The world of Rayman has been revisited a few times over the last year, first we had the 3D version of Rayman for the 3DS then his origins were explored on console and Vita. Now we head back to re-explore Rayman 3. But this time in HD.
Ubisoft has released or I should say re-released a fair few of its older classics with an HD gloss, only one however, has been released exclusively via digital networks until now. This latest arrival, Rayman 3 HD, takes us to Rayman’s world as an evil is taking over the Lums, transforming them into black Lums. This evil is led by Andre, who has but one goal; he wants to take over the world, which leads our hero to take on Andre’s gang of Hoodlums and save the day.
The characters come off better than the environments but even they don’t give a great deal to shout about.
It’s very much what you expect from a Rayman title. However, after the recent successes Ubisoft has had with other HD releases and how impressive they have looked it is a shame to say that Rayman 3 is patchy at best, pixelated at worst. The characters come off better than the environments but even they don’t give a great deal to shout about. The improved resolution has made things cleaner and the colours are more vibrant, but the look of the game isn’t as strong as say, the recent revamp of Jak and Daxter or the God of War games. This seems strange considering they are from around the same time frame.
The environments are a patchy mix of okay and not too bad. The spectrum of them is still impressive and moving from the forest to an underground temple still offers some amazing vistas. However, the detail in the environments is lacking, from afar things look good, but up close details become fussy and pixelated. The cartoon-style of the game does take the edge off the pixelization, but not to a degree that you can ignore. It isn’t as bad as some of the jagged edges you get in the HD version of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, but with the amount of HD remasters that there have been over the last year or so I’d have expected a cleaner and most crisp visual overhaul. The game does run at 720p and at a constant 60FPS, of which during my time with the game didn’t drop once which is very nice for a HD remaster.
It is unfortunate that the game looks so flat, as the playability is still as deep and immersive as it had been back in 2003. The moment you pick up your controller and start playing it all fits back into place and you will be running, jumping and power punching without a second thought.
Especially for the HD version Ubisoft has added in a new set of challenges which are unlocked as you progress through the main game. This new content offers up various challenges like a 2D side-scrolling level set within the timeframe of Rayman 3, with Rayman having to platform and battle his way through the simple level. The extra content isn’t enough to make a whole new title but it is a pleasant break from the main feature.
The low visuals make the game feel a little cheap, however the gameplay does make up for it with some classic Rayman action.
Additionally, online has been integrated into Rayman with the option to upload your score. Doing so places you on a leaderboard, which allows you to compare scores with people on your friends list and the global scale. At the time of writing there hasn’t been too many players of the game as for the most part it is only open to the press, so it is currently very easy to be placed high on the boards, but once the game is out I am are sure that will change. The leaderboards are a nice idea to give a little bit of a competitive edge to the game, but it does beg the question why? The game sits very well as a single player experience, the addition of online leaderboards is, as I said a nice idea, but adds nothing fundamental to the game.
Rayman 3 is a blast from the past for anyone who wants that kind of experience. The low visuals make the game feel a little cheap, however the gameplay does make up for it with some classic Rayman action. Whether this title is for you, will boil down to the question of whether you want to take a little walk down memory lane with a HD remaster or instead explore a new beginning with Rayman Origins. Frankly I know which I would prefer.
Rating: AverageReview Policy(Version tested: PSN)
Rayman 3 HD is released for PSN and XBLA on March 21. Why not buy some instant LIVE or PSN credit from ShopTo and save yourself some cash on this and other games.