"2D Platforming at its Best"
The Rayman series has its fans, and then it has people like me – people who have never so much as sat down and played one. Without a vast knowledge of the Rayman series, I sat down to play Rayman Origins with a clean mind, looking at it as a game on its own, not holding it to any Rayman memories from 1995. I never realized how much of a huge treat I was in for.
Rayman Origins is a 2D platformer. Hitting its retro roots, Ubisoft Montpellier and designer Michel Ancel (creator of Rayman) brought out something so fantastically classic, and yet so stunningly up-to-date. The mood, feelings, and humor are all perfectly captured, and the team did an excellent job of bringing out the core of what Rayman Origins is all about: straight-up, well-developed platforming.
Each level in Rayman Origins is alive with movement, sound, and music, with backgrounds and levels changing up their scenery and moods at just the perfect pace to keep things interesting. Smooth animation and graphics all around just make everything slick and contemporary, making every second of every level is a complete treat for the eyes.
Gameplay-wise, Rayman Origins is centered on physics. Running and jumping are your main focus here, with an environment that is continually manipulating itself – its going to keep you on your toes every leap of the way. You’ll unlock a few new abilities, but the focus remains on running and jumping. The game has been designed flawlessly, where you won’t continually be frustrated yet you will always be challenged. Rayman Origins is a difficult game, but the trickier levels are passed as your skill with the game progresses. Once you get your thumbs where they need to be, playing Rayman Origins never becomes a breeze but remains a fun challenge.
What's more, there are plenty of difficulty modes to test your skills if you find yourself getting too good at it. With ultra-tight controls, Rayman Origins is simply one of the best platformers I’ve played… ever, and that is saying a lot coming from a guy who has been playing 2D platformers since the Atari age. Forget the new Mario releases, we've got Rayman Origins! Best of all, with a drop-in / drop-out co-op system, playing through the levels with a couple buddies makes the game even more fun and addictive. Really, it’s almost too much for an old 2D platforming curmudgeon like myself to handle.
Boss battles, while quite good, can slow the pace of the game down. Of course, this is minor in hindsight because Rayman Origins succeeds on so many levels. After all this flattery I have to remind you, Rayman Origins is a 2D platformer, no more, no less – albeit a very, very fine-tuned game for this particular genre.
It’s great to see a company go all out on 2D platforming, which has seemed to only begun to make its comeback over the last couple years. I hope this release of Rayman Origins is a hit, because I’d love to see more like it.
GameDynamo's Score for Rayman Origins (Wii)
Three things describe Rando: Good beer, good food, and video games. On occasion, Rando flies a zeppelin through time seeking power crystals.
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