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.