Posted 2 years ago By - Jay Acevedo
Make no mistake, Rayman 3D is an enhanced version of the Dreamcast classic – and one of best platformers of all time - Rayman 2. That game was so great, it was ported to at least four platforms (PS2, Game Boy Color, DS and iPhone/iPod) since its release more than ten years ago. When Ubisoft revealed their Rayman 3DS plans earlier this year, I remember saying to myself that they’ve missed a great opportunity to bring back Rayman in a brand new adventure after taking the back seat to the Raving Rabbids franchise. More importantly, they had a much more powerful handheld to work on, so why spit on the opportunity?
Then, right before I booted the 3DS version, bad memories of the unimpressive 2005 DS version came back to haunt me. That happens to me from time to time with certain titles that were re-re-re-re-released. Curiously, a friend of mine pointed out that it was also a launch title for the said system. Guess what I did? I pulled the old DS cartridge from the vault to compare just a little. I’m that kind of fan, you know?
Although the same disappointed feeling didn’t resurface, Rayman 3D also didn’t make me jump to the ceiling in excitement either, since it looks just like the Dreamcast version. Indifferent and partially sad, I’ve realized that this may be the least impressive 3DS launch title…unless another title (from Ubisoft or somebody else) from my reviewing pile manages to do leave a worse impression. Then, as I was advancing through the Glade of Dreams and going to hang with Globox and Clark once more, I remembered why I fell in love the game in the first place. But enough to spend $40? Nope.
Don’t get me wrong, Rayman 3D is technically “better” than the dreaded DS version from a gameplay standpoint. Easier to play, improved camera angles and controls…basically the things that made me hate that horrible port were fixed. But for some reason, the game still isn’t that impressive to look at anymore; not even when fooling around with the 3D slider. Granted, nostalgia is what saves it from being labelled as the worst launch title of the group. The ambient music, the pretty levels, the funny looking characters…heck even the gibberish dialog is cute to a certain extent. But seriously, despite Ubisoft’s efforts, Rayman 3D still feels dated.
My reviewer experience taught me a valuable lesson: a developer who brings an “improved port” of a classic title to a new platform doesn’t necessarily think of supporting the pivotal features from the targeted platform (in this case some sort of online mode and/or gyroscopic support, among others) into the final product. I could live with the idea. However, it wouldn’t be bad to note that Ubisoft could have done a little extra to compensate for the rather barebones package. Franchise history, photo galleries…I don’t know, something that pays homage to what once was one of the best platformers on the market. I’m no developer; however I would love to know how much time it took Ubisoft Casablanca to make this 3DS version. Not saying that they put it on a cartridge and called it good, because as I’ve mentioned earlier on, they’ve improved it gameplay-wise. They just could have done a little more, especially for the fans.
There were times where my resistance to three-dimensional viewing was put to the test though. Not a single jaggy or weird ghosting to be seen, but some levels were simply hard on the eyes.
Being one of the few platformers available in the launch line-up (the other being LEGO Star Wars), Rayman 3D’s target audience - i.e those who actually played “The Great Escape” and fell in love with the lengthy campaign and overall presentation - will pick it up without hesitation. As for those who never-NEVER got to play it, I think it would be best to wait until the price drops of a few bucks...like 20-30 dollars. You can always find an old and cheap PC, PS2, Dreamcast or DS version somewhere in a bargain bin. Okay, maybe not the DS one...
+ Much easier to play compared to its past outings
+ For nostalgic Rayman players only...
+ Overall package lacks “love”
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Release Date : 2011/03/27
System : Nintendo 3DS
Publisher : Ubisoft
Developer : Ubisoft Casablanca
Category : Adventure
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10