Not all great games get sequels.
Positive: - great graphics - excellent sound effects and voice acting - animated cutscenes look very nice - controls are sharp and work perfectly - full of lovable personality - dialogue is hilarious every minute of the game - great quality overall -
Negative: - a couple annoying camera quirks here and there -
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc is definitely an awesome game. With quality around every corner, witty dialogue, great voice acting, excellent graphics and sound, and fun gameplay, Rayman 3 is a true winner both within its own franchise and the whole gaming world.
Before you even start to play this game, you will notice just how high the quality is. The introductory cutscene (before the title screen) is awesome. Then you get to the title screen, and in the background it flies around the game's first level! Then you get to the menu, which is pretty cool and fits the game perfectly. But then you start the actually game...
The story in Rayman 3 is really funny. It starts off with Andre the black lum (a little black fuzzy ball with little wings) flying around turning the red lums (little red balls with wings) into an army of more black lums so he can take over the world! His lums then become hoodlums and he starts off on his quest to the heart of the world. Then you find Rayman, peacefully asleep, when a guy named Murphy (I don't actually know what he is, he's green, pretty small, and has a full body and can fly) comes and starts him off on his adventure.
After getting your hands back from Globox (Rayman's blue, funny friend), you give chase to Andre as he makes his way to the heart of the world. However, after a couple levels, a cutscene plays and Andre flys straight into Globox's mouth and gets stuck in the blue man's stomach. The game then turns into a quest to find a doctor who can cure Globox. However, each doctor refers you to another doctor until the fourth, where all the four doctors join forces and get Andre out at last. Then, Andre sets out to take over the world and destroy Rayman because the group failed to contain him after his exit from Globox's body, and so Rayman sets out to stop him... again. So the story is pretty different than you'd expect, but the main part of it is just how funny it is, and the superb voice acting and hilarious cutscenes make it enjoyable every step of the way.
Rayman 3 has some pretty memorable levels to go along with the story. The highlight of the game for me is definitely the part at the Desert of the Knaaren. I really feel that I should go off on this for a little bit, I just love this part of the game! The Knaarens are invincible monsters that live in caves in this desert where (for some reason) the fourth doctor's office is, and Rayman encounters several of these that he must either run away from or stealtily get past, and this part of the game feels so tense and epic, it's just awesome! These creatures are always saying things like "Fresh brain!" or "tear off his flesh!" which really scare and startle you every once in awhile, adding a cool effect to that whole part of the game. This area's boss battle is pretty awesome as well, as Rayman takes down the undefeated arena champion, Reflux, who is pretty much 10 times his size.
Rayman 3 is also a good game aside from its sense of humor: the gameplay is excellent as well. Moving Rayman around somehow feels much better than it did in Rayman 2, and the limbless hero actually throws his fists this time instead of stupid balls of energy like in the game's predecessor. The game is fun to play overall and the controls are also sharp and work to perfection to help the gameplay. The enemy targeting system is nice and once you figure it out (which doesn't take long) is rarely frustrating and works just fine.
To vary the gameplay a bit, there are also different temporary abilities Rayman can get from cans that enemies drop upon defeating them. They do things like give Rayman a huge amount of power, shoot a guided missle, or fly a bit. These make the gameplay more fun and add the icing to the cake of Hoodlum Havoc's gameplay.
Rayman 3 excels in the area of visuals as well. The graphics don't always look perfect, but they certianly look nice and sharp. The fully animated cutscenes also look great.
My personal favorite things about Rayman 3 really revolve around the game's superb sound. The sound effects add so much to the game as does the music, putting the perfect feel into the environments and events. My real favorite thing in this area has definitely been mentioned at least three times in this review already: the voice acting. I don't think I've ever heard of a platformer that has done better in this area. You'd have to be a really hard person to please if you don't laugh at the people like Globox, the doctors, or Andre. And I was also sad when Murphy stays behind after the game's first few levels, that guy was totally hilarious. The voice acting is a big part of Hoodlum Havoc that keeps you laughing and holds your interest all the way through.
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc is really an excellent game. It's pure fun with quality all around. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Rayman 2 or anyone who wants to just have a good time with a game. I think Hoodlum Havoc has a lesson for all of us to learn and accept: not all great games get sequels.
(this does not necessarily affect the overall score)