Game review: Rayman Legends

Prepare to be filled with glee in this sequel to 2011's Rayman Origins, as you revel in its 2-D side-scrolling platform splendour.

Rather than reinvent the formula, developer Ubisoft Montpellier polishes this sequel up into something quite significant.

If you have played any Super Mario Bros title recently, you will get the hang of Rayman Legend's polished controls pretty quickly.

You will be jumping, gliding and sprinting your way through more than 90levels of devilish platforms, using the many series characters, such as the limbless titular hero Rayman, to the barbarian princess Barbara.

Expect to be outrunning sea monsters in James Bond-esque underwater bases, as well as zipping through a cartoonish Mount Olympus.

Players can even morph into a duck and navigate through marzipan mazes while getting chased by centipedes.

As zany as it sounds, players will find it difficult not to love every insane minute of it, either playing alone or alongside friends.

Part of the appeal is the game's lovely art that screams personality and energy. You will be drawn in by the sight of a castle under siege by overweight dragons and impish knights, and be wowed by a landscape tailored after the Mexican Day of the Dead festival.

The game's level design is not only creative, but is also engineered and tailored to Rayman and company's way of moving and gliding.

From the music that is synced with the jumping and running to the stages that require you to command the frog-like Murfy character to shift obstacles that bar your progress, the game presents new challenges that you will not tyre of easily.

Like all platformers, things can get brutal further into the game but players will enjoy the generous checkpoints and flawless controls.

Rayman Legends may be similar in style to the Super Mario games created by Nintendo, but it possesses its own unique structure, charisma and pacing to make it stand out.

In other words, Ubisoft's effort is the perfect antidote to wash away the bile of seriousness that has been plaguing today's action and shooter games.

Jonathan Leo is a freelance writer and ex-editor of online gaming news site Gamespot Asia

Rating: 9/10

Price: $64.90 (PS3), $60.90 (Xbox 360, version tested), $52.90 (PC), $56.90 (PS Vita)

Genre: Platform/action

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