Rayman 3D (3DS Review) by Carl B.
System: Nintendo 3DS
Release: March 27, 2011
April 4, 2011, by Carl B. - Instead of releasing a new Rayman title for the Nintendo 3DS launch, Ubisoft opted to port Rayman 2: The Great Escape once again. Rayman 2: The Great Escape originally released in 1999 on the Nintendo 64, PC, PlayStation, and Dreamcast, and is often considered one of the greatest 3D platformers of all time due to its unique level design and gameplay elements. Rayman 3D is a direct port of the Dreamcast version of the game, with adjustments to the game's learning curve and accessibility, according to Ubisoft. Is The Great Escape still a top-tier platformer 12 years later?
Rayman 3D takes place in a world called the Glade of Dreams, where a group of evil pirates have destroyed the world's core. In order to restore the Glade of Dreams, Rayman must collect four masks and revive Polokus, the world's spirit.
2D image of Nintendo 3DS game.
Ubisoft also ported Rayman 2: The Great Escape to the Nintendo DS under the title "Rayman DS." Rayman 3D looks much better than Rayman DS visually, due to the latter being a port of the inferior Nintendo 64 version of the game. Still, Rayman 3D doesn't hold up to other Nintendo 3DS launch titles, especially Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition and Pilotwings Resort. The game suffers from frequent frame rate issues, notably when Rayman jumps from platform to platform, even when the 3D slider is turned off. Turning 3D on doesn't do much to the visuals of the game, as it just puts Rayman on the foreground and throws everything else into the background – out of every 3DS launch title, Rayman 3D is the only one I played with 3D off.
The visual quality of Rayman 3D isn't the only thing wrong with this port. Background music for the various levels sounds extremely muffled and low quality, and sound effects either don't play when they should or they don't play at all. Much like the 3D effect, I ended up turning the sound off when playing Rayman 3D.
Luckily, The Great Escape hasn't aged too terribly compared to other games of that era. Players travel through various levels in the Glade of Dreams as the limbless hero, with each level consisting of traditional platforms to jump on and chasms to jump across. Every level progresses in a linear fashion, unlike Super Mario 64 which threw players into a large area with little direction.
2D image of Nintendo 3DS game.
Each level has different colored Lums scattered throughout it, and the different Lums have differing effects. Yellow Lums are essential for players to collect – they allow Rayman to travel to different levels further in the game – while red Lums and green Lums re-heal Rayman and set a checkpoint, respectively. Rayman will gain different abilities throughout the course of the game, including being able to swing across large chasms by hooking onto purple ring Lums and using his helicopter hair to slow down long falls.
One aspect of The Great Escape that hasn't translated well is the game's combat system. Rayman will encounter robot pirates throughout levels that are incredibly easy to destroy – all players have to do is stay at a distance and spam Rayman's projectile attacks, and the enemies will be defeated without Rayman taking any damage. Problems in the original versions of the game, such as the camera, haven't been fixed this time around, but I never had any issues with it during my playthrough of the game.
7/15 - Background music sounds muffled and sound effects don't play half the time.
8/20 - Rayman 3D ha the visual quality of the Dreamcast version, which is bad compared to other 3DS launch titles. The 3D effect is unimpressive and the game suffers from frequent frame rate issues.
10/25 - This is a straight port of the Dreamcast version of Rayman 2: The Great Escape. No new game modes or levels were added.
35/40 - Great Escape is still one of the best 3D platformers all these years later.
60/100 - Rayman 3D is a quick and dirty port of Rayman 2: The Great Escape. The soundtrack has issues, there are problems with the frame rate, and the 3D effect is unimpressive. Technical failings aside, Rayman 3D still retains all the gameplay mechanics that made the original so successful, and the platforming action is still a winner.