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.[videoyoutube]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.
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.[drop2]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.
- 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.
- 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.