Rayman Legends Review: Legendary Silliness

What swings Legends over the line into being an instant recommendation is one of the bigger things to come from the six-month delay: The Back To Origins levels. As a reward for completing each level with a high-enough score, you’re rewarded with a scratch-card that can contain one of four things: more Lums to unlock costumes and character skins; a “creature” that passively farms more Lums for you each day; a Teensy; or — most excitingly — a level from Rayman Origins, remixed and graphically polished up to match the enormously high standards of Legends. There are forty of them. Given that Origins contained a tad over 60 levels, that’s an impressive number. Simply put, they’ve included the majority of Origins in improved form as an unlockable bonus.

It’s clear that Ubisoft gave the remade levels just as much attention as the new ones. The new lighting and some higher-res art make the environments even easier on the eye, and the enemies have all been redrawn and re-animated to match up in art style. The levels have also been partially rejiggered as well, adding new secret areas to support your endless hunt for more Teensies, with a full set of 10 being scattered around each stage. With the Lum Kings gone, it’s easier to explore and experiment at your own pace, too.

These levels are arguably even tighter in their design than those in Legends, being more focused on pure platforming than environmental quirks, and all of the boss stages from Origins are included. Whichever you do prefer, you’re spoiled for choice.

One final bit of icing on the cake is co-op play. Local only, so bring a few gamepads and friends within punchable distance, but it’s a solid approximation of New Super Mario Bros. Wii’s shared anarchy. Death comes quickly, but the generous checkpoint system seldom comes into play, as “dead” players just swell up like balloons and can be deflated by a friend, dropping them straight back into the action.

This leads to all kinds of messy situations in which players leap around trying to save each other when they should be focusing on more immediate obstacles, and the action can get kinda crowded. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword; it’s anarchic, loud fun with friends, but it can make the game more difficult in places, and definitely harder to follow. Things get messier still when Murfy is involved, and arguments become almost inevitable.

While Rayman Legends misses a few tricks along the way, this is still one of the best platformers released in the past decade, packed to the gills with infectiously irreverent humor and endlessly playful level design. The daily and weekly challenges should help extend the life of the game, and competition on the Invasion stages is already fierce, so replay value is high on some segments, although it’s a shame that leaderboards aren’t available for every stage.

Rayman Legends falls just short of being an absolutely timeless classic, but that’s just about the worst thing anyone can say about it. It’s every bit as good as its predecessor — stronger on some fronts and a little weaker on others — and continues to strengthen Rayman’s position as an enduring gaming mascot.

Pros

  • Gorgeous art and audio
  • Clever use of music, especially in the rhythm-based stages
  • Varied and creative levels that seldom repeat tricks
  • Anarchic, fun co-op
  • Challenges and invasions add a competitive edge
  • Back To Origins is a huge slab of bonus content

Cons

  • Murfy can add excess complexity to some levels
  • Time-trials are limited to a handful of levels and challenges
  • Co-op can get messy, and is local-only

Final Score: 90/100


Game Front employs a 100-point scale when reviewing games to be as accurate about the experience as possible. Read the full rundown of what our review scores mean.

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