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Rayman 3 HD Review

Another HD remake has found its way to the PSN Network and Xbox Live Arcade in the form of Rayman 3 HD and it must be said that Ubisoft have done a great job in giving the 2003 platformer a smooth new look.

That's not to say the game looks brand-spanking new, as character models and animation are clearly reminiscent of the old PS2 days. However, the rough edges have been filed away, pixellation is less prominent and most impressively the frame rate is as smooth as it gets. In short, it probably looks as good as you remember your games on the PS2 looking, rather than how they actually did look.

In Rayman 3 an evil Black 'Lum' (flying fairy-type things) named André is turning all the nice Red Lums into evil doers like himself. This army of evil Black Lums then take it upon themselves to dress up in hooded sack outfits (becoming 'Hoodlums'), pick up some guns and set out to take over the world. Things take a turn for the surreal when your pal Globox accidentally swallows André during your attempt to thwart this takeover attempt. Swallowing André is causing no end of trouble for Globox and so Rayman sets out to find a doctor (several doctors in fact) who can help alleviate this digestive problem.

Gameplay in Rayman 3 HD is fairly simple. Each level is fairly short and Rayman must get from start to finish by smacking around a few Hoodlums, jumping around platforms and getting through, over and around obstacles blocking his path. Throw in the occasional boss battle and that's about all she wrote.

To defeat his enemies Rayman throws punches – literally. Rayman can throw his fist out from his body a few feet to strike from a short distance and by locking onto enemies and turning while attacking can even throw his fists in a sideways loop around obstacles or defences. His other main ability involves spinning his hair to create a kind of helicopter rotor blade effect, allowing you to hover for a short distance.

Unfortunately controlling Rayman is not as fun as in other platform titles; He isn't as fast as Sonic, nor is he as agile as Mario. Mix this with an occasionally obstructive camera angle and platforming here unfortunately feels a little slow and dated.

To mix things up a bit Rayman can make use of power ups available throughout each level which change his outfit and grant special abilities – such as gloves which fire mini whirlwinds, spiked gloves which pack an extra powerful punch or chain gloves that shoot...well, chains. These items are more often used to progress past obstacles than they are to fight enemies with. For example, spiked gloves let you smash through wooden barriers and chain gloves let you swing from floating hooks.

A typical level consists of the following: Enter new area, kill Hoodlums and/or complete platforming section, collect power up, use power up to pass obstacle, enter new area, etc.... Occasionally the game will throw something different at you such as a boss battle – which are nicely varied and quite fun – or something more unusual (no spoilers, but there are one or two weird moments). Unfortunately these moments are few and far between and in general the gameplay, whilst fun at first, can become repetitive.

A rather unusual move is the decision to have high scores for each level based on picking up collectable treasures. This requires both exploration to ensure hidden treasures are found and speed as Rayman gets a combo bonus for picking up multiple treasures in quick succession. At the end of each level the score is awarded as a numerical value, a percentage and a 5-star rating – why have just one when you can have three?

The reason this is an unusual move is that there is no option to replay an individual level once you have completed it, so if you are determined to improve your score the only way to do so is to start from the beginning of the chapter and play up to the level you are trying to improve. There are nine chapters which average at around five or six levels each, so if you miss the high score on the last level in a chapter you have a way to go before getting back there again. Missed it second time around? Yup, back to the beginning you go again I'm afraid.

The points you get from scoring are used to unlock several mini games for your enjoyment. Most are fairly basic experiences including a taking part in a tennis match between hoodlums, or playing as a bomb-throwing hoodlum on a tower trying to keep monsters away. These act as minor distractions at best. However, the first mini game unlocked is a 2D platformer which is a fairly enjoyable game in its own right, although it can be frustratingly difficult and involves a lot of trial and error.

Rayman 3 HD is not a bad game by any standards and there is fun to be had during a play through, but it is fair to say that the gameplay is definitely showing its age. The obstructive camera pops up from time to time, platforming is not as fast or smooth as modern titles and the action is formulaic and gets quite repetitive after a while. However, as a sub-£10 download there is enough here to keep platformer fans happy and the HD update will no doubt please fans of the original 2003 game.

6.50/10 6½

Rayman 3 HD (Reviewed on PlayStation 3)

Game is enjoyable, outweighing the issues there may be.

Another HD remake has found its way to the PSN Network and Xbox Live Arcade in the form of Rayman 3 HD and it must be said that Ubisoft have done a great job in giving the 2003 platformer a smooth new look.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Ross D. Brown

Ross D. Brown

Writer

Ross has been with GameGrin since February 2012 and acted as Site Editor until late 2014. He is also a proud Northerner.

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