North American Release Date: March 20, 2012
European Release Date: March 21, 2012
Trophies: 7 | 4 | 1
In Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, you are once again put into the role of Rayman against the growing forces of Andrew, an evil Black Lum. Woken up from a restful sleep by his friend Murfy, Rayman flees from the pursuing Hoodlums in order to find out what is happening. As he makes your way across the lands, he relentlessly tries to stop Andre from using the heart of the world to create an infinite army of Black Lums to rule the world.
Rayman’s gameplay is similar to that of many other platformers out there and is quite easy to get a handle on. You take control of Rayman who, lacking both arms and legs, can still walk and punch as he makes his way across the land to stop the evil Andre’s plot of world domination.
The combat system of Rayman is similar to that of earlier iterations in the series. His primary method of dispatching enemies for most of the game involves his fists by literally ‘throwing a punch’. Like in the earlier games, the longer Rayman winds up his attack, the more damage it will do. Of course, some enemies will dodge or run around a corner to avoid the attack. To get at these elusive enemies Rayman can simply curve his punch, highlighted by the glowing arrow, around the obstacle.
While the combat was fun and easy to understand, I found it rather annoying how some enemies can easily shrug off an attack that is not fully charged as if you had never attacked them. Another problem is that when you are targeting an enemy with your normal attack, you cannot punch higher than Rayman is standing. If you are highlighting an enemy and he is standing on a block in front of you, the attack will home in on the enemy but hit the block instead.
What kind of platformer would this be without a plethora of powerups for Rayman to use? As Rayman makes his way through the game, he will come across different colored tin cans that each grants a specific type of power. These powers have versatile uses that range from helping in combat to traversing across difficult terrain. When Rayman equips each powerup he dons weapons and armor of the same color as the tin can. That is not all though. When Rayman is powered up he is automatically given a X2 point bonus allowing him to rack up double the combo points without having to do any extra work.
See, eating your vegetables can give you superpowers
The five different powerups that Rayman can find are: Vortex which lowers screw platforms and punches tornadoes at enemies, Heavy Metal which easily kills enemies and breaks weak doors and walls, Lockjaw which functions as a grappling hook, Rocket which fires a remote control rocket, and the Throttle Copter that gives you limited flight capability. The only gripe that I had with the powerups is the rocket fist. The controls for the rocket’s flight are not that great and it is rather annoying to try and pilot the rocket through a narrow passage only to lightly tap the analog stick and fly the rocket into a wall.
In my opinion, Rayman 3 has one of the largest collections of collectables in any platformer I have ever played. I am not saying that it has the most (Jak 3 has over 600). I am simply stating that rather than looking for one or two different types of items or collectables, I had to look for four different items, with some of them hidden rather notoriously. While there are a lot of collectables, gathering them all is not as bad as it seems. Once you finish the game you are given a level select screen that will grant you access to any level in the game.
The first collectable is the Teensies, found trapped in small floating cages throughout the game. Then there are the small and annoying Matuvu that can be found crawling on walls, under bridges or behind objects. Next and my least favorite collectables are the Tribelles because in order to capture them, you have to walk up to them slowly. One misstep in the vicinity of these red bugs will cause them to disappear from the level until you restart it. Finally there are the Green Jewels, the most rare but valuable collectables in the game.
Unlike the previous games, Rayman 3 comes with a point system. When you finish a level, the number of points that you have obtained is given back to you as a percentage completed. As you gain points, you will start to unlock nine different mini-games that can be played from the main screen. There are two different ways to gain points. You can either defeat enemies (with a bonus for killing an enemy with a single punch) or you can collect different colored gems with yellow gems worth 10 points, red gems 30 and green gems 1500 points. As soon as you do either of these methods, the combo box will appear below your score. If you gather more gems or defeat more enemies before the combo box goes away you will gain more and more points, eventually up to a X5 multiplier.
The length of the game is such that you will not finish the game and feel like you were ripped off. In fact, compared to other games that I have bought, the campaign of Rayman 3 is quite long for a game that was released in the early days of the Playstation 2. There are a total of nine different areas in the game that Rayman has to traverse through in order to save the world. Each of these areas is then further divided into between three and seven levels of varying length, type, and environment.
Somehow, I don't trust his driving skills
At the end of some areas there are disco surfing levels and yes, it is exactly as it sounds. The last level consists of Rayman surfing on a rocket in a psychedelic disco tunnel to disco music while trying to collect gems. I found these levels to be a nice change of pace from the rest of the game. The only problem that I had with them is that there is a trophy for getting through any one of these levels without falling off once. While that may seem to not be that hard, these levels are long and consist of you surfing across narrow beams of light. While the level select after beating the game makes it easier to do, it is still frustrating dying over and over again.
In my opinion, the plot of the game is really not that great. It consists of you trying to stop the antagonist Andre from using an infinite energy source to create an invincible army. If you are thinking to yourself, “Where have I heard that before?” then you are not the only one. This plot has been done in so many games that I could predict what was going to happen by simply remembering other games. I am not saying that the game itself is terrible and not to buy it, rather I am saying the plot of the game isn’t something that I would say is a strong point.
The conversations between characters are something that I have mixed feelings about. If you listen carefully to some of the conversations, you might have a quick laugh at the inside jokes that only someone with life experience will get but will sail right over the head of the target audience of the game. While the conversations are refreshing, they sometimes seem to be put into the game simply to get a quick laugh in situations that really don’t require their input. For example, in the first few levels of the game, the dragonfly-like creature Murfy accompanies you while muttering phrases in the background that really don’t belong in a E10+ game.
The environment of the game itself is beautifully crafted. Each level shows the time and effort put into the game with vibrant backdrops, cluttered areas full of random objects, and indigenous creatures that react to your presence. While there is no doubting that the graphics of this game do show their age, they have still held up both in time and in the high definition upscaling.
The levels in each area are large and beautifully crafted
I found the music in each area of the game to be rather fitting and complementing. The overall pitch, tone, theme and volume of the background music would change as you progress through a level. My only concern was that at times it appeared that the music would start to sound repetitive. I would notice some soundtracks sounding very similar to each other and realize that the developers simply redid some songs instead of making new ones.
One of my biggest issues with the game was the camera. While I can accept the fact that this is a high definition port of a game from 2002 and might not have aged well, how difficult would it be to retool the controls to either make the camera more responsive or sensitive? While in most areas it was not a problem and I could easily pivot the camera to where I want it to face, once I got indoors or into a tight spot, the camera was a little more difficult to work with. I cannot count the times I would be trying to attack an enemy directly in front of Rayman (literally two feet away from him) and the camera would be positioned in such a way that I could not see the enemy at all and would be hit 2-3 times before I could maneuver it around to attack.
Unlike what common sense would dictate, the majority of the trophies in Rayman do not come from beating the game. In fact there are only three trophies that you automatically obtain over the course of the game. The rest come from playing minigames, finding all the collectables and doing random acts such as taking pictures. I don’t know whether to call this padding by the trophy makers or if this is simply a case of developers cramming in a full game worth of trophies into a PSN game.
Rayman is a game that highlights the overall themes of early Playstation 2 games. It consists of rich, vibrant environments that were designed to take advantage of the greatly increased processing and graphics power of the new system combined with witty, if somewhat tacky conversations and long levels. Sure there might be several things that could have been improved upon when it was re-released on the PSN. But if you are interested in a solid platformer that does not skimp out on length and fun, then it is still worth buying and playing this game.
Gameplay: 8.5/10 - The gameplay is quite solid for a platformer. There really weren’t any sections that I would get frustratingly stuck on. Aside from a few issues with the combat system and combo meter, the gameplay was remarkably good.
Singleplayer: 6.0/10 - The overall length of the game is quite long and will keep you playing for more than a couple of hours. I found the surfing bonus levels to be a fun way to end each area before moving onto the next and unlocking and playing the arcade games was exciting. The only reason the score is so low is because of the unoriginal plot and tacky (and sometimes inappropriate) conversations by some of the characters.
Technical: 7.5/10 - The environments are beautifully textured with a lot of emphasis on making each area and vibrant and colorful as possible without overdoing it. The music itself, while a bit repetitive at times, fit the areas it played in and seemed to make playing the game a bit more fun. While the camera controls in the exterior areas was not that bad, I really noticed the problem in the enclosed levels where the camera would not work the way I needed it to work.