Rayman Origins Review

By Jason D'Aprile - Posted Apr 05, 2011

Rayman is back...for an encore presentation of Rayman 2, one of the best 3D platformers from two generations ago and re-released on more platforms than we can count. This is a straight port of a solid game and still provides fun--if flawed--action for your brand new 3DS.

The Pros
  • Still a fun game after all this time
  • Lots to find and see
  • Terrific level and character design
The Cons
  • Blatant shovelware with nothing new but the 3D effect
  • Camera issues
  • Definitely show its age

Rayman 3D Review: 

With no Mario on the horizon for the 3DS, someone had to pick up the slack. So, on that point, we appreciate Ubisoft for throwing out some kind of gaming personality. Rayman 3D, however, is definitely not the resurgence of the company’s awesome, limbless icon that players were hoping for. This is a straight port of Rayman 2: the Great Escape, an 11-year-old game first released on the N64 and Dreamcast, and since released on many other platforms.

Rayman 3D

A Re-release of a Re-release

We wouldn’t mind this re-release so much if there were any enhancements at all beyond the 3D effect. This is exactly the same game it was back on the N64, right down to the sometimes extreme camera issues and lack of voice acting.

If you can get over that, the fact remains that Rayman 2 was one of the best examples of its genre short of Nintendo’s own Mario games. The character models are endearing, the landscapes beautifully creative, and the challenge level is high. Rayman has always been a fun character to play with and watch, and even after over a decade, that’s still the case.

Platformers haven’t really evolved that much over the years, so the gameplay in Rayman 3D is still remarkably solid. Rayman runs, jumps, climbs, throws his fists, helicopters, and swings through a variety of surreal-looking levels. His ultimate goal is to rescue his world from robotic pirates, and this involves finding four masks, saving his friends, collecting lums and fairy creatures, and generally doing all the things a platformer hero is expected to do.

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All the Old Familiar Places

The camera is mostly stable, but there are still plenty of times when it annoyingly flips on you, faces the wrong direction, or just focuses on a wall. Camera manipulation controls are basic, and sometimes you can’t change the angle at all. The presentation on the 3DS is virtually identical to the original game. While it’s still a charming and colorful adventure, the character models, textures, and level architecture definitely look out dated.

Characters and levels are blocky and angular. The textures are low-res and incredibly flat. The audio is surprisingly minimal as well. The score is great, but sound effects are sparse, and the 3DS version has forgone the voice acting used in the PS2 version and instead relies on the nonsense speak of the original N64 and Dreamcast releases. The use of 3D doesn’t add a whole lot. There are times when particles or creatures fly to the forefront of the screen, and certain areas have great depth, but it’s a minor enhancement on the whole.

Rayman 3D

Been There, Done That

Rayman 3D is still an excellent platformer, despite its age. The problem with the 3DS version is that the game has been done so many times before. If you’re new to Rayman or just really want a decent platformer for the 3DS, this fits the bill. It’s just a real shame that Ubisoft didn’t do anything to actually enhance or improve the game in any meaningful way.

Still want to play it? Why not rent it at Gamefly?