Have You Played… Rayman Legends?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

2013’s Rayman Legends is the most recent game I’ve been playing with my three-year-old daughter, and by ‘playing’ I mean ‘she watches me play while asking approximately 80 Why? questions per minute.’

She loves it, and by ‘loves’ I mean ‘is preoccupied almost entirely with when we will next unlock a new ‘girl character’ to play as, with a side order of being upset if I don’t manage to rescue every Teensy.’

Rayman Legends, if you’ve never played it or its predecessor Origins, is an entirely delightful and wonderfully tight take on a platformer series I suspect many of us have sneered at in the distant past. A cavalcade of inventive animation and slightly sadistic Chuck Jones humour, set across gorgeous levels whose structure and conceit are often dizzyingly different from the last.

Casual it is not though. Sure, it’s not Super Meat Boy, but it demands increasing manual dexterity and impeccable timing as it wears on. From little Connie’s point of view, she’s essentially watching an infinite cartoon that she wants me to explain the wild logic of, but from my point of view I’m battling to focus my concentration on not dying time and again, which is an almost impossible feat when I’m being bombarded with weird questions.

But, this past couple of weeks, it’s been our thing. Even if it didn’t have that bonding element, Rayman Legends is a madcap masterpiece that I’d strongly recommend anyone with even a faint appreciation for platformers plays forthwith.

28 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    I have yet to play this despite it being in my Steam library forever because I never finished Rayman Oranges (enjoyed it but got distracted by other games) and it feels weird starting another one just like it when you haven’t adequately explored the last one, kinda like Mario games.

    Not like, unlock everything, but at least see all the levels…

    • welverin says:

      Well, most (all?) of the Origins levels are in Legends, so you could kill two birds with one stone.

      • Premium User Badge

        basilisk says:

        Not all of them, but about two thirds of them, give or take.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          So you could kill 1 2/3 of a bird with one stone, leaving a third of a bird unkilled. If your God will allow that, then go for it.

          • Darth Gangrel says:

            I’ll be disappointed if one of the legends in Rayman Legends doesn’t tell the tale of the bird that was 2/3 killed.

  2. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Alec, do you only have the one controller? This game is pretty good for little kids because they can just float through the levels while you play them proper.

    • Catterbatter says:

      Sold!

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Like Tails in Sonic 2? Why don’t more games do this?

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        When you get hit playing with two players your character puffs up into a big balloon and your partner can slap them to bring you back to life or you can just float around through the bits you can’t do.

  3. ColonelFlanders says:

    Rahman Legumes is the greatest platform runner-type game of all time, and I will fight anyone who tells me I’m wrong. Every single aspect of what makes these kinds of games great is perfectly executed, from the level design, to the ‘physics’, to the art style, to the charm, to the replayability. Basically, if you haven’t played this game then go and do it. I would even buy one copy for anyone who wants to experience its magnificence.

    • Dromph says:

      I actually liked Origins more. It just felt better, the progression in the sequel just doesnt feel as satisfying to me because it was too open ended compared to the streamlined progression in Origins.

      I also realize not many people share this opinion but oh well.

      • JaguarWong says:

        I share not only your opinion but your reasoning too.

        Yay us, I guess.

      • runadumb says:

        I agree. Origins was perfect. Legends Felt much less refinded to me as 100%ing it felt like a chore with all the crap they added. Rare syndrome.

        Two great games but I think they nailed it the first time.

    • Premium User Badge

      basilisk says:

      Indeed. Plus, it has Castle Rock. God, how much I love Castle Rock. I’ve played that one level so many times; it never fails to make me smile.

      • BlueTemplar says:

        Indeed! When I replay Legends, like yesterday, I ALWAYS end up playing Castle Rock at least once!

  4. AutonomyLost says:

    I think the only Rayman game I played was on a Sega Genesis…?

    From the article and comments thus far it sounds as though this particular iteration is well-loved. I’ll check it out this weekend.

  5. Joibel says:

    I agree, this is the best platformer. Fantastic music, and great to play with others, including children because only one of you needs to make it through.

  6. cablechip says:

    I have yet to play Legends but I 100%:ed Origins, which is one of probably only three games ever where that happened.

  7. Shazbut says:

    Hoo boy, ok. *prepares himself*

    I don’t like it. I bought it on the strength of the demo, which I loved, and initially was having a great time with the full game but got so bored with it as I continued. It looks great and the levels are imaginative but it has the empty Ubisoft icon-clearing game design mentality about it. You can almost feel the money men behind it all. There are no secrets, no surprises really, and no penalty for failure. No tension. Just the same thing over and over.

    I don’t get it. I’m sure I’m alone in this though so I’ll just hide out over here in this corner

  8. Person of Interest says:

    I played on Wii U with the clever Murphy touchpad/gyro controls, so I’m worried that playing on PC with just a standard controller will be disappointing in comparison.

    Anyone here with experience on both platforms that can chime in?

    • Alexrd says:

      The definitive version of this game is the Wii U version. It was designed for it. In every other platform, Murphy is AI controlled. The game is still great though. But for the PC, Rayman Origins is better in my opinion.

  9. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    No, but I played a ton of Origins with a friend who had brain damage, and it was basically the only game he could be okay at and even be excited about (so expertly it was designed). It became ‘our’ game and I remember Rayman fondly for it.

  10. Coming Second says:

    Is this the one with the underwater spy levels and the Luchadore boss? Because those, truly, are some of the best platformer levels I’ve played since Oddworld.