Rayman Legends is a side scrolling platformer, and the latest offering from Ubisoft’s UbiArt Framework engine. The story in Legends starts out roughly a century after Origins, with Rayman, Globox and the Teensies being asleep the entire time. During this time, the Bubble Dreamer’s nightmares grew in power, as well did the magician (who survived from Origins).
Rayman and his friends are awoken by Murfy, who tells them all the bad news – and that the 10 princesses and the teensies have been kidnapped. The game starts off literally when Rayman and company just woke up. Your mission is to rescue all of the princesses and the teensies.
Rayman Legends was originally planned as a Wii U exclusive and as such has gotten a lot of bad press after it went multiplatform. My entire playthrough for this review was played on PlayStation Vita, so I’ll touch upon things specific to that platform in my review.
Rayman Legends is an amazing platforming game, but it’s just so much more than that. There are so many magic moments in every level of Legends, I don’t think it’s fair to just talk about favorites. I can’t really tell you which levels are my favorites because all of them are just that good.
Gameplay in Rayman Legends is flawless, button and touch controls are extremely responsive and rewarding. Level design is top notch and honestly some of the best designs I’ve ever seen in a platforming game. I never once had issues getting stuck or confused, progression was just plain fun and rewarding.
Coming from this, don’t expect Rayman Legends to just be a pushover. The levels can be challenging, especially if you’re looking to unlock everything and get all the collectibles. One of the coolest things I absolutely have to mention is how each chapter has a final “music stage” that is more of a reward for completing the entire chapter.
One of the biggest additions to Legends are the Murfy levels, which have gotten somewhat of a bad rep. You see, the Murfy levels were originally designed for when the game was a Wii U exclusive (another debacle), meaning they were meant to be done with the Wii U game pad.
Now, the game is on pretty much every platform under the sun and yet the Murfy levels remain, meaning if you don’t have a way to do touch input, you’ll be having to manage two characters at once, Murfy and his helper. The problem is that it’s kind of difficult without a form of touch input, but this doesn’t make the levels any less fun in my opinion.
If you play this game on Vita or Wii U, the touch controls/gyroscope only help enhance the experience. It’s the little things that add to the fun in my opinion, and when it comes to those gyroscope puzzles, I have a lot of fun every time. I dunno how to describe it, but even though I probably look like an idiot turning my Vita in circles, it’s pretty fun to see Murfy trying to navigate around the spikes.
The visuals in Legends are absolutely mind blowing and really pop on the Vita’s OLED screen. I don’t think these gigantic HD screenshots even do the game justice to be honest. The game is absolutely amazing looking in motion and there were so many times I was grinning at my Vita screen – everything just looks awesome.
The art only helps improve the gameplay and level design, meaning things are detailed and designed cleverly to help give you little hints – this is one of the signs that the developers are true masters of the genre. The character, enemy and level art only brings the world of Rayman together to really make the entire experience magic.
The music in Legends is another step above the original reboot Rayman Origins, and that’s saying something. Between the previously mentioned music stages that are simply amazing and fun, and the music throughout all of the levels and regions, I never once turned down my game’s music or got tired. The composers, Christophe Héral and Billy Martin really should be commended for creating such unique and dynamic soundscapes.
I have to touch upon the music levels again – they’re simply amazing. Each chapter has one, and each one is based off different famous pieces of music, like the cover of Black Betty in the teensies chapter. They’re basically a reward for completing the entire chapter, and even though they’re an easy way to farm small amounts of lums, they never get old to me.
There is a STUPID amount of content in Rayman Legends. To put things into perspective, there is over a hundred levels in Rayman Legends, meaning you will be playing this game for a long time, especially if you want to unlock and collect everything.
There are various ways of unlocking things in Rayman Legends, by rescuing teensies, collecting lums and by earning lucky tickets. All three will help you get more characters, costumes, creatures, levels, and so on. It really is addicting to try rescuing all of the teensies in a level, and to also collect as many lums as possible – to get another lucky ticket.
I’ve been playing Rayman Legends for about 13 hours, and I’ve only completed the main story. I haven’t even collected all of the teensies or unlocked all of the other goodies, most especially the creatures. One of the coolest thing is that Legends also has 40 remastered levels from Origins, the reboot that started it all.
The amount of variety and sheer number of levels in Legends is downright amazing. Every time I went to a new chapter I was blown away by how unique and well crafted each chunk of the story is. One of the coolest things with Legends is that you can tackle the story in any order you choose, giving you a lot of freedom.
I haven’t mentioned the other modes, namely challenges and kung foot. These seriously add onto the replayability of the game, especially challenges. The challenges are rotated daily and weekly, meaning you have to keep checking in to see if there’s anything new. This also ties into the global leaderboards, which show off other players’ stats for that particular challenge.
Kung Foot is just what you thought – a soccer type mode that is both hilarious and fun. You can play this with people locally as well, which is honestly the only way to play it really. This one won’t give you as much replayability as the frequently rotated challenges, but it’s still pretty darn fun.
The creatures that you can unlock actually function similarly to the garden in Plants VS. Zombies, think of the creatures as your own personal lums garden. The more you unlock, the more lums you can collect every day. Each creature is about the same size but they all have their own unique look.
The only things I can honestly find wrong with the game are the missing content (some Murfy levels) on Vita, and the lack of online multiplayer. Ubisoft is adding in the missing content on Vita later, for free – and you can still play locally on various platforms, so the lack of online play is a non-issue in my opinion. Plus, there’s always the chance that Ubisoft will just patch that in later anyway.
Ubisoft has proven once again that Rayman is a viable mascot, and coming from this I find the entire game so very fresh and unique compared to other heavily touted platforming franchises. Everything in the world of Legends is very unique, clever, and yet still all manage to tie the entire package together to make an extremely awesome experience.
As it stands, Rayman Legends is pure, simple, yet challenging and rewarding fun. I haven’t enjoyed a platformer this much since the golden era of the genre, which I consider to be many years ago. I dare say that I think Legends can be considered a revolution of the platforming genre, everything about the game just screams fun, ingenuity and mastery of the genre. You owe it to yourself to play this game.
Rayman Legends was reviewed using a retail copy provided by Ubisoft. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.