Massive amounts of care that are above and beyond that of most games have gone into this title, and help to make it worth every cent, and even more importantly, worth every minute of your valuable time you spend with it.
After many years of shameless "Raving Rabbids" mini-game collections across a number of platforms, the series has finally come home to roost, and returned to its 2D platforming roots in Rayman Origins. That said, can a 2D platformer properly hold up as a full-priced retail title, or does it end up feeling like something you might have downloaded off of PSN?
The core gameplay in Rayman Origins will be familiar to anyone who has played a 2D platformer before. Rayman and his buddies have to run and jump from left to right, rescuing creatures and gaining new powers as they progress through the game. Rayman Origins is perhaps the most technically proficient 2D platformer in recent history, with tight and responsive controls pushing the action along nicely. Rayman Origins can be frustratingly difficult at times, but like any well-made game, you always know that you are the one at fault for your inability to progress, not the game. Like any other challenging game, you will eventually manage to surmount even the most impossible challenges through trial and error.
The environments that all this running and jumping takes place in looks absolutely incredible. Rayman Origins takes advantage of the PS3 as much as a 2D platformer possibly could, using its power to create a world that looks like a particularly beautiful Saturday morning cartoon. The game also makes use of a whimsical soundtrack that matches every level blow for blow. There are even several levels that revolve around instruments that create the games soundtrack.
In fact, the sound in general does more for Rayman Origins than any other single element. From the aforementioned music to the noises made by the adorable Electoons that you are supposed to rescue and beyond, Rayman Origins bleeds a weird sort of whimsy that it seems like only this team can manage to pull off.
Can't take all that whimsy on your own? No problem, Rayman Origins has a co-op mode that I consider to be the best way to play the game. Like a number of other co-op platformers, having up to four players in cramped areas takes the whimsy and turns it on its head, creating a chaotic vibe as people jump all over the screen, accidentally or purposefully punching each other in the face as they move across the screen. If all you want to do is play through the game, perhaps co-op isn't for you, but if you're just looking to have a ton of fun, the co-op offers a unique experience for you and 3 of your closest friends.
Thanks to all of its individual elements, Rayman Origins manages to come comes across as a AAA title, even if it was denied a AAA budget and a proper marketing campaign. Massive amounts of care that are above and beyond that of most games have gone into this title, and help to make it worth every cent, and even more importantly, worth every minute of your valuable time you spend with it.