Platform: Nintendo DS , DSI
Here comes everyone’s favourite fist firing, armless, legless hero again in a new adventure in the popular Rayman series, titled Rayman 3D. Hopefully like the other titles in the series we have another good game in our hands and this time we get to play in the full glory of 3D on the Nintendo 3DS.
Ubisoft has a gift for taking advantage of the powerful graphics and 3D functionality when it comes to Nintendo’s 3DS. Rayman 3D is yet another launch title that brings a 3D world that is clean, immersive and a nice juxtaposition to the characters. This by no means is saying the characters are poorly done, but like all Rayman games they are done in a starkly cartoon style in comparison.
There were a couple of issues with some of the element choices that gave me a small headache for the first time since owning the Nintendo 3DS system. In some of the levels there is a lot of dust or other small particles floating around that add a nice effect with the 3D turned on; however, as a result it becomes a little too much and seemed to be the cause of these small headaches. Apart from the particle issue the graphical presentation is another well designed effort from Ubisoft who obviously understands 3D elements.
The sound is exactly what I would expect from a cartoon platform jumper with well-fitting music and animated sound effects. Rayman and the other characters' voices are a series of grunts and blurps in varying degrees of pitch and length that will remind Sims players of the gibberish spoken by the characters in the Sims series. Overall though, the sound and music is generic and nothing really jumped out as amazing but nothing terrible either.
First off, a game should stand alone by itself even if the game is part of a series where a story is meshed between each instalment. The story should at least be summarized at some point or at least explained on some level so there is a bit of understanding. Unfortunately, Rayman 3D drops you into what seems like a continuation of the previous game and although this isn’t my first Rayman title I immediately felt a little lost. They introduce a lot of characters that you are meant to know and talk about past events that you can only know from previous titles.
After that initial confusion and as I continued to play through, a gem of title was discovered with an enjoyable gameplay experience full of variety. The variety of movements from walking, hovering, swimming, to being pulled as if water skiing combined with some excellent platform gameplay and different degree of puzzles, keeps the game interesting as you progress through the story. This was a welcomed change in comparison to some of the other games I have played recently and overall I enjoyed this game quite a bit.
Unfortunately, Rayman 3D is another game that really lacks in utilizing the touch screen, which is mainly used to display progress in regards to the number of key items you have collected; but for the most part it is an under used part of the handheld. There will probably be a bit more time before developers work out how to take advantage of the 3D while still taking advantage of the touch screen as well.
As I mentioned, the lack of a required back history kind of loses some points from me, but the great gameplay pulls me right back into the game and the negative aspects are easily overlooked. In the end Rayman is a great platformer that will provide quite a few of hours of great gaming.
Overall I truly enjoyed playing this game and strongly recommend it as a new title for the 3Ds. The gameplay keeps evolving enough to keep you interested as you continue through and the graphics and sound keep you immersed in the world. Again my issue with the lack of explanation of the characters and history brings the game down for me a bit, but not enough for me to stop playing. This title is a great pick especially if you are a fan of platform adventure games and definitely if you are already into the Rayman series.