4cr Plays – Rayman Legends
Rayman Legends is finally here! After a long delay from the launch window for the Wii U, to early 2013, to late 2013 and a controversial transition to a multi-platform release, Rayman’s latest adventure has finally found its way to Nintendo latest console. Michel Ancel makes the most out of the UbiArt engine in order to deliver a tight platformer that improves on Rayman Origins.
Rayman Legends takes to heart all the elements from platforming games of ages past and includes all the running, jumping, collecting items, wall-jumping, floating, and secret levels you would expect, then applies an extremely nice coat of paint to the whole experience. Still screens don’t do this game justice, so be sure to checkout the video below.
The level design is all killer and no filler since there is always something for Rayman and friends to do. You will be busy collecting Lums and Teensies, or finding hidden secrets and extra paths to obtain the best rating for each level. The depth of the levels will keep you coming back for more. Some levels play like the original Rayman where you can move around and explore at a slower pace, and some levels are almost like an endless running game with everyone constantly having to move forward to escape danger. A nice addition to the formula are the rhythm based levels that take popular songs and pass them through a Rayman-esque filter, similar to what the Rabbids do for their games. In these cases the level layout is synced to the music itself.
The game also uses several of the Wii U features during the adventure. Some sections require you to use the GamePad’s gyroscope to twist and turn the screen, other use the touch screen to control the action and open up a road to victory. On top of all this interaction, the game runs smoothly at 1080p and 60 fps without a problem. Like most WiiU titles, Rayman Legends also supports Off-TV play, allowing for non-stop play in case the TV is not available.
Rayman Legends might not be a Wii U exclusive anymore, but it still includes something for Nintendo fans: Mario and Luigi costumes for Rayman and Globox, 5 Player Co-op Multiplayer, and the Murphy levels. The Mario and Luigi costumes are only cosmetic and don’t change the gameplay, but they’re a nice nod to the Mario brothers. The 5 player co-op multiplayer is possible thanks to the Wii U GamePad since 4 people can play with 1 Wiimote Plus each while the 5th person can use the Wii U GamePad to help along the way.
Out of all the WiiU exclusive content, I had the most fun with the Murphy levels. Who is Murphy? Well, he’s this little green flying whatchamacallit that can be controlled with the GamePad’s touch screen. While controlling Murphy you must open a path by moving around platforms from side to side or by lowering and raising them, or by cutting ropes, taking hold of enemies or destroying hazards. They were fun because the action never stops and you must be on high alert as to not be overwhelmed by each level.
Something else noteworthy is that in Rayman Legends, the Boss Battles which really shine with incredible graphics and old school patterns that must be deciphered to defeat them. The game throws every graphical effect you can think of at the screen during boss battles which can sometimes distract you from the action, but look great nevertheless.
Rayman Legends definitely feels like a masterpiece that was finely crafted and tuned close to perfection. The game has over 100 levels, including several of the levels from Rayman Origins which have been reworked into the new version of the engine and has plenty of content to spare. I’d been waiting for the game since I got to play the Challenges App that was exclusively available for Wii U owners, and even though I would have loved to play this game last year, the end the extra time in development gave us a better and bigger game.