Rayman is back and better than ever! This 2D platformer will delight gamers of all ages and silence critics who claim that old-school side-scrollers no longer have a place in today’s modern consoles.
Those twenty years old and above may be familiar with Rayman, the lovable brainchild of designer Michel Ancel, who made its self-titled debut in 1996. Rayman quickly became a runaway hit, winning multiple awards and becoming the highest selling Playstation game of all time in the UK. However, that was way back in the day when side-scrollers were all the rage. Can Rayman Origins for the Wii manage to dazzle players with its 2D magic despite being in a 3D-exposed gaming generation?
Miraculously, the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, Rayman Origins puts to shame many of its modern contemporaries with its simplistic but stylistic hand-drawn graphics, lighthearted gameplay, addicting collectibles, and challenging difficulty.
The story starts off with Rayman and his friends taking a nap in the Glade of Dreams. Unfortunately, their loud snoring disturbs the dark denizens in the Land of the Livid Dead right below them, and Rayman and his pals are subsequently captured and their world invaded. As Rayman frees himself from his cage, the quest to hunt down the bad guys and free the captured Electoons begins.
From this simple premise, the adventure begins. The Wii Rayman Origins game utilizes standard platforming gameplay wherein you jump and navigate yourself out of traps and obstacles. Rayman has a variety of abilities that slowly improve as you make your way into the game. In the beginning, you can only do basic movements like jumping and running, but as you progress into more difficult levels, you’ll soon gain other skills such as being able to run up walls, glide in midair, and shrink yourself down to size.
The basic objective is to make it all the way across the level from left to right, collecting various objects in your path – like the golden coins called “lums” – until you make it through to the end. There, you’ll usually have to face a boss battle and eventually free the captured Electoons. The Rayman Origins Wii game also has a shooter portion wherein you ride on top of a giant mosquito and blast enemies away.
Rayman Origins shines in its graphics, which are spectacular to behold. Despite being in 2D, the backdrops and atmosphere of the various levels are extremely colorful and well-designed. From the lush trees of an ancient jungle ruin to an underwater cavern teeming with strange marine life, the visuals are so varied that you’ll rarely find recycled artwork. Furthermore, they are drawn in such a unique manner that it makes you want to pause the game just so you can admire the scenery.
In terms of audio, Rayman Origins also comes through with flying colors. The characters have virtually no dialogue and only utter a bunch of cute gibberish grunts and squeals, but it allows the storyline to flow quite naturally. The sound choreography is also expertly created to fit the different moods of the levels.
Rayman Origins has a drop-in drop-out coop mode where up to four people can play at a time. The game’s difficulty is decreased since there are now three extra people to help out, but Rayman Origins compensates by making play more chaotic, allowing you to hinder and hit your buddies ingame.
Controls are extremely tight, and the Wii senses all your actions accurately. The game can be played Nunchuk style or in standard horizontal position.
There are virtually no downsides to this game other than the occasional frustration when you find yourself stuck at a particularly difficult platforming and puzzle section. However, the game comes up with a nice solution in the form of numerous checkpoints that allow you to pick up right where you left off, saving you the trouble of having to repeat a level from the beginning in case you lose a life.
Rayman Origins can be played on the Wii using the standard Wii remote. It has a cooperative multiplayer mode for up to four people.
Rayman Origins is one of the best games on the Wii. You don’t often hear praises about the Wii’s graphical capabilities, but this game has such incredible 2D visuals that it would make anyone do a double take. With an engaging storyline, multiplayer coop, solid gameplay, and tight controls, Rayman Origins proves that platforming side-scrollers can still take on the best of them.