Rayman a Retrospective, a Personal PS4 Review

It has been nineteen years since Michael Ancel’s Rayman creation hit our PlayStation One screens back in 1995. With five games under their belt Ubisoft have really milked a dead horse dry, nineteen years on and well a stunningly clear question is formed in my eyes. Should classics be remade, or are they better off left in our childhood? I was born the same year at the first Rayman was released and it was the first ever video game I played, fans of the series will undoubtedly remember the classic platformer, which is the Sony equivalent of Nintendoes’ Mario; I recently fished my PlayStation out of the loft and prayed that I could still play the classic. And maybe, no that I was older, actually get past the third level. I was mistaken.

But that’s not what I want to discuss, the second game in the series Rayman 2: The Great Escape was a hell of a lot easier than it’s predecessor; and therefore the real classic in the series. It is now even available in the App store, and so players who recognise the greatness of this classic will undoubtedly be overwhelmed to see the big mother of a nose staring up at them. But the series soon plummets. Ubisoft attempted a spin off named Raving Rabbids which, although fun and wacky, was aimed at children and I found I had outgrown my favourite childhood character. There was a smaller spin off which was dubbed Rayman Rush, where fans could control their favourite characters and race each other; like all other racing games, the fun wore off and it became clear this game would be nothing more than a rental.

But then Ubisoft pulled out another ace in 21/02/2003 when they created Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. They effectively brought back the serious side of Rayman but still kept the humour, I.E. when Rayman falls on a witch while she is on the crapper, which finishes with players having to play Raman as a frog. This was a truly great game and it did what games never do anymore, they keep a decent quality storyline; so in a way multiplayer has ruined many games that had great potential. {Cough Watchdogs another Ubisoft glitch.} Ubisoft make great games, but do they fall victim to flogging a dead horse? No. Rayman Legends is a fantastic game to play with friends, and perhaps on your own, if like me it takes you back to your childhood; it quite rightly deserves the high reputation that critics awarded it with.

The graphics are as smooth as Rayman’s nose and the gameplay is visually stunning, the levels are comedic much like the older games but it’s too childish. I realise I’m not the targeted age range but Ubisoft was more focussed on making the stunning levels than the storyline, there are five worlds for players to complete and gain gold in (for the perfectionists) and there’s teensies to save too. After that there is no real resolution of massive boss battle, therefore players will be unsure whether or not they’ve actually completed the game. But, an extra mode named Rayman Origins will appeal to the older fans, including levels that the player unlocks on scratch cards within the main campaign, these levels have cameos of old characters such as that weird mosquito thing and a vague reference to the Tarzan level in the very first game.

There is little online to do, the game has daily and weekly challenges that players can compete in but this is very, very, limited. But this is refreshing to see a game where the campaign is valued more than the online, but after completing all the levels, players will undoubtedly feel lost showing that this game is better as a rental. However for perfectionists, there are many things to unlock, from pets named creatures to characters to play as and to yes, you guessed it, more levels. But it’s incrediably frustrating to do so. Ubisoft have proved that classic video games can be revamped, but Rayman Legends if a little easy on the eyes, is nowhere near as good as Rayman 1, 2 or 3.

 But it’s hard to say what games will be considered classics when our generation is replaced by the snap back wielding morons who think that the future Call of Duty 25 is a classic. (This is not actually a game). Are the values of games changing? Campaigns loosing their classic value to the hordes of the multiplayer world. There’s only one way to know, we have to sit back, grit out teeth and keep on playing.