Giving Mario a run for his coins.
After seeing the sleeper hit masterpiece that Ubisoft and Michael Ancil created with Rayman Origins, Legends was on my list of must-see games at E3. At the Nintendo booth, I got to Rayman: Legends directly after my time with the latest Super Mario outing, and it’s a hard truth to swallow, but Mario is no longer the king of platforming.
The gameplay, while following the exact same formula and mechanics as Origins, has been improved upon in every way. It’s hard to believe that running, jumping, and punching could be smoother, but oh, how it is!
The gorgeously rendered 2D backgrounds are more alive than before with 3D effects, like swooping dragons popping in and out all over. Secret areas are hidden extremely well, and the reward for discovering one is greater—not because of any bonus, but because each hidden area offers up a unique puzzle or mini-game, changing up the pacing and adding some variety.
Four-player co-op is back, but you can also add a fifth player if four Wiimotes and one Wii U Gamepad are used. At a glance, the player with the Wii U Gamepad is there for no other reason but to collect Lums, much like the second player in Mario Galaxy collects stars. But with the tilt and touch features of the Wii U, the Gamepad player becomes vital for puzzles and certain aspects of platforming progression. This was the innovation I was looking for at Nintendo’s E3 booth, and it wasn’t even Nintendo giving it to me. I couldn’t help but ponder if the same was possible using the PlayStation 3 and the Vita (we’ll have to wait and see).
Rayman: Legends ended up being my favorite title at Nintendo’s booth, and among my favorites of the show. Like Origins, it’s likely not high priority on anyone’s radar, but it really should be