Rayman Legends is a game that has already faced a few setbacks. A sequel to the highly praised Rayman Origins, it began as a Wii U exclusive title. About a month before the game was supposed to be released, it was announced that the game would be ported to the Xbox 360 and PS3. Because of the multi-platform release, the Wii U release was pushed back so it would release the same day as the other consoles.
The setback caused some anger from those that wanted it to remain a Wii U exclusive. Even the creators of the game seemed to be upset by Ubisoft’s decision. They didn’t just port the game in during the delay; they also worked on giving the Wii U version a few extra features and a beautiful polish.
It’s hard to really explain why Rayman Legends is a fun game to play. It’s a combination of features and experiences that becomes something bigger than its respective mechanics. It celebrates the platforming genre and embraces all the fun that can be had in the game’s stunning world.
The game is pretty simple to play. You run and jump through the levels, fighting enemies and collecting Lums. The levels do get harder as you progress through the game, but the game has checkpoints scattered throughout the levels, and there are no lives so you can try again and again until you get it right.
The environments are colorful and the scenery really draws you into the world of Rayman. The simple nature of the games leaves it open to players of all skill levels, with weekly challenge levels that really test the skilled players mettle. The challenge levels also give the game a lasting appeal. Competing with people all over the world to see who is the best at a particular challenge will keep the game feeling fresh for quite a while.
As you complete levels and collect enough Lums, fairy-like beings that are the games basis for unlocking everything, you earn scratch cards that unlock levels and pets and will sometimes award the player with more Lums. The scratch cards are a fun addition, and offer a fun way to get new content for the game, rather than just unlocking it as you hit a certain amount of Lums.
Along with the new levels included in Legends, there are a few levels from Rayman Origins that can be unlocked through the scratch cards in the game. These are just the same levels that were in the first game, but are still fun to play through in case you didn’t have the chance to play Origins.
One of my favorite things about this game is the musical levels. After you beat the boss for each world, (an experience that is sometimes frustrating) you unlock the musical level for that world. These levels are extremely fun and will leave you with a smile on your face. The first one, Castle Rock, has you running through the level while the enemies sing a version of Black Betty. The action in these levels flows with the music, having you jumping, running and destroying obstacles to the beat of the song.
One of the best features included in the Wii U version is the Murphy levels. Instead of controlling the main character, you control Murphy, a helpful sprite that can interact with the environment in varying ways. It’s even more fun when you play with a friend and have one person controlling Murphy and clearing the way for the second player to get through the level. You have to communicate with each other to make it through, and those levels feel very rewarding when you complete them together.
Rayman Legends is a rare game. It’s simple, yet has a few challenges that raise the bar. It may make you feel like a child again with its world, music and characters. It’s a great experience that is recommended to everyone who plays games.