Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
With the invention of three-dimensional gaming art, came the worry that 2D platformers were a thing of the past, and they were for quite a while. Rayman Legends for Wii U is one of those games that throws you back to the reason, that we should keep playing games in 2D. It’s a beautiful match up of artistic wonder and fun delight, but does it really stack up against the pros, and are we looking forward to more of this type of game on the Wii U? While Rayman has impressed us before, I can’t think of a single third-party game that does it quite like this. Throughout the title it introduces us to more new ideas, continuing our lust for more adventure. It’s a decent length at about 10-15 hours and its doesn’t keep us waiting.
The animation for the title displays wonderfully on the Wii U. In true HD Rayman becomes a lovely masterpiece with the scale becoming massive. Ogres swing their arms destroying the vast landscape behind Rayman as he runs into the next trap. Enemies twenty times his size head his way full speed. The lighting in the title gives us a dark dank feeling as we travel through the clouded skies and dingy underground. Each level looks like it was hand drawn in water-color and although a lot of the levels have a dark mid-evil feel it doesn’t take away from the artistic array of color. As soon as you start to think it can’t get any more awesome the next level is set to impress.
The stage presentation is amazing. Some are based more on puzzle platforming weaving your character through a maze as it turns upside down on the screen. Others are closer to a vertical shooter while you jump through the sky and rain fireballs upon your enemy. This is taken one step further when you add in the ability of the gamepad which we will talk about a little later. The stages are all themed with different songs and the sound of the game is top-notch keeping the humor and fun at an all time high. That coupled with the sound effects of the characters and enemies and it’s a no brainer, Rayman has it in the bag.
Starting out with limited abilities the game teases you into the next round of powers. Unexpected additions later in the game allow you to slip past trip wires, eliminate challenging bosses, or make your way through challenge levels that test your ability. The surroundings manipulate and move to create quite the spectacle and reveal hidden areas and missed opportunities. Where there isn’t much of a story to speak of, the gameplay makes up for it by creating nooks and crannies for us to discover. Rayman’s controls are quite interesting because characters float instead of being heavy on the ground, and while it takes a bit of getting used to the controls are very well done.
While the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions support co-op, the Wii U is outmatched in this department. Up to five players can tag along with one using the touch screen of the game pad. Rayman Legends was originally planned as a Wii U exclusive and it shows through with the quality game pad work. The game pad player helps by activating switches in the environment, allowing other players to move forward in the stages. This touch screen player is shown on-screen as a radioactive green firefly who creates platforms, turns levers, and otherwise zooms around helping his friends. unfortunately this wasn’t taken over into the online world which means we don’t have any stats to compare ourselves against.
Overall this is one of the best third-party games to date for the Wii U and a must own for the system. There is no end to the fun you can get from this game. Every time you think you’ve found the level or stage you love the next one is set to impress. It’s fun, it’s quirky, and all around it was a delightful surprise to say the least. It’s a game that’s fun for beginners and veterans alike and has all the appeal of your favorite cartoons coupled with incredible looking scenery.
Rayman Legends Gets:
Out of Five
+Challenges are endless
+Beautiful visuals and music
+Extremely fun interactions with the environment / characters
+Great Co-op Play
-No online play