Originally designated as a Wii U exclusive title due out in February this year, Ubisoft appears to have had concerns over the low Wii U console sales and decided to delay Rayman Legends until late August and release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PS Vita alongside the Wii U. With the delay, this has allowed Michel Ancel and his team to add a whole bunch of extra content with more levels and a much more polished experience.
The story in Rayman Legends in very basic. Whilst our heroes have slept for a hundred years, the nightmares have invaded The Glade of Dreams and kidnapped 700 Teenies (Little blue creatures, no not Smurfs, the ones from Rayman Origins). Murphy then awakens our heroes with a smack, and Rayman & his friends have a mission to rescue all the Teenies they can find. You can play single player or four play co-op with friends. To complete this adventure Rayman and co. must run, jump, climb, swing and swim to collect thousands of Lums (small yellow creatures) along the way to rescuing the Teenies. Each level has ten Teenies to find, some are in hidden doors that open up new areas with puzzles to solve to reach the Teenie.
This is pretty much a direct sequel to Origins but in my opinion it’s much more polished and fun with a lot more variety. Each level has a skull rating to determine difficulty from one (easy) to five (insanely hard), and trust me they do get hard towards the end with every level throwing something different at you! Collecting lums from hidden coins, enemies or turnips that you have to pull from the ground, each level also has a reward system for the amount of lums you collect 150 = Bronze Cup, 300 = Silver Cup, 450 = Scratch Card, 600 = Gold Cup the more you collect the more levels or bonuses you unlock like new characters, costumes, art work, bonus levels, scratch cards giving access to more Lums, even bonus levels from Rayman Origins, which have been updated to match Legends visual style.
The difficulty increases at a steady pace, and expect to spend a few hours extra if you wish to find all the hidden rooms, lums and Teenies. One thing that deserves a mention is the musical levels that require you to control Rayman to the musical cues of actual songs like Black Betty or Eye of the Tiger! These are very well designed and show off how the difficulty can increase with some of these levels requiring ninja like reflexes to select Rayman’s correct ability at the right millisecond! The boss battles don’t really off anything new but they are very clever and really show off the visuals with lots of animation going on in the foreground and background during the battle. The level select screen is a map of paintings and can get a bit confusing to navigate through at times, and allows you to go to different worlds all which are very different from the last some levels are timed, some require stealth which is a nice surprise and adds a lot of variety unlike some other platformers that tend to rehash the same levels over and over.
The Visuals are absolutely gorgeous and a lot of work has gone into every animation and level videos online really don’t do the game justice until you see it in HD on your own screen; the art style is very reminiscent of an oil painting and that’s a good thing. Match that with the amazing sound track and the incredible accurate controls (Unlike DuckTales/Castle of Illusion) which manage to immerse you into some of the best gameplay available in 2013.
And with over 120 levels (Including forty updated levels from Rayman Origins) and a crazy soccer mini game make this title a must buy for any platformer enthusiast or anyone who thinks Nintendo or Way Forward are the only 2D platformer developers left. I reviewed the Xbox 360 version but I recommended to anyone with a Wii U to go get this game now, it has be designed specifically for that platform and it shows. This is not something I thought I would be saying about this game but it is the best Non-Nintendo platformer ever made everyone should go buy it! Note. If you purchase the PS Vita version it will be missing 28 levels, these will be added later as free DLC.
- Four player co-op (Five on Wii U)
- Lots of levels all with variety
- Amazing art/visual style
- Gameplay is incredible
- Sometimes frustrating
- Rayman Origin levels only appealing to new players
- Some levels can be quite long
Written by Nick Pearce