RAYMAN LEGENDS [Face-Off Review]: Please Don’t Stop the Music!

So, friends. This is GHG’s first ever “Face-Off” video game review! Even cooler, there’s three of us here to talk about it: Nightwing, Emma Frost and Iron Man. Talk about an interesting dork a trois… As far as the matter at hand, we all had fun — to quote the Rev Rivera this quickly — “playing the shit” out of Rayman Legends. Why? What the hell is Rayman Legends and why are we doing this? What compelled us to dive into such a childish thing? And, this silly little platformer is made by Ubisoft? Creators of Assassin’s Creed, Watch_Dogs, and Splinter Cell, of all things? Say it ain’t soooo…

“The Reverend” Joe Rivera: Side scroller games are one of my favorite pastimes as a gamer. I mean, yeah, most of them are the same, but Rayman is fun, silly, addicting, and it’s fun to pass the time.

Nicole “The Neophyte” Brunner: Super addicting! Jose, you know me and side scroller games are a fav of mine to play. It’s like the very first Mario on LCD.

Joe: LCD or LSD? Haha.

“Monsignor” Travis Moody: Ha! Perhaps, a little bit of both. (Sorry for ever so nonchalantly quoting myself from “Making Mr. Right”…) Rayman Legends goes far beyond any classical platformer, such as Donkey Kong or Mega Man, presenting this Call of Duty Generation with — by far — the most bizarre “2 button” platformer on the planet. You know the shit is pretty cray-cray when there are Apocalypto versions of classic rock songs. Yes, Legends is all about rhythm and groove. Are you fellow clergyfolk familiar with Rayman at all? I’m sorry to say this was my first entree into the series…

Every video game-playing noob’s first “Mario game” should be Rayman Legends. Hey, wait a second!

Joe: I mostly played Rayman: Rabbids for the Wii. It was a fun party game with a bunch of random mini games, like chugging a soda — after shaking it (whoa now) — and blowing up a city after belching. Oh, and the Rabbids looked like these rabbits on speed, hence the drug joke. “Winners don’t do drugs!”

Nicole: Wii tu! I’ve played Rayman: Origins, which is pretty similar to Legends this side of some amazingly embellished graphics that will satiate even the most avid gamer. Still, the new game remains a very quirky and fun adventure that really grows on you…quickly. In Legends, you’re also saving Teensies instead of electoons! It’s now far easier to differentiate characters during multiplayer, as I also adored the differing themes, music, and puzzles throughout. I believe there was even a whole 007 James Bond deal going on? (Unfortunately, Joe, I haven’t played Rabbids yet. Sped up rabbits? Awesome.)

Joe: Yeah, Legends is exactly like it sounds, playing as a sort of “greatest hits” of the Rayman past; so, no worries, Monsignor, as there is no better jumping on-point. Leg‘s offers a nice lineup of characters: Rayman (of course), Globox (voiced by John Leguizamo!), and that Viking chick with the axe (hey, don’t hate on me or hack me if I forget her name!). Yes, Nicole, the music was hilarious. Gotta love the song stages. Those levels in particular have been getting posted to Youtube quite a bit. Just listening to the Rayman rendition of “Black Betty” made me piss my pants. I drank a lot of Rockstar, what can I say? I must’ve played that level again just for the song. It’s that funny! Definitely play Rabbids, both of you; the whole time you’ll be bursting with “WTF” laughter!

Saving these Smurfs is the name of the game.

Moody: During our Rayventures together, Nicole pointed out just how friggin’ cool it was to see our characters hopping precisely to the beat. Every move meshes with the music. And these lums are the new Chipmunks! I want a Christmas level, dammit! All symphonic mastery aside, how fast is this game? Especially during the many lava spine-breathing levels…

Joe: Moody still wants a hula hoop! Legends is fast, and you have to be faster. It’s like you have no time to think, when you’re running from the fire, jumping from platform to platform, saving Teensies, and punching out enemies; it’s just all over the place. If you stop to think, you’re going to get burned or fall or inflate.. then blow up — and that’s how Rayman dies. Inflat-O-Ray! Anyone get that reference? About how many times did you guys die during those stages? I lost count. Like a lot of platformers, you get frustrated, but, hey, frustration only adds to the fun. Am I right?

Nicole: Amen! Those mini-me’s were so difficult to see even on my big screen Sony.

Joe: How awesome was the super punch from the wizard? I was just plowing through! (Not a dirty comment, get your mind out of the gutter, kiddies.) Don’t blame the Rev for making those dragons my bitches.

Nicole: Adventure/puzzle games were always my fav as a kid and the Rayman games take you back to that time. As the perpetual neophyte, I get super enchanted by the music and imagery in these types of games. The artists were clearly given a lot of freedom to make a very nuanced and interactive world. Btw Rev, it’s Barbara and her sisters you are thinking of. As opposed to Origins, which sadly offered no female characters /: Legends gives you the option of selecting so. These tough little babes remind me of the scantily clad Nymphs that burst outta the cages at the end realms in Origins. Now, these girls in Legends are way more kick-ass, though less ummm buxom…haha. Just glad (as its now rad) to have them as actual players in the game!

When the girl from “Brave” receives a “Duck Dynasty” makeover at the local flea market.

Joe: Very much enjoyed the artistry put into this game. You felt as if you were in a Powerpuff Girls/Ahh Real Monsters/SpongeBob cartoon with a hint of Disney. It comes off like a silly childish game, sure; but, hell, even adults still watch family-friendly movies. I like a good change from hardcore violent games that are “M” for Mature. Yes, Barbara, Elysia and the other viking chicks were pretty badass. I know how you love your strong female characters, my dear Neophyte. While I found them to be more ass-kicking than Rayman and Sir Globox, let’s face it: they’re supposed to be goofy characters. Not for one second was I bored of this game!

Moody: For a second, Rev, I thought you were going to namedrop Monster High! Oh wait.. suppose I just did (now we’re even, Mr. Powerpuff). All of the characters are cool and pack their own abilities/strengths/weaknesses (some appear faster, some float or swim around objects with more precision, etc.), but there’s no question the brunt of the characters are just different color variants of one another. Players will get super excited when they unlock new heroes, only to see that they are the “red” version of so and so character. That’s…a little disappointing. What’s not disappointing are the graphics. I couldn’t stop telling Nicole how fucking beautiful sh..  err, the game is. I mean, I’m not used to seeing funny/kiddy/platform games with graphics this spectacular. Rayman Legends really does look wondrous on the big screen, and if you gave them the good ol’ “Pepsi Challenge” by blindfolding and fibbing a fool into thinking this was a PS4/Xbox One game, they’d totally believe you.

Joe: I agree with every word. And is it just me, or did some of the background music sound it came out of a Zemeckis movie? Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Forget “Infinity”; Rayman Legends is the coolest “Disney” game on the market.

Nicole: Um, sure? I was thinking Looney Tunes. How’s this for a fun fact of the day? The first Rayman dropped in 1995 for Sega Saturn. Believe that! Certainly, the game and the character has come a long way in the nearly 20-years. Legends is a more than welcome addition to anyones game library, and an absolute great X-Mas gift for a kid — or adult — offering many hours of enjoyment, while fairly easy to pick up and play. Of course, you’ll die almost a million times in the process, but its fun once you can figure it out!

Moody: Ahh! I wanted to talk about the streamlined difficulty. There’s a strong balance between simple and challenging, so even when some levels get a tad bit overbearing (i.e. the aforementioned “Honey I Shrunk the Nerds” levels), and the somewhat annoying instances involving Murfy, our airborne assistant. For instance, you do remember when we would both press the B button at the same time to control Murf — who controls all the ultra dangerous levers and, ahem, platforms — and, thus, miss our timing for jumps in the process. It was as much a mystery to see who would be the one to press B than what would come ahead. Talk about duality! With that said, the boss stages, were fairly simple to overcome. In these “dangerous encounters”, your mind power is far more precious than your skill. Dragons, Luchadors, Titans, Fat Lipped Fogs, Giant Fish, and Dino-Bones are just a few of the jerks you’ll have to beat down — or tickle –with a pal.

Joe: I’m having no problem finding the fun in this solo! Wait. Wait a second… Anywho, Rayman was on the first PlayStation and the Atari Jaguar (not that any of us knew anyone who owned one, I’m sure). When it comes to difficulty, you have to think fast in Legends, like when free-falling into the next room, you have no idea what’s waiting for you: lava, fire, spikes, monsters…you just to be ready and be quick to evade. It can be a bitch. But a nice bitch. Good dog. The Rev, here, also wanted to add that one of the best parts of this game was that you can say a certain level is your favorite, but all of sudden you end up saying that about the next one and next one, after that. So far I found the “Dark Creatures Rises” stage in Olympus Maximus has to be one of my favorites, due to the fast pace and intensity, not to mention killing those huge man-eating dark fur balls with the purple rockets kinda did it for me. I won’t be surprised if I find another level that tops that one. Any levels you guys found to be most memorable?

How To Train Your Reverend From Calling Deez Mean Dragons “Bitches.”

Nicole: I’ve found each level to have its own unique amount of fun, since they kinda build upon each other anyway. The Murfy character is a nice assistant, sure, adding another challenge in multi-player mode, and I’d argue that this wild button guessing scenario makes the game even more hilarious to play. On that note, this Neophyte is ready for bed after all this Rayman talk and marathon play (the game takes at least 12-hours to beat…not counting the extra challenges, some of which requires you to unlock a monstrous # of Teensies). Rayman Legends is a solid 4/5 Bibles from Newport. Bye!

Moody: I just thought you liked any level you could float! Yeah, trying to unlock all of the Teensies is a pain sometimes…especially considering many of the “paintings” can’t be unlocked without saving a fairly large number of them. This definitely gives this particular Rayman venture a huge bump in replay, since so many of those caged little blue aliens drop off into pits and even off the screen in split seconds. Like we mentioned before, the challenge of this game is In-N-Out. Great with an American cheeseburger and “monster style” french fries, Rayman Legends is certainly the game that can be played by all, even from the most elite crop of current-gen vets. If you combine that level of challenge, the epic scope of the unlockables, puzzles and hidden secrets (many which are right in front of your eye), the trembling conga, theatrical and cartoonish music, and the jaw-dropping graphics, there’s absolutely no way I can give the game less than 4.25 out of 5 Bibles! With only GTA V and Ghosts left to go, Rayman may very well hang onto a Top 5 spot for best video games of 2013. Bananas, friends.

JoeThis game really has it all: beautiful graphics, great tunes, unique levels (as Nicole mentioned), nice variety of colorful characters (good or evil), loads of humor; more so, it’s challenging, keeps you on your toes, and just plain fun for everyone! Legends really is one of the best games of the year, and doesn’t need to be to an epic blockbuster first person shooter to prove it. 4.5 Bibles. Goodnight, all!

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