I’ve never played a Rayman game before. The series gained prominence at a time when I was still playing RPGs exclusively, so I never did give the games a try, but I was interested in Origins as it looked like a beautiful and fun 2D platformer. When I noticed there was a demo up for it, I was excited to try it for myself. It did not disappoint. I had a lot of fun with the game.

There are three levels included on the demo and each one showcases a different sort of level. The first level is the standard platformer. Rayman jumps from platform to platform and punches and kicks enemies into oblivion. The jumping was a bit floaty and slippery and I wasn’t quite used to that, but it only took a few jumps to get the hang of the new jumping mechanics (I’ve been mostly playing Mario games these last few months and the jumping is less slippery). Even though the physics were a lot different from what I usually play, I still really enjoyed the platforming in Origins. :)

The thing Rayman chases in the Shade level of the demo.

The second level was the hardest in the demo. It’s the Shadow level referenced in the title. Basically, unlike the first level, this level’s look resembles shadows. Rayman is a shadow, the platforms are shadows, and the funny looking creature you chase is also a shadow. It created a really contrasted look, which not only looks nice, but helps you focus on precision, which is great because the level demands you get every jump right. Basically this Shadow level plays like a speed run. Rayman has to chase the other Shadow through the level and it moves fast. The level also scrolls along with the other shadow, so if Rayman can’t keep up, you die and start at the beginning. What this means is you have to do everything fast and not make any mistakes as those usually slow you down too much and you end up being killed when the screen moves beyond you. Now this seems like a recipe for frustration and the opposite of fun, but Rayman Origins manages to avoid that by letting you continue as many times as needed and it quickly reloads to the beginning, which in my opinion is the key here because the longer you wait for the level to come up, the more of a drag restarting becomes. Now I’m not really good at platformers (nor really bad either) so finishing this level took me quite a few tries (20+ for sure), but I had fun trying to get further and further each time I tried again. Sometimes I would make a mistake early on and it would cause me to fail. Actually, that happened quite a lot. ^////^ But I still really liked challenging myself with this level and once I finally finished it, I really felt satisfied. In fact, this level was what really sold me on Origins. I’m not sure whether I’m going to get it for the 3DS, but I do want to pick up a copy for one of my systems eventually. :)

The final level was a flying level. Rayman climbs on top of  what looks like a giant purple fly and flies through this level. The fly can shot enemies or suck them up to later shoot out (think Kirby). Not too good at shooters, but the level was a lot of fun and it’s nice to see that the game has a variety of levels to change things up. Like I said, I do want to pick it up, but probably for the Wii or PS3. A bigger screen would be nice to see the beautiful 2D art and 3D doesn’t lend much to this game, which is not surprising given it’s a port and not made specifically with 3D in mind.

Anyone else try the demo or play the game? I heard there were problems in the 3DS demo/version (music sync problems, art looks worse, and the shadow/chase levels being harder due to the way they ported the game). But only having the demo to go by, I can’t really draw any conclusions myself. So any thoughts or suggestions are very much welcome. :)

–SW

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