He’s been gone for a long time. Rayman, one of the kings of late nineties’ platformers, is finally back after a long period of Raving Rabbids spin-off titles taking the forefront, much to the relief of his long-term fans – and what a way to return.
‘Origins’ isn’t just a nostalgic romp through platforming past (though it does a fine enough job at that), it’s a stellar title that’ll challenge you and delight you in equal parts.
With the characteristic, hand-drawn 2D graphics, ‘Origins‘ is a beautiful-looking game, and its art style strongly reflects its tone. Light-hearted and joyful throughout, however hard its Sonic-esque speed and momentum and tricky platforming puzzles might push you, it’s never enough to infuriate.
It could be said that it is, essentially, a kid’s game, but that takes nothing away from the sheer quality of its design, or its high ‘skill ceiling’.
You can play the game simply, breezing through it merely to enjoy its aesthetic merits, or to go for the perfect scores, which involves racing against the clock and requiring perfect execution at dodging enemies and traversing the wacky and diverse environments.
Also particularly worthy of praise is Rayman Origins’ music which, if it weren’t too late, I’d argue is easily worthy of the award for best game soundtrack of 2011. Changing dramatically from area to area, it ranges from smooth jazz, to samba, to endless variations of world music when appropriate, and its composition is catchy, fitting, and has startlingly high production values.
Criticisms of Rayman Origins are scarce, and even in my most frustrated moments of tackling its hardest sections, there was no way I could attribute my annoyance to ‘bad design’ or ‘poor developing’, rather it was only my constant desire to overcome the brilliantly crafted trials it offered.
Published by: Ubisoft
Developed by: Ubisoft Montpellier
Available On: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii