Ubi Soft recently showed off Rayman 3 on the Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. The game takes many of the excellent platformer elements introduced in Rayman 2 and builds on them. We had a chance to try all four versions of the game and came away impressed by how it's coming together.
The game's story revolves around Rayman's battle to stop the evil dark lum from tainting the heart of the world. Rayman's task is complicated a bit when his faithful pal Globbox accidentally swallows the chief of the dark lums. Due to this unfortunate accident, Globbox is forced to drink plum juice despite his severe allergy to it, and as a result, Rayman must also find a cure for Globbox before he can get around to saving the world. Interestingly, the voice of Globbox will be provided by John Leguizamo, who also appeared in the Super Mario Bros. movie, and the voice of Murfy will be provided by Billy West, who is perhaps best known for providing the voice of Bender from Futurama.
The gameplay in Rayman 3 stays true to the simple and accessible style of Rayman 2 but features quite a few new additions, the most notable of which are the time-based power-ups. As they progress through the game, players will find cans containing power-ups that slightly change Rayman's appearance and are somewhat similar to the weapon upgrades in the Mega Man series. There will be five power-ups in all: the shock rocket, the vortex fist, the lockjaw, the throttle copter, and the heavy metal fist. The shock rocket lets Rayman remotely control a rocket that is very useful for triggering hard-to-reach switches. The vortex fist is a green outfit that lets Rayman fire miniature tornados that can lower certain types of platforms. The lock jaw power-up is a grappling hook that homes in on enemies from far away and lets Rayman swing from certain points. The throttle copter is a heavy-duty upgrade to Rayman's helicopter move. Finally, the heavy metal fist is essentially a pair of brass knuckles that lets Rayman bash through certain obstacles. In addition to standard platforming, the gameplay will feature action sequences in which players will be grinding on light rails on the Teensies' highway and racing around in one of Rayman's shoes.
In terms of content, while all three console versions will offer the same basic adventure, the GameCube version will offer Game Boy Advance connectivity that will unlock features in both games. On the technical side of things, all three console versions will apparently feature progressive-scan support, which should be a pleasant treat for PS2 owners. The Game Boy Advance game will feature an adventure based on events in the console games but will obviously be a unique 2D adventure.
Look for more on Rayman 3 soon.