Bev Chen
17 Apr, 2011

Rayman 3D Review

3DS Review | Nostalgia attacks from the third dimension.
Who could forget the 90’s? Power Rangers, Furbies, The Spice Girls (shut up!), and, of course, some of the finest action platformers ever to grace gaming. Amongst these is the Rayman series, which have since gone on to inspire the spin-off Rabbids series. Back in the present though, the launch of the Nintendo 3DS console meant plenty of opportunity for publisher Ubisoft to get a slice of the launch title pie, which, amongst other titles, meant that the aptly named Rayman 3D would be hitting store shelves. Rayman 3D, much like Rayman DS six years ago, is a port of Rayman 2: The Great Escape. Ultimately however, it’s quite a bare one.

For those needing a refresher, or perhaps haven’t had the opportunity to play Rayman 2, the game sees the titular, limbless hero defeating a robot pirate invasion and repairing the world of the Glade of Dreams. To do so, Rayman must not only regain his powers, but also collect pieces of the world’s core (yellow orbs called ‘Lums’). Oh, and did we mention that he also needs to reunite the four masks of the Polokus, the world’s spirit? It’s a story quite typical of the platformers of the era, but there’s actually a fair bit of interesting mythos to the Glade of Dreams. In addition, the dialogue can be quite humorous and delightful at times and is overall a significant reason why the game is so charming.

We're also sure that this game might have caused a few nightmares.

We're also sure that this game might have caused a few nightmares.
As for the gameplay... well, it’s a little bit of a mixed bag. Playing Rayman 3D, we understand why people consider it to be one of the greatest games ever. However, by today’s standards, the game does feel a little primitive. To put it another way, those unfamiliar with the hype surrounding the franchise may wonder what the big deal is when they may have already played something similar. It doesn’t seem like the game has been improved since its original release in 1999 either, although the port is reportedly based on the superior Dreamcast version. Problems such as a finicky camera and occasionally unresponsive controls did make us wonder why the developers hadn’t bothered to improve on these issues, especially since they’ve had a fair while to do so. Some gameplay segments suffer from problems as well, such as the one which saw us speeding down a river of lava on a plum (really!) while steering by shooting in the direction opposite we wanted to go. One wrong move, and you’re dead.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, as we felt that there are sections in the game which, even by today’s standards are still very interesting and well-designed. For example, there was a stage where we had to carry a heavy barrel from one end of a room to another in order to blow up part of a wall. The problem lay in missile that would periodically fly towards us. The solution? Toss the barrel up in the air and shoot the missile down, of course! Similarly, the 3DS’s control layout is, for the most part, a natural fit for Rayman 3D, especially due to the inclusion of the mini joystick.

The aforementioned barrel segment.

The aforementioned barrel segment.
But what about the visual aspect of Rayman 3D, which is arguably its main selling point? It’s sad to say, but we weren’t impressed very much. We found that while at certain times, the 3D effect gave us a helpful perspective on our surroundings, at others it could be useless and even downright misleading, not to mention that playing with the 3D slider at maximum is a surefire way of giving yourself a headache. It doesn’t help that the fonts and the colours used for any text in the game aren’t visually appealing, but the developers thought that the best way of utilising 3D when these showed up was by having them float over the game’s other colourful models and backgrounds will hurt your eyes. Moreover, given the graphical capabilities of the 3DS, we expected a visual upgrade to the title. This wasn’t the case though, and while they aren’t mind-numbingly terrible, they haven’t aged very well. Get used to seeing jagged polygons and flat textures a lot.

Rayman 3D is quite the mixed bag. Sure, the gameplay is still fun, if somewhat dated, and completionists can take solace in the fact that it’s one of those games that pushes you to get 100% completion (which, in this game, means collecting all 1000 Lums). However, for a game with an RRP of AUD$69.95, it feels quite bare. 3D visuals aside, there’s nothing that Rayman 3D puts forward to make it a really worthwhile purchase for the 3DS, but it might be a great title for gamers yet to experience the magic of the Rayman universe to check out. For those looking for a nostalgia punch, you’d be better off finding a second-hand copy of the original release.
The Score
It doesn’t use the 3DS’s technology too well and the price is steep given the features of the package, but underneath that, Rayman 3D is still a fun little platformer, if somewhat dated.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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3 years ago
Are you kidding? They've ported the same game to 3DS that they ported near the beginning of the DS' life? That sounds absurd.
3 years ago
sobriquet835 wrote
Are you kidding? They've ported the same game to 3DS that they ported near the beginning of the DS' life? That sounds absurd.
I agree completely. It seems to be exactly the same port, just without the touchscreen functionality and with some thrown in 3D effects. All this for just $69.95!!

For shame, Ubisoft. For shame.
3 years ago
It seems to be exactly the same port, just without the touchscreen functionality and with some thrown in 3D effects. All this for just $69.95!!
I don't think it is the same port, its graphics looks fairly on par with the Dreamcast, while the DS port was horrid, looked worse than the N64 version and lagged up with low frame rates a lot.

Dreamcast is still the best version of this game, dont see the point in buying another copy.
3 years ago
I wish they'd stop milking what I consider to be one of the greatest platformes ever released. Ubisoft are just tarnishing thhe game's reputation with all these half arsed ports. For all intents and purposes Rayman 2 is an incredible game, just needs to be enjoyed on eiether PS2, Dreamcast or the N64. Even the PSOne version wasn't half bad.
3 years ago
I wish they'd have ported Rayman 3, instead. That was an underappreciated game.
3 years ago
^The Holy Grail references ruined that game for me.
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Australian Release Date:
  31/03/2011 (Confirmed)

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