RAYMAN ORIGINS Review [Xbox360]

There are few games out there in recent times that have the ability to simultaneously enchant and enrage, Rayman Origins from Ubisoft can now claim that ability. Read on for the full review.

There are few games out there in recent times that have the ability to simultaneously enchant and enrage, Rayman Origins from Ubisoft can now claim that ability. It€™s one of those games that harks back to my youth, only with shinier visuals. This isn€™t pure nostalgia talking now, as the basics of the newly released title in the series are not all that far off from the original Rayman which was released back in 1995. You still take Rayman through whirlwind side-scrolling platform adventures, collecting lums, freeing electoons, and generally saving the day. In Rayman Origins you of course have new things thrown at you. In addition to lums and electoons you also save various nymphs at the end of each world, these nymphs grant you additional powers which stay with you regardless of if you go back to previous levels. The life system is simple, you can find a heart in the levels which gives you another chance should you bounce off something nasty, if you pick up a heart while you already have one with you then it turns into more lums. Why collect lums? Well lums equal electoons at the end of each level, the more you collect the more a meter fills up, at certain points it grants you an electoon (usually at intervals of 100lums and 300lums), collect all the lums and you get a medal. In turn this brings us to, why electoons? Well, collecting electoons allows you to unlock characters and special type of level which will test your skills as well as your patience with a €˜mess up and you have to start again€™ system. While it€™s all well and good throwing down the game mechanics, this mean little if the game is clunky and dull. Thankfully it is neither. Gameplay is smooth and unencumbered. You can practically fly through the levels if you wish, though this is best saved for time trials. There is often so much going on in the level at any one time you have to keep your wits about you, but this is no bad thing. While you do have to concentrate there are also secrets to be found, if you hear a little €˜help me€™ while in the game then take the time to have a look around and you may find a secret level. In addition to the standard platforming levels you have boss fights and levels where you jump on the back of a mosquito and take to the skies. Each world is beautiful in its own way, going from jungles to desert sands, from themes of ice and fruit to the murky depths of the sea. It can get confusing at hectic, even more so with two or more players along for the ride with you, but the sheer fun of the game overrides all of this. Music plays a huge part of the game, with soundtracks for everything and little else in terms of sound needed, it makes an upbeat and refreshing change. The multiplayer element of the game, the one element that seems to be there out of a modern need for it, doesn€™t actually make a huge difference in term of gameplay though. It is fun, do not get me wrong, but there are no sections of the game where it is necessary. It is a nice touch though and could make for a comical €˜party game€™. In essence, this is a game that very much stays true to its sixteen year old roots, fans of the series will not be disappointed, but it is accessible and very much a modern day game. If you like the series, or even if you€™re new to Rayman and just want a challenge that is a break from what is now the norm, then I suggest giving Rayman Origins a try. It might annoy the hell out of you, but it€™s the kinda game you just can€™t stay mad at.

Rayman Origins is out now on Xbox 360, Ps3, and Wii.

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