Rayman succeeds in being a terrific throwback to a more innocent time in the video game industry. We live in a world where 12 years old curse at each other as they trade headshots in mature titles like Call of Duty.
Super Gamer Dude
Nintendo is well known for creating perhaps the greatest platforming series the video game industry has ever seen in Super Mario. So it goes without saying that any other company's platformer has a lot to live up to on a Nintendo console. Despite the extra pressure, Raymnan Origins delivers in spades. The game is one of the most beautiful on Wii, the soundtrack matches up with the game's environment's perfectly, the game's controls are just as good as Super Mario Galaxy or another Nintendo first party title, and the game's co op mode provides hours of entertainment.
Game director Michael Ancel is known for creating beautiful game worlds, see the previous generation's Beyond Good and Evil for reference. Rayman delivers in this department unlike any other non Nintendo developed title on the console. The game is simply vibrant and gorgeous. There's luminous fire, lush plant life and crystal clear water that all unfolds nearly pixel perfect on your screen. Perhaps the only negative thing that could be said is that Rayman is so beautiful it might actually distract you from the gameplay as you stop and stare at your screen in wonder.
The gameplay features all of the power ups and antics the Rayman series is known for. The boss fights are truly epic and there are hidden areas to explore. The game can be challenging at times but if you fail it's your fault, not the controls. The game is spot on in this department, with precision rivaling a Super Mario game.
Perhaps the highlight of the gameplay and maybe even the game itself is Rayman's exciting and zany co op game play. A second player can play along side you but the game has a mischievous side as well. The second player is allowed to slap the first player around and generally just create a nuisance, all in the name of good fun. Playing this game with your sibling might tempers flaring enough to lead to some fisticuffs out in the real world. When the second player actually decides to be helpful however, the control is just as spot on and the gameplay feels incredibly smooth.
Perhaps the only disappointment here is that Nintendo did not make the co op playable online. You'll have to have someone sitting next to you in front of the TV to join in on the fun.
The game's soundtrack is also a treat and can at times match the zany action on screen. Some of the secondary characters could use a little work on their voice acting, but all in all the audio compliments the game perfectly.
If nothing else, Rayman succeeds in being a terrific throwback to a more innocent time in the video game industry. We live in a world where 12 years old curse at each other as they trade headshots in mature titles like Call of Duty. Rayman reminds us just how much fun classic platforming in a beautiful world can be, just like a classic Nintendo title.