Rayman Origins – 3DS

The problem we have with this belated conversion is not how it plays but how it makes us feel. When playing the console version we get a warm fuzzy feeling inside knowing that one of the largest publishers in the world is still brave enough to release a 2D platformer, when in this day and age most shoot ’em ups are guaranteed to sell millions. When playing this version though, we can’t help but think, “Ubisoft are just releasing this on 3DS to make a few extra bucks, aren’t they?”

It’s a game that wasn’t originally planned for release on 3DS, and that’s more than evident. The touch-screen is simply used to chart your progress through a level and there have been countless omissions made in order to cram it onto a 3DS cart. The multi-player modes are missing, a few animations have been cut-out and the music has been chopped and changed, now playing on short loops.

The use of 3D is pretty minimal too. There’s a little bit of flare here and there but for most part it looks rather on the blurry side. Imagine playing the lovely PS Vita version with Vaseline smeared over the screen. Also, Rayman is minuscule in some places – barely more than a few millimetres high.

Underneath these technical hiccups though it’s still the same excellent platformer – brilliantly designed and effortlessly playable.

There’s plenty of variety – including some side-scrolling shooting stages in which Rayman rides on the back of an insect – and as you find and free Rayman’s friends they’re able to bestow new powers that help to keep things feeling fresh.

Some sections are incredibly tricky, clearly designed to test the skills of even gamers weaned on the likes of Super Mario World, but these sections are thoughtfully completely optional to prevent frustration. If you do ever get stuck and die several times in a row, a message will pop up asking if you want to go back to the map screen.

Plenty of replay value has been packed in as well. Each level has several secrets to find, plus a gold medal to aim for for those obsessed with collecting everything in sight.

Although it’s not a catastrophically bad conversion, it’s easily the worst version of a very good game. I guess we should just be thankful that Ubisoft aren’t charging full price for it.

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