Platformers have always been one of my favorite genres when done well, which has become a relative rarity in recent times. All of that combines to make the occasional gem like Rayman Origins a real treat. If you have any appreciation for a good 2D platformer, Rayman Origins is the game for you.
With platformers, it always begins with controls. Rayman Origins controls extremely well for the most part, which makes navigating the game’s dozens of levels fun at its core. There’s a snappiness to moving the titular Rayman around, and transitioning from running to wall jumping to swinging on a vine is a satisfyingly smooth process. I did have some problems with both the sprint wall run mechanics though. Both felt a little fickle to me, with sprinting being the more prominent offender. It seemed to make Rayman frustratingly slippery, and holding sprint while standing would result in an awkward burst of speed when you next moved. This caused me to die a handful of deaths that felt unwarranted, but otherwise wasn’t a huge deal. Aside from the controls, platformers get a lot of their appeal from creative level design, and that’s arguably Rayman Origins’ best quality. There’s a lot of variety in these levels, and their design is very delicately laid out in a way that rewards crisp timing and solid reflexes, which is ultimately what any good platformer aims to do. That’s what the classics did, and Rayman Origins follows in their footsteps extremely well.
If Rayman Origins’ level design isn’t its best quality, then its visuals almost certainly are. This game looks absolutely gorgeous in every regard, from the colorful level backgrounds to the lively way the characters are animated. As someone who prefers bright blues and greens over dark browns and greys, Rayman Origins is some wonderful eye candy. The soundtrack also holds up in its own jaunty way, and the fact that all the characters always speak in Pig Latin is hilarious. Just wait until they start singing in this maniacal language; it had me in stitches. In fact, the entire game has a great sense of humor. It doesn’t shove it in your face very often, but the game’s subtly quirky style is a delight nonetheless. Finally, in true platformer fashion, Rayman Origins is chock full of collectibles. Some are fun, some are annoying, and a lot of them are incredibly generic. I occasionally enjoyed the extra challenge they can provide, but I was certainly not going to grind through the hundreds that were on offer. At some point I just don’t care to collect one more trinket.
That’s Rayman Origins in a nutshell. It may not reinvent the wheel, but it’s a very well executed game in a genre we don’t see nearly often enough in our current age of generic corridor shooters. The world is a better place with Rayman Origins in it, and if you have ever liked anything about a good 2D platformer then this one comes highly recommended.
For additional information on my review style and scoring system, click here.