Rayman 3 HD ReviewMarch 28, 2012
Rayman 3 HD is a beautiful game. HD remakes are definitely the hot new thing, and gamers have shown with their wallets that they still want to replay the classic games of last generation. With Rayman: Origins recently receiving plenty of critical praise, it’s as good a time as ever to revisit some Rayman classics. Far from being a lazy cash-in, however, Ubisoft went to the extra effort to create HD textures for Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc’s appearance on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and it makes a big difference. Rayman 3 originally hit store shelves in 2003 for PlayStation 2, and it was recognized as a great action platformer back then. Luckily, Rayman 3 still holds up after all these years.
The gameplay is reminiscent of Super Mario 64, the godfather of all platformers. Rayman 3 has a sense of humor all its own, and hearing Globox and Rayman banter back and forth, or getting chastised by The Manual makes for some great comedy. The story is very basic; in Rayman’s peaceful world, there are fairy-like creatures called “lums”. An evil Hoodlum named Andre begins wreaking havoc and turning all the benevolent lums into malevolent “Hoodlums”. Of course, Rayman steps up to the challenge of taking him down a few notches.
As per usual, the fixation on most gamers’ minds when it comes to these HD remakes is graphics. As mentioned before, the game looks fantastic. A large amount of this can be attributed to the original development team, as their art design helped create a beautiful, vibrant, colorful world. There’s a huge variety to the environments, and you’ll never be bored by drab or uninspired level design. The team that handled the HD remake took the already great-looking PS2 classic and updated the textures and resolution to HD, which brings to life detail that was just not visible on the PS2’s somewhat hazy resolution. As far as HD remakes go graphically, this is perhaps the best-looking one I’ve seen.
As I stated earlier, the gameplay is mostly similar to early platformers like Super Mario 64, but with a heavier focus on puzzles. Rayman will have access to various colored suits throughout the game, which all serve a particular purpose. One gives Rayman sort of grappling-hook gloves, which allow him to swing across levels, and another allows him to break through certain barriers. They all factor into the game’s puzzle design, and eventually the game will throw some timed puzzles at you.
One of the frustrating aspects of Rayman 3 HD is that the problems with the camera and controls have not been fixed. Rayman 3 has a notoriously bad camera, right up there with some of the early Spider-Man games. It gets stuck on pieces of scenery, and sort of has a mind of it’s own when you try to manually adjust it. It will sometimes turn extremely slowly seemingly without reason, and can seriously break the otherwise great flow of the game. Another big issue is the sound design. Oftentimes, you’ll hear a random line of dialogue that almost seems as if another player randomly said something through a headset, the sound is that badly mixed and the levels are all over the place. Some sounds are way too low and vice versa.
Rayman 3 has a solid amount of gameplay packed into it. By getting high scores throughout the levels, you’ll unlock 9 mini games, and no one will get 100% on each level in their first run-through. If you’re willing to accept that the gameplay is largely unchanged, warts and all, then this game is worth your $10.