Thursday, October 17, 2013

Your roots are showing

The video I posted several days ago of Rayman Legends is still the best thing. This is both good and bad. Good because how can I complain about having played the best thing. Bad because it was the capper to the first level and has yet to be even approached, much less equaled. Legends is a gorgeous, impeccably playing platformer. It is also exactly like the first game in every way. Including Origins as unlockable content may not have been a good idea as it confirms that there is almost nothing new here.

I really should not complain. Games like this are few and far between with the only game in recent memory that I can think of to hold up against it being 'Splosion Man. It makes sense that my favorite levels in Legends are the short invasion levels. Forty second, incredibly difficult pieces of previous levels that have one solution, arrived at after dying, over and over, until you get it just right. Ordinarily I frown upon success via failure as a mechanic but the time between death and starting over is so small that I never really stop playing. Eventually, so far anyway, I get the job done.

If nothing else this game makes me more excited for the RPG being created with the same engine. Legends always, always looks good. Not Dragon's Crown good, not quite, but still really good. Little touches of animation are everywhere which makes everything, animate or not, feel vibrant and alive. Not being an artist the next part is a guess, but I get the feeling that it gives them the freedom to just draw something and have it work instead of going into forced negotiations with the programmers and level designers.

My one issues, other that there being almost nothing new, is the one thing that is new. The WiiU version, which was the original it its defense feature asymmetrical multiplayer. One ore more people control Rayman and his cohorts and another manipulates the levels itself with the fancy screened controller. This wont work on the big boy systems but instead of changing the levels the level manipulation has been mapped to the B button which in turn makes for some serious thumb contortion. It is an old, familiar pain that rubs on callouses but up in my youth on games like Battletoads and Super Mario: The Lost Levels.

It would be refreshing if it wasn't so stupid.

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