Rayman 3 HD is a HD re-release of the game from the previous generation of consoles. It is Developed and Published by Ubisoft and was designed by Michel Ancel who is the creative mind that produced Rayman and Beyond Good & Evil. It is available on PSN and XBLA.
The game begins with André; a Black Lum, changing Red Lums into Black Lums. Once they are transformed they don the disguise of a Hoodlum and begin to take over the place. Meanwhile Rayman and Globox are snoozing in the forest, completely unaware of the situation. Murphy rushes through the forest after seeing André and goes to wake our hero. Unfortunately while Globox wakes up Rayman is still fast asleep so the other two try to help get Rayman to safety. This leads to Globox escaping with Rayman’s hands and Murphy has to fly off with Rayman in tow.
I quick section at the beginning goes through some quick tutorials as you quest to find your hands, then it’s off to go and find André. André is on his way to taint the “Heart of the World” so that he can create an army of Hoodlums. Rayman and Globox give chase; which leads to them capturing him inside Globox’s stomach. The pair then must journey to various doctors to try and remove André from Globox; before turning André back into a Red Lum.
Gameplay is narrowed down to a few basics from the series when compared to Rayman 2 which has yet to see a HD release of its own. Your fists shoot out long ranged punches which can be powered up by charging it up. Whilst charging you can also put a direction on the attack by holding left or right as you release the punch. This allows you to curve around objects and also provides a little homing to your shots, which straight shots don’t provide. You still get to hover about and jump between platforms as you would expect from a Rayman game.
New to Rayman is the Super Powers, which come in cans littered around the landscape or dropped from enemies that have a glowing marker above their heads. The powers are: Vortex, Heavy Metal Fist, LockJaw, Shock Rocket and Throttle Copter. Each of the first 3 work with both combat and the environment in mind; the remaining 2 are for puzzles only when it comes to being specific. The vortex can be used on certain platforms to lower it down for you to jump on and in combat it will shrink enemies down to a smaller size with a short stun from the shrinking. Heavy Metal Fist will increase the damage of your punches and allow you to break down certain blockades that you will frequently find. Lockjaw gives you the ability to swing off of floating rings and shock your enemies in combat. Shock Rocket give you the ability to directly control a rockets path, which is an instant kill on most enemies and is usually used to throw switches located at the end of small paths made for the rocket. Throttle Copter gives your hover lift-off so that you can reach higher areas but it doesn’t confer any combat abilities.
The game revolves around increasing your score via all the actions that you perform in the game. Everything from defeating enemies, collecting gems and destroying objects will earn score. This turns into a combo which increases if you can earn within a short period of time. Whilst a Super Power is active it also multiplies your score by two; which can be the difference between getting 100% or not in a level. Earning enough points during your travels will net you some bonus levels which can be accessed from the menu at any point. They aren’t particularly great but make use of some interesting mechanics at times. Some are better than others and it’s a change of pace when the main adventure gets stale.
The problem is that the Super Powers while they are a core part of the game; they do feel tacked on as everything could easily be replaced with some other platforming element. This is mostly because of how the powers are used and also because of how little time you have to use each. You either immediately use the power to progress or backtrack and then use the power. It feels like the powers could have been fleshed out more and used in a more productive way. As you progress it becomes more and more linear; gain a power, get to the next section, rinse and repeat to progress further. Bosses are also very basic with repeating the same few actions to defeat them; some are more fun than others but they do tend to be quite boring.
Voice acting has been brought in this time around and it tends to be annoying with some really unbearable comments from Globox and the rather annoying André (though in fairness he is supposed to be). The dialogue gets old pretty fast due to the voices, with Rayman having very little to say throughout compared to the Globox and André. The music on the other hand is much better and fit nicely with the weird and wonderful world that Rayman inhabits.
The environments are nicely re-worked in HD and they all have the characteristics of Rayman’s world but there just doesn’t feel like that big a world. That is in part due to the small size of most levels and the linearity that they all possess. Characters all look nice in HD though the Knaaren do look a little underwhelming as they are more of a mass of brown colours with few discernible features.
The story is alright, nothing new but nothing too derivative. It’s not particularly captivating and the progression through levels gets very linear. Luckily the graphic style of the game still holds the character of the Rayman games and reminds you that it is still worth playing through.
Presentation and Audio
The HD environments and characters look nice but there just isn’t enough to the environments. The voice acting is annoying at best; which is what it’s going for but it lacks the humour that other games in the series had going for it.
There is still some solid platforming fun to be had but the new offerings tend to just replace more common mechanics while making them more awkward. Powers are never as fleshed out as they need to be with their one main use and levels get very samey because of having to repeat the same “puzzles”. Bonus levels are tacked on but considering you get these without paying more its hard to complain.
It is an average platformer if only for its lack of following through with ideas. Anyone who is a fan of Rayman may be a little disappointed that it doesn’t reach the same heights that Rayman 2 or Origins has but it is still a reasonable romp through Rayman’s distinctive world.
Rayman has always had his place in gaming and the fact that Rayman 2 has been released on most consoles shows that he is still relevant. Rayman 3 being re-released in HD instead of Rayman 2 can only be because of the numerous times 2 has been ported but as it is by far the strongest of the two games it is quite strange that this got the remake over the other. It is by no means a bad game but it definitely hasn’t aged as well as its predecessor which has earned its remakes despite you make of the quality of the port.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.