ED: Yoshi’s 2 Cents is a semi-regular segment on gaming pioneered by FatYoshi. Every once in a while, there’s a game that slipped your playlist or you simply ran out of time to review upon release. This is such a case, and since the game was worthy of mention, you get the shorten version or a late review.
The Rayman series started back in 1995 with the original release as a 2D side-scrolling adventure. Since then there have been eight Rayman games and six spinoffs in the related Raving Rabbids series. Rayman Origins is the latest release in this long running series.
Origins goes back to the original style of a 2D platform adventure with Rayman and his friends running around the Glade of Dreams. Their noisy sleeping wakes up an old woman from the Land of the Livid Dead who releases monsters to fill the Glade. That’s all summed up in a short cut scene at the beginning of the game. That said, without Wikipedia the story really doesn’t make a lot of sense.
The story doesn’t really matter though because what you get with Rayman Origins is an amazing game that is simply a lot of fun. It was a few levels in before the idea of a story seemed important. After a moment of thought it turned out that having a story was totally unnecessary and might have actually gotten in the way.
This game goes back to a time when games were simply made to be fun. The levels can be mean and unforgiving at times but they are always entertaining. There is no rage quitting from a game like this, despite dying over and over again. Sometimes it just doesn’t seem fair but you keep playing until you finally beat it and you get a feeling of fulfillment that just doesn’t come from most modern games.
The worlds in the game are set up similar to the way it would be in classic platformers like Mario Bros. Each world has its own unique theme, such as music or ice, which gives them different styles.
The regular levels are typical side-scrolling platformers with the most beautiful artwork seen in a game for a long time. All the art is done in a totally whimsical way but it’s still very sharp and deliberately done. Everything is obviously done with a purpose and even the small details look amazing.
There are also chase levels where you try to hunt down a treasure chest for a ruby tooth to give to a gatekeeper. Once you collect all his teeth he’ll allow you access to the extra challenging Land of the Livid Dead world. These are quick moving side-scrollers that get progressively more difficult. They are frustrating but each attempt makes you yearn to catch and beat the crap out of the treasure chest more and more.
There are flight levels where you fly on a mosquito, shooting down birds. These are fun and are similar to old space side-scrollers. These levels end with a boss battle. Finally there are also boss battles that have multiple areas and are full levels with puzzles and strategy.
The single player mode of this game is a lot of fun but this game is definitely designed to be played with multiple players. The frustration leads to laughter and fun when playing with a big group of friends. The ability to also punch and knock each other down makes for a little slap-happy fun amongst friends.
The music in the game fits perfectly with the style of game. It’s not as memorable as the Mario theme but there are few songs that are. The whimsical tunes add to the enjoyment of the game and quite often the most frustrating levels have the best music. It’s often what helps to ease the frustration from numerous deaths.
This all makes for a game with hours of gameplay that stays fun from start to finish.
This game didn’t sell as well as it should have and that’s a shame because it’s incredibly fun. Ubisoft has said the game has been profitable though, so hopefully they will continue on with the franchise. This game may have been missed by many in 2011 and that’s what makes it so deserving of its Yoshi’s Two Cents spot.