Rayman Legends

Year: 2013
Platform: Xbox 360
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Adventure
Review Date: 8/11/18
Rating: ****

Bubble Dreamer's nightmares continue to grow and they end up abducting all of the Teensies in the land, along with ten princesses. Murfy wakes up Rayman to tell him the news, and together they set off to dispel the nightmares and rescue the Teensies and the princesses.

"Legends" is an excellent follow-up to the superb "Rayman Origins" (2011) and the UbiArt Framework ups the ante by incorporating new lighting and 3D effects. The gameplay is identical, except that you're rescuing Teensies instead of Electoons, and princesses instead of nymphs. The princesses become playable once you've rescued them, and they add a lot of fun to the mix. Once again, the art direction is fantastic and the imaginative levels are full of life and color. The game maintains the same tone and sense of humor, and is a joy to play. The difficulty might be a bit more demanding than "Origins," but it's hard to tell. The soundtrack is very good, but not as silly and catchy as the music in "Origins."

The game adds a lot of extra online modes and multiplayer goodies, which has the unfortunate side effect of watering down the experience. It's also cumbersome to navigate through the various menus and galleries to get where you want to be. Several levels from "Origins" can be unlocked via lucky lottery tickets, and it's fun to revisit those places. The difficulty ramps up quickly, but completing harder levels unlocks easier levels, which helps to keep frustration minimized. Boss battles are aggravating, and I managed to get through most of them before calling it quits. Ultimately, I think I prefer the presentation of "Origins" more, but "Legends" feels like a more varied and robust package. It's an exceptional and exquisitely crafted gaming experience that I highly recommend.