A great escape and a great game

User Rating: 8 | Rayman 3D 3DS
NOTE: I have not played the original Rayman 2, nor any of the other remakes, so I can't compare.

Rayman has been kidnapped and his powers have been taken away, but all hope is not lost, because his friends are determined to help him, so at the start of the game he gets back the ability to shoot balls of energy out of his hands. Thus he can escape himself and focus his efforts on getting enough strength to save everyone else from the dreaded pirate Razorbeard (who literally have a razor blade as his beard).

While Rayman 3DS is a platformer, you will do much more than jumping around and using Rayman's propelling hair to jump farther. The formula is spiked up with concepts like slides, rockets you can ride on, flying rockets, flying barrels, controlling a flying ship, riding in a chair connected to a glowing wire and waterskiing on mud while being dragged by a snake, in other word just the kind of fun insanity that boosts a children-friendly 3D platformer. Those parts that stand out from the ordinary is both among the most fun levels and the levels where the 3D effects truly shines. Once you get used to it and find the level of 3D that works best for you, it looks really amazing. The only problem for me is that I have a tendency of leaning my head slightly to the side when I turn, which often messes up the 3D and occasionally leads to me dying.

Not saying that the 3D isn't great normally either. I usually have it on with the slider about 40 percent up, but the 3D effects also lead to some problems. For instance, when the camera clips through the scenery, which it does a few times, it looks awful. I also find that the screen is extra vulnerable to sunlight when the 3D is turned on, so I usually have to turn it off when I'm riding a bus.

The controls feels natural, and the slide pad works like a charm. The level design also makes sure the gameplay is brilliant. It is not without its flaws though. I don't like the combat system because I think as a general principle a platform game where you can only hurt your enemies by shooting at them is a bad idea. Particularly when you have so much life that you can usually just L-target the enemy and mash the shooting button because they will die first. Some enemies are a bit smarter and digs into the ground, appearing somewhere else, but if you L-target you will often automatically turn to where they pop up, which feels like it ruins the point. Another problem is when you are surrounded by purple lums (rings that you grapple onto and swing in by shooting at them) when fighting enemies, because you risk hitting the lum and start swinging, so the enemy will get to you.

I'm glad combat is not very common in the game, but even when it isn't there are a few flaws. The camera occasionally becomes a pain. While you can change the camera angle with L or supposedly with left and right on the + pad – I say supposedly because I have only tried when L doesn't work and then they don't work either. The problems occur in areas where the space is too tight for camera changes, such as in caves.

All in all the game is a lot of fun and a great game with relatively little backtracking and it isn't too hard to find out what to do. When at one point I didn't quite know what to do (because I didn't find it intuitive that I was supposed to light an explosive barrel with a torch in order to fly), the game was helpful enough to display an arrow pointing at said torch to help me out. Still there are flaws that can be really annoying. I have a problem with the slides because they take the realistic approach making it hard to turn when you have high speed, which I'm not a big fan of, but I'll let that one slide (no pun intended). Worse is it that at one point during a sort of boss fights it started glitching so I had to start the level over again (and it took some time to reach the boss).

I recommend Rayman 3DS, cause while I was frustrated with it about 10 percent of the time, the rest of the time it was really fun. The game is twenty levels long and took me about six hours to beat. You could use much more than that if you make an effort to collect all the yellow lums and complete it a hundred percent, but I don't really care. While there are bonus levels if you catch them all in one level, I'm not very interested because those level just come down to one minute of continuous button mashing. The game is great and it is the first handheld 3D platformer I have really liked.