Note: Originally posted on Manic Expression on October 3, 2012

Rayman Origins is a 2D platformer for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, PC, Playstation Vita, and the Nintendo 3DS. It was a game that was originally announced to be an episodic downloadable game at E3 2010. However, that changed as development of the game went along. The game came out on November 2011 in retail shelfs to little fanfare as it was reported that it only sold 50,000 copies in the first month. However, good word of the mouth would propel the game to sell well over a million copies worldwide. That, along with the fact that the paltry 50,000 units sold in its first month was enough to make the game profitable for Ubisoft, allowed the development of a sequel, Rayman Legends, that is due to come out as an exclusive launch title for the Wii U this November. Enough with the history lessons. How does the game itself fair?

I guess I should start with the story. Well, in the Glade of Dreams, Rayman and his friends end up causing disaster for the world when an old granny from the Land of the Dead is irritated by their snoring and unleashes evil on to the world. The Electoons are captured as a result and Rayman and friends must save the captured Electoons and save the world. As you can probably tell, story is not a big part of this game. It’s really there just to give context to the gameplay.

Gameplay is where this game really shines. You can play as Rayman or his friends that you slowly unlock as the game progresses. The game is divided into several worlds where your goal is to save the Electoons in many levels in these worlds and save enough of them to unlock boss levels in the worlds. You can also play optional levels that let you capture run away treasure chests(this game is pretty weird).

The gameplay is a lot of fun. Rayman and his friends control very fluidly and the level designs are excellent, providing you challenges frequently and never going to easy on you. The game is quite challening at times and there are quite a few times where you have to retry over and over again hoping you can progress the game. However, the reason why you will be willing to retry is because the game is challenging without being unfair. While you can play the game as a single player(which is what I did), the game also let’s you play with up to three other players.

As you can probably tell from the above screenshots, the game is absolutely gorgeous. The cartoony art style is incredibly appealing and the many enviornments of the game are immaculately designed. Many reviewers have called it one of the best-looking games of the last year for good reason. This is the area where the artists working on the game had entirely too much fun. The game looks incredible both in screenshots and in motion. The animations of the characters are incredibly fun to watch with their charmingly exaggerated movements.

The soundtrack is very complimentary to the game. The music is very upbeat and very fitting of the tone of the game. It’s used very well in the game. While it is not the type of soundtrack that you would listen to seperately from the game, it works really well in the cartoonish tone the game is going for. The sound effects are also very well done. The many cartoonish noises in the game fit very well. Not much to be said on that front.

Is the game perfect? No, but what game is? While the game is incredibly fun and highly recommended, the game has its hiccups. If you don’t collect enough Electoons by certain points in the game like in boss levels, you will need to grind for more Electoons in previous levels which was something I had to do quite a few times. Also, the game is very challenging and there are levels that will test you in terms of difficulty.
With all of that said, I can definitely say that this game is highly recommended. If you are not a fan of platformers, give it a shot anyway and you might be surprised by how much fun you will have. While not without its hiccups, it is still an incredibly well designed and consistently enjoyable game and is definitely a must play.



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