The Rayman series has been one of the the very first few platformer games that I knew and played back then (the others being Kirby and Megaman Zero). Here's a little history with the Rayman games I played and the experiences I had with the series.
When I was eight in Japan, I visited this person dressed up as Santa Claus. He was happily bringing smiles to other children, which obviously made me want to meet him myself. I don't really remember what I said, but after talking to him for a while, he was really happy and gave me a game he used to play himself. I was filled with joy as I wanted to play that game so badly. That game was Rayman for the Game Boy Color, and that was the very first Rayman game I owned and played.
This Rayman game was interesting. This game has the Rayman 2: The Great Escape worlds and levels, yet it still has the plot of Rayman 1. I didn't notice this back then, but I find this a unique way to sort of port the game. The game was very challenging for me, but it was still fun. I found out from one of my friends back then that this version is said to be the hardest Rayman in existence. I suppose I wouldn't be surprised if what my friends said was true because I never was able to clear the game, and I'm usually really good at platformers.
By the way the visuals were beautiful for a Game Boy Color game in my opinion, but the music did annoy me a bit.
Unfortunately I couldn't find the game anymore. I lost the game at the beach in summer. This was upsetting to me because back then I didn't have a console at all, so I couldn't play the console versions of the games. While the console versions of the games were fairly common, the handheld ones were extremely rare and expensive, which also meant that I couldn't play another Rayman game for a while. A couple of years actually. Fortunately after waiting such a long time, my brother (Travis) saw his friend have the Game Boy Advance version of Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc that he didn't want anymore. I wanted to trade my Sonic Advance 2 game with his friend's Rayman 3 Advance game, since I already completely cleared Sonic Advance 2 before. He gladly accepted my offer, and I quickly put the cartridge into my Game Boy Advance.
I was a bit iffy about this game at first because ever since I heard from some of my friends back then that Rayman 3 wasn't anything special, I wasn't expecting anything out of the handheld either. Fortunately, the game proved me wrong. This was one of the most beautiful Game Boy Advance games that I ever played, if not THE most beautiful. I was drawn into the game instantly just because of the visuals, and the game's animations wasn't bad either. I find one way to get someone's interest. The gameplay was as great as usual, and the music was good as well. Not as fantastic as the Sonic Advance series, but far from being bad or annoying. The game was actually much easier than the Rayman game I previously played, but the bosses were still a bit of a pain in the neck. Unfortunately months later, I lost this game as well. I had this cat named Arthur that apparently had a hunger for my video game. We got rid of the cat afterwards of course.
This screenshot obviously doesn't tell you how beautiful this game was. I seriously hope for a 3DS re-release so that I can have another go at it.
That was my last Rayman game for over five agonizing years. I was seriously about to lose my interest towards the series. I knew that the series was still alive though because of the Raving Rabbids series, but I honestly could care less about those. They caught my interest at first, but I soon lost interest after playing the demo of one of the games. I loved the insane rabbids though. Anyways after seven years, I found Rayman 1, 2, and 3 for the PC on eBay. Altogether as a bundle, the games cost an unbelievably cheap amount of $2.99. What a price! I quickly ordered them for my birthday. After installing all three and immediately tried to play them many times, the games just constantly kept deleting themselves for no exact reason. Soon after the attempts I gave up trying to play them. Hours later I found out that the games put viruses on my computer and they literally crashed the whole thing....I'd say that those games was such a wonderful way to tell me to get a new computer.
Death towards my computer......on my birthday. Lovely......
After that retarded event, I was a pinch away on saying "I give up" on the Rayman series. I did notice DS and 3DS versions of Rayman, but I heard that those games were terrible from a ton of people (and not just from critics either). Besides, the stores I visited had them for over forty-nine dollars, so I obviously didn't waste my time. I couldn't get the old versions of the games that they re-released digitally because I didn't have a PS3, and I also didn't have WIFI at the time so I couldn't get the DSi version either. I was literally stuck......until Rayman Origins came along.
I heard many fantastic things about this game, which made me want it so badly. Plus, I was really happy that it was a new Rayman and not another port or Raving Rabbids game.
Last year on Christmas, I finally got a PS3, WIFI, and earned enough money to get a PSVita. I was so happy because the very first PS3 game that I wanted was Rayman Origins, and now I can get it. I soon found out that the game was also coming to the PSVita. Being more of a handheld gamer than a console one, I decided to wait for a few more months and get the Vita version. The wait was worth it. Last week, I was able to get the Vita and the game.
The game is just breathtakingly beautiful. It animates so fluidly and it looked really colorful. I thought Skullgirls was the most fluid and best looking, but this game does just as well as Skullgirls. I know because I got Skullgirls too. Anyways, nothing much to say except that the gameplay is just as great as the other Rayman games I played, which is a fantastic thing. There are many things to do in almost every level, and it's not annoying at all. This game is challenging, but fair. Many things to collect, accomplish, and explore. I am filled with joy while playing this game. This game got my love for the Rayman series to return.
The faces and behaviors of the characters are so full of win.
I was also finally able to get the first Rayman game as a PSOne classic on my PS3, and it just helps me love the Rayman series even more. I am disappointed that I wasn't able to play this game when I was younger though. I could've been showing this great game off to so many of my friends. Oh well. Glad I was able to get it at least. Such a classic this game is.
So old.....yet still so fun and beautiful.....and hard.
I haven't gotten far on Rayman Origins, but I didn't need to in order for me to get the message that this is going to be one hell of a great experience. By the way I don't want Rayman 2 and 3 anymore (actually not exactly. I still want the GBA version of Rayman 3) because my cousins have those and I can just play it over at their house now. I'm also very excited for Rayman Legends. I saw the preview, and because of how fantastic Rayman Origins is, I plan on getting Rayman Legends as soon as it releases next year. All in all, I would like to thank Ubi Soft for finally making such a wonderful Rayman game, and I surely will never forget the experiences (good and bad) I had with the Rayman series.
Rayman fan for life, baby!