Rayman Origins 3DS
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Released on 08-Jun-2012
When the Glade of Dreams is overrun by "nefurrious"Darktoons, the Fairy Council hastily invokes Rayman to save the day; but the hero of light isn't quite all there...To help him, Rayman teams up with his best friend, Globox, and two crafty wizards, the Teensies. Together, the world's most hilarious team of heroes will need to restore peace to the Glade or watch as their beloved home vanishes like a bad dream...
The charming old-school adventure will be released alongside the new Sony handheld console this February, while the PC edition will follow shortly afterwards in March.
Designed by renowned gamemaker Michel Ancel, Rayman Origins takes the popular platform mascot back to his 2D roots in a stunning hand-drawn gaming experience for up to four players.
Featuring 60 huge levels, the game is loaded with secret areas, tricky challenges and special abilities that can be upgraded along the way.
On PS Vita, fans will be able to take advantage of platform-specific features, such as the ability to zoom in on the action using the touchscreen, as well as a Ghost mode that allows players to compete in speed runs.
Official GfK-ChartTrack figures show that the football sim is now the highest-grossing sports game in UK history, outselling all previous FIFA titles and spending a total of seven weeks on top of the charts.
The game's current five-week winning streak is also the second-best of any FIFA entry, behind only FIFA: Road to World Cup 98, which spent 11 straight weeks as the UK's top-selling title.
Second place this week went to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the UK's Christmas number one, while a trio of threequels - Just Dance 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 - rounded out the top five.
Rayman Origins coming to 3DS in March 2012
Ubisoft has announced that its acclaimed platform game Rayman Origins will be making its debut on Nintendo 3DS in March 2012.
The old-school action game, which won rave reviews on its home console release in November 2011, will be bringing its winning blend of hand-drawn artwork, vibrant worlds and pick-up-and-play fun to Nintendo's 3D-enabled handheld.
Created by acclaimed designer Michel Ancel, the game takes Rayman back to his roots in a side-scrolling 2D experience, brought to life with animation to rival a cartoon movie.
Fans can reacquaint themselves with Rayman, Globox and the Teensies as they move through dozens of levels, using abilities such as the HairlyCopter to overcome obstacles and beat bosses.
Rayman Origins is designed to be accessible to gamers of all levels of skill, from newcomers to long-time devotees of the beloved franchise.
The game is also set to be released on Sony's forthcoming PlayStation Vita portable console, which is being introduced in the UK next month.
GAME : 3DS update Round-up
If there's one thing the latest generation of consoles has taught us, it's that newly purchased gaming systems aren't the finished article when you first take them out of their shiny wrapping. Not to say they 're lacking anything fundamental, far from it in fact, but system updates now mean it's possible for platform holders like Nintendo to dramatically improve a console's functionality and boost the user experience post-launch.
December's free 3DS system update is a prime example, introducing fresh game content, social features and hardware functionality to the console. Here, GAME runs you through all the major new additions.
One of our favourite new features is the ability to make ten minute long 3D videos with just a few simple button presses. Icons on the 3DS touch screen allow you to select or fine-tune different recording features such as the 3D effect, altering the sharpness and brightness of your video, and choosing whether to film in regular colour, black and white or sepia. The quality of the recordings we've made so far is surprisingly good, although you obviously have to see them in person to get the full 3D effect.
While the basic ability to record in 3D is a cool feature in itself, special praise is reserved for the three Trick Shot modes. Interval Shot takes still snaps at your choice of intervals, between every half a second and 60 seconds, before playing them in a rapid slideshow.
Frame Pick, which essentially enables you to create stop-motion animations, is similar to Interval Shot except it lets you capture images of a physically manipulated object whenever you choose, creating the illusion of movement when the series of pictures is played as a continuous sequence.
Meanwhile, Clip Link enables you to record various video segments which are then mashed together in the same video file. There's no doubt that budding animators and movie makers will spend a lot of time playing around with these simple to use but rewarding new video recording features.
New Plaza updates
The system update also introduces a range of new features for Mii Plaza, the place where 3DS owners can view the Mii characters they've met via StreetPass (which automatically swaps the Miis and gameplay profiles of players who pass each other on their travels). These include a follow-up to the free, in-built 3DS RPG-style game StreetPass Quest, and new 3D puzzles of famous Nintendo characters to complete by collecting pieces from other players.
You now receive congratulatory messages in the Mii Plaza for achieving goals such as meeting a certain numbers of Miis or ones from different countries (which are displayed on a new StreetPass Map showing the locations of all the Miis you've encountered), or by working your way through StreetPass Quest 2. There are 78 accomplishments to get in total and a congratulatory message for each. They also unlock up to 35 different tunes to listen to in a new Mii Plaza Music Player.
The new Puzzle Panel pieces we've collected so far are for Donkey Kong Country Returns and Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D. The puzzles themselves are larger than the originals, with 24 pieces to collect instead of 15, including four pink pieces which can only be collected via StreetPass (others can be purchased with Play Coins, a virtual currency accumulated by carrying your 3DS around with you like a pedometer).
New Street Pass Quest
StreetPass Quest 2, in which you control a team of fighters made up of your friends' Miis, challenges players to save three fictional family members kidnapped by slimy monsters and placed in separate cages. It contains branching paths as well as brand new enemies, and even lets players make parties of Miis to carry out team attacks using weapons or magic. The game also offers players the chance to collect a total of 57 hats for their Miis, compared to the original game's 16, but the title's only accessible if you've completed the first one twice.
Additionally, the 3DS system update paves the way for players to download demos of 3DS games, although none have been made available yet, as well as making it easier to browse and pay for games and content in the Nintendo eShop. Players can now transfer games purchased from the eShop, as well as account funds and save data including photographs and audio files, from one 3DS system to another too.
All in all, the 3DS system update is an impressive release, adding great new hardware functionality, amusing new game content and cool new social features. It has been almost nine months since release and our 3DS feels like a fresher piece of kit than ever before, all of which leaves us eagerly awaiting the next major system update.
Appearing on the Ray-dar
While today the first-person shooter rules supreme in videogames, once upon a time the platform game was king. Mario and Sonic may have been poster boys for this style of play, but behind them an entire cast of less well-known characters jostled for position in the hearts and minds of gamers - slowly slipping from fashion and relevance as their chosen genre did the same.
Rayman, created by Frenchman Michael Ancel, has been luckier than most in this respect, keeping a toe in the public limelight by way of the Raving Rabbids offshoot games. But it's been a while since the disjointed character has stepped back into his purebred platform game.
So Rayman Origins is a return home to a more traditional kind of platform game for Ubisoft's French mascot. Not only that but the game sees a return to the 2D cartoon aesthetic that defined games in the early 1990s, albeit this time rendered in pin-sharp HD pixels.
Very few full price games take the 2D approach (high resolution screens have multiplied the cost of creating hand drawn 2D graphics) but the full tragedy of this slide away from a traditional animated style is made abundantly clear by Rayman Origins. It's a beautiful game, like a cartoon come to life, filled with vivid expression, colour and vibrancy.
To achieve this effect, Ubisoft Montpelier has developed a revolutionary 2D graphics engine (in part funded by the French government) while Ancel hired ex-Disney animators to work on the game's visuals - a move well worth the expense as this is, without doubt, one of the most expressive and beautiful games of the year.
Behind the visuals, Rayman Origins marks a return to the series' 1995 beginnings; a somewhat orthodox platform game that has you moving the titular character from left to right through a series of stages, collecting items and finding keys to unlock doors. The game is divided into worlds, which are in turn divided into stages. In order to progress through those stages you're tasked with collecting Electoons, pink berries that act a little like Mario's stars, unlocking new stages when you've collected the prerequisite number.
Each stage has a number of different Electoons to be won for excelling in different areas. You earn one for simply completing the level, while others are awarded for doing so quickly, thoroughly, or by discovering the secret area that's hidden in each. As such there's incentive to return to every stage at least once as you mine each one for the full yield of Electoons.
You start the game with just the ability to run and jump, but as you complete worlds so you unlock the chance to glide through the air, shrink to half your size or run up walls and ceilings. This expanding tool-set enables the designers to keep adding new ideas into the level design pot, keeping things fresh and interesting. However, this is a sizeable game, and while there's a generous spread of ideas, Ubisoft Montpelier occasionally repeats itself a little too often.
View to a Thrill
At it's best though, Rayman Origins reaches the dizzying heights of some of the platform greats. The levels in which you chase a sprinting treasure chest at breakneck speed through caves are especially memorable, as is the underwater stage (usually the scourge of platformers) that has you swimming through the dark towards pockets of light that are emitted by deep sea angel fish.
The creativity on show delights, as do those times when the designers offer cheeky nods to Mario, Donkey Kong and Boulder Dash, twisting and subverting some well known platform game moments with typical French flair.
A challenging game that scales in difficulty quickly, Rayman Origins is arguably one that's best played co-operatively with a friend. While you won't be able to do this over Xbox Live or PSN, if you can rope a friend in to sit with you on the sofa, Rayman Origins offers a delightful multiplayer experience. Players are able to use one another as platforms, and combine abilities to make short work of some of those areas that are especially challenging in single player.
Everybody loves Rayman?
A smart, stunning-looking game, Rayman Origins is a bright return to form, not only for the series but also for the genre, and indeed the 2D art style. Playful, surprising, sometimes exhilarating, it's a game that falls a little short of Nintendo's best work, but which nevertheless provides a compelling argument for why the platform game is a creative mine, still filled with potential.
- Fantastic art style.
- Tight, responsive platforming.
- Excellent co-op.
- Lack of variety.
- AI consistent character design.
- Weaker shooting sections.
- Fantastic art style.
Rayman Origins coming soon to PC and … (30/01/2012)
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Ubisoft has announced that its acclaimed platform game Rayman Origins will be making its debut on Nintendo 3DS in March 2012.…
GAME : 3DS update Round-up (14/12/2011)
If there one thing the latest generation of consoles has taught us, it that newly purchased gaming systems aren the finished article when you first take them out of their shiny wrapping. Not to say th…
Rayman Origins - Review (24/11/2011)
While today the first-person shooter rules supreme in videogames, once upon a time the platform game was king. Mario and Sonic may have been poster boys for this style of play, but behind them an enti…
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