Rayman is back, again for more glorious platforming and teensy rescuing except this time in full HD and of course the coveted 1080p/60fps which has become the goal post for next generation. However are the pretty graphics and a re-release on next generation enough to entice you to step back into Rayman?
You begin Rayman Legends HD shortly after an introductory cut scene that shows Rayman has been asleep for 100 years and when he is awoken, enemies have run rampid once again and without a second to spare, you’re off! Rayman starts out with simple running, jumping, and punching, but before you know it you’re sneaking past dozens of deadly traps, battling huge bosses, or playing through awesome challenge levels that with have you singing along to Black Betty and Jessie’s girl.
The first thing you will notice when playing Rayman Legends HD on next generation consoles, and in our case the Xbox One version is that there are absolutely no loading times. Gone is the silhouette background from the previous generation version which allowed you to control Rayman for a few moments before the level commences. The sheer processing power of the next generation consoles could handle those loading situations in a breeze.
Rayman Legends HD certainly has a wealth of content to explore. You begin in the Main Gallery where you can play the main game levels; you can progress by earning more lums which unlock more doors or levels. Each level appears as a picture so to speak that you can jump into albeit like the original Super Mario 64! Also available are other features and worlds to explore such as “Heroes” which allows you to select your character as you unlock more and more as you progress. Next are the “Challenges” which are updated on a daily basis and require you to compete to beat records set in order to unlock various trophies. For example the daily challenge we participated in at the time of review required you to fall for the longest distance possible, dodging spikes and more until you eventually die. This is a great addition that will certainly keep the competitive gamers enthralled for months to come.
Next, there was another mode called “Kung Foot” which is essentially a quick soccer match for you and your friends that involves scoring goals. Each goal is met with an astounding roar from the crowd enemies and is quite funny and enjoyable side mode. Next, there is “Origins mode” which essentially takes levels from the original Rayman Origins and has you complete new tasks such as finding 10 teensy’s in a level. It’s a load of fun as well and will definitely increase the longevity of the game. Finally there is the creature’s area which essentially is a showcase of the characters you have unlocked either via the main game or through lottery tickets. Oh and I almost forgot, throughout the game you’ll receive lottery tickets that you can scratch which give you bonus such as unlocking Rayman Origins stages, to earning more teensy’s and lums to reach your goal faster.
There is certainly many ways you can play Rayman Legends HD, the story mode, multiplayer or the original Rayman levels. No matter what you choose there is a stack to do here and there is more than enough gameplay here. Further, if you’re a gamer that likes to find all collectables and earn that gold trophy for each level, then you’ll have your work cut out for you nevertheless as there is a wealth of things to collect and unlock.
Throughout the story mode you’ll encounter some boss fights which I must say can actually be quite difficult and require quite a few hits in order to defeat them. However as with most platformer’s, once you learn the enemies movements, it becomes easier to knock them down, so always try and memorise their movements. But, when you defeat them, the roar from the crowd is amazing.
Another change to Rayman Legends HD is the use of the B button which controls murphy. Its murphy’s job to open and close paths for Rayman, raise and lower ledges, slice ropes and more. It’s a good addition to the series but does feel a little out of place.
Graphics and Sound
Visually Rayman Legends HD is very bright and colourful and keeps that magical platforming charm that you’ve come to love from Origins. Each character is well designed and the levels are also very well laid out with awesome visual effects such as fire and smoke. Each level fills full of colour and detail that make you actually stop and admire the environment. Also, the graphics never slow down no matter how much action is on the screen at once. Rayman Legends HD is a game that has a high level of polish on it.
The jump to next generation has been one that I still can’t quite put my finger on, but I’ll explain what that jump actually represents. Rayman Legends HD doesn’t feel like a jump from Black and White to Colour TV (for those around to remember it), more so it feels like an evolution of what was already available on say Xbox 360/PS3. Given the cartoon style graphics of the game, an increase in power and visuals is not marked with an immediate “oh my goodness” type of reaction. In fact the improvement can be explained more as a refinement of the visuals in terms of clarity and fidelity, i.e. the visuals felt far smoother, brighter and sharper but not to the highest degree imaginable. This is due to the art style of the game that masks the need for in depth visuals given the cartoony nature of the title, as opposed to say a game that is focused on realism instead where the difference can be very noticeable.
One thing for certain is the increase in visual fidelity and game speed has allowed Rayman Legends HD to feel very fast and fluid in terms of gameplay which is honestly the key to a solid experience. In terms of audio, the same cute sounds of the Lums are back, with little jingles that play in the background. The Rock stages are the best which have you run and jump to the music, such as Black Betty. These are no doubt my favourite levels.
Rayman Legends HD can also be played solo or via co-op play. In fact, you can have up to four players playing at once making for some crazy mayhem action. Sometimes I’d get confused as to whom I was, but you soon realise your dead and need reviving. It’s not a bad feature; it just helps to be able to identify your character from the others, so try to pick someone whom is different to you. Rayman Legends HD is a stack of fun with a group of friends and I encourage you to give it a go.
Rayman Legends HD is once again a pleasure to play. Building on the strengths of Rayman Origins, Rayman Legends HD raises the bar even further offering so much gaming content, you will always have something to do. The games controls are simple, and it’s so easy to get deeply immersed in the game which also has a host of collectibles and challenges to complete. Rayman Legends HD is an absolute gem to play and a true platforming title to rival even the best. However, I must advise that if you have already played and completed Rayman Legends on last generation’s hardware then you won’t find anything new here, aside from the improved visuals, game speed and faster loading times. However if you skipped over Rayman Legends towards the end of last generation, then this is an absolute must buy for any gamer.