Impressions: Hands-On with Rayman Legends

Rayman’s back, and he’s better than ever!

I like Rayman Origins. I’ve played it on the Vita. I’ve played it on the Wii. I’ve played it on Steam. I’ve played it on 3DS. Now, I’ve played its sequel, Rayman Legends, on the Wii U.

Legends is very similar to Origins in that they share the same basic formula. You still play as Rayman, you’re still running and jumping your way through levels, and you’re still floaty as hell. Well, maybe not as floaty. I don’t know why, but something about the physics in Legends feels much better than Origins. I felt like I had much more control over Rayman, which I was told was something to do with the game’s new physics engine. Pretty cool, especially for a fan of tight control like me.

As you all may very well know, Legends introduces Murfy for the first time as a playable character. Murfy is unique in that he is controlled solely with the Wii U GamePad itself. Through I didn’t play as Murfy myself (my brother did), I was impressed by how much stuff Murfy was able to do. Those who have seen footage of the game before know that Murfy can interact with a ton of things in the environment. For example, one section involved the player on the GamePad to rotate the controller in order to rotate a platform, a la New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Another section involved Murfy cutting ropes in order to make a path for Rayman.

Though all of that was expected after watching the trailer, something I didn’t expect was how powerful Murfy can be when attacking enemies. One section of the demo required both Rayman and Murfy to take out a set number of enemies, and I was pleasantly surprised to see Murfy fling baddies across the screen, into walls, and down ditches. This definitely makes Murfy feel like a player rather than a lousy helper character.

The platforming part of the demo was pretty awesome, if you ask me. I was able to find a couple of secrets without the rep’s help, one of which required Rayman and Murfy to work together in order to go through a rotating obstacle course complete with spikes and tricky platforming. The new physics of the game really felt apparent here, as I had no trouble wall jumping and swinging through the maze.

Of course, the demo ended with a pretty awesome music/rhythm section, in which I controlled Rayman by jumping and punching to the music while my brother tapped and destroyed enemies to the beat. Let me tell you, I’m a real junkie when it comes to rhythm games; I loved Rhythm Heaven Fever (Plug! Check out my review here!) and am super excited for Game Freak’s new 3DS game HarmoKnight. It shouldn’t be to anyone’s surprise then that I absolutely adored the rhythm section in Rayman Legends. HEAVEN!

I was told that there would be a total of five different worlds in Rayman Legends, and that each world is accessible from the beginning of the game, as well as all your moves. This is great for gamers like me who love exploring but don’t want to be limited by unnecessary unlockables. Overall, I’d say I enjoyed Rayman Legends a lot. In fact, I would have called it my favorite demo at the event, if it hadn’t for Mario Chase…

But that, of course, is for another time.

Rayman Legends comes out exclusively for Wii U when the console launches on November 18 30 in Europe and on December 4 in the Americas in Q1 2013.


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