The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Rayman Origins was one of 2011’s best-looking games, and its near-seamless translation to the Vita is a testament to the power of Sony’s new hardware. It offers the same engaging characters, deftly designed levels, and memorable score as its console counterparts, with a few additional Vita extras. It is lacking a proper multiplayer mode, however, which is the only real ding against an otherwise excellent launch title.
If you’ve played through the game on consoles, you know what to expect here. The same beautiful levels are here, along with the responsive controls that make navigating them a joy. The world of Rayman Origins is as gorgeous as it is tricky, with areas as diverse as underwater grottos and food-themed paradises offering old-school platforming challenges.
Ubisoft added a few extras for the game’s Vita release, including an all-new hidden collectable. Whenever you hear a bone-rattling sound, that’s your cue to scan the backgrounds for the elusive fresco fragment. A simple touch collects it, where it’s added to a larger painting back in your home base. A new pinch-and-zoom feature makes it easier to pore over the landscape for the hidden objects, while also giving you an excuse to absorb the game’s exquisitely crafted atmosphere.
The only real disappointment with Vita’s version of Rayman Origins is the lack of any proper multiplayer mode. Being able to bounce through levels with up to four players was a real treat, and its absence is conspicuous. Ubisoft has added a concession in the form of sharable ghost runs, though I didn’t really think racing against a friend was ultimately as compelling as working cooperatively to save the day (and rescuing each other in the process).
Ultimately, Rayman Origins is still a fantastic game, with or without multiplayer. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you now have one more reason to give it a shot.
Email the author Jeff Cork, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.