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First Impressions: Rayman Origins (Wii)

Posted by James Newton

Back to his best?

Rayman Origins is the long awaited return to 2D platforming for Ubisoft's chopper-haired hero. While the version we played at a recent preview event was running on Xbox 360, we were told the team is aiming to make the Wii version as similar as possible.

Running on Ubisoft's new UbiArt framework, the game is extremely beautiful — detailed, colourful and exceptionally animated, it's among the best looking 2D platformers in recent years. How the graphics will look through Wii's 480p output remains to be seen, but if Ubi can keep the game's palette and character alive, it should survive reasonably intact.

One of the main features Ubi's shouting about is the drop-in multiplayer, with a quick button press bringing your character into the mix. While all the characters are different — there's only one Rayman, after all — they all share the same moveset, which seems a sensible move and a missed opportunity all at once.

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect was the lack of interaction between players: unlike New Super Mario Bros. Wii's chaotic jostling, Rayman Origins' team happily shares screen space, giving multiplayer a feel of playing with ghosts rather than solid players. You can still attack your teammates if you want to remind them you're there, but there's a lack of physical presence to characters that's disconcerting.

The levels available in the preview build we played were all decent tests of platforming skill, with a pleasing amount of verticality and objects to collect that should add some replayability to the game's courses.

It's hard to judge whether Rayman Origins is more than just an exceptionally pretty platformer, and on Wii the gameplay will really have to shine as it'll lack the crisp high definition of its Xbox 360 and PS3 counterparts. The multiplayer aspect never really took off for us, and with Wii's co-operative platformers already class above anything else, Ubisoft's game will face stiff competition later this year.

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User Comments (27)

CorbsAdmin

#2

Corbs said:

And there was a significant difference in visual quality between the Wii and Xbox 360 versions of the game. Far greater than I expected. But if you only have a Wii, it might still be worth your while. :D

Vellosira

#3

Vellosira said:

Meh, I'm not much of a quality snob, 240p on youtube is good enough for me. :) Either way, this looks like one of Ubi's better productions.

Link79

#4

Link79 said:

This will be my first ever Rayman game.
I just never tried any other games in the series for some reason.

chiptoon

#5

chiptoon said:

I'll be happy with no jostling - my girlfriend got so mad with me during NSMBWii, and even Epic Kirby has been frustrating her a bit. I should probably stop using her as a weapon

eviLaTtenDant

#7

eviLaTtenDant said:

Keeping an eye out on this one.
I would love the 3DS version to come out sooner to compare these two.

@chiptoon: Had the same problems when i played these two games with my 46 year old father. Worked much better in the Lego line of games. And relationship rule #1: Only use your girlfriend against loneliness, boredom and frutration. :P

FonistofCruxis

#8

FonistofCruxis said:

Hopefully this will live up to the quality of the other Rayman platformers, this looks like it will be one of the few good third-party wii games this year. I'll probably get this over the 3DS verison for the co-op.

siavm

#10

siavm said:

Never played any of the rayman games on any platform, and this one is no exception. If they maybe make a 3d one for the hd consoles (wii u included) in the coming years then I might care.

pixelman

#12

pixelman said:

It looks really fun. I'll probably pick up the 3DS version if it doesn't suck. :3

PSICOffee

#14

PSICOffee said:

I thought photobooths were save points and arrow signs were end of level spots? Well whatever. Maybe this game will show me Ubisoft doesn't suck.

sinalefa

#15

sinalefa said:

This one looks nice. I may get the PS3 version instead, since we already have Kirby coming for Wii.

James

#16

James said:

@PSICOffee In the version I played, at the end of a level all the characters go behind that cardboard cut-out and come out in order of fourth place, third etc.

TheGreenSpiny

#18

TheGreenSpiny said:

I'll stick with Kirby for my 4 player platformer. That one looks much better than this. Plus I hate multiplatform games anyway.

JimmyWhale

#19

JimmyWhale said:

One of my most anticipated games of 2011! Can't wait to get floating, armless hands on it

citizenerased

#23

citizenerased said:

"Ubisoft's game will face stiff competition later this year."

I get why you said this but given that less than a handful of interesting Wii titles are released this entire year, it's kind of funny.

Luffymcduck

#24

Luffymcduck said:

I´ve been waiting for a new 2D Rayman for years. The first one is still one of my favourite Playstation and platformer games ever.

Matillion

#27

Matillion said:

Meh, I have to much other stuff to buy than this. Sorry, Ubi. Plus, Wii ports always seem to dissapoint me.

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