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COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: Ubisoft’s Rayman Legends Wii U Review

Updated: 08/28/2013 5:06 PM
Created: 08/28/2013 10:59 AM KSTP.com
By: Aaron Chalich

I just received a review copy of Ubisoft’s “Rayman Legends” for the Wii U, and it’s amazing. 

“Rayman Legends” is a platform game, and is the follow up to “Rayman Origins” released in 2011.

The main character in the game is Rayman, and he is accompanied by his best friend Globox and The Teensies. There is also a new playable character named Barbara.

After their last exciting adventure (“Rayman Origins”), Rayman, Globox, Bubble Dreamer, and The Teensies, go back to the Glade of Dreams and take a century long nap.  Bubble Dreamer starts having nightmares, and the nightmares take over the Glade of Dreams and capture The Teensies.  Now Rayman and his friends have to wake up and get rid of the nightmares from the Glade of Dreams and rescue all of The Teensies.

There are more than 120 levels that you can explore and once you complete a level you will unlock another one.  Everything is set up in a giant tent filled with multiple covered paintings.  Each painting contains a different level, and to play that particular level, you must jump into the painting.  As you complete each level, a new painting is uncovered to reveal the next area. 

You can also see how difficult a level is, by the number of skulls on the painting.  The more skulls, the more difficult the level is.

I really liked that there is a great variety of levels to play.  There are levels, where you have to shoot nightmares with a slingshot, and that is a lot of fun.  The boss battles are amazing and are very intense. 

One of my favorite types of levels is the “Rayman Rocks” levels.  These are awesome.  Each level is set to a popular, and some original songs.  Everything is placed in the level to match the music.   You jump and punch to drum beats, and when there is a long guitar riff you slide down ropes.   It looks so cool.  One of the first songs that you get to hear is a version of Ram Jams “Black Betty.”  Every time the song goes into the chorus, nightmares appear on the screen and say “Whoa!” It’s hilarious.

Each level contains multiple things that you must find.  You can try and rescue all of The Teensies in that particular level.  There are 700 hundred Teensies that have been captured and there is a counter that shows you how many you have rescued.   There is a menu that will pop in each level that will show you how many Teensies you found and how many you are missing.  You can go back and replay each level at any time to try and find the Teensies that you missed.  Some of them are hidden very well, and you must really search for them.

Each level also contains fairy-like creatures called Lums.  They are hidden and scattered through each level.  The Lums will unlock different heroes in the game. 

After you complete each level, you are given a trophy (Lums Cups).  There are bronze, silver and gold cups, and they are give based on how many Lums you found.  You can also get a Diamond Cup if you find all of the Teensies in that level.

You can also get “Lucky Tickets” that will unlock different things such as creatures that will give you more Lums.  You scratch the tickets like a lottery ticket which is pretty cool when you use the gamepad on the Wii U.  The tickets will also sometimes give you more Lums so you can unlock more heroes.

The controls for “Rayman Legends” are very simple to learn, and anyone will be able to just pick up the game and play it.  There is also in game tutorials that explain all of your moves and what to do when you encounter new obstacles in the game. 

Rayman can punch, jump, kick in the air, pull things out of the ground, do a tornado attack, crush attack and also hover in the air.

One thing that makes “Rayman Legends” awesome on the Wii U is that you get the opportunity to use the gamepad a lot.  There are some levels where Globox or one of the heroes is walking around and you must cut ropes, move and rotate platforms, and tickle monsters (yes, I did mean tickle) by controlling a fairy looking character named Murfy.  You do this by swiping your finger on the gamepad.  The one thing that I learned very quickly is that you have to move fast and pay attention to where you want the hero to move.  For example, a platform is being help by two ropes and there is a Teensy up on a platform on the upper right of the screen.  If you cut the rope on the left side of the platform if will fall at an angle and the hero will walk up and free the Teensy.

The graphics are absolutely stunning.  Everything is brightly colored and a great amount of detail was put into the game.  The backgrounds and levels look amazing, and the creatures and characters all look fabulous.  The lighting is perfect and really enhances the feel of when you are going through a dungeon or castle.  Each level has its own unique style and look, and I really enjoyed that when I was playing “Rayman Legends.”

There are many different areas and game modes that you can play. 

There are levels that are called “Invasion” levels. These are levels that you have already passed and now more monsters have invaded the previously cleared level and are trying to change it.  You must rescue three Teensies that are tied to rockets, and you have 60 seconds to do it.  The object is to see how fast you can rescue them.  Once you complete the level your time is put on a leaderboard that is shared with other players from around the world.

There are “Back to the Origins” levels. These are recreated “Rayman Origins” levels that have new enemies.

Two other modes that are a lot of fun to play are the “Challenges” and “Kung Foot.” 

There are four different types of challenges. There is a daily, weekly, daily extreme and weekly extreme challenge.

At the beginning of the game, only the daily challenge is unlocked, but by increasing your level of awesomeness you can unlock the other challenges.   You increase your awesomeness meter by winning the bronze, silver, gold and diamond cups in the levels. 

Every day a new challenge is available that you can play.  You must try and collect as many Lumas as you can and to try and make as far as you can without dying.

The challenges are an online feature and your results are posted on a leaderboard.  When you start the challenge there are other player ghosts that appear and go through the level with you and you can see how well they did in the challenge.  This was a really neat feature.

“Kung Foot” is a fun co-op level.  You get to kick and hit a soccer ball that is bouncing around.  You can hit it up into the air and knock it into goals.  You are playing in front of an audience of nightmares and every time you score a goal one of them jumps up and yells “GOAL” really loud.  It’s pretty funny.  This was a level that was created by the developers to plat at the launch party and because it was a hit at the party, they decided to leave it in the game.

“Rayman Legends” on the Wii U also allows up to five players to play at one time, which is awesome.  Players can join and jump out at any time during the game. 

Overall, I really enjoyed Ubisoft’s “Rayman Legends” for the Wii U a lot.  It is a very challenging and fun game to play.  “Rayman Legends” is packed full of humor and is hilarious. The controls are extremely easy to learn and the graphics are absolutely amazing.  I really enjoyed all of the different modes and searching for all of the hidden Teensies in each level.    I also really liked all of the game modes and especially the online game play and daily challenges.  I would highly recommend that you check out “Rayman Legends.”  It is rated “E” for everyone and contains cartoon violence and comic mischief. 

Aaron Chalich is a columnist with KSTP.com writing about the latest entertainment news.


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