Sunday, 3 July 2016

Review No. 121 Rayman Legends - Wii U (7+)

Strong Points:
Fast, fluid platforming
Amazing graphics/art style
Lots of content
Kung-Foot is awesome
Musical levels are really well done
Lots of collectibles
Lots of characters
Daily and weekly challenges are great
You can replay some of the levels from Origins
Duck levels are hilarious
Murphy levels are clever

Weak Points:
Even less of a story than Rayman Origins
No world-map
Can get repetitive
No Land of The Livid Dead
Extra characters are literally just re-skins
Can get frustrating

In-depth Rating:

Release Dates:
Australia: 29 August, 2013
Europe: 30 August, 2013
North America: 3 September, 2013
Japan: 17 October, 2013

Wii U Gamepad:
Left Analogue Stick: move
ZR: sprint
X/Y: hit (hold for power attack)
A/B: jump (hold to fly)
+: pause menu
-: become a bubble
Turn Controller: move rotating platforms (as Murphy)
Touch Touchscreen: stop enemies/pick up Lums/ move objects in environment (as Murphy)

Wii Remote:
D-Pad: move
+: pause menu
-: become a bubble (double tap to leave game)
1: hit (hold for power attack)
2: jump (hold to fly)
B: sprint

Wii U Pro Controller:
Left Analogue Stick: move
ZR: sprint
X/Y: hit (hold for power attack)
A/B: jump (hold to fly)
+: pause menu
-: become a bubble (double tap to leave game)

Rayman Legends is the sequel to the awesome game, Rayman Origins. Plagued with publisher greed and a late release due to an unexpected multi-platform change, this game had both enough hype to travel to the moon and enough problems to warrant doubt. Thankfully, it delivered. Very well.

The platforming as a whole is very polished and fluid with speedrunning becoming a great option. The worst thing in fast platformers is stopping/dying, this game (much like Origins) fixes both by making the running very fast and not allowing you to die straight away if you are in co-op by 'bubbilizing' you, allowing the other players to pop the bubble, keeping you alive. Or running away, making you frantically try to steer the bubble in their direction. Either or.

Content is the word mostly used to describe this game. A lot of content. From collectables and the main quest to Origin levels, time trials, online challenges and even a 2D Local Football game all of which I'll get to in due course. However, the other main focus point to this game is the rhythm platforming music levels which play like normal levels but also take a know song such as Eye of the Tiger and makes you jump in beat to enemies singing a gibberish version of it. It's great fun and a good way of allowing the player to keep track of when they should jump and it also allows for more 'inventive' platforming sequences as the difficulty can be stepped up due to this helping hand.

Another fun type of level are the Duck levels which were a complete surprise to me. In them you are... Well a duck and you have to run, jump and glide like normal but all as a duck. It's just complete mayhem and again great fun (although whoever had the idea may be slightly quackers! (oh dear)). Murphy controllable levels (Wii U, PS4 and PS Vita exclusive) add a bit more of a puzzle element to the game, with you controlling Murphy who can control the environment around the characters to allow them to get past or can collect Lums/defeat enemies. It's a really nice addition and makes for a nice change of pace as well as the best type of challenge.

Talking about challenges we have many. The online segment of the game has many different challenges ranging from get to point A in the quickest time or get the furthest as well as clear so many of a certain stage. This adds even more variety to an already varied game and also allows us to see our friend The Land of the Livid Dead one more time, the only time it makes and appearance. The challenges also don't seem to be hacked as all of it cane done with precision and knowing the course, just prepare to be addicted.

Another thing you will probably be addicted to is finding all the collectables and unlocking all the costumes. You get these collectables from Lucky Tickets earned by collecting enough Lums or beating a world, although costumes are unlocked by playing levels and earning Lums separately. Of course, besides the glory of owning everything/the occasional extra Origins level, these collectables don't do anything but the sheer amount to collect means you be collecting something just by playing.

Kung Foot is fun. Very fun. It's basically a clear example of you didn't know you needed it in your life until it was there. Basically a 2D local multiplayer (you don't see them much anymore) football game with no rules, allowing you to punch the enemy, your team and sometimes even the ball. More depth would've been nice though with alternate team costumes or an online mode but given the extensive variation in the game already I'll let it slide.

I have to talk about the graphics sometime in this review and wow are they good. You're basically in an oil painting with great lighting and animation throughout. The sounds are also excellent and the colour pallet brings out the fun of the game while also hiding a slight sinister side.

The difficulty does have some spikes, especially in the later levels and the story is even less than Origins. The world map has also been replaced to lots of paintings which, while nice, don't quite give you the scale or sense of completion as a world map does. But that about all the weak points I can think of.

Conclusion: an epic game with enough content to give Ubisoft's other series' a run for their money. Bring a friend and have some fun, something that is lacking in today's gaming world.

Rating: 92%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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