Rayman Legends was originally a Wii U exclusive that Ubisoft brought to multiple platforms. This smart decision benefits PlayStation Vita owners, who receive a wonderful follow-up to last year's entertaining Rayman Origins. Except in this case, the new game features superior high definition visuals and more levels, wrapped within a superb $39.99 package. If platform games are your go-to genre, this one is worth every cent.
Story-wise, Legends' plot is appropriately razor thin, with the gang falling asleep for 100 years, then setting off to punt nightmares from The Glade of Dreams. With that out of the way, you can focus on what makes this game memorable, the quality platforming.
Legends succeeds for a few reasons, gameplay first and foremost. Ubisoft packed its newest adventure with a satisfying amount of variety, from standard platforming fare to special musical stages where you punch and jump to the beat. Most importantly, the bulk of these stages take place in expertly designed 2D worlds overflowing with detail, from shifting mountains to scary-looking creatures that occupy satisfying pieces of screen real estate.
The fact that Legends' stages don't necessarily make sense adds to the charm. We still can't figure out the connection between the lush forests at the very beginning with a Mexican kitchen, filled with silverware and hot peppers, and we don't care, since each board assaults the eyes with splashes of color and unique scenery.
Not only that, but the game has an abundance of collectables if you crave each piece of loot. This results in multiple trips to the same levels for better results, along with testing one's platforming skills as Rayman navigates his way through a world that is also interactive, from riding gusts of wind to getting launched from the foreground into the background via a neat visual trick. Discovering new ways to poke and prod these environments is part of the fun.
That said, the controls are about as perfect as you'll find in a 2D platformer, and Ubisoft took advantage of Vita's signature abilities. One second, you'll tilt to spin a large wooden wheel, and the next, you'll slash the touchscreen to cut pieces of rope, creating safe passage for one of the game's bizarre-looking heroes.
Unfortunately, we were unable to test the co-op multiplayer portion of the game, as it just hit shelves today, but the single-player portion delivers on all fronts, with captivating graphics, excellent music and enough content to keep this in your Vita for quite a while. If you think highly of Rayman Origins, Legends is an essential purchase.
Review copy provided by Ubisoft.
What's Hot:Gorgeous visuals bring Rayman's world to life, fun mix of levels overflowing with collectible items, controls take full advantage of PlayStation Vita.
What's Not:Tough to see everything at times, but a nifty zoom function helps greatly.