Let’s get the most important thing straight out of the way: Rayman Legends is probably the best platformer in this console generation. That’s a pretty bold statement? Fair enough! Let me explain why Rayman’s newest adventure is the cream of the crop. You will find all the answers in this Xbox 360 review about Rayman Legends.
After their adventures in Origins Rayman and his friends took a well deserved break from running around like maniacs. This break took longer than expected and lasted for an entire century. But while our heroes got their rest nightmares broke free. Now all of those nightmares are running loose spreading terror all around the Glad of Dreams. The green fly Murphy did the one last thing that could save the Glade. He wakes up Rayman and his gang to take down all of the nightmares and save the Glade.
To be perfectly honest the story is nothing but a framework to keep the things going. In this case that’s not a bad thing. What counts is the gameplay, the available content and the presentation. Rayman Legends is an old school 2D platformer. As one of almost 30 characters (they only differ in appearance) the main objective is to get from the beginning to the end of a level. This task itself would be quite simple. The controls couldn’t be better. As the player you always have full control over the character. Running, jumping, gliding or punching, no matter what you’ll have to do it works like a charm. Another stellar piece of work was done on the level design. They are a dream for every fan of this genre. Most if not all are built so that a skilled player can make his way through it without stopping once. Doing this is a lot of fun but not really the way Rayman Legends is supposed to played.
There is a seemingly endless amount of collectibles scattered throughout every level. The yellow Lums are plastered all along your way through the levels. They more or less act as your guideline. But it’s very important to actually collect them. They are also the currency that you need to collect to unlock more playable characters. Last but not least they are an indicator on how good you performed in a level. Only if you collect almost all of them you’ll get that shiny golden trophy. There are also up to ten Teensies hidden in every level. To unlock more levels you need to find and free as many of them as possible. They are not especially well hidden but they are usually in places that harder to reach. The level design caters to speed runs but in order to unlock more content there is no way around getting at least some of the collectibles.
That already is a lot of content of content but there’s even more. Daily and weekly challenges provide new tasks on a regular base. These levels can be totally different than the regular ones. In some you have to run as far as possible or collect as many Lums as possible within 60 seconds. The better you do the higher you’ll rank on the leaderboards where you can compare your own score to those of your friends, people in your country or everybody. All regular levels can be played with up to four players on the same console. Of course everything is going to be extremely hectic with four players on the same screen. This might sound like a problem but it’s not. It’s part of the game’s charm and the chaos is pure fun. If you haven’t played Rayman Origins yet you are able to unlock several dozens of these original levels. The minigame Kung-Foot is also a great mode for some couch multiplayer. It lacks variation though.
I haven’t even mentioned the best thing in Rayman Legends yet. At the end of every world is a musical level. In these levels a song will be playing that is perfectly synchronized to every action you need to perform to get through the level. Every jump, every punch you perform and even every Lum you collect matches a beat, a guitar riff or a part of the lyrics. It’s a thing of beauty and works perfectly fine. It’s almost the purest form of platforming and it’s so much fun to play these levels. Everybody should experience them because they are really just that good.
The gameplay may be absolutely outstanding but so are the graphics and the music. Rayman Legends looks and sounds like a fairy tale that has come to life. The levels offer varied locations like a lush forest, an 80s styled underwater supervillain lair or a dessert made out of cake. It runs smooth all the time and offers a cute but very detailed comic look. It’s clearly visible that the developers put a lot of effort into the visuals. The same can be said about the music. It is extremely good. No matter in what particular level you might be in but the score fits and is simply amazing. The tunes are catchy and never overstay their welcome.
It’s been mentioned at the beginning but it should be clearer now. Rayman Legends is a terrific game. There is content with no end in sight, the actual gameplay couldn’t be any better and the cooperative experience is wild and tons of fun. That would already be enough but the controls are perfect and both the visuals as well as the sound is awesome. Rayman Legends is everything and more for every fan of the genre.