Friday, September 4, 2009

Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc for the Playstation 2.




Ubisoft is a well-known video game company these days. They are mostly known for their Prince of Persia franchise, and the recent hit Assassin’s Creed, but does everyone know that they were also responsible for Rayman? Rayman has had three pretty good plat forming games that were really fun to play, though it seems like today, he is secondary to those Raving Rabbids. His only real last game was for the Playstation 2, PC, Xbox and other platforms called Rayman 3 Hoodlum Havoc.

The story is kind of odd. Andre, who is a black lum who was purposively made of pure evil, is trying to take the land by making the good lums into enemies called Hoodlums. In the fray of things, Rayman’s friend, Globox, by accident, swallows Andre and it is up to Rayman and Globox to get Andre out and stop his evil plans. So now that we got that out of the way, is this game truly a worthwhile plat former? Or should Rayman hang up his gloves?

The game play style is of classic Rayman style, a linear action plat forming game where you go across weird lands to get to 3 different doctors who try to help get Andre out of Globox. Your main form of attack is your armless fists. You can lock onto targets like in Kingdom Hearts or Legend of Zelda. You also use your fist to hit switches and to fire the cannons, though this time, your fists aren’t the only weapons you have. You gain power-ups in cans, which take the form of gloves and can range from different power-ups. The first one you gain gives you the power to shoot tornados, the second one gives you super strength where you can punch hard to break doors, the third one gives you the power to control a small rocket, and my favorite is the one where you have a bear trap-like hook shot weapon, where you can latch onto rings to get to places and you can electrocute your opponents. The other special power-up you get takes the form of a helmet, which can take you to higher areas for a short period of time. The enemies are quite odd since they just seem so original. The enemies are called Hoodlums. They kind of look like the children of Oogie Boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas. They range from using cartoonish rifles, punching gloves attached to the end of sticks, to ones that wear armor to name a few. After you beat them later in the game, you have the ability to turn the bad lums into good lums. If anyone is confused about who the real villains are, the lums are the Hoodlums.

The graphics are pretty impressive, though Ubisoft has been known for making good-looking games like Prince of Persia the Sands of Time and etc. The character designs and the level designs are whimsical and cartoonesque. The whole style fits Rayman 3, and it was a good move to make the art style like this. The characters all have a unique look to them as they remind me of Jim Henson puppets in a way. The music is also very nice to listen which contains stuff like rap, country, and funk music. The humor is also a big star in the game in the form of the characters you rescue through the level. Each time you rescue one of them they have something funny to say. My favorite line from them is “ I got to go alphabetize my sausages”. I laugh every time I hear it.

Let’s put our gloves on and get to the bad parts of the game. The camera control is just horrible. I mean, you can control it, but it feels like it’s fighting against you, making it awkward to maneuver around some of the more trouble-causing levels. The animation of the characters talking could have used some work since it’s like they ran out of time or just didn’t animated them really well. The power-ups are pretty cool, but they just don’t last long since most of them run out of power really quickly. I think you should be able to keep the power-up and press L2 if you want to get rid of it, or just keep them all and choose from a menu kind of like Destroy All Humans. Once you play through halfway through the game, you realize that the game is getting repetitious. It’s basically the same objectives in all of the levels. Later in the game it feels more like a chore, then having fun.

All and all, this is a good 3D plat-forming game and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good Rayman game, though I say rent it to see what you think. Even though this is Rayman’s last adventure game, I still think he could make a comeback. Let’s just hope Ubisoft doesn’t milk the heck of the Rabbids anymore. I’m sick and tired of them.

This game gets an 8.8 out of 10.

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