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Rayman Legends is a 2D Platformer Masterpiece

I've had never played any Rayman game before. Even though I consider myself a big platformer fan in general, somehow I've always ended up skipping his games. Earlier this year, however, after reading about it online and watching some videos, I've decieded to download Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition's demo on the Switch. And, if you're a platformer fan, I highly recommend you to also do it. The three early levels in demo were enough to convince myself to buy it – espeacially the last one. I had to see how the game would developed those ideas further (little spoiler that isn't really a spoiler: !it does it in a masterful way!). There is no other words: this game is 2d platformer masterpiece. Its artstyle looks really nice, with a cartoonish but also kind of psycodelical vibe, and the gameplay and the level design are both incredible. First of all: Rayman controls are perfect and the flow in which you move is flawless. The only (and really minor) complaint is that in the beggining I got a little confused when also having to control Murphy (a sidekick that controls some platforms and other level elements, designed around the Wii U pad), but you quickly get how it works.

But the level design is where the game really shines. The way they force you to play in a variety of ways and keep changing your pace is simply brilliant. The game makes you want to really master Rayman's movement to get every teensie (the main collectable) in the many different levels. Just one example is the third world in the main campaign (20.000 Lums Under the Sea). Up untill there, the most difficult levels are the fast paced ones (like the escape and chasing sequences), so you're getting good at keep your momentum in a high speed. In the levels of 20.000 Lums, however, it all changes: the game uses an enemy/hazard radar mechanic that forces you to play it slowly, almost like a stealth game. I loved how it made me adapt to it. Inside the world, there's also a really good level where you have to be fast, but also be careful avoid being catch by the radars – it is really great.

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But the best levels are the musical ones. Remeber that last level in the demo I've mentioned? It's the first one of those. They are levels that you travess through the stage with your actions tying to the background music (and actually playing along it, it if you time your moves right). Each main world has one of them !(and you unlock crazy and really hard remixed versions in the end)!, and they're all a total blast to play. One of the best ideas in a 2D platformer ever.

Besides these main points, there were a lot of other small things that helped make it so great: I loved the way they simply got rid of lifes and just let you redo imediately a section you messed up (Celeste did this in a also perfect way years after). I'm all up for hard games, especially hard platforming levels, but I know I will die a lot, so I don't want any penalties or time wasting to try again. In Legends, it's just like that: you jump right back to the action smoothly and quickly after you die. Tied with that, I think that the game has a nice difficulty balance. The mainstory is mostly not that hard (espeacilly with the abundance of checkpoints throughout the levels), but it gets pretty intense in some levels of the last two words (and in the special "invaded" levels), and has some really great challanges if you want to complete it. I really enjoyed how its forgiving nature made me want to get better at it to surpass the most challenging bits. Another highlight is that this game contain a huge fraction of its predecessor in it. It has five full worlds of "Back to Origins" levels, which contain most of Rayman Origins levels, with some ajustments. Its basically a second (really good) game within your package.

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At last, on a side note, I really enjoyed how a lot of the levels had a little pun or reference (to music, literature, film and pop culture in general) in its name – like the name of the world I used as an example before. In short, if you're a fan of platformers, you really shouldn't missed out on this one. I would say that espeacially if you enjoy the Donkey Kong Country series (both old and new games), you will definetly find some familiars vibes here (with its own flavor and twists). I would also say I think this game might be a nice point to start if you don't play much 2D platformers. I played it on Switch, but it's out in all main consoles and PC, so it's really easy to get it.


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