Rayman 3 re-creates much of the same lighthearted whimsy that made Rayman 2 so incredibly enjoyable, while differentiating the action enough for the game to stand up on its own.
It's been three-and-a-half years since Ubi Soft's limbless platforming hero did his part in redefining the 3D platformer. Super Mario 64 might have laid the groundwork, but anyone who's played Rayman 2: The Great Escape can tell you that this little French fellow refined the formula with impeccable production, a unique sense of style, and some of the most varied and inventive gameplay yet seen in a 3D platformer. But now that he's finally back, is Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc the life-altering follow-up that players have been waiting for? In a word, no. Rayman 3 doesn't blow the doors off Rayman 2, but it does further refine the formula, is completely worthy of the Rayman name, and makes a fine addition to the PlayStation 2's already sizable platformer library.
Rayman has always been a very versatile platforming hero, with the jumping and the punching and the grappling and the gliding, and Rayman 3 expands considerably on the lead character's abilities. Rayman 3 definitely puts a greater focus on combat than previous entries, and Rayman is better equipped for it, too. Holding R1 will put Rayman into strafing mode, and when he's in range of an enemy, he'll automatically lock on. Rayman can still throw a straight punch, as well as a charged punch, and if you're locked on to an enemy and pushing to the left or right while throwing your punch, your punch will curve accordingly. These curved punches can come in handy against enemies hiding behind obstacles, as well as in some specific puzzles.
Variety of action has always been a trademark of the Rayman games, and Rayman 3 delivers on this. In between his regular platforming duties and slugging it out with hoodlums, Rayman will ride on top of beams of energy inside what can only be described as a disco kaleidoscope, drive around in a giant shoe, defend a pirate ship against attackers, attempt to outrun a rising lava line, play both pilot and tailgunner on a tiny spaceship, and engage in several good old-fashioned boss fights. The game is full of some memorable set pieces, like the ethereal crystal castle and the house of mirrors, where platforms are only visible in their reflection. The game does eventually settle into a bit of a pattern--platforming puzzle, hoodlum fight, platforming puzzle and a hoodlum fight at the same time, boss fight, and so on--but the actual action itself is so consistently engaging and unique that by the time you've become acutely aware of the pattern, the game is over.
- Player Reviews: 15
- Game Universe:
- Rayman 2: The Great Escape (PS, PC, N64, DC, IP),
- Rayman (PC, GBC, PS, SAT, JAG, GIZ),
- Rayman Arena (PS2, PC, GC, XBOX),
- Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc (PS2, PC, GC, XBOX, MAC),
- Rayman 3 (GBA, NGE, MOBILE),
- Rayman Raving Rabbids (DS, GBA, X360, PS2, PC, WII, MAC),
- Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 (PC, WII, DS),
- Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party (WII, DS),
- Rayman: 10th Anniversary Collection (GBA, PS2),
- Rayman Origins (X360, PS3, WII, 3DS, VITA, PC)
- Number of Players: