SPM: Rayman Origins
The last Rayman game I played was the original Rayman way-back-when on the Playstation. A masterpiece of 2d platforming that was also bastard hard. I’ve still never completed that game, even after downloading it on the Playstation 3, but I loved it because it was bright, vibrant and really fun.
Since then the Rayman franchise has gone off in several directions; including a couple of 3D games and a bunch of mental rabbits. Rayman Origins takes the series back to where it started, but adds a few new tricks as well.
First of all the game is completely mental. Everything from the enemies, the environments and the lums (yes the lums), are all beautifully designed with an oddball, feverish childlike humour. The entire game is such a joyous event that you can’t help but smile like an idiot throughout.
The game is also like the original in places: infuriatingly difficult. The gameplay blends in places between the tactical jumping of Mario, and then breakneck speed of Sonic. It can take a few seconds on some levels to adjust for the next section. But it keeps you concentrating at all times and doesn’t allow you to coast along.
At the end of each world you are also offered a throwback to the old 2D flying shoot-em-up’s which are also a real challenge, in particular when trying to collect all the lums (the glorious lums).
A special mention goes to the soundtrack which is just sublime. Pretty much nothing is left out of the pot as lounge jazz meets dance meets high pitch cheering and rapture. It all fits really well and makes the game all the more fun to play.
There is also the inclusion of playing with three other people whether in-house or online, which is straight out of the new Super Mario Bros, but in a platformer game like this it makes sense to include it as an option.