If Michel Ancel is, as has often been suggested, the French Miyamoto, then Rayman is clearly his Mario. It's fitting, then, that just as Nintendo periodically re-releases Mario's classic games, Ubisoft is reaching into Rayman's back catalog to dust off the limbless wonder's earlier adventures and introduce them to a new generation of players. So get ready, because Rayman 3 HD arrives March 21st on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation network.
A brand new trailer showcases just how nicely Rayman 3 has been cleaned up for current-generation consoles, though it skimps on one important detail: Ancel had nothing to do with the game.
As the trailer is quick to point out, Rayman 3 HD (which was originally released as Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc way back in the PS2/GameCube days) has been brought into the modern world by the same team that produced Beyond Good & Evil HD. Consider that poetic justice, as it was work on BG&E that kept Ancel away from Rayman 3 in the first place. At any rate, Beyond Good & Evil HD was a tremendous update, and it appears as though Rayman 3 HD follows suit.
Unlike the brilliant, endearing, decidedly two-dimensional gameplay of last Fall's fantastic Rayman: Origins, Rayman 3 sticks our hero in a fully 3D world. The game is very much a 3D platformer in the mold of Mario 64 and Ancel's own Rayman 2: The Great Escape (which itself got an underwhelming port to 3DS last year), with a sense of humor that doesn't quite match up with the other games in the series.
Still, as with every Rayman game released, Hoodlum Havoc certainly looked nice back then, and it looks even better now. Check out the Rayman 3 HD announcement trailer below.
So what did Ancel think of Rayman 3 back in the day? He shared some thoughts on the project in a 2003 interview with GameSpy.
"That's a political question. [laughs] I think that I would have made it different. When it was released I appreciated the fact that it was fresh, with new characters and things. It's funny because it's not my Rayman, you see. I worked on Rayman 1 and Rayman 2. So it's like another game to me, another character. So I will say ... I would have made it different."
Though it may not be the pinnacle of the series, Rayman 3 still offered more than its share of fun. Whether that fun holds up for players of the unquestionably superior Rayman: Origins remains to be seen.
Are you looking forward to Rayman 3 HD?
Rayman 3 HD releases March 21, 2012, for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.
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