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Review

Rayman 3 HD Review (PSN/XBLA)

The Limbless One gets a makeover

Rayman has recently re-emerged into the gaming world,  with Rayman Origins receiving a lot of praise among critics. However, what of Rayman 3 HD? This is an HD upgrade of Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc which released way back in 2003 across a variety of platforms. The question that needs to be asked is whether the upgrade was worth doing. Luckily for you, I’m going to answer that question.

The game's UK announcement trailer.
The plot of Rayman 3 HD revolves around an evil Black Lum named André and his army of Lums, who are trying to taint the Heart of The World. This is so André can create a larger army and become more powerful. Rayman & Globox are basically forced into action to stop André, though I won’t mention why. The plot is generally easy to follow and is told through various cutscenes as well as dialogue during the game.

The main focus is, of course, the game’s graphics and generally these are fantastic. Rayman 3 HD has a large variety of level designs across the 9 world stages, from forest to desert to snow covered landscapes. I was always eager to know what kind of stage I would be navigating next. There’s a particular part in the game where you navigate a tower of crystal and it looks so good. I actually stopped and panned the camera about to look at it from different angles. The whole game is vibrant with  colour and credit really has to go to the developers here.

However, there are parts in the game where the colour can overload the senses. The main culprit is the disco surfing mini game that you play to travel between stages. These levels are incredibly bright and they move pretty fast. I did find myself having to pause the game sometimes during these parts to stop my eyes from straining to take in everything.

Gameplay wise, the game is a pretty standard 3D platformer. However, there is some extra variety thrown in when navigating levels. At a couple points in the game some levels become on rail shooters and they were incredibly fun to do. Rayman’s attacks are mostly limited to ranged punches and all the enemies attack from range as well.


It's very colourful, as you'd expect.
There are 5 different powers in total which give Rayman different abilities, from additional strength to the ability to fly short distances. Combat wise you also get a targeting system which allows you to aim Rayman’s punches with greater accuracy. It works well for the most part but can get jumpy if there are a lot of enemies on screen. As the game goes on, these various powers are used to combat different enemy types and to solve puzzles to advance through levels.

The levels themselves are pretty linear, though there are small areas to explore to find gems which increase the score. You can also find Teenies who have been captured by André’s army. Some of them will reward you with power ups while others will give you coins and gems. Find enough Teenies and you’ll get a health boost. However, these captured Teenies will constantly call for help every few seconds until you find them and that can get annoying really quickly, especially if you’re in the middle of a fight with various enemies.

Speaking of fights, Boss fights are present and are quite fun. All the bosses levels are unique and will require different tactics to defeat them. These generally occur before the end of certain stages but never let your guard down as hard enemies can appear at any point. Though that keeps things interesting, it comes at the price of sudden difficulty spikes. These difficulty spikes will mean multiple, tougher enemies that can overwhelm and kill you quickly. Annoyingly there is no option to skip cutscenes before a boss fight or at the beginning of levels, so if you die you’ll have to watch them again.

Among the  enemies found in Rayman 3 HD, there is one that will bug you the most. The camera. It would get stuck behind scenery and upon entering a new area it would sometimes focus on Rayman’s face instead of the group of enemies that were attacking. The camera is also a bit jerky and can move pretty slowly, which is especially frustrating when you’re trying to complete a puzzle or follow a tricky path.


Don't be worried, he's 'armless.
Outside of the main story, Rayman 3 HD also has 9 mini games. These are unlocked by earning points in the campaign mode. Points are awarded for defeating enemies, rescuing Teenies, collecting gems and solving puzzles. 2D Madness lets you play a 2D platforrmer mini game, while Missile Control puts you in control of a missile (surprise!) which you need to navigate through a level until you reach a target.

Another addition are Online Leaderboards. This lets you compare the amount of points you have earned in game with both friends on your list and the wider world. It adds a nice element of competition and I found myself checking the leaderboard to see how I was doing against others. There are also Trophies/Achievements available and some will require you to replay certain levels to get 5 star ratings.

Pros:

  • Solid 3D platformer with a decent length.
  • Looks fantastic and very colourful.
  • Variety of level design.
  • Inclusion of Leaderboards adds competitive element.
  • Mini games offer added replayability.

Cons:

  • Visuals can be overwhelming at times.
  • The camera is very temperamental.
  • No option to skip cutscenes.
  • Constant cries of help from Teenies gets annoying.

Rayman 3 HD a is nicely done HD remake of Hoodlum Havoc. There is a good 3D platformer here and the game looks incredible. The variety the game offers is great and should be taken note of. The dialogue and voice acting is also well done, though can get repetitive. What lets the game down is the camera, which is a big problem as it can hinder progress and leave you frustrated. It’s worth a playthrough if you like platformers but some design decisions could leave you frustrated.

Score: 7/10

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12 Comments
  1. Foxhound_Solid
    Is a smart cookie.
    Since: Dec 2009

    I dont seem to want to play a rayman….. strange as they all seem pretty good….

    Comment posted on 20/03/2012 at 17:29.
  2. SavageOranges
    Member
    Since: Aug 2010

    Can’t wait! Rayman 1 was the first game I played, been with the series ever since! :D

    Comment posted on 20/03/2012 at 17:40.
  3. ProjectJAY
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    “The mini games are a new addition to Rayman 3 for the HD Upgrade…”

    No, they aren’t, they were in the original version too :P

    I remember having a lot of fun with this game, will probably download it eventually for nostalgia. I don’t remember the camera being much of a problem before, though…

    Comment posted on 20/03/2012 at 18:12.
    • OriginalJonty (Aran Suddi)
      Member
      Since: Sep 2011

      Corrected :)

      Comment posted on 20/03/2012 at 18:26.
  4. KeRaSh
    Member
    Since: Nov 2009

    I’m not sure about this one. I love the 2D Rayman games and after so thoroughly enjoying Origins I can only imagine myself being let down by this.

    Comment posted on 20/03/2012 at 19:33.
    • Sympozium
      Member
      Since: Aug 2009

      ….Well Rayman 2 and 3 where great games it actually was good in 3D unlike a certain blue fella.

      Comment posted on 20/03/2012 at 20:42.
  5. NightHawk-33
    Member
    Since: Mar 2012

    Easy platinum for the trophy hunters?

    Comment posted on 20/03/2012 at 19:54.
  6. An-dz
    Member
    Since: Oct 2010

    they should have remade rayman 2, in my opinion that is still one of the best 3D platformers ever on playstation

    Comment posted on 20/03/2012 at 20:27.
    • Sympozium
      Member
      Since: Aug 2009

      They’ll likely remake it millions time by 2100 like its nearly been on every system since Dreamcast or Playstation. Surprised Rayman 2 (like Revolution or DC ver cuz PS is a bit different n all) hasn’t appeared on PSN or Xbla yet.

      Comment posted on 20/03/2012 at 20:45.
  7. aerobes
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    I don’t know, never really been a Rayman fan but it sounds fun. Probably more the sort of thing that my wife would prefer, platformers are her thing.

    Comment posted on 21/03/2012 at 04:24.

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