Rayman Origins Review: A Wonderful Coat of Paint on a Stale Genre

After an eight-year hiatus, Ubisoft’s limbless icon jumps back into the fray for a hearty helping of action. Sure, Rayman returned to the spotlight a while back in the 2006 spin-off Raving Rabbids series, but a dedicated platforming game is something that hasn’t been seen in years from the series. Luckily this game does not disappoint. Instead it manages push and raise the bar for the platforming genre, something it so desperately needs.

Rayman Origins is a fantastic game through and through. The game takes place before the rest of the Rayman games, though it’s not as if it really matters. Rayman games were never about the plot, rather they were always about gameplay and humor. And that’s where this game shines through and through.

The game is fun, quirky, and best of all, challenging. Getting through a level is easy enough, but obtaining every collectible item in it definitely isn’t. Each level has a high score to beat, cages to find, and the occasional time trial, for those who enjoy a nice speed run. Controls are tight, precise, and most importantly, simplistic. There are no overly difficult maneuvers to master whatsoever, simply pick up and play either on your own or with a group of friends.

Origins reinvigorates a genre that is sadly growing stale. Setting this game apart from its platforming brethren is the gorgeously animated scenery. Lush forests, the deep ocean, frozen mountain tops; it’s all there with bright and vivid colors that are simply a joy to stare at. Rayman and pals make their way through this vibrant world to save the adorable pink Electoons and the ridiculously voluptuous Pig-Latin speaking Nymphs. Each Nymph grants Rayman a new ability, allowing him to cover new ground that had been previously unavailable.

Complimenting the terrific visuals of the game is the equally impressive soundtrack. Its overly chippy tune is sure to get a smile on your face every time you play. There’s a variety of great instrumentation ranging from banjos, to ukuleles, to Spanish guitars, and merry vocals. Though rather than describe the music, its much better to have a listen yourself:

The Vita version of the game sacrifices multiplayer in favor of touch screen controls and an exclusive set of collectible items to find. Secret Relics are an additional set of items scattered throughout numerous levels of the game. When all are obtained, they create a set of humorous murals in the Snoring Tree hub world that depict a bit of history about Rayman and his large blue friend Globox. Just a small hint: be sure to wear headphones while looking for these or you’ll be tapping the screen forever.

In a generation where many games begun to enter a phase of harsh mundanity, Origins steps in and introduces a wonderfully fresh coat of paint to its genre. It’s a game that is as fun as it is challenging and it’ll guarantee to keep you coming back for more of its magic.

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