Saturday, 31 August 2013

Rayman Legends - Final Round Review

Ubisoft have once again created a silly and fun side-scrolling platformer and is well worth a look.

Playing any new Rayman game will leave me with a sense of nostalgia, and the latest in the franchise has followed the same path.  With our favourite limbless hero leading the way we are taken on exciting and intense new levels.

Rescuing Teensies has never felt so fast paced, even if you don’t get it right the first time.  Levels are visually stunning, and can even be somewhat distracting, mainly during the timed and speed based areas.  Because of this, it can become difficult distinguishing between hazards and safe areas.

Each of the world’s Rayman must rescue from nightmares have their own unique style or theme which is carried throughout their levels, i.e.: underwater or food.  Otherwise, each world follows the same basic formula of; some platforming levels, speed levels and then a music level.

The musical levels have been somewhat of a disappointment.  The first level available was amazing; a well-known song with a quick beat coupled with platforming, it seemed to go hand in hand.  Regrettably, the other music levels where not-so good; poor syncing to the beat caused many a death and frustration.

Rayman Legends boasts epic 3D boss battles, which are only 3D in comparison to the characters, and don’t add much of anything to the game.  These battles are a lot of fun though and can even be quite difficult, but with no limit on retries and plenty of checkpoints they are easily beatable.  The difficulty comes into play when rescuing the two princesses in each world and the online challenge mode.

Online challenges are quite enjoyable, with two new challenges every day (normal and extreme) and another two that are changed weekly (again, normal and extreme) there will be something new every time you play.  These levels can feel like rehashes of campaign missions, but with added twists and the ability to compete and compare your score with others it is easy to see people spending copious amounts of time vying for the top spot.  At the end of the day you are even rewarded with Lums for your effort.

Rescuing a princess involves entering a painting, like any other level, and freeing all three Teensies.  It doesn’t sound too hard, but some levels are pure hell.  Each jump needs to be timed perfectly and executed as one wrong move means instant death.  Checkpoints are less liberally placed, and there are even a few levels that have to be completed in one attempt, as there are none at all.  If you have the patience this can be fun, but repeating one level over and over can be quite frustrating for anyone else.

Through repeated visits of levels and trying to perfectly timed movements throughout them, it becomes easy to see where the controls respond less and human error is no longer the issue. There is very little you can do when this happens, other than note where mishaps occur and try to avoid them next attempt. Thankfully the load screens are virtually non-existent, and you’re playing again in no time.

It is a shame the effort that is put into saving a princess has such little payoff.  Each world’s princesses are twins, meaning that saving the second sister, which is more difficult, is saving a skin for the first.  Even different sets of sisters feel the same as the last, as the only difference is how they glide or their weapons.

There are many other unlocks in Rayman Legends to be had, including the entirety of Rayman Origins (wow!) and creatures that gift you extra Lums once per day.  Unlocks are obtained with the use of a ‘Lucky Card’ (received after missions or world completion) and require being scratched for the reward.

If you are feeling like you need to save a princess or jump back into a side scroller for some nostalgia; Rayman legends has copious amounts of unlocks, Teensies and Princesses to save, daily rewards and, best of all, it comes with a free copy of Rayman Origins.  Ubisoft have once again proven themselves with an incredibly fun platformer that anyone can enjoy.


 - Steff Webb

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