Rayman Legends (Review) Wii U

Rayman Legends (Review) Wii U
Review Score:

The heroes of the Glade are under a spell that has kept them snoring and yawning for well over a century. While the heroes sleep, the demons and terrifying nightmares that threaten the well-being of the dream Glade continue to multiply. As Rayman, your mission is to wake the legendary heroes to have them assist you in defeating the evil.

Rayman is joined by a host of heroes to help aid him in his quest. Aside from Globox and the Teensies returning as playable characters, Barbara and her sisters join the cast once they are rescued. For longtime fans of the series, Murfy the greenbottle from Rayman 2: The Great Escape makes his return as an ‘assist’ character for challenges that require the Gamepad’s touch screen (more on this shortly). Different variations of Rayman also exist and can be unlocked as you progress through the game

On the surface, Rayman Legends appears to be a standard 2D platformer that involves running, jumping and punching enemies. However, it becomes quite clear after an hour of gameplay that Legends is quite special. The game contains some of the most imaginative content ever seen, as you crawl through the insides of rotting fruit to collect Lums and kick soccer balls to free Teensies from cages. Levels come alive as tree branches uncurl as your cross them; mushrooms make ‘farting’ noises when stomped on; and vines retract into the mouths of hungry plants with sharp teeth.

New levels unlock based on the amount of Teensies saved. While it’s not required to collect all the Teensies from one world to unlock another, you do need a specific amount for each sub-level. For example: you don’t have to collect all 72 Teensies from Teensies Trouble to unlock the next world, Toad Story. Each world typically contains a minimum of 8 sub-levels, including a boss encounter and ‘legendary’ hero to free. To unlock these ‘sub-levels’, you must meet the Teensies requirement for each one.

During some levels, the game has you take control of Rayman’s crazy friend, Murfy the greenbottle. These segments require the player to use the Gamepad’s touch screen to manipulate traps and kill enemies as Murphy walks on his own through each level. Depending on the situation, you must use your finger to slide wooden platforms, ‘tickle’ enemies and rub away dirt obstacles to keep the path ahead clear. Later challenges rely on good hand-eye coordination as you must quickly drop the green hero through giant, wooden wheels laden with spikes and across fire-filled chasms occupied by giant fireballs.

Rayman Legends includes 120 levels with 40 of them being remastered from Rayman Origins. To unlock these remastered levels,  the player must collect enough Lucky Tickets to qualify . Plus, the tickets can also award extra Lums and Teensies.

The game also includes new features such as rhythm-based levels and the ability to fire projectile fists at enemies. In addition, daily and weekly leader board challenges add to the replay value as players try to survive the longest in a stage and race against a timer to collect Lums. Additional challenges become available by raising your ‘awareness’; this is achieved by collecting trophies by rescuing Teensies, completing a challenge with a high leader board position or by collecting a large amount of Lums in each level.

There is also a local multiplayer soccer game called Kung Foot. Supporting up to four players, the object is to kick a soccer ball into the opposing team’s wooden goal post. As a standalone game, it is quite addictive and a lot of fun to play with friends.

It’s apparent that Legends was initially a Wii U exclusive. The Gamepad touch controls are incredibly intuitive, responsive to the touch, and one of the best features in Legends. The levels involving Murfy are frantic affairs as you try to avoid obstacles, traps and squish enemies with your finger. Developers should take note of Ubisoft’s use of the Gamepad; it’s not only creative, but it gives the controller purpose.

Rayman Legends is a charming platformer that will entertain gamers of all ages. Its challenging gameplay and unforgettable cast of quirky characters make it a must-have for any Wii U gamer.

Mike Pittaro
Platform:
Wii U
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
ESRB: E 10+ (Everyone 10+)
Price: $59.99

Rayman Legends’ Official Website

Review Score
Graphics
Superb 2D graphics complimented by high quality animation.
Sound
Classic Rayman voiceovers and a compelling soundtrack.
Gameplay
The gameplay is challenging, fun and addictive.
Overall
Wii U gamers owe it to themselves to play Rayman Legends.
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