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Xbox One Review: Rayman Legends – Legendary Indeed

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The Rayman series was once forgotten. It started in 2D and moved to 3D in the second game for the N64. In true sequel fashion, the third Rayman game kept true to the style of The Great Escape but adding more to the gameplay to create a better experience. The franchise came back on the Wii for a period of time three years after Hoodlum Havoc (Rayman 3) which was on the Gamecube. This game exploded in popularity and it appeared the Rayman series was going to be going strong. Sadly a slew of rabbid spinoff games were created and quite a few gamers got sick of it. In 2011 Rayman Origins rose to fame and It brought back what Rayman fans wanted, classic 2D platforming goodness. Two years later Rayman Legends is released. It garnered some unwanted criticism due to the release of Legends. It was intended on being a Wii U exclusive title, but Ubisoft delayed the release of the game to release it alongside the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC platforms. Now since we have the new generation of consoles, the game has been released for Xbox One and PS4. They have some added functionality not to mention higher resolution graphics. If you already own Legends on another platform, is it really worth getting on the Xbox One or PS4?

Michel Ancel, the celebrated creator of Rayman®, Beyond Good & Evil®, and the Raving Rabbids®, returns to unleash his innovative creativity on this new entry into the Rayman® franchise. When Rayman, Globox, and the Teensies discover a mysterious tent filled with captivating paintings, they are suddenly transported to a series of mythical new worlds.

The paintings thing kind of makes me laugh since that is how Mario 64 was done, but it is a rather tasteful way to organize your world selection for a 2D game. Legends is a direct sequel to Origins so if you haven’t beating Origins, you may have some questions about who some of these characters are. Nonetheless, the story is pretty nostaglia driven in a sense of the simplicity. Save the worlds from Nightmares and save the Teensies. This was the basis for many stories of games from way back in the Sega vs Nintendo days/

There is a lot of greatness in Rayman Legends. Not only in the nostalgia way, but just in how the game is designed with modern capabilities in mind. This is a a true Rayman game and it just oozes brilliance. It always amazes me what people can do with 2D Platformers in terms of level design. Rayman Legends has a nice blend of linear level design, with freedom. Sure, you can only move to the right of the screen, but there are so many secret areas that Teensies are hiding in, not to mention the cleverness of the mini puzzles located in every level. When you combine this with the eye popping original art that Rayman is known for, you have the makings for one of the best platformers in this generation of gaming.

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I want to take a small moment to talk about the last level of all the Legends Worlds. There are levels that are driven by covers of popular songs. The one most notably acknowledged by people because of the demo was Castle Rock where you play through a level that is choreographed to the tune of Black Betty. Other songs include a Mariachi Rendition of Eye of the Tiger and “Woo Hoo”. To be honest, these levels are the best parts of Rayman Legends. They are placed perfectly at the end of the level. You just beat the main boss, now you can relax and have some fun with the game.

The game has even progression as well. Sure unlocking more levels and worlds requires you to rescue the Teensies hidden in every level but the pacing is so well done, and none of the levels are too long either. So replaying levels is not a tedious task like it is with other collectathon platformers. To assist in your Teensie collecting, you have a large selection from levels that were in Rayman Origins. This was a great addition to the game and a brilliant callback to the previous game.

There are some new additions to the Xbox One and PS4 versions of Rayman Legends. The Xbox One version has two new exclusive unlockable characters as well as achievement oriented challenges that all Xbox One games have. The PS4 version lets you scratch off the lucky tickets with the touchpad, you can share your trophies and such on Facebook, and there is an unlockable character based off Edward Kenway from Assassin’s Creed 4. Are these exclusive additions that make it a defining reason to get the new version? Not at all, but are they welcomed? Hell yes they are.

Rayman Legends has a stellar presentation and offers tons of humor and callbacks that make the experience entertaining. The smooth controls and challenging puzzles keep the game easy to play, but stimulating enough to keep playing after your 15th death. I was very surprised with the game I played and it was difficult to find something wrong with it. Rayman Legends is fun and the replay value is incredibly high. If you already own the game on the PS3, PC, Xbox 360, or Wii U, there is not much reason to get it on the Xbox One or PS4, but if you missed out on those versions, you better go and get this game pronto. I give Rayman Legends a 10/10. 

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