By D_Bones 8 Comments
Alright duders on to episode seven of my 2012 game blogs. Here goes my customary preamble bear with me if you have read another one of the blogs. These episodes have been created as a result of the fact that I am never able to create a proper game of the year list at the end of the year because I am too thrifty to purchase ten sixty dollar games each year. Instead I typically buy older cheaper games on my radar and play those instead. So these blogs are not a top however many of these I do but rather just a series talking about the games a played this year in the order I played them. Feel free to check out the earlier episodes if you like this one. Now onto the good stuff.
RAYMAN!! So after hearing the 2011 game of the year podcasts and the Giantbomb’s staffs opinions on Rayman this game immediately hopped up my must play list. When its price dropped to twenty bones I knew it was going to be a definite win. This is in spite of the fact that I did not have any previous attachment or knowledge of the Rayman world. This was also a strange choice for me because 2D platformers are not really my thin. Typically stuff like Mario just frustrates me and I have no reason to keep playing (save the princess whatever). This made me a little worried but the game seemed to have many redeeming qualities that made me pursue it anyway. Such as the co-op which I thought to use to get my gf to play a game with me. Also the visuals which looked striking and the weirdness that appeared from trailers. I will be the first to admit that I should have listened to Patrick when he said do not play Rayman with your girlfriend. That it is not an easy platformer and a newcomer to games will get easily frustrated as well as the gamer for the newbie dying all the time. God damn what a bad game to play with my gf. I thought the whole she doesn’t get it thing would be fixed after a little while. I also though my own patience was good enough not to become irritated at the constant fumbles and death in game. All in all we played maybe fifteen minutes together before she and I weren’t having fun. However, this is not a point against the game at all because the co-op when executed well is incredibly fun and challenging. My girlfriends sisters boyfriend (what a mouthful) is a big time gamer and helps contribute to my trophy hunt (he is also the guy who got me Twisted Metal from earlier episode). Anyway I invited him over to help me collect more lums and pass more levels. He loved the game and we had a blast. For days we had an inside joke about getting to this platform where I was trying to explain and kept saying he has to “hop-hop”. Which was the new term of the week. I just wanted to put on record that playing with more than one person increases the games natural fun as well as makes the collectathon more manageable.
I’ll talk about the game itself which feature Rayman rescuing various pixies from evil creatures after antagonizing a couple of old people by being loud. These old people punish you by sending minions to capture the pixies and ruin your nap. The game is one of the most stunning I’ve played all year. The bright colours and interesting art style make Rayman: Origins a joy to look at. I occasionally even found myself distracted by the new art in a new set of worlds that it caused me to slow down and look at it. This game was made by Ancel who also made Beyond Good & Evil which should have told me how much I was going to like this game as I loved BG&E and it was one of my favourite PS2 era games. The collectathon that this game (and most platformers) is all about never appealed to me very much. I would often get enough of the stuff to move on and nothing more. This game almost forces you to collect as much stuff as possible even if it puts you in harms way. I felt rewarded when I grabbed a hard to reach coin which was delicately balanced between thorns and the edge of the level. The reason I felt rewarded mostly has to do with Rayman’s difficulty.
Based on the other games I had played this year I was not really prepared for a challenge like Rayman. This game is hard. Maybe I just suck but I died a lot and the game steadily ramps up the difficulty the deeper you get in. It never feels cheap, you know that you missed the jump or didn’t punch the guy at the right moment but can be frustrating when the difficulty halts your overall progression. However, when you breach the level which has been giving you trouble you feel so elated (and sorta like what huh screw you!! Got yo ass!) that previous frustrations are left behind. One of the types of levels I hated but quickly became my favourite (funny how that works) are the treasure chest levels. What these levels are is a chase sequence (Rayman after the chest) where the level collapses as you go through. Basically you run full tilt after the chest mimicking its jumps and try to stay ahead of the collapsing level behind you. These levels were such a pain that I would be gritting my teeth in frustration. But soon I would learn to love them as I came to understand these levels and enjoy them for their panic and speed.
Ok trophies. So even though I am over my own personal goal of half of the trophies I still want to return to this game and attempt the platinum. One so that I can have the plat for a game I admire and two because it would be a challenge to achieve this difficult trophy. Overall the Rayman trophies which are not collectable related are fairly easy to get. The trophy list itself only consists of like thirty five trophies to begin with. It is the complete all medals, collect all teeth, find all cages and do all speed runs which will make up most of your time. When I return to Rayman I will be on the hunt but also there to enjoy the rest of what the game has to offer. Trophies as they should be, come second to this amazing game.
So to wrap it all up with a bow, Rayman: Origins is delightful. It’s weird, beautiful and despite my tastes not running toward 2D platformers I had an incredible amount of fun. If you can find a friend (who games regularly) I think this game is at its best on the couch playing co-op. I can easily say that Rayman should be played by everyone especially now that it is so cheap!
Alright duders thanks for reading, next up in the series is…PixelJunk Monsters!!