With no nostalgia getting in my way of reviewing Rayman I can honestly say that it’s a great, entertaining adventure and is worthy of any platforming genre lovers attention.
Rayman 3 HD is the high definition remaster of 2003’s Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. Having never played a Rayman game before I never quite knew what to expect. But what I got was a lengthy and humorous platforming adventure that made me think that I missed out by not experiencing it when it was originally released.
In the game you take control of Rayman as you go on a journey with your best friend Globox to try to stop the dastardly black lum Andre from creating an army of hoodlums and taking over the world. The game has a good sense of humor and while not laughing out loud a lot of the time, hardly a moment went by without a smile on my face. This is especially true during the great training levels which are taught to you by the condescending and sarcastic fly Murfy, who will probably take more then one jab at you and the training itself. What adds to this is the fantastic voice acting that the game contains, with your companions and enemies themselves adding a lot of commentary on the various situations you find yourself in.
As Rayman you have abilities at your disposable for taking out enemies and traversing the land. Your basic attack is to throw your fist at enemies (or kicking when close), which can also be curved around barriers when locked on. With any platformer you will be jumping a lot, and in this game you can also use his hair as a propeller to glide to further away platforms and to safely land when jumping from high ledges. Besides your normal flying punches and kicks, you can acquire five different power ups that can be used for a limited amount of time. What I enjoyed about these is the fact that besides buffing up Rayman’s attacks (except for the Throttle Copter) they also are used to bypass environmental obstacles. For example the Heavy Metal Fist not only powers up your attacks but is also used to destroy certain doors that are blocking your way. Another of the power ups is Lockjaw, which allows you to swing from certain obstacles and also attach to enemies to continuously electrocute them. This is really interesting in the later levels where you need to use multiple power ups in quick succession to get where you need to go.
Throughout your adventure you will visit nine different levels with multiple stages contained in each level, which makes the game fairly lengthy. Overall the game plays well, with my only real complaint being the camera system as it tends to get stuck behind things easily leaving you without a good vantage point and even sometimes off screen. Combine that with the absence of checkpoints in a stage means that a couple of misplaced jumps can send you back to the beginning of the stage. Also stemming from this is that sometimes the lock-on system also doesn’t want to lock on to the enemy you want it to. The updated graphics look great, though you might experience some graphical glitches and pop-in, but for the most these are kept to a minimum. Only big problem I experienced was a full system hard lock once the credits were over, but after doing some searching this might have just been an isolated experience.
By defeating enemies and collecting jewels you can increase your score which, besides showing off your awesomeness on the newly added leader boards, is used to unlock the nine different arcade games from the original release. These games range from things like playing a 2D platformer level to a first person shooter. Overall these are nice distractions and give you something to strive for with obtaining high scores in the main game, but none of them are overly great. You also have the ability to save a screenshot anytime you are playing, but you can’t view them outside of the game so for the most part this is pretty useless. As another bonus, they have included an art gallery of concept art from Rayman Origins, which is a nice bonus for fans of the series. Unfortunately with all the new additions something was lost in the transition to HD, the “Wanna Kick Rayman” bonus videos. I don’t know the reasoning behind this, but is seems kind of odd for Ubisoft not to include all the extras that were found in the original.
With no nostalgia getting in my way of reviewing Rayman, I can honestly say that it’s a great, entertaining adventure and is worthy of any platforming genre lovers attention. While there may be some issues with the camera and missing bonus features, the humor and fun filled levels that are contained in this game offered a great experience that makes me want to explore more of the Rayman universe.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
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