Without a doubt, the best levels overall are the music levels. Each of the main five world ends with a boss fight and then a music level. These levels are more along the lines of the “constantly running, jumping, and timing your jumps right” challenge sort, but they have their own twist. As you run and jump through these levels, you are given a soundtrack that plays in sync with your actions. The most famous example is the “Eye of the Tiger” level that was shown off in a trailer for the game. While these levels are carefully scripted to hit certain beats and moments just so, they are done in such a way that you don’t feel it.
All you feel is the joy of running through a level as “Black Betty,” or Antisocial’s “Trust,” or an original work by one of the game’s musical composers, Christophe Heral, plays alongside you. The only complaint about these levels? They’re too short. If Ubisoft put out a $15 downloadable title with 6 or 7 full-length levels done in this style, with additional DLC tracks down the line, there’d be a whole new “musical game” boom.
Aside from the main campaign, there's a bonus world with challenge versions of the game's music levels, daily and weekly challenges, and 40 remastered levels from Rayman Origins. All for the low, low price of just $40 and most of which are cooperative, with the exception of the challenges which are limited to just single player.
Rayman Legends supports up to four players locally with each player being able to select from the many colorful variations of Rayman, friend Globox, Teensies, and the Princesses (ladies in viking helmets wielding battle axes) that are tied to the worlds themselves. All players share the same screen, however, the screen can progress past lagging players leading to some unintentional deaths. Fortunately, these characters become floating balloon versions of themselves and the controlling player can guide his or her character to another player who simply has to punch the balloon to revive his fallen comrade.
That particular system of revival doesn’t always work out well. Not all of Rayman Legend’s levels are a frantic rush through the stage but many of them do have portions where you’ll be having to run and jump with a fair degree of precision. Getting revived right in the middle of such a sequence will usually mean another quick death. What’s more, those levels that are a rush through the stage progress at the pace of whichever player is in the lead and whoever falls behind gets killed. More than once while I was playing with a friend one of us would move ahead on the screen and the whole screen would shift forward to that person, leaving the other one to become one with the “balloon-iverse.” This doesn’t happen too often, but it can be quite frustrating when it does.
When Rayman Legends was released on the current-gen systems last fall, it did so after a disappointing delay and, like its predecessor, amidst a number of other high profile releases. Its release on the next-gen systems is a chance for it get out there more in the public eye as folks wait for more releases on those systems, and I hope that it does. There have been few other platformers that I’ve played that have resulted in me sitting there with a big, happy grin on my face while I do so. It may briefly disappear during a particular moment of frustration, but then the next level comes along and so does that smile.
Rayman Legends is gaming fun its purest essence.
The Co-Optimus Review of Rayman Legends is based on the Playstation 4 version of the game.
The Co-Op Experience: 5 player co-op is supported with four players controlling characters while the 5th player uses the WiiU controller to manipulate the environment.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.