Rayman 2: The Great Escape

Year: 2000
Platform: Dreamcast
Developer: Ubisoft
Genre: Adventure
Review Date: 8/5/18
Rating: **

After thoroughly enjoying "Rayman Origins" (2011), I decided to check out other games in the series. When it originally came out, "Rayman 2" was considered a revolutionary platform game and one of the best games of the year. The Dreamcast version scored higher with critics than the PlayStation 2 version did, which seemed like an excellent reason to dust off my cherished Dreamcast and give it a spin. Unfortunately, playing games that are nearly twenty years old is tricky business and it's difficult to objectively review them within the confines of existing trends and technology. That said, "Rayman 2" hasn't aged well, mostly because of its clunky control scheme. It wasn't until "Halo" (2001) came out that game developers finally figured out how to navigate 3D environments with a game pad. Up to that point, all sorts of weird ideas were implemented that never felt natural or intuitive. "Rayman 2's" biggest flaw is its poor camera control, which uses buttons to pan the camera left and right rather than the analog stick. Granted, the Dreamcast controller has a slight disadvantage because it only has one analog stick, but the D-pad could have easily been used for movement instead. As a result, instead of enjoying the game and focusing on the platform elements, you spend more time fighting the controls and trying to see where you are and where to go next. It's very aggravating. Apart from that, the controls are responsive and fluid, the graphics are colorful and zany (albeit a bit crude and unsophisticated), and the music is wonderful. It's just a shame that the camera issues ruin the experience.