Rayman 3

Review

posted 6/4/2003 by Ben Zackheim
other articles by Ben Zackheim
One Page Platforms: PS2
I don't keep many games on my shelf. Not for a long time, at least. I usually end up selling them online, giving them to friends or (in the case of some Dreamcast games that no one wanted) tossing them. I feel that the games on my bookshelf should either be the ones I'm currently playing or the classics. Halo, Grand Theft Auto 3, Soul Calibur, Crimson Skies...

Get that book outta here. Make room for a new one on the list.

Yeah it's that good.

The Rayman trilogy hasn't seen a disappointment yet. It's always fun and has been blessed with a development team that consistently GETS what the franchise is all about. Good graphics, simple controls, a sense of humor and attitude. Once the Rayman games moved from 2D to the world of 3D a lot could have gone wrong. The basics of the series could have been corrupted or lost in the multitude of options that the third dimesion allows. Nope. Rayman 2 was a classic, ensuring the mascot with no arms or legs would live long after his doomed days as the Atari Jaguar frontman. Rayman 3 delves even deeper into the fully-developed world but shows no sign of losing its simple, elegant gameplay.

The game starts with the usual pseudo-comprehensible plot twist that twists your brains into a pretzel and lets you know you're in for a ride. Apparently, Globox, the dimwitted sidekick, has eaten the Lord of the Dark Lums. Understandable mistake. Now that the Lord's army is out to get him back, Globox is in danger so you, as Rayman, must find the "cure" for his ailment. Like I said, pseudo-comprehensible - walking the fine line between funny and stupid, a balancing act that Rayman games never fear to try. Yet another reason I love the series.

The first level in the game is, by far, the worst. If I was new to the series and I rented this game I would have thrown it right back at the Blockbuster clerk. You maneuver your way through a swamp on the back of Murfy (brilliantly voice-acted by Billy West), flying in circles most of the time as you try to figure out what it is you're supposed to be doing. It looks crappy, feels weird and starts abruptly. That worries me. I hope people can get past that little burp of a level to find the brilliance that follows.
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