Jumping jabberwocky! Galloping gunwhales and lumbering Lums! Don’t understand any of this? No fear, it hardly makes any sense to me either!
Rayman Origins brings the ridiculous world of Rayman to nonsensical life in beautifully bubbly HD graphics.
Rayman and his crew are besieged by the darktoons after their sonorous snoring causes a granny in the Land of the Livid Dead to go into a frothy frenzy. Now the Bubble Dreamer has gone mad and needs your help to collect Electoons and Lums to save the world. So get ready to bop, bounce, biff and bellow your way through this gem of a side-scrolling platformer.
The story is zany and quirky, with characters either mumbling in pig latin or bursting into dance before continuing along the story. But who cares, we are all here to rock, collect things, unlock new abilities and save the world. Again.
Ubisoft brings a vivid world to life in this 2D platformer. 60 crafty levels set across several stylised and themed worlds will have players jumping through jungles, descending through deserts, shimmying through shipwrecks and more! What a monstrous mouthful!
Levels are riddled with checkpoints for your timely death. Wait, what? Yes, timely. You WILL die in this game. A lot. Maybe not Dark Souls level a lot, but you will get used to seeing Rayman and his crew become popping bubbles. Players can collect a heart for a single shield against harm, but even then, some elements will still mean instant bubblisation. This game is pretty unforgiving by platforming standards, with the treasure chest levels having no checkpoints, meaning one mistake in your high speed chase is the end for you.
Thankfully most levels are pretty short, allowing for intense bursts of frivolous fun. This also makes replaying of levels seem like less of a daunting task, and the speed runs won’t feel like a waste of 10 minutes of your life if you miss the cut-off by a mere second. Speed runs allow you to test your alarming alacrity as you dash through a level, in some cases, in under a minute. Can your fingers handle this twitchfest?
To add some spice and variety to the levels, take to the sea and swim around, avoiding currents trying to push you into spike traps and puffer fish, as well as other denizens of the deep. Otherwise, take to the skies on a Moskito and shoot everything! Well, everything except your friends.
The worlds are navigated from the Glade of Dreams, which allows you to zip from place to place and back to the Snoring Tree. From here your total Electoons and magic teeth are displayed. When hovering over a world, each level’s medallion is visible. The medallion shows you how many Electoons you missed on a world and how to get them. Some, up to three, are awarded for completing the level and collecting enough Lums. Others are for finding secret areas in the world, and lastly, for completing a speed run of a level with a good enough time.
The controls are easy to learn and feel extremely responsive. The learning curve is made bearable by introduction of abilities over the first few levels.
Rayman Origins works on the premise that you have friends; real ones, that you will let into your house to play video games. If you are one of the lucky few, or are good enough at coaxing gamers into their demesne, you can play this game in glorious four player couch co-op! In case smacking all the miasmic minions and avoiding dangerous pitfalls is not enough danger for your fragile, intrepid, limbless hero, have your friends smack you, slow you down, knock you off and into things and generally cause mayhem in a race to collect more Lums than those buffoons. Or you could, I don’t know, work together to resurrect one another and reach secret coins and encased Electoons? NAH!
The camera angle zooms out to accommodate having more
blithering idiots players on screen, and the difficulty curve does drop if you communicate and leave a friend in a safe location as a spawn point. Take control of Rayman, Globox and two Teensies and save the Electoons, the Nymphs and please the Teensie wizard with Lums!
Gameplay 9/10. Most responsive controls ever in a platformer. Quick load times, and a fairly steady difficulty curve will make sure that you keep coming back for more of this punishing game.
Design and Presentation 9/10. This game is pretty. Vibrant colours and highly stylised backdrops make the world feel alive. With swaying plants and beady-eyed creatures, the attention to detail is staggering. The game needs a little bit more musical diversity though.
Value 9/10. At 60 levels, with more than 200 Electoons to collect, along with speed-runs, perfects and those dastardly daring chests containing teeth, there is plenty to do in this world. Invite a friend or three over, and you will systematically start from the first level and play until someone surrenders. Collect ALL THE THINGS!
Overall 9/10. Rayman Origins is the best looking, and most fun platformer you will play. Smack your friends and the hours away with this functionally fluid masterpiece of platforming.
Last Updated: December 2, 2011