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Rayman 2: The Great Escape Review
genre: Action Adventure
P-100, 32MB RAM, 200MB HDD, 3D accelerator
|ESRB rating: E
release date: Oct 31, 99
|» All About Rayman 2: The Great Escape on ActionTrip|
Yeah, Rayman is back again!
One of the most charming UbiSoft's characters, small, human-like blonde without a torso, has once again brought very colorful and interesting platform action to my PC... and yep, that is something I've really missed in the past few years. This time around Mr. Ray is done from 3D polys and he is able to perform all his actions such as running, jumping, swimming, climbing in very nice 3D environments. Oh, you are disappointed cause it is a 3D game now, aren't you? Well, there's no reason to be disappointed!
Glurp, glurp... I... can't... breathe...
Easy there, fella!
In short, Rayman is just another in the line of characters who's got to save the world from the evil. This time it is the bad pirate Razorbeard who conquered his shiny happy world and made all creatures on it his slaves. Luckily, with help of his friend Globox and Ly the Fairy, Rayman had managed to escape and now he's got to defeat these mighty pirates and save his friends. And if you are thinking that he is a super strong hero or something... you're wrong... The pirates took energy of his world, and that's why he will be so weak and awkward in the beginning of his quest. Thanks to Ly the Fairy, during this quest he will be getting more and more powers (such as punch, stronger punch, better jump...). Opposite to the previous installment of this game when he was known as 'flying-fist' guy, you won't see his fists flying around... just light beams, which he is using to knock enemies down. These beams can be thrown much further and that's why he seems more dangerous now. More over, in the Great Escape you won't be seeing that much enemies you used in the 2D game, which makes this game more puzzle/adventure oriented.
As you can see from the screenshots, graphics are very nice, colorful and as I already said - in 3D. It was quite obvious that Rayman: The Great Escape was going to be all in 3D when the Tonic Trouble demo (or rip, or whatever that was?) came out. I just don't get why it took them so long to release this game (or just make the final version of Tonic Trouble) when the work on the 3D engine was over about a year ago. Anyway, everything in this game looks just beautiful, from Razorbeard's bullets, fireballs, water rippling effects to animation and level design. Environments are great and I enjoyed them a lot even if you can notice that there are not many polys in them. Still, they leave very good impression mostly because of neat textures. Who ever is responsible for making textures, deserves a really big credit. As this quality textures / low poly objects combination was presented in Tonic Trouble, I don't know why programmers didn't put just little more polys and make more detailed objects?! More than a year has passed since Tonic Trouble was presented and most of us have computers capable of rendering higher number of polygons... the graphics would be just perfect then...
Movement is camera-relative and that can really cause you trouble if you are unfamiliar with 3D action platformers. Now when I mentioned trouble, I must say that there are significant improvements in controlling compared to Tonic Trouble, but it still takes some time to get used to it. Luckily for us gamers, when you lost orientation or cannot position Rayman in the way you want, you can use "0" button on keypad to put yourself in the first-person mode ideal for looking around. Although the field of view is not so great, this is very useful option -- when you release the free-look button, camera takes the position behind and you can focus on the action in front of you. There is also strafe button, which will help you not to lose orientation in the combat. Just keep the Ctrl button pressed, strafe left-right and shoot at your enemy. You don't need to concentrate on aiming because Rayman is aiming for you.
To cut the long story short... despite all the lows I've mentioned, Rayman's great escape is definitely one of the best games I've played this year. Nice graphics, colorful world and good story have created fantastic atmosphere and I really felt like I'm in that cartoonish universe. That's why I just couldn't feast my eyes off of this game for 3 long, looong days...
8.9 Very Good
Great atmosphere and story, neat graphics, not frustrating;
Engine could have use more polys, controlling issues.
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