Published on May 18th, 2012 | by Shawn Long, Features Editor
Rayman Origins Nintendo 3DS Demo Impressions
The return of Rayman was one of the biggest surprises of 2011 for console gamers. What once was a watered-down franchise that seemed to have lost its way, Rayman Origins became one of the year’s most critically acclaimed platformers and was heralded as the return of limbless hero.
Vita owners received a version of the game in January 2012, and now Nintendo 3DS owners can enjoy this gem come June 5, 2012. A demo is currently available on the Nintendo eShop, and it doesn’t disappoint.
Rayman Origins was highly revered because of its beautiful graphics, smooth gameplay, excellent music and varied level design–and it seems that most of that has made the transition to the 3DS.
The graphics are very solid and the animations are beautiful. The water flows fluidly, Rayman has lots of graphical detail and character, and everything just looks really great for an early build. A few areas did feel a tad dull, but that’s more of a reflection of the demo rather than the final product. The music is very whimsical and catchy, and the sound effects are adequate.
The final version of the game features 60 levels. The demo introduces three of those. I was very impressed that each demo level was vastly different from one another, which was a breath of fresh air.
The “Swinging Caves” plays as a standard platform level, where swinging from vines is the emphasis for advancing through tricky jumps. “Playing in the Shade” is a dark level that has you attempting to track down and enemy in a race with only the silhouette of the characters to guide you. “Shooting Me Softly” was the wildest of the three. It is a side-scrolling shooter similar to Raiden. Rayman controls the ship, which is a rather large mosquito, and navigates through areas while shooting enemies and collecting power-ups. The variety these levels offered has me very interested in the final product.
Rounding everything are the controls. The Circle Pad is the source of movement, with “L” and “R” triggers being sprint. The “A” button is your attack and “X” is used to jump. Holding down “X” allows Rayman to hover momentarily with the use of his hair. Everything is responsive and crisp, and helps with the flow of the game. Although this title has been on every major platform already, I still think that Nintendo 3DS fans will pick it up. I personally missed out on the console release, love platform games on the go, which makes this a perfect day one purchase for me.