Game Review: ‘Rayman Origins’ for PlayStation Vita

\Rayman Origins was released last week as one of the launch titles for the Playstation Vita, and while it’s no stranger to the gaming world after its release on Playstation 3 last year, it’s still one of my favorite titles for Sony’s new portable.

I’m coming at this review from the perspective of someone who absolutely, positively loved the original Rayman on Playstation. The colors, the environments, the gameplay. My twelve year old self found it amazing. I was fascinated by the idea that, while the PSX had all this graphical power (hey, at the time, it did), that a developer would choose to create a cartoony, side scrolling platformer instead of something three dimensional.

Rayman Origins takes everything great about the original Rayman, all those awesome fun things that were magical about it on the Playstation, and brings them to the Vita. While this game was originally available for the Playstation 3, it just shines on the portable.

The lush, rich environments really pop on the OLED screen, the levels are easy enough that you can pick up the game and put it back down if you’re gaming on the go, but include hard enough challenges to lengthen play if you so desire. It’s just a game that really feels like it belongs on a portable device, so it was a great decision to port. The only downside to the Vita version is the elimination of co-op mode, which would have been a cool option had you found three other friends with a Vita or been able to play online.

In Rayman Origins, you play as Rayman, or one of his friends if you so choose, doing what Rayman does best- collecting Lums, little golden bugs, and freeing Electoons, which is the driving force in the game. Collect enough Electoons, and you can progress through each stage of levels, unlock bonus levels and characters, and eventually restore order to the world.

It’s easy and fun enough just freeing the Electoons needed to complete each level, but going for the extra Lums and Electoons presents a real challenge. Spikes, enemies, and other obstacles stand in Rayman’s way, and often take some serious platforming skills to reach. Othertimes they’re just hidden, so it’s important to check every nook and cranny. You’ll be bouncing on drums, sliding across ice, and zipping around on the back of a missle-firing mousqito, so it’s important to keep your eyes peeled and your thumbs ready for some quick manuvering.

This game plays quickly, but there’s nothing really wrong with that. Right now is prime videogame release time, so it’s important to have a title that I can play through pretty fast yet still enjoy. And with all the bonus items to collect and extra Electoons to find and free, replay value on this title is pretty high.

Sometimes it’s nice to have a game like Rayman Origins, that reminds us of why we love gaming in the first place. Playing it is not an unfamiliar experience, but it’s still very refreshing. If you picked up a Playstation Vita last week at launch and are looking for a great platformer, look no further than Rayman Origins.

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