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Rayman Legends Review

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On 09/05/2013 at 12:00 PM by Nick DiMola

One of the best modern day platformers.

For all fans of platformers and incredibly well-made games.

Two years ago, Rayman hit the scene with one of his most inspired adventures yet. It took series staples and wove them into one of the most beautiful and interesting platformers I’d ever seen. Well, Rayman Legends is now here and it somehow manages to surpass Rayman Origins in every way imaginable. It applies the same great platforming to gorgeous new inspired worlds and even manages to make it enjoyable for more than one concurrent player this time around.

Just like the last time, each world in the game is themed and offers a healthy selection of levels to fully realize that theme. Rather than continue with the basic elemental-rooted worlds, Legends opts for a more diverse repertoire. Medieval castles, Dia de los Muertos (complete with Luchadores), and an extensive underwater complex are just a sampling of the environments realized in Rayman Legends. They’re bursting with so much life and humor, you can’t help but smile as you make your way through each level.

The presentation of these levels is equally as inspired. Instead of the typical world map, levels are represented as paintings in an extensive gallery. As you traverse the gallery and complete the levels, more doors and new areas open up. While only a minor and insignificant part of the game in the grand scheme of things, it’s a showcase of the level of work that went into every small detail. These details come together into an extremely immersive experience where hours will melt away as you play.

Of course, Rayman Legends isn’t just style with no substance; au contraire – the substance is possibly even greater than the style. The silky smooth platforming you remember from Origins is back and even smoother here, which is a necessity. Legends offers up a stiff challenge with levels that require absolute precision. You’ll often find yourself running up walls, making perfectly-timed jumps, and exploring every nook and cranny of every level to uncover the ten hidden Teensies and a plethora of Lums to achieve a gold medal.

The precision necessary is amplified in the new Invasion and musically themed levels that punctuate each world. In both instances, you need to execute at the highest level and in perfect sync to make it to the end in the prescribed time limit. The musically themed levels are an absolute joy and one of my favorite parts of the whole game. Running, jumping, and attacking to the beat of the music is the core function, but like everything else, there’s so much personality woven into it, you can’t help but smile.

Perhaps equally as impressive are the new Murfy levels, specifically on the Wii U with another player. If you remember the brouhaha that stirred up earlier this year, you’d remember that the game was delayed so it could release not only on the once exclusive Wii U, but across the other platforms as well. After playing through the game, it’s quite clear that Rayman Legends is not only best on Wii U, but designed to be played there. The GamePad’s touch screen plays a vital role in these new levels and playing them without that function would revoke much of the charm and magic that makes them special.

Part of the beauty of the touch screen function is that anybody can pick it up and play it. You don’t need another gamer in the house -- no matter who grabs the Wii U GamePad, they’re going to have a blast working together to best the challenges presented by Rayman Legends.

Players can take up the role of Murfy in just about every level in the game, but there are certain ones that absolutely require his assistance. Using the touch screen, you’ll move impediments out of the way, carve a pathway through a solid wall for traversal, drag items towards the character on the screen so they can be retrieved, and even act as the propulsion and navigation during pseudo-shoot-‘em-up segments. As the game progresses, the touch screen player needs to become more and more proficient and observant to conquer the mounting challenges. On the other end of the equation, the platforming players need to implicitly trust their partner and constantly communicate as they rush through the levels. The feeling of moving in tandem to accomplish these feats is unrivaled. It’s one of the most thrilling cooperative functions I’ve experienced in a game yet.

Augmenting this already healthy helping of content are retooled levels from Origins, Kung Foot, and constantly revolving challenges with worldwide leaderboards. At first, I felt the inclusion of the levels from Origins was an odd choice, but the added collectibles make them a worthy retread for veterans of the original release. For newbies, this is a ton of extra content that nearly matches up to the new content featured in Legends.

Kung Foot is a surprisingly great multiplayer romp, allowing for players to compete head to head in a soccer-like game. In a single “room” players are dropped with a bouncing soccer ball that they must hit into the opponents goal, while defending their own. With the ability to also smash your opponents, there’s some great competition and hilarious antics to be had in this mode. In a college dorm setting, I could see this mode receiving hours of play despite its simplicity.

After you’ve exhausted everything else in Rayman Legends, new challenges will be available on a daily and weekly basis. These test not only your platforming mettle, but demonstrate how you stack up against the whole world’s population of Rayman players. They’re a great way to keep you coming back for more, even after you’ve completed all of the traditional content in the game.

I find myself continuously impressed with Rayman Legends. It has singlehandedly provided some of the best platforming and best cooperative modes I’ve experienced in years, all with a ton of character. I wholeheartedly recommend you grab this game on the Wii U and rope in a family member or friend to tackle this joyous experience.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.




09/05/2013 at 04:16 PM

Is it September already? Time to save up for Grand Theft Auto V...

Seriously, they couldn't have given the Wii U a timed exclusive for even a little while? Not even to ease the pain of early adopters and make more money in the long run? That was a bunch of crap that they pulled on the fans of the original, and I'm half tempted to not purchase this based solely off of principle. Also, shame on Nintendo for not even attempting to get exclusivity. I guess they were saving their money so they could bank it on the 2DS. (sic)


09/05/2013 at 04:54 PM

I really wanna buy this game and while I could buy it on my ps3 right now I really want the wii u verison so Im waiting on that until September 20th. I enjoyed Origins so Im excited to play this!

Jon Lewis Staff Writer

09/05/2013 at 05:46 PM

I cant wait to pick this one up for Wii U. Been hearing nothing but great things about it. 


09/05/2013 at 08:12 PM

Bad Nick! Now I want to buy another game and I really shouldn't. LOL

Remy LeBeau

09/06/2013 at 02:22 AM

I'm really looking forward to this one. Thanks for the review Nick!


09/06/2013 at 04:48 PM

The Rayman games are so gorgeous and even though the platforming drives me crazy, I have to see this game in action on my TV.


09/16/2013 at 12:30 PM

Yesterday I remembered that I'd downloaded this on my PS3 so I checked out the 3 levels I was given and, wow, I really enjoyed it. The demo has replay value as you try to find and see everything. I'm not great at platformers so this should keep me busy until the price comes down. 


09/20/2013 at 04:43 PM

Those screenshots just make me go crazy with anticipation. Those guys working the Ubiart Framework program are so creative. And the music! The whole package is so exciting!

Super Step Contributing Writer

12/22/2014 at 04:12 PM

mothman sent me here. Nice review, Nick! 

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