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Rayman Legends Review

by onMar 5, 2014
Just the facts, please.
 
 

When Rayman Legends came out last year for “regular” systems, it introduced more of the fun platforming antics we’ve come to expect from the series since 2011’s amazing Rayman Origins. It also bucked the trend with all-new challenges to overcome, musical levels and plenty of hidden secrets. In short, it did what the first game did, but even better.

Now we come to the “next generation” builds of Legends, and while they may not expand the universe like some fans are hoping, they add the extra layer of polish needed to make them shine. They’re not necessarily director’s cuts, but rather enhancements upon the original release. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Rayman and his cohorts find themselves up against a sinister new enemy force trying to rob the land of dreams, capturing Teensies and simply making a mess of things. Whether on your own or with friends in tow via multiplayer, you’ll find your hands full with enemies big and small, running through castles and swimming underwater to commence Saturday morning-style justice.

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Bossin’ Out: Legends features some of the most epic enemy encounters we’ve ever seen.

All of the gameplay that made the original Legends so special is intact with these new builds. The controls handle perfectly with both versions, and the speed of the game is impressively fast, even during the more visually enhanced frantic runs through collapsing castles and tormented worlds. Furthermore, you’ll find yourself revisiting levels just to locate all the secrets, like Teensies that are hidden away in special rooms and the “one that got away” collectibles that guarantee you a perfect completion of a stage.

There’s a good reason to go after these rewards, and it comes in the form of unlockables. You’ll find collectible pets, bonus outfits and levels from the original Rayman Origins, as well as other goodies that stack up over time. This game’s loaded with so much replay value that you may not find everything it has to offer – unless you’re a true completionist, of course.

Rayman Legends also boasts the best presentation we’ve seen from this series to date. The hand-drawn animations really shine on both the PS4 and Xbox One versions, and the backdrops are fantastic, with multi-layered scrolling we haven’t seen in a game like this in some time. Likewise, the music is excellent, ranging from smooth symphonic melodies to alternate takes on popular tunes, such as “Eye of the Tiger” (with a mariachi band!) to “Black Betty.”

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For Those Who Like To Rock: Rayman’s tunes will keep you jamming throughout.

The gimmicks thrown in to these new versions aren’t much to speak of. The PS4 is probably the most noteworthy, as you can use the TouchPad to take pictures in-game. That’s…about it. There’s no new online multiplayer or levels to tackle, just some bare bones stuff. On the bright side, the game is only $40, two thirds the price of a normal piece of next-gen software. Can’t complain there.

If you’ve played Rayman Legends previously or still own it for PS3 or 360, the only real upgrade you’re getting out of this version is a slight improvement to visuals. Whether that’s worth a $40 upgrade is completely up to you. However, if you’re a first-time PS4 or Xbox One owner and want a true platforming classic to add to your collection, you shouldn’t hesitate here. Rayman Legends is too good to pass up.


PROS
+ Fascinatingly beautiful and filled with tricky level design
+ Gameplay clicks very well
+ Multiplayer or alone, this game has replay value galore
CONS
- Not much different from previous versions
- Still no online multiplayer
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THE BOTTOM LINE
 
Rayman Legends is a must-own, particularly if you're a fan of the platformers of old. It's challenging, ridiculous and incredibly fun. Make sure to bring some friends along for the ride!
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