The lively music still rings in my ears. Another day, another daily challenge to take on. Whether it is falling in a bottomless pit avoiding death by thorns, running across the landscape zipping from wire to wire, or exercising your skill at grabbing lums in less than 60 seconds, Rayman Legends will push your skills to the breaking point. This is a game where close doesn't count at all. You must anticipate and predict precisely where your character will land prior to taking that big jump... and there is almost no room for error. It is the challenge of this game coupled with the sheer fun of trying to achieve it that makes it hard to put the controller down.
Did I mention it is hard? But rest-assured, the game is generous with checkpoints. And you won't mind when you take in the breathtaking scenery that each world has to offer. Rayman Legends is a beautifully rendered world that can compete with any graphics out on the market today. It's lively animation springs to live with a color palette that is fluid and bright. Gigantic creatures chase you trying to put your dreams under their foot. An array of colorful fish sing to you in the ocean as you dive deep to discover the floating islands many secrets. You'll jump from platform to platform dodging a giant dragon that takes up half the screen in attempt to barbeque you for dinner.
But the graphics and fantastic gameplay are only half the story. There is so much to unlock, that it becomes an insatiable quest to gather up as many Teensies as you can. They are always in need of rescue and there are over 700 of them to be found in the game. By rescuing these little blue guys, they allow you to unlock paintings which open portals to advance in the level. In addition to rescuing the Teensies, you need to go for a Gold Cup in Lums as well. Lums are the Mario coins if you will of the Rayman world. They look like a firefly with big teeth and no wings. Each Lum has a purple one on front of the strand. When you hit the purple, the next one turns from yellow to purple. If you miss a purple and hit a yellow instead, you will get all yellow Lums only for that respective strand. But yellow are worth half the purple, so it pays to practice focusing on each purple Lum in order to turn the next one in the strand to Purple as you attempt to collect them all. If you enjoy collecting stars and coins in Mario, you will love Lums.
After you beat each level, you get a Lucky lottery ticket to scratch off with your uh.. big green hands. You can win Lums, a Teensie, unlock a painting in Origins, or even win a creature. Let's start with Origins. Rayman Origins is a bonus section in the Main Gallery where you can play 40 classic levels from the original Rayman Origins, only now it is remastered with the addition of Teensies. The paintings for these worlds only unlock by scratching Lucky tickets, so it gives you incentive toward trying to win these tickets. Then there is the creature room. There are a variety of strange creatures you can collect through the game. Each one awards you with various Lum awards. Of course, getting them all from Lucky ticket scratches will net you a trophy/achievement.
Could there be more? Yes, a lot more. You can play some soccer Rayman style by inviting a friend into a match. It is quite fun though it would be nice to play the computer if none of your friends feel like joining a game. It stays in a practice mode until a friend joins. Then there are Daily and Weekly challenges. Both come in regular and extreme forms. These challenges are hard, but a lot of fun. You can compete against friends and the world as you try for a Diamond Cup. If you love trophies/achievements, be warned about this game. All the paintings, creature collections, and challenges net you cups. Bronze are worth 1, Silver 5, Gold 10, and Diamond 50. The hardest trophy/achievement to earn is reaching the final level of awesomeness. You need about 6,000 points to reach it. Playing through the whole game nets you around 4150 by earning the various cups. The only way to hit the final level of awesomeness is by competing in daily and weekly challenges. The Diamond Cup will get you there in a few months, but these challenges are very hard. Out of thousands of players, only the top 20 get into Diamond range. So if you only get bronze cups in all four challenges (7 daily normal, 7 daily extreme and 2 weekly challenges), it will take you 115 weeks to reach the final level of awesomeness. Did I mention there are 52 weeks in a year? So it pays to earn silver and gold cups. This takes a lot of dedication and time. If you are a trophy/achievement hound like me, prepare to play this game for the long haul. Even at silver cups, if you earned 14 a week in daily challenges and 2 in weekly challenges, it will still take over 23 weeks. This platinum is only for those dedicated enough to keep earning cups until they hit the final level of awesomeness.
While I love a good challenge, this can be quite tedious to say the least. Getting silver on some challenges can take up to 30 minutes some days depending on your skill. I think they went a little overboard with this trophy in order to force you to log-in to the game constantly. My other gripe is that Ubisoft servers are terrible. Too often, you can't get into the challenges or they don't update properly with the next challenge and award you the respective cup for the previous day. The servers also crash often, making it difficult to repeat a challenge until the game kicks you out so you can try to re-access the server. In truth, the game is about a 9.5 but I can only choose whole numbers on this site. A perfect 10 is not due here because of server issues, and a difficulty that can be cheap at times. But don't let that scare you. This is an amazing game not to be missed.