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8.2 / 10
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by Activision
Release Date: 11/15/2013

Description

'Rayman Legends' is a glorious return to a spectacular franchise and we were ecstatic to finally see the game hit the streets. 'Legends' brings home another title that caters to pure joy while still offering a deep experience full of challenges and pitfalls to the PlayStation 4.

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Posted:
2015-03-21

Dave_Finnigan

Writer

PS4

8.3

'Rayman Legends' on the PlayStation 4 is an action adventure platformer which was developed by Ubisoft Montpellier and published by Ubisoft.

Rayman' has been one of the longest enduring franchises in recent years. The series got kicked off in 1995 for the PlayStation 1. Before long we were getting releases almost every single year. The franchise, developed by Ubisoft, has been a constant source of platforming fun and it has evolved over the years in such a way as to pull in new fans constantly. 'Rayman' has even spawned offspring in the form of the ever popular 'Raving Rabbids'. But we aren't here to talk about history, we are here to talk about the present. And with the present we got to play 'Rayman Legends' for the PlayStation 4. The game was developed by Ubisoft and distributed by Nintendo for PS3, PS4, and both new Xbox Consoles. We got our hands on the game in hopes of seeing our beloved platformer series once again rise to the occasion. We were not disappointed.

We briefly mentioned 'Raving Rabbids' above and it is important because that spin off series momentarily seemed to have overshadowed the franchise from which it was spawned. With 'Rayman Legends' we were finally getting a chance to go back to the roots of the game. Originally set to release a few years ago on the WiiU, the game was shelved due to lack of sales number from its original mother console. Ubisoft decided to instead release the game on multiple platforms intending to pull in as wide an audience as possible. We can't disagree with their choice because it put a great game into our hands.

If you aren't familiar with the Rayman series than some of these names might go over your head. We apologize preemptively. This game starts with Rayman, Teensies, and Globox having all been asleep for the better part of the last century. While they were out the Bubble Dreamer watched its nightmares grow. As a result the Magician (a callback to 'Rayman Origins') has split into five separate 'Dark Teensies'. Our heroes are awoken by our friend Murfy and told of what has been happening while we were out. We learn that we must go out and rescue all of the Dark Teensies en route to shutting out the nightmare forever. The journey will take us through a variety of different levels full of platforming goodness.

The game takes place in more than 120 different levels. Playing through the campaign is a challenging affair that will push even the most puzzle conscious players to the absolute limit. You will have to deal with giant chase sequences, underwater diving segments, sea mines, torpedos, and a number of other obstacles that exist only to frustrate and put an end to your platforming adventures.

While there is nothing intrinsically revolutionary about what goes on in 'Rayman Legends', it still always manages to be especially entertaining. Perhaps the game caters to our nostalgia of yesteryear, where we would gather friends around the PS1 to play the original 'Rayman'. Either way, we aren't sure. What we do know is that this title feels like a solid trip down memory lane and one of the primary vehicles that took us on it is the wonderful artwork.

'Rayman Legends' is a 2D game in a 3D world and for that we love it even more. The artwork is done stylistically and in a way that pushes against modern convention. Right now everyone is in love with the 'dark and gritty' forms of media. The developers at 'Rayman' decided to continue doing their thing instead. Every single frame pops with color and animation. Every single sequence was made with an attention paid especially to details. Every frame feels painted to life by a team that loves what its doing.

What we loved about the level design (and there were a lot of them) is how eclectic the team allowed it to get without ever losing focus. One level we will be inundated with killer skeletons and luchadores and then the next we will be underwater trying to stave off sea creatures of the deep. We want to take time to especially mention the various music levels that you will encounter. These levels have special music programmed to match the tempo of how you should be facing them. Beating the map to the beat of the drum will keep you in time and on point. These come at the bookend of the different worlds that you will be rolling through. Every move you make is backlined by an appropriate musical selection. It really is quite entertaining.

The core of the game's gameplay stays fundamentally the same. As with all other platformers you really only need to manage how you jump and move in order to be effective. 'Rayman' also has the ability to punch and in 'Rayman Legends' you get to have Murfy at your side. When Murfy IS on screen you will have the option to switch over to his character in order to help finish out the level. Murfy has his own special abilities that definitely come in handy. We won't spoil them for you, just take our word for it.

While 'Rayman Legends' is an almost flawless experience, we still feel inclined to point out some of the problems that we ran into. For a platformer to succeed at 110%, you have to be able to rely on the controls. While it is easy to control Rayman in the game, sometimes we felt that our decisions lagged and that his movements felt a bit too floaty. Our character felt slow in the size of the levels and sometimes we had trouble timing our jumps right accordingly. This can spell death in particularly hard levels. Fortunately the longer you play the less you pay attention to this small issue.

'Rayman Legends' on the PlayStation 4 is a glorious return to a spectacular franchise and we were ecstatic to finally see the game hit the streets. 'Legends' brings home another title that caters to pure joy while still offering a deep experience full of challenges and pitfalls.

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