Rayman Origins Review (Vita Version)

Rayman Origins (Available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Wii, and Xbox 360)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Players: 1
Genre: Platformer
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
Release Date: November 15, 2011

Parent Talk: Rayman Origins is rated E10+ by the ESRB because of comic mischief, cartoon violence, and mild suggestive themes.  Rayman would be about as damaging to minors as Mario.  In other words, parents don’t have to worry about this game.

Plays Like: Any side-scrolling platformer.

Review Basis: Completed the PS3 version, and played some of the Vita release to determine the differences.

Note: This review is mostly based on the one previously written for the PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360 versions of the game.  Vita-specific features are described where appropriate.

Late last year, Rayman returned in one of the most impressive platformers of the last decade.  It was sensational, only missing online co-op, making it one of the most enjoyable platformers ever!  Several months later at the Vita launch, Ubisoft has smartly put out a version for Sony’s new portable. Furthermore, the Vita adaptation may be the best of the bunch…if it wasn’t for the excluded multiplayer.

The Great:

The Vita-specific features.  From touching in-game bubbles (easing the collection and management of items) to sending gifts to your friends via Near…downloading Ghost-data for time trials, Vita Origins rocks! Playing on a much smaller HD screen than your TV’s means the colorful characters pop out. This is arguable the prettiest version released thus far. I was pleasantly surprised with how well the Vita version comes together.

The Good:

+ Challenging, but fair. Checkpoints and infinite lives will prevent players from pulling out their hair.

+ Trophies will make speed run enthusiasts smile, among others.

+ Creative, innovative progression. The characters learn new abilities from one level to the next, and they stick with you. Meaning, backtracking yields different results.

+ Variety promotes replay. If there ever was a game to promote “just one more stage,” this is it.  From underwater caverns, to riding on the backs of giant mosquitos, Rayman Origins offers an overabundance of fun and originality.

The So-So:

+/- Back and foreground blending. This happens only once in a blue moon; usually you’ll have no problem knowing where to go.

+/- Unlocking later levels becomes a bit of a chore (collect-a-thon), but revisiting stages with new powers and characters makes it worthwhile.

The Bad:

– No multiplayer. That’s a shame since having Rayman Origins with you everywhere is amazing, and playing with friends at any time would be sweet.

The Ugly:

Looking at other platformers once you’ve finished Rayman Origins.

The Lowdown:

Rayman Origins (Vita) would easily be the best version if multiplayer was included. Why or how this was overlooked is beyond me, as it made the console releases wonderful. Other Vita launch titles offer online and offline multiplayer, so there’s no excuse. Still, if you’re looking for an incredible platformer, and especially one for on the go, Rayman Origins is a winner.

Average Score Scale: 8.5 (+/- 0.5) out of 10

Personal Final Score: 9/10 (Inflated)

Reason for +0.5 Inflation: You want a great non-Mario game on Vita.

Reason for -0.5 Deflation: No multiplayer.