Ubisoft's limb-less hero makes his debut on the Nintendo 3DS in Rayman 3D. The title is a port of the original Rayman 2 game that launched way back in 1999 on the Nintendo 64, so anyone who enjoyed the game all those years ago will probably do well to pick this up - due to the nostalgia factor alone.
Rayman 3D is the first platformer to make its way onto the Nintendo 3DS system, and while the game isn't anywhere near as revolutionary as it was when it launched in the late 90s, there is still fun to be had when playing the title.
Rayman 3D appears on the 3DS in the almost exact same form as it did over a decade ago, and while the original title was a lot of fun it hasn't really aged well. Platforming is fun and there is a certain level challenge to it, but a portion of the fun is cut down by one issue. The camera is easily the biggest fault that has been left intact, and it's very obvious while playing Rayman 3D. The camera rarely goes where you want it to, and there isn't any way of adjusting it. You can hold the right trigger for a first-person view, but that takes a few seconds and makes the whole process feel extremely redundant and unnecessary - without addressing the overarching problem.
There are a few nice change-ups in the gameplay that make for a nice break between platforming, such as waterskiing behind a giant snake, and even riding/steering a rocket. These both make for a nice change in pace and feel, but more importantly they help keep the game from becoming redundant and boring. However, these scenarios don't appear often enough, which means that the gameplay can become a little tedious from time to time. When these scenarios do surface though it makes for a breath of fresh air that will keep anyone entertained by Rayman 3D.
The main drive behind Rayman is to find and collect a special creature called a Lum. These creatures look almost identical to the Legend of Zelda's Navi, but they are the collective energy of Rayman's world and must be collected in order to restore the land to its once peaceful self. Collecting these little fairy things might sound easy enough, but that's really not the case. There are 999 of them floating around the game, and collecting them will take you hours and hours to do. Collecting Lums unlocks new levels for Rayman to conquer, and collecting all of them is necessary in order to complete the game.
The graphics haven't been enhanced much since the game's debut over a decade ago. There have been some minor tweaks made to the game visually, but overall it really doesn't look much different from Rayman 2. Nintendo's 3DS is capable of better graphics than what Ubisoft utilized in Rayman 3D, but the 3D is actually used quite effectively. There are a few occasions where mosquitoes or bats fly at the screen and they actually feel like they are hurtling towards your face, which is sure to help immerse players in the experience.
The levels feel like they have a much needed level of depth thanks to the 3D, however, each section of the world is really quite small. Gamers who have played recent platformers may be thrown a bit off by just how minuscule each section is in each world, but that's not the only problem they'll find. Utilizing small sections to create a larger world means that you will also encounter several loading screens while trying to complete each level, and even though the load times are minimal it's still a bit of a pain.
Rayman 3D doesn't really offer anything new beyond what past rereleases of the title have offered, but anyone who has yet to experience this game will be in for some solid platforming fun. However, if you have played the game then there aren't any surprises here, and aside from the game's new 3D effects it's just not worth $40 to relive the same experience. Rayman 3D is a great way to kill time for anyone waiting for Mario, but with dated platforming mechanics Rayman just doesn't have the legs (both figuratively and literally) to stand as a must-own 3DS game.
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