring loudly and disturbs the old Granny below who then sets Darktoons across the world to get revenge. This hilarious beginning led me to believe that this would be a breeze to finish as it would be directed towards children, but instead merely targets the inner child in all of us. Rayman Origins is a challenge and a fun one at that. You will be laughing and enjoying yourself as you repeat later stages in the game once the difficulty ramps up. Thankfully the forgiving checkpoint system means that you won't be starting levels from the beginning if you die at the end boss, making it less frustrating.

Players travel through each level, fighting enemies and rescuing the imprisoned Electoons which were captured by the Darktoons. As the game progresses, players gain new abilities such as running up walls, gliding in midair, swimming and shrinking in size to reach new areas. The game sometimes changes up from the standard platform style by letting you do stuff such as ride mosquitos or race against the screen as it continually moves through the level. Each segment of the game is fun, the pacing and difficulty feels spot on for every part and is most of all super fun to play.

Rayman Origins is a thrill to play by yourself. The game is constantly changing and mixing up the style of play to keep you interested from start to finish. Quite honestly this title would be up there, if not better than the iconic platformers of old. It is simply put a beauty to withhold. Playing along is only a small part of the fun, you can experience the game with up to 4 players that can drop in and out whenever they please. Having multiple players adds to the fun of the game and is one of the more rewarding co-op experiences I've played in a long time. Sharing the laughs with a buddy is certainly better in this title.


I don't get how much nostalgia or hype is rolled up with every Mario game, I believe Rayman Origins is better or at least equal in every area. The graphics are absolutely gorgeous, the gameplay is fluid and so much fun, the levels are varied and the difficulty is spot on. As far as I can see this is the platformer of this generation of consoles and one of the best things to come out of 2011. I have played that many FPS' this year that I am becoming immune to any truly spectacular areas of those games. The platformer is a lost art and Rayman Origins has taken a lacking genre and proved why we should have more games like this. I had an absolute blast playing through this entire game with a friend. We didn't want to put the controllers down until we had finished, thats a true testament to a super game.

Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 9.5/10
Gameplay - 10/10
Overall - 9.5/10