Rayman Legends Review
Rayman Legends, the sequel to the critically acclaimed Rayman Origins, sees everyone’s favourite limbless hero platform his way through medieval themed levels in a quest to save the Teensies. He’s joined by a few playable friends who are unlocked along the way. Here’s what I make of it:
+ Content: Legends is a huge game, with 120 main levels to speed through. If you ever get through these, there’s the refreshingly brilliant daily challenges to keep you occupied for hours on end. All platformers should employ something similar. There are hundreds of unlockables, trophies and records to beat, as well as throwback levels from Origins to keep you busy long after you’ve seen the game’s ending.
+ Platforming a joy: The game offers some of the most well-polished and satisfying 2D platforming mechanics I’ve ever experienced. Running, jumping and wall-jumping are exquisitely fluid and weighted, and once you get better at the game you’ll find yourself gliding along beautifully.
+ Level design: The levels hit the sweet-spot of allowing the skilled speed-hungry player to fly through them, whilst also rewarding the more careful, observational player with hidden secrets and challenges scattered throughout them. They never feel over-long or frustrating, but always remain challenging. Truly brilliant design.
+ Musicals: The highlight of the whole experience are the fantastic music-based levels. Rayman runs along collecting musical notes in time to some well-known tunes, hitting every note and navigating through the whole level is as satisfying as it gets.
+ Art: Legends is a step up from Origins in most departments, but none more obvious than the art style. origins was a very good-looking game, but Legends’ aesthetics add a softness and a subtlety that those of Origins lacks.
+ Sound: Simply one of the best soundtracks of the generation. The cheerful jingle of the underwater levels is as catchy as anything you’d find in a Nintendo platformer.
~ Kung Foot: The football mini-game is a fun diversion, but lacks the depth and charm of the rest of the game.
~ Toughness: Some of the three-trophy requirements and daily challenges do get tricky. Personally it’s not a problem for me, but I could understand why it might put off some people.
~ Character variety: There are a lot of characters to unlock, but the fact is they all run at the same speed, jump the same height and have the same attack range – as the levels are tightly designed around these mechanics. It means there isn’t any strategy in picking a character beyond personal taste. On the one hand it means you can stick with your favourite the whole game and not be hindered, but on the other it means there is less variety.
– Touchy: The game was originally destined to be a Wii U exclusive, and some of the sections of the levels were clearly designed with the console’s touch-screen in mind. This results in some slightly awkward sequences on Xbox 360 and PS3, but nothing gamebreaking.
– Jingle: Not enough music levels!
Overall: Legends is frankly the pinnacle of 2D platforming genre, surpassing its older brother Mario and representing the watermark any future game of its type needs to reach to achieve greatness.