Wednesday, April 17, 2013

VGR Rayman 2

 Rayman is back, and goes 3D!

Michel Ancel's cartoony hero gets reviewed Eyz-style:

VGR: Rayman 2: The Great Escape aka Rayman Revolution or simply Rayman 2
From Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft Entertainment
Played on Dreamcast
Also available on PC, N64, PSX, PS2, PS3, DS & 3DS

Type 3D Action platformer
Year 1999/2000

The one and only Rayman 2!

It's the game that helped put Ubisoft on the map.

After literally a dozen ports of the first Rayman on most systems at the time (and still counting to this day), Ubisoft launched the production of another Rayman game immediately.

At first they worked on a 2D prototype to follow on the original Rayman. The game was developed for the Sega Saturn and PSX. It would have featured the same story as the final Rayman 2 but would have offered more of the same experience as the first game to the point it looked more like an additional map pack than a brand new title.

That is when Ubisoft Montpellier took a step forward and started over.

Based on another early Michel Ancel title, Tonic Trouble, the game offers a great leap from 2D to 3D.

This sequel to the classic 2D sidescroller takes our hero into a free 3-Dimensional environment for the first time akin to Mario 64.

Rayman 2 is a story driven adventure.
The plot is told via well animated cutscenes using the game models. It moves the pace and brings a tone not that far from animated features.

The Admiral Razorbeard invaded Rayman's world!

With his Robo-Pirate army, he has captured several creatures from around the world.

We find our hero in a prison cell, left powerless. One day, Rayman finds his old friend Globox. Globox gets one of Rayman's powers back and they both escape into the "Woods of Light".

After meeting with the King of the Teensies, they rescue Ly the Fairy.

The "Heart of the World" is in peril. With all the destruction caused by the robots, a thousand Lums have spread all over the world. The Lums are responsible for the stability of the world.

Rayman has to break the cages to help the little creatures and collect the Lums. The goal is to collect four mystical masks to reawaken Polokus - spirit of the world - and bring peace back before it's too late!

The game takes place in Rayman's world, the Glade of Dreams. An original world that will take you from gorgeous green forest to more industrial heavily armed robotic places, volcanoes, beaches, etc.

There's a bit of everything in Rayman 2.

Rayman is an all-around hero, he can perform a wide variety of moves for a platform character. He adapts to any sort of situation. From the simple jump to more acrobatic moves.

You can strafe to help you out in combats or precise segments. Rayman can use his classic ability to turn his hair into an helicopter to flight momentary. You can climb up walls, climb in-between walls and more!

Rayman start with no special abilities but like in the original you will obtain new powers during the adventure. The first one being the magic fist to punch enemies from a safe distance.

The goal is to reach the end of the levels while breaking cages and trying to collect as many Yellow Lums as possible. It's possible to finish the game without collecting all the cages.

Rayman 2 uses a world map where you can see all the levels you've unlocked and your progression.
You can backtrack earlier levels if you missed anything.
As you explore new levels the plot moves forward. Rayman will find more friends.

Like the 650 baby Globoxes, the children of Globox and his wife Uglette(!).

There's a great variety in the places you'll visit. A lot is always happening, there's never a second to rest and admire the gorgeous levels.

You'll visit various places as beautiful as one another.

The game is certainly a bit less cartoony and surreal than the original, but's a welcome change to really make it stand out apart.

Of all the Rayman games this one has a darker tone compared to usually.

Simply put, it's a stunning game!
Even any slight camera problem on rare occasions is way too small a real problem to complain about.

The game has a lot of hidden levels out of the main story's path on the map. On the Dreamcast there's also a Globox Village exclusive to that version with some more bonus content and mini-games playable up to 4 player. They go from the simple party game to fun brawls. The VMU (the Visual Memory, the Dreamcast's memory card) also gets to use, with some exclusive side-mini-games.

Rayman 2 added many new major characters to the series. Such as Murfy, the game guide.

Michel Ancel, Rayman's creator, designed the game with his team at Ubisoft Montpellier. He was Rayman 2's art director as well.

The sound department is not on rest either, the sound is a key element in making this unique world come to life. All the sounds and voices (although gibberish in the original versions of the game) are well done and contribute a lot to the atmosphere.

The music is from Éric Chevalier. The memorable soundtrack has a lot of beats and keeps the rhythm during the most challenging levels.

Overall, a classic 3D platformer created by Michel Ancel, and easily one of the best 3D platformers of all time.

Simply said, it's one of the best modern platformers I've ever played. There's a lot of replay value, lots to collect to complete the final 100% completion. It has a great design, such an original title, with great humor, a simple but sweet story.. in one word: perfect!

It turned Rayman from a best selling 2D title into a full fledged franchise. 

Since then there has been many sequels, an almost-on-going animated series, spin-offs (Rabbids anyone?) and more!

It also boosted Ubisoft's reputation and Michel Ancel's career.

There has been many, countless ports of Rayman 2, each with their own qualities and defaults. Probably more so than the original ever had.

All ports are slightly different, adapted to their specific systems. The PC and N64 versions came first in 1999. The wonderful Dreamcast release is a step up the earlier already great PC and N64 releases. It added a zoomed out camera, more 3D models over 2D sprites, several mini-games hidden. Most ports onward are based on the DC game. Then came Rayman Revolution on the PS2, which is an enhanced remake of Rayman 2 with some mixed up new elements, from minor enemies to entire new stages and a hub area replacing the world map. Rayman DS for the Nintendo DS is based on the N64 Rayman 2 but contains a lot of bugs and glitches so that one's not really recommended. Rayman 3D is a 3DS port of the DC Rayman 2, it's really impressive. There's other modern ports such as the iOS based on the Dreamcast as well.

It's a recommended cult classic! Dust off your Dreamcast or get it on your platform of choice - chances are it will be available on it. 

A must play to anyone that call themselves a "gamer".

I give it:
3 / 3 Bruces!

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