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Rayman 3 HD (PlayStation 3) artwork

Rayman 3 HD (PlayStation 3) review

"While Rayman Origins hasnít exactly set the world on fire, those who gave it a chance were impressed with it for (among other things) its sense of humour and charm. Perhaps to capitalize on these new fans, Ubisoft recently released a new HD remaster of the least charming title in the series, Rayman 3."

While Rayman Origins hasnít exactly set the world on fire, those who gave it a chance were impressed with it for (among other things) its sense of humour and charm. Perhaps to capitalize on these new fans, Ubisoft recently released a new HD remaster of the least charming title in the series, Rayman 3.

Thatís not to say that Rayman 3 is a bad game, or even a soulless game, but while other Rayman games bring a sense of whimsy, the franchiseís third installment resembles a Saturday morning cartoon. Characters are quite animated (though not always well), and nearly every line of spoken dialogue is meant to be funny. Sometimes it fails miserably (as in the case of Murfy, the tutorial... thing in level 1, who is sufficiently annoying that youíll be happy when he leaves at the end of that stage), but most of the time itís cute or comical enough to be legitimately funny or at least inoffensively silly. John Leguizamo (who you may recognize from every movie and TV show made since 1990) voices Raymanís friend and sidekick, Globox. While the character sounds completely different from his mumblings in Rayman 2 as a result, Leguizamoís delivery is great and his performance actually make some of the minor characters seem amateurish in comparison.

As you can probably guess from the title, Rayman 3 HDís graphics are remastered to look spiffy in HD, and they do the game justice. From a purely technical point of view, the visuals are nothing special. While most textures have been improved, the parts where the developers originally cut corners are much more obvious when presented in high definition. Things like flat climbable surfaces and pixelated text are less forgivable in HD than they were on a CRT TV in 2003. Still, you can always count on Rayman for top notch art direction, and Rayman 3 doesnít disappoint in that department. While the fairytale tone of other Rayman games isnít as prevalent in the dialogue and character animations, youíd never know it from the look of the levels. Beautiful skyboxes, colourful grassy fields, shimmering magical towers, and trippy technicolour LSD trip bonus stages are everywhere. If you can overlook the small details, the look is quite nice for a 9-year-old game.

Other things added to this rerelease include a Rayman Origins-style art gallery and a leaderboard system. Rayman 3ís focus on chaining collectibles and searching for hidden gems lends itself well to this more modern standard. If you can tolerate the gameplay problems, you might find yourself revisiting levels to increase your score.

Unfortunately, some of Rayman 3ís flaws arenít as easy to forgive as the rough on-screen text. As a general rule, the game lacks polish. The targeting system often fails miserably when there are aerial enemies around. It either targets the wrong enemy or doesnít target anything, depending on how close you are to your foe. Boss fights are excruciating. From annoying patterns, to moves that seem to be meant to be evaded with abilities from a completely different game, to huge amounts of HP that take ages to whittle down, every boss has some annoying quirk that makes you think ďI never want to play this level again.Ē

The most obvious and persistent problem is the camera. The level design is actually pretty good. Thereís a variety of environments, numerous puzzles to solve, and some pretty solid platforming to be done. The camera, however, does none of these things any favours. It constantly gets stuck behind walls or starts pointing in the completely wrong direction. Too many times I found myself flying through the air, needing to reach a flight power-up or grappling point or balloon to bounce off of, only to have the camera swivel in the wrong direction and leave me with insufficient time to view and correct my path until it was too late to reach my target.

Perhaps if developers had spent less time creating mini-games (and there are many of them here, with few actually worth playing) and more time polishing the important parts, Rayman 3 would have been a more pleasant experience. When everything works the way it should, the game is a more-than-competent platformer. Itís a shame that so many specific moments drag down the experience as a whole.


Roto13's avatar
Staff review by Rhody Tobin (April 26, 2012)

Rhody likes to press the keys on his keyboard. Sometimes the resulting letters form strings of words that kind of make sense when you think about them for a moment. Most times they're just random gibberish that should be ignored. Ball-peen wobble glurk.

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