Rayman Legends Review: Ubisoft has created one of the best platformers to come out in a long time and it is a game that everyone needs to play, particularly on the Wii U.
When Rayman Legends was first announced it was revealed as a Wii U exclusive. The Wii U has had a rough first year on the market and because of that Ubisoft decided to put Rayman Legends on other platforms as well. The game was done back in February but it was held back until September to port it to other platforms. During that time the development continued to polish the game and even add some new content, such as bringing in content from Rayman Origins. The extended wait was bad for Wii U owners but after playing this game I can safely say it was worth the wait. Rayman Legends is an absolutely wonderful game and probably the best platformer you will play until the next main Mario title comes out for the Wii U. Rayman Legends is aesthetically pleasing, has great audio and runs brilliantly. If you are a fan of the platform genre (and even if you aren’t) you really need to play this game.
You start out the game as Rayman and it is up to you to save not only your friends but also Teensies. The Teensies are spread out throughout the levels and by collecting these little guys you will open up new levels, new doors and new secrets. As you roam around the hub world you will notice that there are paintings everywhere and that you enter a level by simply jumping into a painting. For me it brought back memories of Mario 64. The variety of the levels and the worlds is really impressive here. You will start out with the “Teensies in Trouble” world and then unlock vastly different worlds such as “Fiesta de los Muertos,” “20,000 Lums Under the Sea” and more. As you can imagine each world has its own look and some of the gameplay mechanics might be a bit different. The first level of “Teensies in Trouble” is pretty much a straight platformer whereas the first level in “20,000 Lums Under the Sea” has you swimming under water, for example. As you progress in the game and save more Teensies you will be able to rescue your friends. Friends such as Barbara, Aurora, Estelia and more are locked away and you need to rescue them. If you go into the Heroes gallery you are even given a tiny bit of insight into each character such as Estelia being a princess from the “Fiesta de Los Muertos” world and how she is a partier but was the first to rise up against the enemy when her world was attacked. For the Wii U version there are even some Nintendo influences such as Ray Plumber which is essentially Rayman dressed up in a Mario costume.
In addition to the main levels of the game there are also other things to occupy your time. There are both daily and weekly challenges for you to take part in where you try and beat your friends and opponents score. There is also a weekly challenge which gives you a little extra time to learn the what you have to do and get the highest score you possibly can. In addition to the normal challenges there are also extreme challenges to unlock that will provide more of a challenge. Then you have the “Kung Foot” game you can play with friends via local co-op that is sort of like soccer where you are trying to score goals against your friend. It is a lot of fun and it is a shame it isn’t available online. There is also the Back to Origins content where you can play such world as Jibberish Jungle and Desert of Dijiridoos. There is a tremendous amount of content for you to play here and if you are someone that wants to get everything in a game then you will be spending a fair amount of time trying to collect everything and master every level.
With Rayman Legends being on the Wii U that means there is some cool things you can do with the GamePad. Rayman Legends was made with the Wii U in mind as I mentioned above and it shows with the GamePad functionality. For starters Rayman Legends does feature a “TV off mode” so you can play the game completely on the GamePad in case someone else needs to use the television. When you are in the hub world the GamePad gives you a few different options such as looking at “My Stuff” which gives you details on how you are doing, your statistics, your cups ranking and more. There is a Leaderboard category where you can check to see how many cups you have won, how you are doing in the daily and weekly challenge, how many enemies you have beaten so far and more. If you have earned some Lucky Tickets then you can press that button and use the stylus to scratch off the tickets on the screen like you are scratching off a real life lottery ticket. Then you also have some shortcuts where you can quickly go to the Heroes Gallery or the Main Gallery when applicable. During Gameplay is when the GamePad truly shines though. There are some stages where you will take control of Sir Globrax and use the GamePad to maneuver him through the stages. You might have to cut a rope by making a slash gesture on the screen to let him get buy or touch a platform to raise or lower it so he can advance to the next level. At times there will be enemies shooting up from the ground and you’ll want to take them out by touching them on the touch screen as Sir Globrax tries to get through the area. You don’t have direct control over Globrax here and your main priority is to make sure he gets to his destination by manipulating the environment. That might be raising and lowering platforms, taking out enemies by touching them on the screen or tilting the GamePad itself so the platform you are on will in the right way to allow Sir Globrax to proceed. Then there are other levels that are just like a music video where your actions are perfectly time to the music so it is almost as if you are creating the music yourself just by running through the level. It was done really well and is a tremendous amount of fun to play. The GamePad really adds to the experience and I don’t really see how the other platforms can replicate that.
You can play Rayman Legends with up to four people locally (five on Wii U if you count the GamePad) and it can be a tremendous amount of fun. It can also be a bit confusing during the hectic action to try and keep track of your character but that is a standard problem in all of these types of games. The person using the GamePad here will essentially be an assistant to the other four players and help out by flipping switches in the environment or doing anything else that might need to be done to help the four players advance. It is a lot of fun to play with friends in the same room but the one flaw in Rayman Legends is the lack of online play. As much fun as local multiplayer is I also want to be able to play with a friend that lives across the country from me. It would make and already great game that much more fun and is a definite misstep by the development team at Ubisoft.
Rayman Legends really is a tremendous amount of fun to play. Short of the lack of online multiplayer I don’t have any complaints about the game. It runs brilliantly on the Wii U and the GamePad adds to the experience. Adding in some content from Rayman Origins was a nice touch since Wii U owners were made to wait an extra seven months from this game and the ongoing challenges are nice for those who will play this game on a regular basis. The art style is beautiful, the environments are varied and fleshed out nicely and the soundtrack was done really well. Overall Rayman Legends is the best Rayman game yet and a definite masterpiece by Ubisoft. It was worth the long wait for this game and I highly encourage everyone to go out and get this game for the Wii U. You won’t be sorry as you go through quite possibly the best platformer this year.