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Friday, 30 August 2013 17:23

Rayman Legends first impressions

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I spent some enjoyable co-op fun time with the new Rayman Legends last night, Rayman out bros New Super Mario Bros.

Despite how sophisticated and realistic some major AAA gaming titles get, there is something purely fun about sitting on a couch with a buddy playing classic platform gaming with modern twists and visuals.  So it is with the latest Rayman game Rayman Legends from Ubisoft.

Rayman Legends builds on Origins and provides more than 120 levels (including a bunch of remastered levels from Origins) of of 2D platform mayhem in a colourful, and beautifully rendered, series of enviornments.  Lums must be collected, Teensies must be rescued and fun must be had.

Like a cross between Oddworld and the more obvious New Super Mario Bros Wii the presentation is gorgeous and the game-play frenetic, but the atmosphere is also engaging and charming.

Best played in co-op with up to three friends, players choose a character and progress through the level by jumping, double jumping, wall jumping and gliding, with the occasional enemy attack thrown in to spice things up.   

Co-op is probably the wrong term however, there are now real requirments for players to work together (apart from the occasional, and unnessesary hoist action) to solve any in-level game puzzles.  Instead however as characters die and become enbubbled, they can be reactivated by ‘still alive’ colleagues.

No, it is simply best played in co-op mode because of the fun.  Curse friends, yell out instructions, encourage and demean it is part of the experience beyond the on-screen.  Murfy, a flying frog character will often make an appearance to help out Rayman and his friends, pressing buttons, cutting ropes, all on command of the players, depending on their on-screen positioning.  It adds a level of complexity to the already somewhat chaotic activity.

My favourte levels so far are the spooky underwater scenes contained in 20,000 Lums Under The Sea.  The lighting is supurb, the level design well conceived and the sound of Teensies going “Ohhhhhhh!” when you locate a secret level is so delightful.

I am nowhere done with this game, but I encourage people to try it out.  If you have a Wii U this is built for that platform and its touch screen controller.  However, playing as I am on an Xbox 360, or any of the other platforms Ubisoft has released the game on is still a great deal of fun.

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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