Rayman 2: The Great Escape Review
Rayman 2 was released on seven different consoles over the years since it was originally released 1999. The sequel to Rayman, Rayman 2 made huge leaps in terms of technology and gameplay for the time. Now this classic game has been revived as a Playstation 1 classic download for the Playstation 3 & playstation Portable.
Rayman 2 takes place after the original Rayman and starts with Rayman being trapped aboard a pirate ship with none of his powers (powers acquired in the previous game). Aside from Rayman, no characters from the original game are featured in this sequel, which doesn’t hurt the story at all. He is then freed by his friend Globox & learns that he must collect 4 masks in order to awaken Polokus, the world’s guardian. The characters in Rayman 2 are colorful, amusing & fun to interact with. Players will find themselves chuckling at various points in the game, which helps to add more enjoyment out of the simple, yet entertaining story.
Rayman 2 is a 3D platformer, a change from the originals 2D roots. The 3D platforming works extremely well as the controls are tight and responsive (most of the time), the levels bright, colorful & fun to explore and varied gameplay that helps keep things fresh. Before I get too ahead of myself, Rayman has a few of core abilities. These abilities are his Flying Fist (which just appears as a sort of light bullet) & Helicopter Ears. As you progress through the game Rayman will get permanent and temporary ability upgrades which include fist power ups & the ability to fly, rather than glide.
In terms of Raymans personal abilities, the game does not offer much, however through some clever use of health upgrades the game has a nice feeling of progression that makes it seem as if you are always improving. This feeling comes from rescuing captured creatures throughout a level which upgrade your health by a small amount each time, and multiple cages containing these creatures can be found throughout the game.
In addition to rescuing creatures for health improvements, Raymans main goal in the game is to collect Lums (pieces of the world’s core) as well as the 4 masks I mentioned earlier. Lums are needed primarily to gain access to more areas, with a certain amount of Lums needed to access the areas containing the next mask. That may sound a bit confusing so let me clarify. In the beginning of the game Rayman will run into the Teensies, very amusing creatures who can’t decide who should be king. They will inform Rayman about the masks and that the pirates have separated the areas that contain the masks from each other with doors. After finding a mask Rayman needs a certain amount of Lums for the Teensies to open the door, giving him access.
Lums, for the most part, are easy to collect and finding the amount you need shouldn’t be too much of a problem. There will be a number of gameplay changes throughout the game, that include, but not limited to line surfing behind a nessy like creature, & riding an explosive rocket with legs. These gameplay changes are generally short, fun & easy, however certain aspects of each change can be a tad frustrating, mainly do to controls. While it’s not a big deal, it can still be semi frustrating to players.
The Playstation version of Rayman 2: The Great Escape is not the best looking version of the game & while that honor goes to the Dreamcast and Playstation 2 versions, the game isn’t ugly. It ages as well as most Playstation titles do in today’s age. That said the game will look better on the PsP (Due to the smaller resolution) thann othe Playstation 3. However the audio does not suffer at all due to age. The soundtrack is light, cheerful and easy to listen to. The sound effects are well done & unlike other versions of the game, the characters speak english (or French) instead of jibberish.
While not the preferred version of this very classic game, it shouldn’t be passed up. It is still a very enjoyable game, even though it will only last about 6 hours. Considering the game costs $5.99 players will be paying about a buck per hour, which isn’t a bad deal. If you’re interested in classic platformers, want to relive old memories, or just want a cheap game to play, Rayman 2 won’t disappoint.
*Playable on both the Playstation 3 & Playstation Portable*