Rayman Origins sees the return of this long forgotten hero. The story, if there really is one, finds Rayman in charge of freeing the lands fairies in hopes to save the land from evil. Again, there’s not much to it, but the gibbering characters and colorful worlds is enough of a reason to quest forward. Despite the lack of narrative, the characters also give off a sense of charm and personality.
Story be damned! Rayman Origins harks back to classic platformers, like Mario, where story is secondary to the gameplay. And boy is the gameplay superb: crisp, tight, fun. This 2D side-scroller is accessible for all especially with the drop in, drop out co-op (of up to four players). Still, while it is friendly to all, it also caters to the hardcore as well with extra collectables, time runs, and other secrets held only for the best players. The balance between the two is fantastic and again, it’s fun for all ages.
Who could talk about the gameplay without gushing about design? Levels feel like cartoon panels in motion as characters run from left to right, like each new frame is being drawn in.: colorful, inventive, gorgeous. Each level and world has new themes built around it from a mundane, but stunning, jungle level to an ice level riddled with food like it’s a freezer. The music is catchy and the babbling characters are charming. With lots to do and plenty to see, Rayman Origins will keep players busy for a long stretch.
Rayman Origins is an excellent reboot of the franchise. The lack of narrative is a tad disappointing, but the humor and oddball characters sort of make up for that. Plus the beautiful graphics, excellent art design, and addictive, tight gameplay make this a perfect package. To those unfamiliar with Rayman before and who desire a new inventive platformer harking back to the days of Super Mario World, well, Rayman Origins is it. It’s a must play before tackling the next game, Rayman Legends, due out soon.
Score: 4/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on July 26, 2013 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.