By Steve Wright
I missed out on the Rayman train until Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc came along on my original Xbox. It was good – the two-dimension platformer had a quirky world, funny characters, and proved to be a challenge in its later levels.
It also was the last game in the core Rayman series, with subsequent titles turning into mini-game compilations under the "Raving Rabbids" moniker.
It's good to see Rayman – and we're intentionally avoiding the obvious pun here – going back to his roots.
Rayman: Origins was one of the playable titles at Ubisoft's Ubinights Melbourne event, and we were more than happy to give it a test drive.
Our very own Jasper Schultz joined in with two strangers and myself to try our luck at Origins' 4-player gameplay. The levels that we were treated to involved moving your character (Rayman, Globox, or one of two Teensies) across the map, dodging obstacles using paths, platforms, and occasionally flipping switches to use the wind gusts they activated. Striking an obstacle – usually a barbed sphere – caused your character to be turned into a bubble; fellow gamers would then have to assist by giving your bubble a slap to turn you back to normal…just so you could try again.
It's cute, it's fun in a group, and it's very Rayman. No complaints there.
The cause for concern that I had at Ubinights was that most games seemed to have their difficulty levels turned WAY down…but not Rayman: Origins. No siree; people were breezing through The Adventures of Tintin, but perpetually dying at one very windy point in one level, or halfway up a vertical platforming course attempting to escape some giant worm-type creature.
This could be good, or this could be bad.
The way I see it, you're in for a retro-style treat with Origins, seemingly with old-school difficulty to match. Sign me up.
Rayman: Origins will be released on Xbox 360, PS3, Vita, Wii and 3DS beginning 15 November 2011.