This Rayman: Origins review will be a short one for a number of reasons. The main reason is because this is a port of a game which you should have already picked up when it was released on the Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 last November. I’m sure during that time most of you were too busy playing Modern Warfare 3 and Skyrim to realize that Ubisoft had just released an amazing 2D platformer and the disappointing sales numbers reflect this. However now that we’re no long inundated with new videogame releases and there’s an exciting new handheld on the market, now is the perfect time for those who were sleeping to finally check out the Michel Ancel’s mordern-day masterpiece.
The most striking thing about Rayman: Origins is just how gorgeous the game looks. If there are still people out there who don’t consider videogames to be art, this is the game that will have them questioning their beliefs. This is the closest thing I’ve seen to interactive art and it’s hard to imagine how technology will improve beyond this point. The PS3 version looked incredible on my 50” TV but on the Vita’s crystal clear OLED display, Rayman: Origins looks even more crisp and vibrant. In this era where games constantly try to impress us with their gritty, realistic visuals it’s great to have a game like Rayman: Origins which rekindles the magic of our childhood and reminds us of a time when videogames were pure, unadulterated fun.
I could go on and on about how great the game looks but what really matters is how it actually plays. Thankfully Rayman: Origins is one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played in years and the ability to take it with me everywhere I go makes me happy just thinking about it. Creating a platformer that feels fair but still offers a challenge is no easy task, but Michel and his team at Ubisoft Montpellier have done just that. This game will constantly kick your ass but each time you’ll blame yourself before instinctively trying again.
Missing from the Vita version is co-operative multiplayer which may upset some people but makes perfect sense for a handheld. In its place is a new Ghost Mode where players can compete in speed-runs and trade ghost data via the Vita’s “near” service. As someone who never really enjoyed the co-op aspect of Rayman: Origins I’ll happily accept the trade.