Rayman: Origins is one of those games that capture the memories of a once great franchise by retaining the formula that made it so fantastic to begin with, while making the necessary changes in pace and graphics to make it a distinguished contender for most modern age platformers on the market. Origins does a fantastic job at capturing the essence of Rayman for modernized gaming consoles, especially on the PlayStation Vita.
Smooth and quick are two words that I can use to describe the overall platforming experience one may have while playing Rayman Origins. The game’s objective is fairly simple: Jump from platform to platform, and get to the goal. Although there are many things to go back and search for once you’ve completed a level, like freeing caged up electoons or finding giant gold coins. Smoothness, however, is what makes the game so fun. Unlike other platformers, there isn’t much to stop and wait for due to the game’s lack of vertical platforming. Everything in the game, for the most part, is horizontal, which in turn quickens the game’s pace. Although there are moments when the player must climb up a series of platforms, but even then the game retains its speed.
As players progress further into the game, they will unlock an abundance of Rayman’s special abilities like attacking, gliding, sprinting, wall jumping, and wall running. Players can also unlock a series of characters, but they ultimately play the same. The abilities, however, will enhance the game’s pace and smoothness. A lot of these abilities are earned by completing the first level of a world, so there isn’t a need to complete some overly complex tasks in order to earn these powers. Quite honestly, Rayman Origins is an extremely uncomplicated game.
There isn’t much of a challenge to be had playing Origins, and that’s probably due to the lack of enemies and bosses. For a greater duration of the game, Rayman will spend his time jumping from one platform to the other, and that’s about it. There are the few times where he’ll come across enemies, but even then the number of enemies aren’t enough to satisfy. My biggest gripe, however, is the lack of bosses. For a game of this stature, I feel there should’ve been a little more emphasis on adding in some exciting boss battles. There are a few “bosses” in the game, but I would hardly call them bosses because of how easy and quick they were to take down. Nonetheless, Origins sticks exclusively to platforming levels, and that can be taken as both a disappointment and an appreciation.
What comes to be a greater disappointment is the lack of a co-op mode. Its console counterpart supports a four player cooperative mode. The Vita version does not. However, it does have a ghost mode in which you can use to compete against your friends to see who can complete a level faster and who can get a higher score. Though, it isn’t co-op, and that’s disappointing.
It won’t take long for the player to realize that Origins is possibly one of the most visually astonishing games to release in recent time. From the characters to the stages, the heavy set of detail the game has to offer is very pleasing and eyecandy for those who’ve gazed upon the onslaught of gray and brown found in an industry cluttered with first person shooters. Bright, vibrant, and colorful 2D worlds surround Rayman as he leaps from platform to platform. Whether Rayman is sprinting across the evergreen areas of the Jibberish Jungle, or sliding over the icy platforms in the Mystical Pique, Rayman: Origins doesn’t disappoint. One of my favorite worlds to gaze upon were the azure lake regions of the Jibberish Jungle. The shading and rain effects combined with the small rays of sun beaming down from the trees above while the plants sway back and fourth in the background gives off such a great level of detail. The smooth animations only add to the visual effects as Rayman sprints, punches, and glides across levels in completely swiftness.
If there’s one thing I remember most about the classic Rayman games, it was the awesome music that played throughout each level. Origins isn’t an exception to this, as it contains an up-beat soundtrack that conveys the game’s overall tone of being cartoony and fun. The cartoony sound effects of beating up an enemy and collecting lums as they sing and dance throughout the level helps the game stray away from any sense of seriousness, and I mean that in a good way. The game isn’t meant to be taken seriously, and that’s what makes the game so enjoyable. The game’s lighthearted sense of humor may bring a chuckle or two, and that’s always welcomed in the Rayman universe.
Though Rayman has been gone for quite awhile, Origins proves that he’s still as awesome as he was back in the late 90s. The smoothness in quick-paced gameplay gives Rayman an edge when compared to other games of its kind. Although the game is fairly simple, and lacks a cooperative mode, it shouldn’t be an experience to pass up if you’re a Vita owner. The game does well in the platforming department. Throw in some extremely highly detailed music and visuals, and you have a game worthy of your $40, and worthy enough to have on your PlayStation Vita. Origins has something for everyone to enjoy, and is a title the little ones may enjoy as well.