Review: Rayman Legends (Next-Gen)

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Rayman, Globox and the Teensies have been sleeping for a century since Rayman Origins. During their extended nap, The Bubble Dreamer’s nightmares grew in strength and numbers and so has the magician. Rayman and his friends are woken up by side kick Murfy who alarms them about the bad news.

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Rayman Legends was one of the best looking games when I played it on the Wii U. On the PS4, it outputs natively in 1080p and looks more gorgeous than ever. Textures are more compressed which makes them even clearer and there is absolutely no loading times between entering or exiting a level. This makes the game a lot more enjoyable. 

A new camera mode has been introduced onto the PS4. By pressing the touchpad on the DualShock 4, the game will be paused and you will enter Camera Mode. Moving your fingers around the touchpad allows you to zoom in and out of the image on screen until you get the exact picture that you want. Then, by pressing the share button you’r eagle to take the exact photo that you want and share it with everyone. On most games this would seem gimmicky, but it’s something that I could see myself using on Rayman Legends. This is due to the fact that it’s one of the most beautiful games that i’ve ever played.

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The backdrops in Rayman Legends are so varied in design and the hand-drawn art shines on the big screen. Character design has also been given a huge amount of love. There is a massive variety of character costumes and each one is just as detailed as the last.

The sound effects in Rayman Legends have also been given a lot of love. The constant ‘oohs and ahhs’ when you find a special passage or the ‘thump’ from smacking a friend or foe never gets old. I was really surprised with the variety of music included for a game that has SO many levels. The games hub places you in a museum where every piece of hanging artwork represents a level. Jumping into the artwork then takes you to the said level. This is a huge step up from the map that featured in Rayman Origins.

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When it comes to gameplay improvements on the PS4, there aren’t a whole lot. In my opinion, the improved loading times make for a much welcomed improvement. You can use the touchpad to scrape the Lucky Tickets but this was also available on the Wii U. Also included are a few new heroes. You can play as Assassin Ray (Inspired by Edward Kenway), Funky Ray and Champion Ray (Offered to the best players of the community).

Rayman Legends is a side-scrolling platformer which has a huge emphasis on speed. What starts out as a walk in the park soon becomes a game of speed, skill and a lot of trial and error. What Rayman Legends does really well is it’s gradual increase in difficulty and throwing new things at you. I never felt that I was comfortable or that the game was getting too easy because as soon as you get used to one mechanic, it throws a new one at you.

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The amazing thing about Rayman Legends is that it’s the simplicity in gameplay that makes it such a successful game. The gameplay only really consists of running, jumping and whacking enemies so anytime you die only comes down to your own mistiming rather than feeling cheap. The sheer variety of enemies in the game is something that amazed me. In almost every level the design is changed up with the use of new enemies which all behave in different ways.

In each world there are a number of levels to complete. These vary from simple platforming levels where you have to get from the start to end, touch-screen based levels where you control a character named Murphy on the touch pad in order to get your AI controlled player through obstacles, boss fights, time based invasions levels and a special musical level at the end of each world which are some of the most creative levels that i’ve ever seen in a platformer.

Each level features a number of Lums that must be collected in order to 100% that level. These go towards unlocking new characters and unlocking a lucky ticket for each level. This lucky ticket can unlock creatures which give you extra Lums, a random sum of Lums and Back To Origins levels which are recreated levels from Rayman Origins.

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The game also includes four-player, drop in and drop out cooperative play which makes things a whole lot more enjoyable. Playing through these levels with friends makes the game even more frantic than before and provided some of the biggest laughs that i’ve had with a game in a long while. The touch screen based levels are also a lot more enjoyable with another person. I played a lot of these levels with my nephew controlling the touch screen whilst I quickly navigated through the levels. The amount of puzzles that the game throws at you are so varied and over the top that it never got old.

I must admit, playing through these levels by myself was a bit of a drag. When playing by yourself, you’re relegated to the touch screen whilst an AI player navigates through the level. It seemed to take away from the overall speed and pace that the other levels required. I would definitely grab the Wii U version for this reason as well as I couldn’t imagine them being any better on the PS3/360/Xbox One/PS4. Thankfully you can skip these if you’re by yourself and wait until you’re in the company of a second player.

The variety in level design will keep you happily playing until you complete the game but you’ll still feel a huge need to go and collect every single Lum and Teensy from each level. The game also features a challenge mode with updated daily and weekly challenges which will provide you with a reason to come back for weeks after you’ve finished the main campaign. There is also a soccer mode called Kung-Foot which uses a great combination of action, skill and timing in order to get a soccer ball in a goal.

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