Why Rayman Origins Is Even Better On Vita

Pocket platforming perfected.

We’ve been here before. A few times, actually. We’ve had hands on with preview builds, a portion of the full game and naturally we reviewed Rayman Origins when it released late last year on both PS3 and Xbox 360. We even went as far as to vote it 22nd in our list of the Top 100 games releasing in 2012, and with good reason.

You see, Rayman Origins, at its core, is a traditional 2D platformer and perhaps the most charming game we saw last year. Rayman and friends travel across themed levels – each with unique enemies, obstacles and environments – fighting bosses on their way as well as collecting Lums and freeing Electoons in order to save the world, and that’s not to mention all of the other collectibles and gameplay mechanics.

To put it simply, Rayman Origins is one of the best platformers you’ll play and, next month, it’s making its way to Sony’s latest handheld.

[drop2]Whilst Rayman Vita may at first seem exactly the same as its console counterpart – and that’s not a bad thing; the visuals are as sharp and colourful as ever and the controls and gameplay are once again sublime – it actually features several improvements that put it above the version released back in November.

One of these new features revolves around a brand new collectible throughout the levels: Relics. These will unlock pieces of a large puzzle, a mosaic, that you can view along with the costumes you’ve unlocked in The Snoring Tree and assembling this mosaic will unlock videos that tell the story of Rayman’s roots and the history of the Glade of Dreams.

You’re even able to share your findings with friends through the Vita’s Near functionality, in the vein of StreetPass Puzzle Swap on the 3DS.

Another feature missing from the home console versions but making an appearance on Sony’s latest handheld is the Ghost mode; which acts as a race of sorts, throughout selected levels that you’ve completed. This removes certain obstacles which would prove annoying and pits Rayman against a spectral version of himself as you compete in order to get the fastest time against your previous best.

Your ghost and best times can then be shared with friends using the Gift mode, which harnesses Near – there’s even leaderboards, and although we weren’t able to see whether these were online or not, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be. I can already sense something of a competitive flare for the TSA community (and the world) if these are to be online.  Time trials are exactly what Rayman needed to make it even better and this and the other new features do nothing but improve on the original game.

We’ve all said it many times before, but I’m going to say it again to hammer it right in there: Rayman Origins is one of the most stunning games you’ll see this year. Vita’s impressive screen enhances the already wonderful colour palette and the rich character and environment art alike, making for what is undeniably the most vibrant and distinctive game you’ll see on Vita.

Whilst Rayman Origins featured four player co-op across the home console versions, Rayman on Vita appears to lack anything of the sort; you’re still able to play as the four main characters: Rayman, Globox and the two Teensies that accompany them, but only individually. Hopefully certain sections in the game have been retuned to reflect this, taking the focus off co-op play.

[drop]Then there’s the Vita’s screen. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ramble on about the game’s graphics again, instead it’s the touch screen functionality that has been added in to harness the handheld’s new features.

The touch controls are utilised in menu for selecting an option, moving the viewpoint and choosing a level, though it only seems to work when tapping the next level along from where Rayman is standing – you can’t have him travel from the first level to the last with a tap of the screen.

It therefore becomes marginally easier to just flick the stick in the direction of the level you want to play.

Another feature of the touch screen – and one of my favourite new features overall – is the ability to zoom in or out by pinching in order to set how close the camera is to Rayman. This zoom feature really lets people choose their style of play; whether they like seeing the entire area, or being much closer to the action. Zooming in also lets you see the crisp visuals even more clearly; it’s an incredibly useful feature and a real show of why Rayman on Vita works so well.

The touch controls aren’t perfect; it sometimes takes a few taps to get it working as you like, but it’s essentially a flawless game and the best version of Rayman Origins we’ve seen. It takes everything from the game we’ve already played – bar the co-op mode – refines it and then puts it in the palm of our hands with several new features, making the perfect platforming experience and an essential game for your new handheld.

22 Comments

  1. I think 2D fighting and platformer games would do incredibly well on Vita. I would love a 2D Sonic game or a port of Generations.

    • Your not the only one! No reason why S4:E2 couldn’t launch on the Vita..

  2. I’m glad I waited then. Looking forward to it.

  3. Great article blair, and just as I’d have imagined, the portable version of the game is totally at home on the Vita. It is vibrant on the PS3, and like a Mario or Yoshi, it was always expected to be special on a handheld ;)

  4. I’m not getting a vita, but as far as i am concerned this game/sort of game is what handheld gaming is all about.

    It’s a personal preference (so there really is no point in telling me i am wrong!), but i think the likes of uncharted are best saved for the sofa at home. 2D platformers are great things for being on the move, so much better suited for the vita imo.

    Not saying either don’t work well on the other of course, just i know which i would personally choose for which.

    • UR RONG!

      No, wait, my opinion closely matches yours… so you’re right. That’s it, you’re right. We’re right. Everyone else is a dickhead.

      Although, I’ve played Uncharted: Golden Abyss and at least one other “full console experience” on the Vita already and they are amazing. Not what the bulk of Vita stuff will need to be though, to make it a huge success. In my opinion anyway. Which is right, as we’ve already established ;)

      • This post made me laugh more than it probably should have…

      • Haha – What is it they say about great minds? :)

        Yeah, i hear that Uncharted is pretty good on Vita, but my issue is that UC is the sort of thing i will happily lose a good couple of hours to each session – That being the case, staring at a 32″ TV screen for that amount of time is much more of a preference to squinting at the vita’s (admittedly ample, but still small for me) screen.

        & this ‘other full console experience’ that you speak of – NDA, or just deliberately teasing? :)

      • ha ha this made me laugh colossalblue

      • Well, Uncharted was bought and paid for via import so I can say what I like about that – it’s excellent and I didn’t play it on the bus or train, I played it in bed and on the toilet.

        Everything else I’ve played is under NDA. Especially WipEout, which may or may not be absolutely amazing and may or may not be the best thing on a handheld ever. Maybe. Or maybe not.

      • Lol – I can just see the advertising now;

        “Uncharted: Golden Abyss – What else you gonna do whilst taking a dump?”

    • You’re wrong! Sorry… couldn’t resist.
      In all seriousness I agree with you. Some genres work better on certain devices but that certainly doesn’t mean they can’t be great in a different format.

  5. I wouldn’t say it’s the best version of Rayman Origins since the coop mode beautifully underlines how great this game is. The new features sound nice and I’d love to see an update for the PS3 version so I can collect those relics but at the end of the day, in my opinion coop > ghosts.

    • I agree, I found the game near unplayable on my own, but love it in co-op.

      I do however agree that 2D platrormers are generally perfect for handhelds.

  6. I’ll be getting this when I get my Vita in March. Can’t wait.

  7. I’m looking forward to getting it, especially since it is gonna cost me just £8.

  8. This does sound good, if I get a Vita then I will try to pick this up.

  9. id love to pick this up when i get my vita, unfortunately its Ubisoft, so i cant :(, one of the only Rayman games ill have missed.

    • Is there an issue between you & Ubi i presume then?

      • oh my yes :), when they declared war on PC gamers i made a vow not to buy their games just like people dont buy Nestle etc.
        its hard to keep when they release games you want to play but i cant morally chuck money at a company that treat me like a pirate.

      • Ah i see.

        Not aware of the issues you speak of being a console only gamer & not actually owniong a pc myself (i only visit here from my work pc), but i understand your plight at least.

  10. What’s the trophy list like? Same as the PS3 version?

Comments are now closed for this post.

Lost Password

Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.

Sign Up