Rayman Legends (Wii U, PS3, 360, PC, Vita)

RAYMAN_BOXUbisoft’s limbless hero is back! Nightmarish creatures have invaded the Glade of Dreams and now it’s up to Rayman and his many friends to stop them in this artfully crafted 2-D platformer. Rayman Legends is available for nearly all the modern game consoles, but the Wii U version is reviewed here.

In the new game, Rayman and friends hop into paintings and tromp around lush, detailed worlds. Rayman and pals can do everything you’d expect 2-D platforming heroes to do. They can jump, run, wall jump, punch, stomp, and glide in the air. The smooth and fluid play control from Rayman Origins is back, which is a good thing, as you’ll be tasked with plenty of tricky obstacles and jumps. Luckily, the fantastic play control makes everything easier than it looks. Scattered about each level are collectibles for you to find and nab, like Teensies and Lums and other critters and doo-dads. Gather enough of these to unlock more levels, playable characters, and other goodies.

While most of the time, the 2-D platforming is pretty standard fare, there are some instances where it veers off into very creative territory with the music themed levels and touch screen challenges. In the music levels, you are constantly running, and must jump and attack in time with the beat. It’s similar to other games like HarmoKnight or Bit.Trip Runner 2, but it seems like Rayman does it better for some reason. I wish they would make a whole game like this, or at least have more music levels in the main game, as they are really fun.

The other different type of stage uses the Wii U controller touch screen. At certain points in the game, you’ll switch control to a little flying frog/bug thing, and must use the stylus and touch screen to cut ropes and move obstacles around, as well as rotate the controller, to make a safe path for another character that you don’t directly control. These kinds of levels are a bit harder, but a lot of fun regardless. Like the music stages, these levels could’ve been a whole game on their own. I’m not sure how the other versions of Rayman Legends do these kinds of levels, if at all, but it does seem like the Wii U version is the definitive version of the game to get.

Aside from the main game, you can unlock and play levels from Rayman Origins, compete with friends with a four player 2-D soccer style game called Kung Foot, and try your hand at daily and weekly challenges with an online leaderboard! So there is plenty to see and do. Get a high enough rank on a level to earn a scratch card for a chance to unlock more collectibles, levels, and other goodies. You can even unlock outfits that make Rayman and his friend dress up like Mario & Luigi in the Wii U version! Ha! Up to four can play this game simultaneously at nearly any time. If you enjoy 2-D platforming, this is definitely a game you’ll want to get!

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Kid Factor:

Rayman Legends is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Cartoon Violence and Comic Mischief. You can punch, kick, and stomp enemies, but they usually just disappear into a cloud of smoke when defeated. If you get hit, you just blow up like a balloon and pop. Reading is helpful for some of the text, and younger gamers may get frustrated at the more difficult levels. Luckily the whole family can enjoy the game at the same time with the four player co-op feature, but if it’s anything like the New Super Mario Bros. games, it may make it more hectic than anything. You do get endless ‘lives,’ though, and there are checkpoints aplenty. So still a good choice for nearly all ages.

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