Rayman Legends

Posted On: 8/28/2013  Publisher: Ubisoft

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Good old Rayman and the gang are back in an all new adventure that even features some of the past. Rayman Legends is the brand new platformer from the infamous franchise developed by Ubisoft. If you enjoy platformers than the Rayman franchise should be right up your alley and there is a lot in this game that should invite even those casual platformer fans.

Once again, Rayman must run around and saves the Teensies that have been captured along with collecting Lums and freeing the Princess sisters. Youíll get a massive amount of levels to run through plus a few levels from the previous title, Rayman Origins. Just with that content alone youíll get hours upon hours of gameplay that will keep you busy and frustrated at times. But the game does not stop there. Oh no, there is so much more in content in this game than ever before in a game from this Franchise. Iíll get into that in a bit.

Graphically, the game is as you would expect if you played the last title. The levels are full of color and fantastic backdrops. The creatures are both familiar and new with all new creations and animations at your disposal. The frame rate is smooth regardless of how fast you are moving on the screen and at times you can be moving almost too fast because you wonít have time to react to whatís coming. Thatís what is so fun about Rayman though is itís how quickly you can react but also keep a keen eye out for hidden areas. I definitely like the new creatures and their animations for sure.

 
 

Ok, so I guess I am jumping to conclusions and assuming everyone knows of or has played the Rayman franchise at one point or another. So let me explain the basic concept of the game. Itís a side-scrolling platform that pays homage to the old school days. Youíll have to jump, hover, and slap your way through a variety of obstacles. No worries, there are some pretty decent checkpoints that allow you to continue rather than starting a level over. And the only Lums you lose are ones you collected from that checkpoint forward.

In each level, and there are a lot of them, youíll be tasking with freeing 10 Teensies, collecting a set amount of Lums and completing the level in a certain amount of time. At the end of the level you will see which tasks you completed and from there you can decide whether to retry the level or not. The nice thing is once you have freed a Teensies they will appear as gold colored so you know you freed them previously. Youíll use the entire environment to wall climb, float across ravines and traverse bubbling lava flows as well as reach places where you may find hidden collectibles.

The amount of replay value in the campaign itself is enormous as there are several levels to complete. And what is really cool is that you can complete them with up to 4 other players in co-op multiplayer. Its drop-in and drop-out co-op style so thatís even better. There is also online challenges that allow you to compete against friends in a multitude of categories. Here you can score trophies ad bragging rights. I definitely like the ghost replays that allow you to watch your closest competitors in the leaderboards as you play. Iíll get into the challenges in a moments.

 
 

As you run through levels and collect Lums youíll get rewarded at the end of the level with trophies as well as scratch off cards. These scratch off cards can award you more Lums, or Teensies or even access to special ďBack to OriginsĒ paintings that allow you to play through levels previously existing in the franchise. This lends to even more replayability and I thought it was a great addition to the game. It cannot be said that Ubisoft held out on any content because there are so many levels to play its pretty freaking awesome.

Then there is the final boss fight for each set of paintings. The first time you come across this 3-D battle with an epic dragon is amazing and I was in awe just watching the sequence. I died so many times just because I was taking it all in. The backdrop, the detail and animation of the boss and the precision of each move you make made this a boss battle to remember. And thatís just the very first boss you encounter. Amazing.

After you fight the boss in a region, youíll be treated to a musical level that will have you zip-lining, punching and jumping to the beat. Licensed music and original scores are used in these levels and once again once you play the very first level named Castle Rock you will definitely want to continue playing to see what else is in store.

So as I stated earlier, there is a co-op feature that allows you to play with up to 3 friends. Thatís a great feature but I have to say that I enjoy the Daily and Weekly challenges so much more. Each challenge will give you a task to complete whether its collecting Lums in a certain period of time or trying to run as far as you can in a level. Youíll have the standard daily and weekly challenges and youíll have the extreme challenges as well. You have to unlock these by playing the game and leveling up.

 
 

There is a soccer style min-game you can play with friends that has you kicking a giant soccer ball into your opponents soccer net. Itís a great change of pace and can be quite fun honestly. Youíll find this in the Main Menu area along with access to all the other features available in the game.

I absolutely love the leaderboards functionality and the way it is presented. Youíll be able to scan over several categories from how many times you jumped to how many times you failed and everything in between. The visual display when viewing a leaderboard outside your statistics page is pretty unique as well showing a graph like leaderboard and you position within a crowd of others emblems and names. You can sort it according to friends, the top ten and everyone. Al I can say is the whole leaderboard thing is presented very well and my hats off to Ubisoft for creativity.

Iíll just say it straight out. Rayman Legends is fantastic and a ton of fun to play. The main game itself will have you playing for quite some time and the challenges extend the life of the game tenfold. Great graphics, awesome soundtrack, and just overall great gameplay make this a must have for any platformer fan or casual gamer. I tip my hat to Ubisoft on this one as Rayman Legends has truly become one of my favorite side scrolling plaformers of all time and for good reason. I hope to see many more titles from this franchise but in the meantime, Iíll just keep playing those daily challenges. You are in for a treat when you play this game in every aspect.

 
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