For a video game genre that prides itself on linear level design, Ubisoft’s latest take on the platformer is refreshingly unique. While “Rayman Legends” may principally involve navigating Rayman, Globox, and Murfy from point A to point B across 123 maps, with each new level, the game somehow manages to become even more fun and addicting to play.
With ridiculously detailed visuals, a treasure chest full of unlockable content, and puzzles that will befuddle even the most hardcore fan, Ubisoft’s newest addition to the Rayman franchise is one of the most stunning PS Vita games to ever release on the console. Simply put, “Rayman Legends” is a must buy for every Vita owner.
Initially, however, Ubisoft had no intention to ever bring “Rayman Legends” to Playstation’s handheld console. Originally slated to exclusively release on Nintendo's Wii U, the game was delayed from the console’s 2012 launch to early 2013. Thankfully, the title was pushed back even further when Ubisoft smartly decided to take a multiplatform approach to “Rayman Legends” earlier this year.
Now, every Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita, PC and Wii U owner can join Rayman and friends on their latest adventure. This time around, the lovable, animated creatures discover a mysterious tent filled with captivating paintings and are suddenly transported—much like Alice In Wonderland—to a series of mystical new worlds.
Having reviewed the game on the Vita, I found that the innovative ways Ubisoft incorporated the console’s touch screen helped immerse myself in the game world that much more. Instead of pressing a single button to run, jump and slap my way through each level, I was able to swipe the screen to swing through trees, physically tap the Vita to destroy bad guys, and even tilt the entire device to navigate through trap doors.
As for graphics, “Rayman Legends” is definitely a beautiful and vibrant looking game. Whether I was dodging a giant, fire-breathing dragon or sliding down a slippery, icy slope, I could not help but revel in “Rayman Legend’s” stunning level design.
Besides great 3D boss battles and maps that beckon to be replayed over and over again, the biggest addition to this Rayman adventure is the inclusion of brand new online challenges.
Players can connect with their friends through an endless variety of challenges in five different stages that will test more than just their skill and speed. Vita fans can also return for new challenges every day and even check the leader boards to see where they rank around the world.
The Vita version also takes full advantage of the built in Wi-Fi feature. Join with your friends over local ad hoc or Wi-Fi networks to take on each of the 90 total levels in co-op. Gamers can even share their achievements and stats over Facebook or challenge their friends to top honors in one of the daily and weekly challenges found in the aforementioned competitive multiplayer mode.
For a handheld console that has suffered from a dearth of quality titles of late, “Rayman Legends” has truly renewed my faith in the PS Vita.
“Rayman Legends” releases today, September 3rd, and is rated E10+.
By David Morris