|System: Wii U, PS3*, PS Vita, PC, Xbox 360|
|Dev: Ubisoft Montpellier|
|Release: September 3, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief|
That attitude of wanting to deliver pure enjoyment carries over into the extra areas of Rayman Legends. Oddly, the game sports a soccer mini-game, where players can kick a very lightweight soccer ball back and forth across the screen in an effort to score points. A monster room also lies nestled in the optional areas of the game. Players can collect monsters by scratching off lottery tickets. These lottery tickets automatically pop in the player’s “inventory” after completing missions. Completing missions also rewards players an Awesomeness level. I couldn’t find any discernable measurement for gaining Awesomeness levels, but earning a level sure made me feel good. And, at its core, I’m pretty sure that’s what this game was designed to do.
The way Rayman Legends punishes mistakes reinforces the idea that it wants nothing more than to just be a good time. Random, frequent, and invisible checkpoints populate each stage. Players will oftentimes find themselves making a misstep as they zip through a level. When a character falls off a cliff or runs into an enemy, that character bloats up, pops like a balloon, and then reappears usually no more than one screen back. Rayman Legends uses no lives, enforces no failure penalty, and never forces a player to replay a nearly completed level. Although games like Mario have long since dispensed with the notion that extra lives actually matter, they continue the tradition of using them to maintain the pretense of consequence. Rayman Legends doesn’t do that, and it’s probably the game’s greatest asset.
Rayman Legends’ unique, quirky tune introduces new steps into an old dance. Although the absurd nature of the game might be a hurdle to some, Ubisoft crafted it with enough skill and confidence to tie together all the disparate strands into a cohesive, enjoyable whole. A lot of care went into making Rayman Legends, and the refreshing result of that care is a platformer that can proudly stand beside the genre’s greats.
Date: September 5, 2013