2D platformers are very few at the moment and sadly it seems the are being forgotten. It’s with great joy then, that I am able to say that Ubisoft have resurrected Rayman, and just as it was on the PS3, the PS Vita version is platforming goodness. The controls are ported directly from the dual shock controller and this means that the Vita is the perfect platform for Rayman to find yet another new home. The graphics are just beautiful as they really pop on the screen and you can see every detail in glorious handheld fashion. You can even pinch to zoom in and get a closer view. It’s just a fun game that will keep you busy for hours as the 60 levels provide more than enough entertainment.
The story is the same as the PS3 version, namely that Rayman and his friends have caused a war with the evil witch by simply snorting too loudly. The snoring caused her to wake up and now she has unleashed evil minions and the darktoons. What’s more, the five bodacious Nymphs of the Glade of Dreams (where Rayman lives) have all been kidnapped by these very same darktoons. Along with Rayman you can choose to play as Globox or two of the Teensies. All the characters have the same move sets but look different and have slightly different levels of power, but you won’t notice the difference. It’s really down to personal preference and you can switch between characters at any point during the game anyway. You can run, climb, fly and swim your way across the screen from left to right all the while trying to restore order back to the Glade of Dreams.
The characters are typically colourful and perfectly drawn. Control-wise it’s very basic but it works perfectly on the Vita as you can sprint with the shoulder buttons, while square and circle are used for the punch attack and jumping is mapped to the X button with the perfectly weighted left analogue stick being used for movements. The aim of the game is to save the Electoons from their cages as you try to punch and jump over the bad guys. The level design is just brilliant as the platforms are in the right places at all times. The foreground and background also work well as you seamlessly switch between the two during play. You can clearly see the level of thought that has gone into every level and it’s really fun to play. The learning curve is not steep and you can instantly jump in. You will die, but you won’t get frustrated at all and it just makes you more determined to win.
As you play you pick up golden lums, these are the currency in the game, like coins or rings. They are always singing and cheerful and the whole game has a happy vibe to it. The background tunes and the music all help give a happy beat to the game. The speech the characters use is a made up language but even that is pleasing to hear. After every few levels you have to free one of the Nymphs and once done they will give you more powers, like swimming or hovering which are crucial in the game. After each land there is also a massive boss battle that is really well done and on a huge scale with the detail on each of the bosses very impressive.
The whole game looks positively lovely on the PS Vita screen, the bright colours and lighting effects really shine. The characters and their movements respond perfectly to button presses. There are also cage challenges with each level containing hidden areas where cages and yet more Electoons are located. There is also a time attack mode where you try to beat your previous time for a cleared level. Once you get enough of these you unlock special chest challenges, these are levels of fast frantic running where you chase a chest and perfect jumping is needed as the screen moves fast from left to right. If your caught you die, but if you succeed, you’re rewarded with a skull tooth for successfully navigating these levels and these are use to unlock various skins for your guys. To increase the playability there are also new ghost levels unlocked in the Vita version that you can play through and challenge your friends to beat your time.
Overall, this is the perfect example of a game finding its true home. The 2D platformer has always been something to be able to carry around and play. The Vita has the processing power and the ease of use that this game begs for. The buttons are just right and the screen shows off this highly polished game in its fully glory. The colours and characters really come to life on the Vita and this is an ideal game for people who are dubious of the fun that can be had. Everything flows exceptionally smoothly and, whilst the story may be silly, Rayman is much more than just another solidly made platform game, it’s almost a work of art.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation Vita code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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