Review - Rayman 3 HD: Hoodlum Havoc

Discussion in 'PlayStation 4 & General PlayStation Discussion' started by RK128, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. RK128
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    RK128 Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone :). I want to start writing video game reviews again (haven't done so in two years) and after having a lot of fun replaying this game, why not write a review on it :D! Hope you all enjoy it and consider picking the game up (currently 3.50 on PSN/2.50 if you have Plus).

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    Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc Review – Mad enough to go back to 3D?

    Review by RK128, Played on PlayStation 3

    The Rayman series is an interesting little franchise. Starting its humble origins during the PS1 era as a 2D platformer, with a grand sequel making the leap into 3D with such success (to the point of it being a cult-classic of the PS1/N64 era), the series in 2015 is back as a 2D platforming series that rivals even Mario’s best ventures.

    But back in 2003, we got a sequel to Rayman 2, called Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. It, like Rayman 2, released on everything; PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox, PC, Game Boy Advance, PC and even the N-Gage?! In 2012, the game came to the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, coming into a new generation off the heels of Rayman Origins critical success.

    So does Rayman 3 hold up in the modern era or has it aged over time? The game opens up with Rayman and Globox sleeping…a common deal with Rayman and company. Red Lums, the red orbs you collect for health throughout the series, are being turned into Black Lums by a evil lum called Andre, so its up to Rayman to defeat him and save the world. Sounds like a simple story, right?

    Well, the game makes some really crazy turns, coming to what makes Rayman 3 stand out from other games in the series; its humor. Latter Rayman games had humor in spades, with the Rabbid party games on Wii being completely nuts while Origins & Legends had humor more in vain of a classic Loony Toons cartoon. But Rayman 3 is very….strange, to put it lightly. It’s a very funny adventure that really surprises you at times.

    The gameplay is what you would expect of 3D Rayman coming off of Rayman 2; you run around in semi-open levels throwing balls of light at foes and objects in worlds alongside jumping, hovering and climbing around in colorful worlds. But Rayman 3 does a lot to separate itself from Rayman 2. Rayman throws his fist this time out (just like in Rayman 1), leading to a more dynamic and enjoyable combat system. You can curve your fist throws left and right, foes are a lot smarter than the foes you fought in Rayman 2 and you get more tools to play with thanks to power ups throughout the levels.

    That goes into the next big change; power ups. Rayman can don various costumes that give him either new abilities or giving back abilities from Rayman 2 in a new way. Raymans outfit changes and each power up is a lot of fun to play with. You can get metal fists to have stronger attacks, chained fists that can flow lighting into grabbed foes and even a rocket fist that explodes on impact. All of these alongside the core combat system really make fights fun, leading to them being just as enjoyable as the platforming you do in the game.

    But what makes these power ups so enjoyable is how they are used for exploration and platforming; all your power ups are on a timer, with each power-up having a different cool-down timer. You have to use them before the time runs out, leading to puzzles where you have to keep moving with the power up currently in use to navigate a series of hooks with the chain fist or smash a door with the metal fist for example. That compounded with level design that uses all of your abilities and you have a very fun template for level designs and solid gameplay.

    The issues within gameplay is the controls and camera sadly. This isn’t a big issue, but its something that needs pointing out. Rayman 3 has a camera system that uses the right stick, but the camera doesn’t always respond, leading to it sometimes being caught on walls, thus ending things with death or missing a important jump. This isn’t a common issue, but it does happen sadly. Secondly is the controls, as unlike Rayman 2, Rayman himself feels more stiff to control in comparison to the almost liquid smooth control of your jumps and running in Rayman 2. This is an issue if you played Rayman 2 before this, but its something to point out.

    The presentation of the game is really fantastic. Back in 2003, the vivid colors of the games dream-like landscape impressed, and in 2015, the game still impresses. The worlds are very varied, going from wildly different locations but having a really tight art style and direction holding everything together. Sadly, the HD remasters have both graphical quarks (water having very odd coloring and text being pixelated on larger TV’s) and performance issues (drops below its locked 60FPS often enough to become an issue) but they aren’t distracting enough to distract from the core game.

    The music of Rayman 3 is some of the franchises best work. It is all over the place, with beautifully enchanting pieces mirroring tracks from Rayman 2, a full-on vocal track (cut in the HD version) as the main theme that stands proudly next to the various vocal-tracks in the Sonic series and more. The world that stands out the most in highlighting the games soundtrack is the Land of the Livid Dead level, with a number of variations of its main theme being filled with beautiful flutes, soft beats and having an otherworldly vibe. Makes its stand out as a personal favorite level in the game.

    Want to cover this point last, as I feel it’s the last important part of the overall package; the scoring system. Throughout the game, you collect yellow objects and red gems that increase your points (as does combat sections and skillful platforming) which in turn unlock mini games to play outside of the main game. The mini games are enjoyable, but they are segregated from the core experience, thus making the inclusion of the points system feel forced and almost pointless. They do help in making levels full of things to collect (harking back to Rayman 2’s collectable Yellow Lums needed for game progression), so they do fill their role. It’s just that the role isn’t needed in a game like Rayman 3.

    Overall, Rayman 3 is a platforming experience that all fans of the franchise should consider giving a look. The game has aged well in 2015, with its presentation, gameplay and level design still being just as strong as it was in 2003. While mechanically and at its core gameplay-wise not as strong as Rayman Origins and Legends, it still is a great 3D platformer that everyone should consider giving a look.


    Score: 4 out of 5

    Pros: Beautiful presentation and strong musical score, inventive gameplay, tight level design, power-ups that add to the experience, funny story

    Cons: Points system feels forced, Performance on PS3 and 360 is not as good as it should be, Camera system has issues, Controls take a bit to get used to coming from Rayman 2
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
    VINNIE GANESH likes this.

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