Rayman 3D may be another Rayman 2 port, but it's not necessarily a bad thing.
The games features the protagonist, Rayman, a limbless creature with no real origin. He can fly using the hair on his head and shoot lums (the small fairy-like things you encounter throughout the game). Rayman is up against Admiral Razorbeard, a power-hungry villain and leader of the Robot Pirates, who has destroyed the Heart of the World. This is the core of the world called The Glade of Dreams. Doing so weakens Rayman, taking away his powers and getting captured. Luckily, his friend, Globox, a giant blue frog thing, is in the same prison cell as Rayman and gives him a silver lum, which allows Rayman to escape. However, he and Globox get separated in the process. It is up to Rayman now to defeat the pirates, save the world, and save his friend.
The presentation of the game feels weak. First off, it's the port of a 12 year old game with little to none graphical improvements (explained more later on) and similar glitches. Plus, the game has had multiple other re-releases, so for fans of Rayman, there is a chance you own one of these or have played them. There is no introduction or back story: it goes straight to the part where Rayman is captured and you learn about what happened by collecting lums to explain the back story.
As stated, Rayman 3D is a 3D platforming game. The Circlepad controls Rayman, while B allows him to jump. Pressing Y makes Rayman throw lums to attack enemies and destroy obstacle. L makes Rayman lock onto enemies, making attacking easier, while R gives you a first person perspective and lets you look at your surroundings. The D-Pad controls the camera, which arguably is evil and can at times be a total pain. If you press the B button in mid-air, Rayman will hover, allowing you to cross large gaps. The controls work well, and the Circlepad makes playing this game much more enjoyable and easier than if you were to use a control pad.
Throughout each stage, Rayman will find lums to collect. Yellow lums are necessary for completing the game 100% and progressing through the game, as well as allowing you to find out the back story. Red lums restore Rayman's health. Green lums act as checkpoints, re-spawning you at that point when you die. Purple lums look like rings and allow Rayman to grab a hold of and swing on them to cross large gaps. In addition to lums, you can find a special power-up which gives the lums extra power. The power-up disappears after taking three hits, so be careful. When it comes to yellow lums, there are 1000 to collect, with 50 lums per level in most cases. Once you collect all the yellow lums, you get... nothing. Just satisfaction. Since there isn't much reason to play levels again, replay is lacking.
In each stage, collecting all the lums and destroying all the cages (which have lums inside usually) allows access to the Bonus Stage, in which you have to get baby Globox to the fairy before the pirate does. You have to alternately press Y and B to make baby Globox run faster and beat the pirate. Once you get to the fairy, you are rewarded with increased health and possibly a power up.
The goal of each stage is simple: get to the end, while collecting yellow lums along the way. Sometimes, Rayman's friends will assist the limbless hero, like Clark, a giant, powerful thing that is... well, powerful, and Ly, who gives Rayman encouragement and certain abilities. In a couple stages, Rayman will be able to utilize vehicles and other modes of transportation, most common being rockets that run (not fly, run) over terrain that Rayman normally cannot cross. Other transportation devices include plums (used to cross over lava) and a plesiosaur thing. To complete a stage, Rayman must free the Teensie stuck in the cage (Teensies are small creatures who open up new doors and thus new levels). Some levels are on the short side, but most have a good amount of length and enjoyable.
The graphics have had no improvements: characters (which, may I add, are usually charming and enjoyable) in cutscenes still move like it was an N64 game, and in general all graphics and visuals look sub-par. Glitches found in the original can still be found here as well. The game is a direct port of the Dreamcast version of Rayman 2, so no improvements were made, except for the 3D effects. The music also hasn't changed, however this is not a bother, since the music is pretty good, and there are plenty of good tracks. Sound effects sound decent, but like graphics, are unimproved.
Now as far the 3D goes... it's decent in this game. There's little difference with it either on or off, and I actually found it bothersome on my eyes sometimes. As such, I played a good part of the game with the 3D off. Don't get me wrong: sometimes the 3D looked pretty sweet, just wish it was a bit more improved.
*Port of a great game
*Fun vehicle/riding segments
*Good cast of characters
*Music is a delight
*Port of an old game
*No purpose to collecting every single lum
*Stages on short side
*No improvements since original release
*3D Effect: 7/10
Final Score: 7/10
While it would be nice to see Ubisoft remake some other Rayman game like Rayman 3, Rayman 3D isn't a bad port. It's a port of a good game that has just aged over the years, and if you can get passed it's flaws, you can enjoy this game much. If you already own this game on another platform, skip this, unless you are a die-hard Rayman fan. If you are looking for a platformer game for your 3DS and don't want to wait for Super Mario to stomp Goombas in 3D, I would recommend this game (unless you own Rayman 2 for some other system).