Zero Lives Left – Rayman Origins

Game: Rayman Origins
Released: 2011
Available On: Xbox 360 (Review), Playstation 3, Wii, Vita, PC, 3DS
Genre: Platforming

The world of platform games has been dead in recent years. Sure, there are the occasional glimpses of hope like the Mario Galaxy games and Super Meat Boy, but they cannot stand up to the influx of platforming crap that has become so very common. Honestly, I love platformers, however I’ve given up hope. I feel like there won’t be anything to pull us out of this pit of shit we currently reside in. But lo’, descending from the heavens on a horse made out of pure gold is Rayman Origins. It pulls out a trumpet crafted from the finest gems and plays its war cry. Rayman Origins is here to kill all the crap platformers and, in turn, declare its rightful place as king.

This is your king. Worship him.

Yeah, that’s pretty much it. Rayman Origins strikes strong in every aspect. The platforming starts off simple and then amps up into pure hell in the later levels. (What? A difficulty curve?) The art direction in the game is quirky, fun and every section of the game is beautiful. I dare you to not find a moment in any level that takes your breath away. The game just has its own feeling and atmosphere to it, that doesn’t happen often enough in video games; yet alone in platformers. You start in a jungle, head through a musical themed desert, through a food themed ice/fire world, and end up in a deadly machinery filled sky fortress. It’s one of the most fun experiences I’ve had in the last five years of gaming—probably THE best platformer I’ve played in this generation.

The controls are solid and they transfer over well to making precise movements in the more complicated jumping sections. There are time trials for most of the levels and the controls make it the right amount of frustrating. With time trials you should want to rip your hair out occasionally and this game seems to understand that. There are only a small handful of levels that will have you clenching your fists in frustration and, fittingly, they are the last few levels themselves. It’s not a chore to go for the full completion either, you’ll almost feel as if you have to.

Three of the four playable characters can be seen here.

There are a few bosses in the second half of the game and they feature quite a bit of trial and error. If I had to pinpoint my one complaint in the game it’s is that some of the boss battles are just learning their pattern via defeat. You can’t really figure it out on the fly you have to wait for them to kill you and THEN you learn what to do. A boss should be intuitive and you should be able to react on the fly to figure out its weaknesses. Of course this is par for the course in a platformer where your player character has two hit points at the most.

Enough babbling though, the bottom line is that if you like platformers you need to get this game. Hell, if you like video games you have to try out Rayman Origins. It’s a blast and you can play it with up to three friends, so if you have three friends who are creepy like me and like platformers get them all together and play this game, it’s worth it.

Rayman Origins: 10/10

What are you doing?! Go play this game!

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