The game starts off with Andre, a black lum, flying around and turning red lums into black lums, and therefore creating his army of hoodlums. He then chases Murfy until they stumble upon Rayman and his friend Globox, peacefully resting under a tree. Attempting to hide Rayman up in the tree, Globox grabs the limbless hero's hands, and they naturally come right off. Globox then runs away, and Rayman goes and retrieves his hands.
Andre then proceeds to the heart of the world, and Rayman goes to stop him. He manages to head him off, but the lum flies straight into Globox's mouth and gets stuck in his stomach! The duo sets out for a doctor's office, where the expert can supposedly get Andre out. Unfortunately, the doctor's musical treatment fails to get the villain out, and he then refers them to another doctor. The second doctor refers them to yet another doctor, and finally the three doctors team up and get Andre out.
Of course, they were unable to catch Andre before he flew away, and so he sets out to take over the world and destroy Rayman. Of course, Rayman sets out to stop him once and for all.
Rayman 3 is a 3-D platformer. Taking control of Rayman gives players the responsibility of figuring out how to get to the end of each level, whether it be by hitting a switch to open a gate or beating the crud out of enemy hoodlums. Of course players run and jump like in any platformer, but Rayman has some unique abilities at his disposal. First off, he can make his hairs into a copter that will make him float, allowing Rayman to cross large gaps. The main weapons in Rayman's arsenal are his fists. Obviously, these are used to punch enemies, but they can reach across pretty long distances and can be charged up for more power by holding the attack button. Rayman can also lock on to an enemy to give some accuracy to his attacks, and he can also attack enemies hiding behind objects with a curving punch.
There is a cool twist on the gameplay, too. Enemy hoodlums will sometimes have a $ sign over their head, and these marked foes will drop cans that give Rayman a particular temporary ability, such as punching with more power or shooting a guided missile. Using these abilities is essential to succeeding against enemies and in getting through to the next level and are implemented into the gameplay all throughout.
As players progress in the game, they get points for defeating enemies and collecting gems. These points unlock bonus content.
There are several mini-games to unlock in the game. These are highly varied and range from a 2D platformer to Hoodlum tennis to a first person shooter in Razoff's mansion.
There are also lots of videos to unlock. These involve Hoodlum training videos about how to beat up Rayman and the game's cut scenes. The Hoodlum training videos are very numerous and highly entertaining and the cut scenes are unlocked as you view them in the game.
First Release (Playstation 2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC, Mac)
Rayman 3 has not seen as many releases compared to other Rayman titles. At the time it was released almost simeltaneously across the three major platforms at the time with little differences between each platform. The Gamecube did have one feature over the others in that players can connect their Game Boy Advance for an exclusive mini game or to unlock features between the GCN and Game Boy Advance Rayman 3 title. The US release also saw a slightly different logo for the boxart, however it remained unchanged in the game itself across all platforms.
Second Release (Xbox 360, Playstation 3)
The game saw a re-release through digital distribution on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 under the title Rayman 3 HD which features upscaled graphics, dedicated widescreen display, leaderboards and also introduced a subtitle feature. The logo is reminescent of the Rayman Origins logo as this version of Rayman 3 was released shortly after. In addition, the bonus videos have been removed to reduce the size of the download, and was replaced with bonus artwork for Rayman Origins.
Gamecube / GBA connectivity
Rayman 3 featured one of the most unique connectivity features ever seen on the Gamecube. In this exclusive two-player mode, one player would construct a path out of puzzle pieces via the Gameboy Advance while the other player would control Rayman, piloting a giant shoe, as he tries to navigate the course in order to reach an end goal. The gameplay on the Gameboy Advance is not unlike Tetris, as various blocks of different shapes appear at the top of the screen and stack at the bottom. The Gamecube gameplay is basically a racing game but the track is constantly changing based on what the other player is doing. This bizarre yet fun asymmetric multiplayer component was an intriguing addition to the Gamecube version of Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc.