Review

Rayman Legends Review

  • Game release: August 29, 2013
  • Reviewed: August 30, 2013
  • WIIU

Silliness and precision, together at last

Did you know ducks could wall-jump? Well, maybe not all ducks. But fowl sprouting the head of a certain limbless hero definitely can. Rayman Legends is unabashedly weird, though never to the detriment of its fantastic action sequences. As you dash across platforms to the beat of a mariachi "Eye of the Tiger," or tickle armored guards to lower their defenses, you realize that Legends is strange with a purpose. It uses absurd scenes to imbue this feisty adventure with enough variety to keep you continually amazed, aside from the unfortunately drab Murfy stages. Rayman Legends' off-kilter identity serves as the foundation for this wild and crazy journey.

Momentum is the name of the game in this 2D platformer. Rayman runs, leaps, swings, glides, kicks, and swims with a kinetic grace that compels you ever onward. Being able to squeeze past spikes and thunder across toppling towers should be expected, but what makes Legends special is how joyful such movements are. Rayman chains moves together so effortlessly that you often get lost in the rhythm. Pirouette across a series of platforms at top speed and then rocket toward earth in a ground-shaking slam. Follow that up by bashing a nearby baddie before bounding up that vertical shaft. Such combinations roll off your fingers as you venture deeper into this fantastical world.

Glowbox can't do a darn thing without Murfy's help.

Legends on the Wii U slams on the breaks in certain levels by putting you in control of Murfy, a helpful fly, while the AI moves Rayman. Here, you must shift your focus to the GamePad as you spread guacamole and ready catapults in an attempt to guide your bipedal friend to safety. These levels are a noticeable misstep in a game bursting with great ideas. Rayman walks forward without any involvement from you for long stretches, and oftentimes waits stubbornly while you try to pull object in the exact place he desires. Vacillating between passive and fiddly is a poor way to inject diversity. Even when things run smoothly, controlling Murfy isn't engaging because progress requires neither puzzle solving nor dexterity on your part. There is some appeal in playing with a friend because anyone controlling Murfy can torment his or her friend. But, Legends stumbles in these stages, especially compared to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions in which you control Murfy with a button tap while running as Rayman.

A smooth difficulty curve welcomes those unfamiliar with Rayman's hijinks without annoying those well versed in the art of jumping. Achieving such a precarious balance is a testament to how enjoyable the core mechanics are. Despite minimal challenge early on, the pleasure of dashing through these beautiful worlds urges you forward. And there are hidden collectibles that require a curious mind to track down. Lums and teensies are waiting to be discovered, and nabbing all of them unlocks copious rewards. There are goofy-looking creatures, additional playable heroes, and even dozens of stages from Rayman Origins. Such treasures make exploration a treat, and the fact that the early challenges are optional ensures that everyone can enjoy this game from the onset.

The wind beneath your wings in this boss fight is wind.

It's when Legends picks up steam that its impressive potential is reached. Varied situations keep you wondering what's going to come your way next. You may play red light, green light with a security system in an underwater fortress, or catch a ride on an updraft as you wind your way through spikes and parachuting meanies. Boss fights demand an inventive spark as you dodge their plentiful attacks while trying to puzzle out how to retaliate in kind. Plunging to the briny deep to torpedo past booby traps is particularly impressive. So often swimming segments derail the breezy derring-do of a platformer, but Legends makes the oceanic sections a high point. Fast and smooth, swimming's unshackled movement makes overcoming deep-sea dangers a satisfying detour.

Speed is the most gripping of all of Legends' demands. Running is usually preferable to walking, though it's your choice if you'd rather admire the stunning sights than sprint past them. However, some stages sport clocks whose ticking hands continually remind you of your pending failure. When your tail is on fire, you appreciate just how well constructed these levels are. Every enemy and trap is expertly placed to ensure you never have to slow down. Stages become invaded after you complete them the first time, which means you have to sprint through in less than a minute without getting hit even once to free trapped teensies. And sometimes, you even have a shadow Rayman right behind you mimicking your every move. When you reach the checkered flag, it's hard to contain the smile on your face because you know you overcame a formidable challenge.

Other levels thrust their excellent score to the forefront. Forced-scrolling stages set to catchy tracks such as "Black Betty" are the highlight of this frenetic adventure. Every movement you perform coincides with the background beat. So you know when to jump and when to kick, and seeing an orchestral performance come together is delightful. However, don't think that the soundtrack is important only in these stages. The score is a constant companion that has you bopping your head along as you jump and climb through the many levels. It's hard not to be awash in joy as the lums sing their companionable song while you scoop up every last one.

Hello there, gratuitous panty shot. How's life going? Good? I just ate a donut.

Legends excels as a single-player experience because traversing the plentiful worlds is eminently enjoyable and engaging. Still, there's a five-player option for those who'd rather see the various wonders with friends by their side. Maintaining top speed can be tricky with people who aren't quite as skilled as you, but if you're on the same page as your buddies, Legends continues right where the solo adventuring left off. Launching your friend's character to reach a hidden section or to collect lums shows how handy a second player can be, and you can transport yourself in a bubble if the difficulty ever becomes too high. Of course, if your friend is a dunderhead, you may have to slap him or her. Digitally, of course.

Rayman Legends is an excellent game in just about every way. Still, there are a couple of minor problems. Murfy's levels serve as brief distractions from the giddy energy that embodies the rest of the game. And when female characters such as Olympia die, you're treated to a creepy panty shot that's totally out of place. But those are the only negative marks this game bears. Fueled by smooth platforming, striking visuals, wacky situations, and infectious beats, Rayman Legends is a nifty platformer that exudes unabashed delight.

The Good
Satisfying and diverse platforming challenges
Impressively detailed, gorgeous artistic design
Tons of excellent stages to unlock
Precise and smooth controls
Chaotic and enjoyable multiplayer
The Bad
Murfy stages are dull
8
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Rayman Legends

About the Author

Tom is an unabashed lover of platforms. He has lost hours in everything from the Mushroom Kingdom to the warped world of Super Meat Boy, only shying away from those dreadful Sonic games.

Discussion

692 comments
angrycreep
angrycreep

I wonder why this game score lower than the 360, PS3 and PC version? You would think that the game would have score the same, if not a little bit higher, because the Wii u version is utilizing the Wii U controller, and is giving you more options than the other versions. 

fillup0
fillup0

So glad this got ported over to other platforms, this is an absolutely wonderful game.

LJELLZ
LJELLZ

If you own this on the Wii U then you are in for a treat. This a great game with a lot of content. I would give the game a 10.

Supabul
Supabul

I bought this on X360

I really wish I got it on Wii U, most lvls are made for touch pad and looked like it would of been more fun

Press red button for Murfy feels like cheating

zyxahn
zyxahn

Just sayin' here.  The early Murfy stages have a Kirby's Canvas Curse feel to it.  I wonder if that could work on the Wii U.

The_Deepblue
The_Deepblue

I own the PS3 version. I just could not hold out until I bought a Wii U, but I almost wish I would have...maybe. I am having a great time with the game so far, but the Murphy levels on PS3 are a sour spot in a mostly sweet game. The Murphy stages come off as cheap, especially in how you have to constantly move your thumb from "X" to "O," controlling both Rayman as he jumps over deadly obstacles and Murphy who handles hazards. It's a frustrating a mess, and this isn't the only issue with the game. I'll not talk about the other things here, though. I know that Origins and Legends were reviewed by two different reviewers, but I am surprised, not only that Gamespot gave this a higher score than Origins, but that the rest of the industry's general consensus seems to agree. Maybe it'll pick up some steam, but something about the PS3 version, namely the Murphy stages, scream: "This game was meant for Wii U, and that's why this feature holds the game back!" Then again, if the Wii U version's Murphy levels are lesser, then it must borderline horrible!

Leboyo56
Leboyo56

While I respect your opinion Tom, unlike some person below me who used an unnecessary derogatory term to describe why he can't comprehend your opinion being different from his and the majority's, I must say I thought the Murphy levels to be entertaining in my own view of them. I more or less just really like the idea of controlling the environment and your character at the same time.

notjustin
notjustin

thats great i want this game

shinreiningyo
shinreiningyo

For how I respect points of view, 1 full point less just because the reviewer had problems with something many are having no problem with, can only give the impression that such reviewer is half retarded, instead of conveying that this is an inferior game compared to other versions.

Hope such lows won't be hit again in the future...

akiratasoeur
akiratasoeur

Ubisoft Montpelier should make the next Metroid for Wii U in gorgeous 2D.

ikki5
ikki5

lol, this made me laugh. See a score of 9/10 for the other two and then 8/10 for Wii U, I didn't even need to click on the reviews to see who wrote this. I knew it was Mr. Biased Tom. It is like he sees Nintendo and it is auto negative points just because it is Nintendo. Gamespot should remove this guy and get someone to write real reviews without bias in them. EVERY reviewer gave this an 8.5 or higher (More gave it higher) and usually gave the other versions lower simply because the Wii U version is the best. It was made originally for the Wii U but went multiplat but the Wii U version had more put into it and provides a better experience.  The bias here is obvious and if Gamespot wants me to take their reviews to heart, then they need to ditch Tom or Tom needs to stop giving special treatment to the other platforms just because they are not Nintendo.

JordanElek
JordanElek

The Murphy levels only feel slow paced if you're playing that way. Be frantic with your tapping and sliding and they feel even faster paced than many of the regular levels. There's always enemies to tickle, lums to paint, plants to uproot, platforms to move, ropes to sever, and bugs to squish to keep you busy while still keeping track of Globox.

zcfax
zcfax

I don't understand why the "panty shot" is creepy. Most of the female characters are wearing dresses, so why is out of place. Anyone mature enough knows what under the skirt.

locknuts84
locknuts84

I'm another one who's never complained about a review score, but there is a strange pattern going on here.

Uthar_Wynn
Uthar_Wynn

I hate to stoop myself to actually complaining about a review score, but what is going on between GameSpot and Nintendo the last few years? Nearly every other site has hailed the Wii U version of Rayman Legends as the definitive version of the game. Yet for bizarre reasons, GameSpot has seen fit to first delay their Wii U review and then dock the game by a full 1.0 from the other versions.

This is not an isolated incident, either. As a frequent user of Metacritic, I have noticed that for 1st party Nintendo games, GameSpot is usually among the very lowest critic scores. The 7.5 given to Skyward Sword and the 6.5 given to Luigi's Mansion 3DS particularly stand out in my memory as examples in which GameSpot gave a dramatically lower score than nearly any other site.

Do you guys just not have any editors who like Nintendo, or what? Because it really seems like you have an axe to grind with the big N. I mean, you're perfectly entitled to give games whatever score you see fit, but it's just a weird pattern going on here.

Meinhard1
Meinhard1

Spot on from a single player perspective.  When playing alone I find myself completely avoiding the "Murfy" stages.  Which is unfortunate, because some of them are really great.

However, the co-op element just really works for me.  I enjoy the dependency between person A on the TV and person B on the gamepad . There's also a good amount of variety to what Mufy can do to help the player on the screen.  

Wingus-T-Dingus
Wingus-T-Dingus

You guys are such tool bags when it comes to reviewing multiplat games on the Wii-U. Knocking off points instead off adding them when these games offer more. First Sonic Racing Transformed, then Trine 2 and now this. How are the scores worse when the games offer more ways to be played?

chipwithdip
chipwithdip

So the Wii U version is worse because it has more stages? Because you played stages that were OBVIOUSLY designed for multi-player...by yourself? Not even an 8.5...but an 8? 

Ok Tom, I know it's "opinions" and all, but that's a bit of a stretch. A point off for MORE CONTENT? I'd say that makes this review X10 worse than your TLoU review. I used to defend you, but you're gonna have to justify that. A lot.

ginsheng
ginsheng

I think murphy's stages were planned to be multiplayer (what is, in fact, one of the attractives in the game). Otherwise, if you play alone, you're right, those are ridiculously dull.

LOL247
LOL247

Lol what a joke.  The Wii u version is actually better than the others just cause of the Murfy stages, they don't make the game worse.  But its an opinion and you're entitled to it.  Maybe they should just let you edit videos...  I think it would be better suited for you.

Omnichrono
Omnichrono

For those of you wanting a quick-shot second opinion, here's a quote from a recent review by EurogamerGermany: (translated by Chrome to English, so my apologies for the iffy grammar)

"... to decide between multiple versions, you should immediately buy the Wii U version without further consideration.  Because after I switched to Xbox 360 later flew by a certain part of the magic.  Without the Tablet perfection was destroyed...

And here arises a problem that does not help, because the tablet only exists on the Wii U.  Maybe if you had reworked the entire game again.  Such a venture but no one can require a developer who is forced to suddenly put his game for other systems.  In my experience on the Wii U, the points with Murfy on the Xbox 360 felt like a slap in the face."

Wii U 10/10

PS3/360 9/10  

wizzzer_thy_133
wizzzer_thy_133

saw the score... and i just knew who reviewed it... and guess what? i was right! and people will jump to defend him by saying... ohh 8.0 is a good score (it's actually "great") but that's besides the point... the point is that after such a streak of insultingly out of touch reviews, why would anyone back Mchshea? what would be the point?

and also, McShea... our comrade... T-Rex hands are capable of holding 430 pounds of meat, and that's calculation based on the the size of what the biceps could be like considering the the bone structure. you WISH you had bigger hands than a T-rex, you whimp! 

Lameth67
Lameth67

by giving only a 8, you strech so much the scale that you will have to give between 0 and 1 for all other platform game....

Leboyo56
Leboyo56

@angrycreep It's because the Murfy stages suck in the Wii U and Vita versions.

Leboyo56
Leboyo56

@The_Deepblue Really? I like the Murfy levels a lot in the PS3 version.

Leboyo56
Leboyo56

Well for the PS3 version at least. The Murfy levels do kind of suck on Vita, and I presume they're the same on Wii U.

shinreiningyo
shinreiningyo

@akiratasoeur or at least provide the graphical part leaving the game design to those who worked on it on the Super NES :)

yeebsey
yeebsey

@Uthar_Wynntom mcshea must hate nintendo. i mean he gives games like mario galaxy 2 one of the best scores a game has ever received on the sight. the scoundrel. good thing that wasn't a nintendo flagship franchise.......

Qmajinbuu
Qmajinbuu

@chipwithdip Tom McShea is a liar!  He claims GS doesn't use half points anymore, but didn't Gone Home, which was released less than a month ago, get a 9.5?

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

@chipwithdip We don't use half points anymore. Also, the Murfy stages are in both games (as I say in my review); they're just uninteresting on the Wii U.

psuedospike
psuedospike

@ginsheng I really think those levels were cleverly and specifically  designed for touch and motion controls and it's not dull when you're trying to find all the hidden collectibles and doorways or try getting gold on the weekly challenges which are insanely fast!

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

@ginsheng Seems likely. Although the only fun I had in co-op was tormenting whoever was playing as Rayman.

psuedospike
psuedospike

@Lameth67 Yet he gave Super Meatboy (a 2 man flash team indie) a 10.0!  This is by far the best platformer out there and it gets an 8.0.  Where's the logic in that?

BFKZ
BFKZ

@14monkey There daily & weekly challenges that can only be played online.

akiratasoeur
akiratasoeur

@shinreiningyo Agreed.

In some ways, I'm glad Ubisoft is getting a lot of success from Rayman.  It shows that 2D is not dead.  It requires more work but with great 2D artists and composers anything is possible.  I'm a bit disappointed that neither Nintendo, Capcom or Konami managed to take 2D to the same level that Ubi did. 

b3toayala
b3toayala

@TomMcShea @chipwithdip Murfy stages were designed thinking on WiiU´s gamepad, how come an adaptation for other consoles got better? Xbox and PS3 versions are ports from the WiiU original.

mikz_nyc
mikz_nyc

@TomMcShea @chipwithdip   So all the amazing features that gamepad offers for this game that other platforms don't even come close ,don't count,but some levels that are pretty much same as other platforms you specifically find dull on the Wii U version,clearly you are delusional that's my review of you

Qmajinbuu
Qmajinbuu

@TomMcShea

@chipwithdip

You don't use half points anymore?  Well that's funny becaue just like month, this site gave Gone Home a 9.5.  So saying you don't use half points anymore is nothing except a lie, plain and simple.(

You know it doesn't take a genius to see the bias this site has toward nintendo and the favoritism it has toward Microsoft.  It's really annoying seeing people like you trying to justiy your hpyocrisy too.  If you don't like Nintendo(and it's obvious you don't) that is fine for that is your opinion.  But for you and GS to constantly and repeatedly talk down on Nintendo like they're doomed(even on the rare stories where they have good news to report) while at the same time continually praise X-box one even though it's proven they're new system will spy on the public is a bias view.

psuedospike
psuedospike

@TomMcShea THIS HAS BEEN ANOTHER EPISODE OF TOM'S OPINION ONLY, STAY TUNED FOR MORE INACCURATE SOLELY OPINION-BASED REVIEWS!

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

@psuedospike @Lameth67 I gave Super Meat Boy a 9.5, though I probably underscored it. Why do you say "a 2 man flash team indie" as if that has any impact on how good the game is?

psuedospike
psuedospike

@TomMcShea Oh yeah, N+, I remember that game now...with the little stickman guy.  Kinda forgettable I guess, but offered some challenge in the later levels.

Regardless of how you feel about Meat Boy and Spelunky, Rayman Legends is an extremely polished game that offers tons of fun and the Wii U version is by far the superior version.  You may not agree, but I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who actually agrees with you.

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

@psuedospike @TomMcShea N+ is an awesome co-op platformer on Xbox 360. The sequel, N++, is coming out for PS4 this year.

Spelunky is best on Vita because it's portable so I can play it whenever I want and you have your own screen in co-op, which fundamentally changes how you play. It's crazy good. Might have been our GotY if it had come out last year.

psuedospike
psuedospike

@TomMcShea I'm fine with agreeing to disagree.   Also, why have you been saying Spelunky is best on the Vita?  Spelunky is amazing, I finally made a black market and city of gold run the other day and I was so proud of myself!

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

@psuedospike @TomMcShea We agree to disagree. The only recent 2D platformer I would put near Super Meat Boy would be Spelunky, though even that is behind it. Rayman Origins/Legends is closer to N+ for me, amazing games but not at the very top of the genre.

psuedospike
psuedospike

@TomMcShea It is a great game, don't get me wrong, but Rayman Legends is a better platforming game in just about every way!  Graphics, controls, gameplay, level design, sound design, fun factor, you name it.

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

@psuedospike @TomMcShea The extreme difficulty tempered by a frustration-free punishment system with hundreds of expertly designed levels are game-changing collectibles made Super Meat Boy among the best 2D platformers I've ever played.

psuedospike
psuedospike

@TomMcShea The dying over and over until you finish the stage and watch all your failed attempts is the gimmick.  9.5 - 10, who cares the difference is barely negligible.

I still don't understand why Meat Boy gets a higher score than this.  Can you enlighten me?

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

@psuedospike @TomMcShea Are you really arguing that I gave it a 10? That's really odd. I wish I had, but it has always been a 9.5. The only 10 I have ever given was to Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Also, not sure what's gimmicky about Super Meat Boy. It's pure running and jumping, nothing else to it.

psuedospike
psuedospike

@TomMcShea You gave it a perfect 10 when it came out, I've seen Indie game the movie...I'm just saying that it's just a gimmicky platformer, a great one, but not a perfect game.  Rayman Legends is a better game, so if you are not taking into account the small team and budget, then why does it get a higher score??

Rayman Legends More Info

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  • First Released
    • PC
    • PlayStation Vita
    • + 5 more
    • PS3
    • PS4
    • Wii U
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    Rayman Legends is the follow-up to last year's Rayman Origins and aims to bring innovative multiplayer interactions for players to utilize.
    8.8
    Average User RatingOut of 341 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Rayman Legends
    Developed by:
    Ubisoft Montpellier
    Published by:
    Ubisoft, Nintendo
    Genres:
    Platformer, 2D, Action
    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
    Everyone 10+
    All Platforms
    Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief