Published on September 6th, 2013 | by PJ Douglas0
Review: Rayman Legends
“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”
‘Wonderfunk’, ‘Funderful’, ‘Fantasmic’. There is not one plain word to describe the sheer beauty and fun that Rayman Legends brings every time you play. Like taking a line of sugar then running through a funhouse to your favourite pop songs, it is mental, colourful and something best done with friends so you can talk about it later through huge beaming smiles.
Rayman Legends is the latest in the Rayman series starting way back in 1995. I am one of the lucky few who has played since the first game where Rayman took on Mr Dark by saving Electoons to get to Candy Chateau (I swear I’m sober while I write this…) and although graphics have improved and he has had his foray into 3D, this is another 2D platformer with the same key gameplay elements that made me smile all those years ago.
The story is as follows… Everyone has been asleep for a 100 years and nightmares have invaded the lovely dream worlds and it is up to you to sort it out. It doesn’t rival Fable but it doesn’t really need to: there’s a problem, get to solving it!
Using the jump, run and punch buttons and directional controls you are unleashed on lush and beautiful worlds full of enemies and puzzles to solve with the goal of getting to the end while finding ten Teensies per level to unlock further stages. By collecting Lums, which are much like the rings in sonic, results in an end rank of bronze, silver or gold.
The game is so much more than this however. After finishing a level with a certain score, you get a scratchcard which can unlock more levels or give you more Lums towards unlocking new heroes. The unlockable levels, 40 in fact, are remastered from the game’s prequel Rayman Origins, which you then complete to earn even more Lums and unlock even more levels and it never ends! Well it does but it takes a while!
At the end of each level you fight screen filling bosses and then get a musical level where your actions act as the music to various well known songs with sliding down chains acting as guitar riffs and punching enemies as drum beats. You will smile, Good Lord how you will smile!
As the game comes to its final set of levels you get to replay them in 8-bit pixel form. These are without a doubt the hardest levels in the game but can be accomplished with perseverance much like the mini levels that give you 40 seconds to navigate various obstacles and enemies to get the highest score.
The game does have up to four player offline co-op, no online, but this is fine as it works best as you laugh with the people next to you and help each other in underwater secret labs and food based dreamscapes. Some levels also have you use a button to control Murfy, a fly who can activate parts of the scenery for you to open new paths or hinder you if you’re not thinking fast enough.
The game has four kinds of online challenges: daily and weekly, easy and hard, and great times can be had trying to beat your friends’ records and earn bronze, silver, gold or platinum cups to earn even more Lums for your total pot. Rayman is the main character but you also have the Teensies, Globox (the frog) and many different princesses to unlock, all of whom play the same but you will soon find your favourite which will stop your mates from using them.
One lovely little addition to the game is “Kung Foot”, a simple 2D football game with a goal at each end and a football bouncing around that you can head or punch with the ball reacting at different speeds. This can cause significant cursing and laughter as perfect shots hit the crossbar and cause own goals or shots scream into the heavens with a perfect header equalising in the last few seconds.
In terms of flaws… erm… I don’t have any! It can be hard at times but that is only to keep you persevering and reward you when you finally get through each level in time. The screen can also get a little hectic occasionally with so much happening at once but that is it, otherwise this is perfect platforming and co-op gaming delivered in eye popping colour and fist pumping music.
The achievements are what you would expect, mainly collection and progression based with a handful for doing fun things such as sliding a certain distance or sneaking through a level without being seen. With the exception of one achievement for collecting a million Lums (with an average of only 600 a level, this one will take a damn long time!) they are all fairly achievable.
Overall a beautiful entry in the series, and one that will definitely make you smile.
Summary: A perfect slice of platforming bliss.