Most helpful positive review
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Wonder, whimsy, and oodles of smiles- Rayman continues his reign as the King of Color
on September 3, 2013
Holy macaroni... what a vivid, imaginative, and colorful universe this limbless fellow lives in!
I was a huge fan of Rayman Origins, which was released two years ago. At that time, I considered it to be the best 2D platformer in the history of gaming, and I believe that has remained true - until now. Ubisoft has done gamers everywhere a huge service by improving upon their remarkable formula in every possible way, and delivering a game that's even BETTER than the awesome platformer that is Origins.
Foremost, the visuals of Legends need to be addressed. One of the best things about Origins was that it looked like you were controlling a cartoon, which resulted in terrific animations, slapstick comedy, bizarre spectacles, and OODLES of SMILES. I would have been perfectly happy if this sequel looked exactly like Origins, but somehow the developers have made it look even better. The graphics in this game POP like nothing I've ever seen before, and it looks even more like an animated movie than ever. Graphics generally have little to do with actual gameplay, but in the case of the Rayman games, their whimsical presentation has a direct correlation with the end result (that being fun, laughter, and wonder), so they do have a big impact here. This game is a visual treat, and I predict that it will be impervious to the "aging" that most games suffer from, because the art direction is so marvelously realized.
Though Legends' graphics may make this game look a tad childish, do not be deceived - this is a meticulously designed platformer that offers tremendous challenges. Furthermore, if you study the layout of the levels and practice, you will discover that there is an incredible amount of sophistication here. As far as I can tell, EVERY level can be played in one swift movement, with no hesitation whatsoever - if you have the skill to memorize the patterns and the reflexes to guide you (which comes in handy when attempting to complete time challenges). I am blown away by the amount of care that the designers put into this game. I don't see any "shortcuts" or evidence of "going through the motions" to fill out content.
And on the subject of content, there is a staggering amount here. The campaign alone is very long, particularly for a 2D platformer, but what makes the game infinitely larger is the amount of additional challenges and collectibles. Multiplayer is also a blast, and I can have fun playing Legends with less experienced gamers. Though it is far harder to complete challenges when I have other gamers along for the ride, that's not what it's about - it's about having fun and watching Rayman and Globox slap each other silly.
It bears mentioning that you can have anybody play this game with you, from a five-year-old to your granny. There is no violence other than the "cartoon" variety, and it's a huge departure from the glut of ultra-violent titles that have saturated the market in recent years. To me, this is a wonderful, beautiful break from the norm. No longer do you have to worry about "headshots" and the other staples of the shooter genre, but you can focus on the types of things that made us enjoy games when we were younger: a sense of wonder, whimsy, and the relentless pursuit of fun.
Please note that I play this game on PS3 and Vita, but I am posting my review (of Legends' content) for all consoles, because I feel this game deserves major credit.