The Average Gamer

Rayman Legends Review (Xbox 360)

I never played Rayman Origins. Although it was released to universal acclaim and became another Ubisoft success, I could never quite find the time to sample its pleasures. Now the sequel Rayman Legends is here, and every moment serves as punishment and regret for never sampling the pleasures of Origins, and then some.

Rayman Legends is a superb video game. It reinvents itself with almost every level, all presented beautifully and vibrantly, and every second is a joy to behold. Its six distinct worlds, ranging from an enchanted forest to an underwater tanker and even ancient Greece, all feel totally different. No sub-stage is the same either, and gives the usual ‘get from the start to the goal’ mentality a new dimension, willing you to explore the often-intricate level designs to collect the required Teensies (to unlock further levels) as you go. The surroundings are animated superbly, and every inch of every stage has been designed so that, with practice, they can be perfected with increased pace and precision.

This complements the learning curve wonderfully, as at least one stage of each world will require you to race against the clock, and this soon becomes second nature. Physically, Rayman has a floatier feel than your Marios and Sonics of this world, which suits Rayman’s propeller head floating ability and gentle footing to perfection, and takes little getting used to.

Every stage has you on your toes, but they are also so refreshing that it never gets frustrating. In fact, I found it mesmerizing. It feels like you’re playing through a cartoon; Rayman is the star and his many unlockable and playable friends are his backup crew, against the wonderfully rendered goblins, minotaurs and various other baddies and bosses that are rendered in such expressive ways and are almost Looney Tunes-like. The whole experience oozes charm in abundance.

Rayman Legends has a wealth of content that will keep you going for weeks and months to come. The Teensies, the adorable little aliens you collect throughout, bring out the thorough gamer in us all, with 700 to collect entirely, but only just over half required to access all the levels, similar to Super Mario’s Stars. And just like said stars, some Teensies are hidden behind a puzzle room to crack to get them, and can be a real test on the brain, not just your skills.

Other extras include brand new daily and weekly challenge levels, a test of quickness and skill against others around the world, with rewards along the way. There are even unlockable levels from Rayman Origins to revisit (or in my case, visit for the first time), which adds to the Teensy collecting and overall experience handsomely.

rayman-legends1Then there is the co-op element. Very much akin to the ‘New’ Super Mario Bros Wii and Wii U titles, each level design is tailored perfectly for not only a single player, but also up to four. Granted, it can get a little frantic with four on the screen at once, but still perfectly suited for teamwork so all succeed.

The ‘assistant’ co-op levels have been altered from their originally-intended Wii U gamepad exclusivity for Xbox by instead replacing the assistant actions with a single touch of the B button. It works perfectly, and controlling the environments to suit your movements is a great unique twist.

I cannot recommend Rayman Legends enough to anyone, of any age. The variety on offer for a single game can only be compared to the likes of the 3D Super Mario titles, but even they don’t have the range of collectibles on offer here. Just when you think you’ve found your favourite stage, another comes along and blows your mind, and there really is that ‘one more go’ factor throughout. So much to do, so much to find, so much to see, just so much fun to be had, and will continue to have in the coming months, should you (and you should) purchase this games of the year contender. You’d be mad to miss out.

Curious about the verdict? Read our review policy.