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Rayman, you are a Legend!
Next Tribute ♦
About the Game
Minor Spoilers
Character
Lums.
If you are an avid gamer like myself, you may of noticed the rise of the 2D platformer over the last few years. Rayman spent a few years out of the spotlight, hanging out with the Raving Rabbits.

Rayman returned in 2011 with Rayman Origins, which returned him back to his roots. A fantastic 2D reboot that brought the beloved character back for the fans.

Before Origins, I had never been a big fan of Rayman. I never enjoyed the original games all that much. But when I played Rayman Origins, I instantly re-thought my opinion on the character. So when the sequel was announced, I thought how on earth could Rayman Legends possibly be better? Can it beat the odds and be better in every way? Well...
Quote Charm. That's the perfect word for Rayman Legends. There's loads of it with lots of little details that shows that a lot of thought has been put into creating it. Attention to detail is the key phrase. Want proof? When you load the game, the logo on the main menu is fully animated. When you load a level and the usual loading screen pops up, Rayman is fully playable in the background. If you fully complete a level, Rayman dances to some disco music. (It's almost worth fully completing a level just for that!). It may be little details, but it all adds up in one big package.

And one big package it is. I know quality is always better than quantity, but Rayman Legends has both! It has over a hundred levels. But it gets better, as Rayman Legends includes (almost) all the levels from the Origins, retweaked for Legends gameplay. The mega boss battles, the runaway chests and the flying mosquito all return as well, creating a greatest hits package of sorts.

Well back to Legends. There is loads of playable characters with Rayman, Globox and Teenies returning from Origins. There is also new characters in the form of Barbaba and her sisters, along with the option to unlock loads of different costumes for everyone.

Like Mario and the original Crash Bandicoot, Rayman has little story outside the introduction, but it makes up for it by letting the platforming do the talking. There are some clever additions to Legends that makes it feel fresh, yet similar to Origins. Murfy is back, and in certain levels, he helps the player. Without his help, you couldn’t progress on certain levels. He helps in various ways, like pressing buttons to open doors, move platforms and tickle big monsters (I’m not making that up) Like some of the unique concepts in Super Mario Galaxy, it isn’t overused, but used sparingly.
[Montage]You know the best way to party? Invite mutiple versions of yourself!
That’s not the only new big feature in Rayman Legends. When you progress and collect teenies, you will unlock invasion levels. These are short but challenging speed runs. With one invasion level for each main level, they are unique short but challenging speed runs. While some of the later stages may want to tear your hair out, they are mostly a fun addition for those veteran platformerists out there.

Rayman Origins set a new standard of great looking 2D platformers. Using Ubisoft's then-new graphics engine, it brought the game to life in a different way we had seen before. Rayman Legends takes the things to a new level. Beautiful environments of varying themes, including castles, clouds, kitchens, mansions and loads more. They all have fluid animation, no matter which part your exploring and which character your playing. The bosses are a highlight as they are rendered in 3D, making the 2D environments look even better. It’s still one of the best looking current gen titles.

What goes well with a level? Your right, it's the soundtrack that turns everything on screen to 11. Simply put, Rayman Origins had the most uniquest (Yes, I made that word up.) soundtrack I have heard since Spiralmouth's acapella soundtrack for Crash Twinsanity, way back in 2004. The ante has risen for the sequel. Legends takes cues from different styles, to create a varied but excellent soundtrack. Charmed forests, epic battles, chase scenes, cloud temples, spy missions, it has that and more.

The soundtrack also has another trick up its sleeve with the excellent new feature of music levels. These are fast paced levels in time with music. It's an ingenious idea, and I'm surprised that a platformer has not been mixed with music like this before. There is one music level within each world, either based on an actual real-world song, or a unique creation by the composer. Either way, it involves jumping, collecting, flying and moving to in time of the tune.


Closing Thoughts
Classic Classic
There was a reason why fans loved Rayman Origins and the same goes for Rayman Legends. It's an extremely fun 2D platformer that isn't Mario, which is a rarity these days. It has a lot of numerous unique ideas to make it a vital purchase for those of you who love platformers (and attention to detail). Rayman Legends is a future classic, if it isn’t already, which somehow manages to top the brilliance of almost every 2D platformer out there.

My One Big Highlight
Spiderman The music levels are genius, and I'm surprised that Harmonix (the creators of the Guitar hero and Rock Band series) didn't think of the idea first. Its my favourite part of the game, but its when I first played along to Eye of the Tiger that I knew this game was going to turn into something extra special. I wasn't wrong!
Elephant In the Room
elephant While the Daily/Weekly Challenges are great fun to start with, they do get a little grating after a few months of grinding away at getting that final level of awesomeness. This wouldn't be too bad, if the game actually told you you can't complete the game without playing these levels.
Article
One Thing that is Awesome...
Major Spoilers
LegendsIt could be worse, it could be the rolling stones...
Rayman Legends is a fantastic game, no doubt about it. Rayman does such a good job of avoiding a lot of the typical pitfalls that some platformers suffer from. But the only one of these that nearly crept its way into Legends was replayablity. Once the story is fully completed and all the collectables are earned, there is no reason to keep playing.

Did you notice that word nearly, just above? Well the developers, the clever people they are, had foreseen this and made a very big game even bigger. They solved the “what does the player do after collecting everything?” with a new mode called challenges.

Simple but descriptive, it provides the player with new levels to play every day, week after week. These challenge levels are variations of levels in the main story, such as the never ending pit level, with the actual level layout changing every time a new challenge pops up in the hub. So there is no looking at Youtube for help, your on your own...

Each new challenge level has a specific goal or objective, which varies depending on the type of level that appears. Sometimes you need to collect as many lums as possible, sometimes you need to complete the level as fast as you can, whereas others you need to go as far as you can without dying. The objective of the level appears on the level painting, so you always know what your in for before trying to attempt it.
[The Challenge Screen]Go on, play it already!
Do well enough and you are awarded with a trophy depending how you rank with the worlds players. These aren’t fixed in stone, as it fluctuates a little depending on how easy or hard players are finding that particular level. Normally the cut-off points for each trophy remain about the same, but if you are on the edge of the trophy lines, you can sometimes upgrade or downgrade – so never take your position for granted.

Bronze, Silver, Gold and the coveted trophy – the diamond are the trophy's to collect. You get awesome points (1, 5, 10 and a whopping 50 respectively) depending on the trophy you collect after the challenge is finished, and yes – you do keep all the lums you've accumulated throughout the various attempts of any challenge.

While you will find some challenges easier than others (I tend to find the distance challenges easier) getting at least a bronze trophy on your first try is do-able in the majority of the challenges. And the great thing is that the challenges are usually not lengthy, so they are great for some short-term fun gaming sessions.

Along with providing new levels every day and provide a reason to keep coming back to the game long after the main game is over, it's also essential to gain the final level of awesomeness and getting that grand figure of 1,000,000 lums!


Closing Thoughts
Short, fun, rewarding. This is how post-game content should be done. I spent months collecting the lums and chipping away at unlocked the final level of awesomeness until that magical Platinum trophy showed onto my screen. Although it's still not as fulfilling as Rock Band's DLC song offering, it's definitely one of the best ways to extend a game I've played. So what are you waiting for? Lum away!