Rayman Origins was my most adored and loved game of 2011. There were plenty of games that year that I played and thoroughly enjoyed but Rayman Origins gave me something I hadn't experienced in years. It's a perfect recipe of graphics, gameplay and music. Rayman Origins excels at all three of these and blends them perfectly together. However I want to focus on one specific aspect from the game, namely it's music and sound department!
I've come across plenty of games before which include music or sounds that I'll go out of my way just to hear. For example in Ratchet and Clank : Crack in Time it has a weapon called the 'RYNO V'. An incredibly over-powered weapon that fires out tons of ammunition, but that alone doesn't make it satisfying to use, when you use it the song "1812 overture" plays whilst firing. So you have the wonderful scenario of running around reducing everything to ashes whilst grand orchestra music plays over it all. God fucking yes.
One more example, for those of us who have played Sonic 2 I'm sure without a doubt you also loved turning into Super Sonic. Again blazing through the level at mad speeds is incredibly satisfying but it's the transformation sound and then the music that makes it all the more sweeter for me.
Now onto my original point about Rayman Origins. This game features some of the most wonderfully creative soundtracks I have ever heard in a videogame; and that's not just from the background music. We have these little fella's to give us a wonderful tune.
These are essentially the 'coins' or the 'rings' of the Rayman world. By picking up a Lum King for a short amount of time the number of Lums you gain are doubled. So it makes sense for you to go out of your way to get these guys but man oh man the music that plays when you get these little fuckers.
The time they stay in effect is incredibly short, it can be described only as a bunch of incredibly happy fairies having a quick 5 second sing along with one another. I have died countless times during my playthroughs of the game just so I can hear that tune, I don't care about how many Lums I have I just want to hear that tune!
Then there's freeing the Electoons...
Again this is something you mostly have to go out of your way for, I mean you do get one at the end of every level but there are 2 others hidden within just about every level within there only little mini room to combat your way through. This gives a nice little fun challenge if you want to seek out but breaking the cages is what I'm always eager to do. Breaking the cage with Rayman always feels good but the little Ukulele tune that plays after is beyond wonderful.
Again it's such a damn simple little tune but every time I love hearing it, some of those last rooms with the cages can be controller breakingly difficult but any rage that built up is instantly quenched with the welcome start of the tune.
Now to focus more on the level music of things...
The above picture is from a level called "Swimming with the Stars". I was not expecting this level and it made my jaw drop. The majority of the level takes place in the dark with your only source of light being the small little uhh mini-fish-bulbs, which will disappear if you don't get to a new group of them quick enough.
Multiple creepy hands surround you ready to kill with only your source of light able to push them back and then you have vaguely lit tentacle one eyed like creatures who are covered in thorns! For such a bright and cheery game this level gives off an incredible sense of oppression, fear, claustrophobia and creepiness, the music that accompanies only enhances this.
However once you reach a certain point of the level a wonderful, beautiful, tear inducing song begins.
It's a somewhat weird transition to go from this oppressive natured like level to this dream like peaceful tone of a level. But again it feels almost like a reward, you made your way past all sorts of horrors and are thus rewarded with a small section of tranquillity.
Maybe I'm looking way too much into this and just have too much of a raging hard on for Rayman Origins but let me do my last point! Oh those treasure chest chasing levels...
These levels basically feature some of the most tightly designed platforming you'll experience. It's very similar to Super Meat Boy in terms of getting every single jump right and get every bit of timing right and one slip up pretty much ensures instant failure.
They provide some great extra challenge that are in no way obligatory but open doors to some more content in the game. They're pretty damn difficult as you can imagine but yet again Rayman Origins doesn't mess things up by continuing it's perfect recipe blend of being perfect and god I've lost where I'm going with this!
More amazing music plays in these levels
, it's the same piece of music every time so that may make you think the music gets repetitive or even annoying after a while if you keep on going, that however is not the case.
It's full of so much energy that it always eggs me on to keep trying, I don't think I gave up a single time when I kept on failing. I wanted to keep on playing it, not only to beat the level but to keep on hearing that damn addictive piece of music!
So I guess I'll end this here till the post becomes novel length. Perhaps I'm seeing things that aren't there at all but I feel this game is a perfect example of great gameplay and rewards perfectly intertwined for an overall engrossing experience. I can't recommend this game enough and it's made me appreciate the length's games go to make our gaming experience all the more better.