thereddeath's Rayman Origins (Xbox 360) review

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Style and Soul

With games now these days doing everything scientifically possible to appeal to as many people as possible for the maximum amount of money, Rayman: Orgins says to hell with that and just does what it wants to. It's such a breath of fresh air that one could not help but be absorbed by it's enthusiasm, humor, and soul. Rayman: Origins is such a well crafted and stylized game that if you walk away from it without a smile on your face, you are quite simply soulless.

Rayman: Origins' story is primarily contained within...the manual? Yes, I did read the manual, which did contain the story, however I did this after I completely beat the game. Simply put, from the opening cinematic to the end, nothing in Rayman: Origins' story makes sense, and you won't care. Move to the right.

You want care because you'll be having too much fun just playing the game. The game is a 2D platformer and at times it can be quite challenging. Rayman normally can only take one hit, and there is a power up that allows him to take one more hit, for a maximum of two. This makes Rayman feel old school, in that you are very fragile, but with infinite lives and check points being every other room, Rayman: Origins' difficultly is never overwhelming unless you decided to go the extra mile. The extra mile entails getting 10 skull teeth chests which requires you to run a rigorous obstacle course, and then a final level that is truly a FINAL level, for it is one of the most brutal levels I've ever played in game. The controls of Rayman: Origins take some getting use to, especially if you've played other platformers, mainly because of the way momentum is handled in the game. If you're not careful, you can absolutely murder your forward momentum. The levels are design with Rayman: Origins' controls in mind, and once you're use to them, they work flawlessly for what Rayman: Origins requires you to do.

Speaking of the level design, that's the best part. The worlds you visit are absolutely nuts in their theme, and the levels take that into account. From going from a fire cooking world to a mountain monastery, the level design incorporates the aesthetics of the themes in a way that makes sense, if such worlds existed in a way the made sense. The levels also have a nice blend of obstacle course running and figuring out how to use your abilities to get to certain areas. Thrown into the mix of great platforming levels are shooter levels, which are bizarre and great in their own right. The level design is also complemented by Rayman: Origin's great visuals and fantastic sound track.

Rayman: Origins is also a 4 player cooperative game. If you have played New Super Mario Bros. Wii, it's very similar to that, especially in terms of chaos. If you die, you become a bubble which you can move anywhere on the screen, and if one of your friends hits you, you're back in the game. However, even when you're alive, you can be hit by "friends", which can result in unintentional...or intentional death. Just like New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Rayman: Origins does nothing to mitigate the people your with from being a dick, so choose wisely who you play with.

Rayman: Origins embraces itself and then runs with it. The game oozes with style and a firm identity you just don't see in games anymore. It's levels are expertly designed, the controls are tight, and there's a challenge for all skill levels. Embrace Rayman: Origins for what it is, and you'll see that is fantastic. Just go play this game already.

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