Rayman has been around in the gaming world for quiet some time. The series’ transition to 3D was decent at best, but
Ubisoft went back to the drawing board with Rayman: Origins, and the floundering series got back to its roots to show the world that 2D platformers can succeed in the current gaming climate. The PS Vita port of Rayman: Origins does not bring anything new to the table, besides a few functions that are unique to the Vita, in this port. Feel free to read our previous review of the console version of the game, as well as my review here to get two different takes.
For those that are only interested in the changes from console to Vita, let us get that out of the way first. The touch screen is used sparingly. You can pinch to zoom in or out giving you a closer view of the action, or a more distant view (particular useful in races), and you are able to tap baddies that are in bubble form (eventually leading to a trophy). Multiplayer is gone and replaced with a “ghost” mode, which allows you to race your previous level runs. And… that’s all that is new for the port. The art holds up well on the Vita’s sharp screen, so zooming in can really show off the love that was poured into every inch ofOrigins. Rayman: Origins has not changed at all from it’s console iterations. But read on for my views on one of the most under-appreciated titles released in years.

So Pretty!
Rayman: Origins is a tried and true throwback to the platformers of yesteryear. I could never shake the feeling that the armless wonder was the love child of Mario and Sonic, without the inevitable ugliness of the monstrosity those two would spawn. The game is downright beautiful. Every inch of the title looks like a painting, and seeing it in motion, especially zoomed in, is a site to behold. The game is fast, fluid and just difficult enough to keep you focused.
Rayman is perfect for a handheld system. Each level will last you around 10 minutes and is easily controlled with the analog stick or d-pad. While the platforming is very similar to the Mario games of today, with wall jumps and quick thinking required, the speed of the game hearkens back to the early days of Sonic The Hedgehog. Each level will challenge you to complete it quickly enough to earn a time trophy. Electoons are scattered throughout each level and will also give you trophies, upon completion, based on the number you collected. This leads to the main frustration with the game.

So So Pretty


Be prepared to play each stage multiple times. Once you complete the main story line and start the final areas, you will need to go back and play stages again to earn enough electoons to access the end of the game. While the individual runs are a great deal of fun and are packed with secrets to find, being forced to go back made it much less enjoyable. I simply wanted to play through the game, beginning to end, then go back and start earning full medals on each. Unfortunately, in what is possibly the only mistake in the games design, that option will not exist for most. Some players may be so good at platformers that they won’t need to keep pushing for medals over and over until they complete the full story, but those individuals are a rare breed.
The story is as deep as you want it to be in a platformer. An old man is having bad dreams, so you have to make them better. That’s about as much as you get from the narrative. Oh, you also get to save hot fairies from beasts, and as thanks, they reward you with special powers. Each new skill will allow you to access previously difficult or impossible to reach areas that you left far behind. It feels a little like a
Metroidgame in that sense, and gives you more reason to revisit previous levels before you get to the aforementioned frustrating end.

So Very Very Pretty


To keep you going for weeks on end, the game offers a wide variety of unlockable content. Most of what you will find are new costumes or skins for characters, but they give you motivation to keep plugging away until you have seen previously traversed content through to completion. The game also offers a choice of four playable characters that ultimately control the same, but have minor differences in size. Each unique figure seemed to have the same hit box and only changed the visual experience of the game.
Rayman also includes one of the best soundtracks in all of gaming. Every piece of music in the game is absolutely incredible. Each world that you visit has a unique theme and the music fits each environment, with the water based stages, in particular, standing out. Outside of music, the sound effects are given just as much care as the rest of the game. The entire audio design fits the world. The effects complement the actions, and you will be hard pressed not to smile as Rayman and his allies grunt and “wooop” through each level.

Hnnngggghhh...


All in all, Rayman: Origins is a fantastic title for the PS Vita. Putting it out for the launch gives players that missed it on console more reason to finally dive into one of the best platformers to come out in ages. The Vita’s sharp screen allows the art to shine through like no other handheld before managed. I can’t recommend Rayman: Origins enough, especially if you missed it the first go around.
Here’s the Rundown:
+ Beautiful.
+ Very Beautiful.
+ Mechanics are top notch.
+ Tons to unlock.
– Gets frustrating at the end.
– All but impossible to earn each medal on the first run through a level.
– Adios, Multiplayer!