Rayman Origins has been out for a few weeks now, so it’s a little late to write a review, even if I owned the game yet. I did however, try the demo and all I can say is wow. I’ve never had any particular interest in the Rayman franchise, but the combination of boredom and a life-long love of classic 2D platforming brought this gem to my attention and thus, the demo onto my Xbox 360 hard drive.
In the demo, I sampled three vastly different levels that do a great job of showcasing what the game has to offer. I started in a more traditional platforming level, then moved on to a side-scrolling shooter segment in which I flew on the back of a mosquito, and from there, dove into the sea for an underwater level.
From the start, I was blown away by the absolutely gorgeous graphics and animation. I’ve played too many platformers where beautifully and intricately animated characacters lead to sluggish and imprecise controls, but that’s not the case here. The controls are incredibly precise, smooth, and responsive. Even the swimming controls are fluid and natural, unlike most games in the genre in which the swimming controls are often a hinderance.
The music is fantastic and each piece is vastly different from the last. Each tune is perfectly suited to the level it is heard in and if you’re anything like me, the “Murray of the Deep” theme will be stuck in your head all day.
The difficulty level is right where I want it to be in a 2D platformer. It’s very challenging, yet fun and not frustrating in the least. Whenever I died, I was excited to try again, and it made it all the more satisfying when I completed the level.
I am absolutely amazed by the demo and I can’t wait to get my hands on the full game. Based solely on what I have seen so far, Rayman Origins could very well be the best 2D platformer I’ve played on any platform since the SNES. If you’re a fan of the genre, I highly recommend downloading the demo and giving the game a try. You won’t be disappointed.