When I got my Vita the game that I wanted to have a crack at the most was this one, Rayman Origins. After its PS3 version got the first 5/5 drop bear rating (and the only one so far) on this site when I reviewed it, I was extremely keen to see what Ubisoft Montpellier could do with it on the Vita.
The game is pretty much exactly the same on the Vita except for a couple of key differences. The removal of the drop-in drop-out co-op multiplayer is one major difference, as well as the addition of collectible Relics to be found throughout the game. You might want to know what Vita hardware features were implemented in this game too so I’ll cover that a little later on in this review.
If you already read my review of the PS3 version of Rayman Origins then the next paragraph or two will seem like déjà vu, but just bare with me for those who haven’t. Rayman Origins is a classic 2D side-scrolling platformer made up of over 60 levels, more than 100 different characters and 12 different environments. The game is definitely suitable for children but it’s still absolutely fun for adults.
The graphics are beautiful and crisp, having obviously been lovingly hand drawn by the bevy of artists who worked on the game. This version in particular is great because the multi touch of the Vita allows you to zoom in to get a better look at the high definition art if you want to.
The gameplay is varied with the standard platforming levels of getting from A to B without dying; levels where you fly a mosquito which can shoot enemies or suck them in and spit them out; and boss fights which test your wits and can admittedly be very frustrating. The idea of each level is to collect enough Lums (little yellow creatures), to save Electoons (little pink creatures) which are required to unlock special levels and to allow you to get to the next areas.
The difficulty curve can get tough as you progress through the game, however it’s not difficult in that it’s designed to screw you over. It’s the kind of game where you can see how to beat a level, it’s just a matter of getting your timing right. The controls are very responsive so you don’t get the feeling that it’s difficult because of the game being unfair, but rather that it’s difficult because it’s challenging you to get it right.
One of the great additions to the Vita version of the game is the Relics which you can collect throughout the game. These relics are puzzle pieces on murals in the character selection area called The Snoring Tree, and once you collect all of them they reveal origin stories for some of the characters in the game including Rayman. As you collect them though you are bound to find duplicate relics which you can then share via Near, allowing you to help others fill their collection, and letting you find pieces which you need too. Having said that, it isn’t exclusive to Near, so you can get the whole puzzle done just by playing through the game.
The multi touch features of the Vita are put to use very well in Rayman Origins, with the ability to touch to collect Lums and to destroy bubbilized enemies. This makes it a lot easier to collect all of the Lums in each level because if they float out of reach of your character you can just touch them on the screen.
Rayman Origins is such a fun and beautiful game that I recommend it to everyone, just as I did with the PS3 version. If you have a console and haven’t picked it up yet then you are missing out, and if you have a Vita and don’t pick this game up then you are making a big mistake.