Long before any of the many Raving Rabbids releases, the educational games, or the many ports, Rayman had a game all his own. Rayman Origins released late last year for almost all platforms (excluding the PS Vita which was recently released as a launch title) and achieved critical acclaim. For many this was a much longed for sequel for a character who is often said to be the first widespread success for Ubisoft. For everyone else it served as an entertaining, visually, and audibly unique platformer they could play with friends. Unfortunately though the game failed to explain much of well..anything to do with the Rayman characters, worlds, or back story, so most were playing a unique platformer without having the faintest idea what the game was about. Rayman 3 HD just released simultaneously for the Playstation Network & Xbox Live arcade with two goals in mind. To serve as both an introduction to the world of Rayman for new players, and a trip down memory lane for those who already follow the limbless hero’s adventures.
Originally known as Hoodlum Havoc the name has been shortened to Rayman 3 HD.When playing the demo the very first thing you will realize is that though the game features Rayman it plays nothing like Rayman Origins did. Where Rayman 1 and Rayman Origins are side scrolling platformers Rayman 3 is more of a 3rd person action adventure platformer. The HD transition has gone smoothly as the game runs at a full 60 FPS and is playable without graphical errors up to 720P. Much of the gameplay involves collecting various items scattered throughout the world. Some of this is used to regain health, others to unlock additional areas or activate power-ups. The only real complaint I had with the demo were the camera angles. Though it wasn’t as harsh as something like Sonic the Hedgehog the camera will often snap back to a specific angle or viewpoint while you are trying to jump across chasms or maneuver your way through an obstacle. Hubs found in the original game have been removed each event seamlessly transitions to the next. Rayman shoots his hands at opponents, and kicks them rather than jumping on them as in Rayman Origins.
The best part of the demo by far was the quirky cast of characters. The intro started with an evil fly looking Lum chasing after a Fairy frog named Murfy who finds Rayman sleeping and tries to wake him up to warn him of the danger. It is at this point another side character Globox the slow, friendly, gentle giant type tries to pick Rayman up and accidentally pulls Rayman’s hands off of his body, Realizing his error he runs away at which point Rayman wakes up and Murfy proceeds to instruct you on the games various controls, while breaking the 4th wall all the way. For instance at one point he says “Press X to Jump.Press Square to attack. Geez do people really get paid to write these things?” at which point he pulls out an instruction manual and directly names it as the instruction manual for Rayman 3. He harasses and taunts you when you miss a jump stating “even this early in the game you should at least be able to do this much” Gameplay involves running and jumping around a 3D environment with multiple layers, you have a propeller glide like move and can kick things on the ground, when you get your hands back all of these attacks change to projectile attacks, at which point the controls seemed a little more difficult to…well control. There are over 5 power-ups in the game but you only encounter one in the demo which after picking it up allows you to create mini tornadoes as long as your energy meter has a high enough capacity(think Mega Man).
When it is all said and done the demo is quite short(5-15 min) which doesn’t give much to go off of even for a mere first impression. In light of this I did some digging, and found some info for those interested in purchasing the full game. The Full version of Rayman 3 HD is said to include over 20 hours of gameplay featuring multiple boss fights, running, flying, swimming, and even a few snowboarding levels. If you are a trophy hunter expect a challenge to collect all of the hidden items in the game. Those familiar with the series should be aware that certain parts of Rayman 3 Hoodlum Havoc have been removed in this version. An opening theme song, and a bonus extras video. However 7 mini games have been added that you will unlock throughout the course of the game. If you are a diehard Rayman fan I would recommend picking this up, but if you enjoyed Rayman Origins I recommend playing the demo first to make sure you understand just how drastically different the two games are. Though a 10 minute demo isn’t much to go off of I felt Rayman Origins was a far superior game. Keep in mind this game originally released 10 years ago though, so the comparison isn’t really fair. I would not recommend purchasing this game without playing the demo I cannot stress that enough.