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Rayman Legends Review

Rayman Legends Review

In fact, Legends is generally a tougher game than Origins, even away from the Murfy stages. One level might see you having to chase an evil Teensy wizard through an enormous bamboo structure as it crumbles, while another involves Rayman being chased by an enormous red sea-snake. Completely new to the series are boss-fights that involve battling a giant floating armoured toad or huge muscle-bound Luchadore. In addition there are "Invaded" versions of each new stage, which add extra enemies to a level, and a hardcore version of forty levels from Origins.

Rayman Legends Review
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By far the best levels, though are the musical numbers that close each of the worlds Rayman explores. Here Rayman needs to move in time to musical covers of popular songs. Again, the highlight is probably the Day of the Dead- themed world, with its Mariachi-Band version of "Eye of the Tiger," but each has its own charm and they are generally a fantastic way to celebrate the completion of a world. The only issue is getting it wrong, and having to go back to a checkpoint rather spoils the mood.

Although some worlds are definitely better than others, the games' aesthetic style is strong and wildly imaginative throughout, and while each world has a distinctive theme, the individual levels differ radically. The fourth world, 20,000 Lums under the sea, goes from seeing Rayman stranded on a desert island, to exploring a Rapture-inspired underwater city scored with James-Bond style music, and populated by evil frog-henchmen sporting Sam-Fisher-esque Night Vision goggles.

Rayman Legends Review
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While Legend's style is unquestionably brilliant, its structure is less inspiring. Each world is very formulaic and artificial in terms of how it organises its levels. There's always a level that involves being chased by something. There's always a level that involves chasing something, and each world finishes with a Boss fight followed by the musical finale. This regimented structure of the game is strangely at odds with the organic approach to artistry and game design contained within those levels. Legends begins as a game full of surprises, but because of how it is structured, those surprises fade away.

Rayman Legends Review
Click to enlarge

There's also the problem of immediacy. Legends is by and large a fast, immediate experience, getting you right into the action as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this means anything that breaks that pace becomes that much more noticeable. This may seem like an unfair thing to pick up on, but some of these issues were present in Origins and have not been changed. For example, hidden away in the levels are doors which give access to special, puzzle based rooms, if you fail in these rooms, the game re-starts outside the room rather than inside, putting another loading screen between you and the game each time this happens.

Still, these are tiny quibbles in what is a thrilling, spectacular and completely delightful platform game. Mario had better keep one eye over his shoulder, because Rayman is rapidly catching up with him.

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