News Article

Preview: Rayman Legends

Posted by Damien McFerran

We find out why the one-time Wii U exclusive remains a key title

Following Ubisoft's decision to delay the launch of Rayman Legends on Wii U and take the game multi-platform, many Nintendo fans were so irate they insisted that they would be boycotting the release come August (or September if you're in North America) time. Sadly, the negative reaction may have dented the game’s chances on the Wii U, as it has since passed from being a launch hopeful to almost an afterthought — Nintendo’s strong promotion of the game has faded to nothing since the multi-format announcement.

Having had the chance to sit down with the latest version of the title, we have to say that it’s a little unfortunate that the spotlight has shifted from Rayman Legends. It may be coming to other systems, but there’s no denying that the Wii U edition is the definitive version; the game’s designers have clearly constructed the adventure around the capabilities of the console’s GamePad controller. In fact, having spent some quality time with the game, we’d even go as far as to say that Rayman Legends is the most effective illustration of the system’s potential since Nintendo Land.

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Thanks to the demo which has been available for some time, we’ve already witnessed how Murphy (or Murfy as he’s named in the build we played) can impact the gameplay via touchscreen commands, and the preview version we played reinforces this. The ability to interact with levels via the GamePad shows real promise — in one level, you’re expected to grab a shield in order to repel incoming fireballs and safely guide Globox to the exit. At points, not only do you have to block the fireballs but also use the shield as a platform to ensure that Globox doesn’t fall off the bottom of the screen. Later in the stage, an arm appears from the clouds — presumably belonging to Zeus, given the Ancient Greek theme of the stage — and attempts to zap Globox with lightning. The shield must then be used to keep these attacks at bay.

On another stage, Murfy has to cut a path through the stage to allow the other character — who has been turned into a duck (don’t ask) — to pass through. Of course, it’s rarely as simple as drawing a clear pathway; there are bonus items which are slightly off the beaten track, along with dangers that will kill the other character if you dig too closely.

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The touchscreen elements form such an intrinsic part of the gameplay that it’s hard to imagine how the game will play on consoles which lack such an interface. They also lend a welcome sense of variety to the platforming levels, and create a two-player co-op experience that is delightful to behold. That’s not to say that the standard platforming stages aren’t equally engaging; the underwater world of 20,000 Lums Under The Sea is packed with tight spaces and deadly enemies, taxing your pad skills to their limit. During our time with the game we also noticed that revised levels from Rayman Origins also make the cut, along with a devilishly entertaining single-screen multiplayer mode called Kung Foot. Completed levels can also be revisited as “Invaded” variants, packed with different enemies. The option to share content to Miiverse is also baked into the game itself via the pause menu — sadly, we weren’t able to test this feature, given the pre-release nature of the build.

The furore over the delay may have pushed Rayman Legends from the minds of many Wii U owners, but in many ways this is shaping up to be the console’s killer app; it’s such a wonderful showcase of how a second screen can enrich gameplay that it’s hard to envisage how it’s going to work on the the PS3 and 360. Also, it’s worth repeating again just how utterly fantastic this game looks; every screen is like a painting in motion, and Michel Ancel’s team has allowed its imagination to run riot with some of the level designs.

Whatever your thoughts on Rayman Legends losing its Wii U exclusivity, you may want to consider putting any ill feelings to one side when the game eventually launches later this year. From what we’ve experienced so far this is a truly wonderful escapade, and by going multi-platform, Ubisoft may have unwittingly given Nintendo’s console the best advertisement of its capabilities yet; with so much of the gameplay being built around the presence of touch control on a second screen, we’d be very surprised if the PS3 and 360 versions were anywhere near as enjoyable — and that can only increase the stature of Nintendo's console.

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User Comments (86)



Squashie said:

I have kind of lost excitement for this one, which is a shame because I love Origins. It's not because it's gone multi-platform, it's just the time it's taken to release.



ikki5 said:

them delaying it is not going to be the biggest issue though. They delayed it to the time where Nintendo will be releasing their bigger titles causing Rayman to be buried and forgot by a lot of people who own a Wii U and people have gotten tired of waiting and have move on to the higher end games. Before, it was going to be released during the drought where a lot of people would have bought it anyway seeing how it is a new game and also that there was not many other games to shadow it. Really, I think Ubisoft should have done, is release it like they said they were instead of the stupid excuse that they didn't like the install base and then just port it over to the other platforms when they come out.



SchamMan89 said:

I'm a huge fan of Rayman Origins, and what I've played of Rayman Legends has blown me away even more. I'm disappointed it was delayed-- it would've been the perfect time to launch back in February-- but I'll be downloading this day one in September.



8thGenConsoles said:

I'm no longer interested in Rayman Legends but I will still buy it because I want Ubisoft to support the Wii U.



StephenYap3 said:

Can't wait to get this one, even after all these delays. To me, it seems that Legends is going outrank Origins by countrymiles, as well as beating NSMBU (even though I liked it).



Sanqet said:

this on the wiii u and puppeteer on the ps3 are the only platformers im buying this year donkey kong and mario 3d world so far seem to much the same as what has went before i hope to be proved wrong though



tchaten said:

Wasn't excited before this article - now I am - this will be in competition with Pikmin 3 and Wonderful 101 for my time and attention - wish this got a July release in USA or June



Dogpigfish said:

I don't like companies saying launch window and then delaying. Be honest up front. Say 'we plan to release pikmin/rayman' if sales potential can be seen, otherwise expect them later in the year'. Don't give wishy washy explanations.



ikki5 said:


Pikmin was a different story compared to Rayman, Rayman was delayed due to Wii U sales where Pikmin was delayed due to issues with the game development and Nintendo delayed it so it would be a high quality product when released instead of a underdeveloped rushed game which I believe was the right choice.



SanderEvers said:

I will NOT buy this game, and I strongly advise everyone NOT to buy this piece of garbage. There is only ONE way to show Ubisoft that we don't agree with delaying a game two weeks before it's original release. This is by not giving them any money.

This may sound harsh, but I really was looking forward to this in February, and they completely destroyed the game for me by delaying it just for it to be on the PS3 and XBOX 360. Releasing this early would have boosted Wii U sales on a global scale, but now it falls short between Pikmin 3 and Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker HD.



GearsOfWarU said:

Day 1 Purchase ... It's a great game , I've been dying to play. I am upset wit the 6 month delay ... But I'm not going to punish myself or Wii U by passing on such a great title... I plan on supporting Ubisoft, Warner Bros, Sega , Capcom & Platinum because they have been loyal supports of Nintendo & Wii U and I hope there partnerships get even better after a strong Holiday ... Screw companies like EA & Konami



AlternateButtons said:

@SanderEvers I disagree with your comment. Let me make this clear for you: Wii U NEEDS Ubisoft. If this game doesn't sell well on Wii U, that will make Ubisoft think there is no sales potential on the console and won't make games for it in the future. THATS NOT GOOD. The Wii U needs all the third party support it can get and Ubisoft is their biggest asset. Not only does Ubisoft need this but Nintendo does as well. So please, stop being so hung up on the fact that was delayed and just buy a good quality title please.
Please refrain from personal insults — TBD



OorWullie said:

It may have seemed unfair at the time but these extra few months has given them the chance to polish the game up more and add extra content,which can only be a good thing.If it had been released back in February,by the time it did go multi platform,then the PS3,360,and even the Vita would have had the best versions with all that extra content that may or may not have been offered as DLC for Wii U eventually.Then that would have made the Wii U look even worse by the time August comes round.With what Damo has said above,it's going to be the definitive version and finally show what the Gamepad can bring to gaming.Plus when the reviews come in for the other consoles version,it will likely be mentioned in most about the Wii U's version being the best.So imo the delay has been a great decision by Ubisoft



Captain_Toad said:

Heh, the Rayman Legends team weren't lying if they said they got a load of improvements to put in. and it shows! This delay may be worth it after all.




ricklongo said:

They say living well is the best revenge... likewise, the best response to Ubisoft's lack of faith will be if this game sells like crazy on the Wii U. As a fan of platformers, I'm definitely hoping it does.

I have to admit, however, that the delay, along with other exciting titles that will be coming by the same time, will probably prevent me from buying this day 1 as I originally intended, since I can't deny that some of the hype has died off. Pretty sure I'll get it eventually, though.



iphys said:

I'm concerned that only 200,000 people have played the free app, so presumably far less than that will buy the game. I initially had no interest in this game but pre-ordered it after playing the app, so I wasn't one of the people annoyed by all the delays with the game.



Captain_Toad said:

@SanderEvers I'm guessing those improvements and additional game modes and levels during added development didn't change your mind huh? Heh, whatever floats your boat bub.



OorWullie said:

@SanderEvers There's no way Rayman would have boosted Wii U sales on a global scale.It would have been bought by a good majority of Wii U owners but it certainly wouldn't have been a huge console seller.By the time it does come out,at the start of a promising period of releases there will be a lot more Wii U owners so sales may even be better than they would have if it had released back then.Plus with it getting the extra publicity of it being the best version will definitely help.

Man get over yer grudge,that's business,its over,its coming soon and its going to be far better than before and highly likely more innovative than Mario World will ever be.



maxcriden said:

Easily my most anticipated game for Wii U and the main reason I am planning to purchase a Wii U. My wife and I are one level away from 100% completion of Rayman Origins (we trade off levels) and plan to have it completed by the time this comes out. If this game is just as good as that one, it will be one of the best ever. If it's better, well, that will be incredible.



nil said:

This game is beyond awesome, it's spectacular! It's astronomical!! It (dare I say) bests Nintendo's "New Super Mario" 2D platform games by a mile in terms of imagination, HD animated beauty and cooperative gameplay. Why couldn't New Super Mario U be this good for multiplayer instead of the characters bouncing (and dying) off each other's heads all the time? Why?? WHY??? It was such a bad gameplay decision! This game sets a new bar for platforming and will force Nintendo to up it's game on Mario 2D games. Both of which are great for gamers.



nil said:

And how are the PS3 and 360 going to handle all of Murfy's actions? Finally the Wii U will get the inarguably best version and the other consoles will be clooged to kind of work with their hardware limitations! Hah! Sweet irony! This game still deserves the support of all Wii U owners.



YChung said:

I disagree with the negative comments posted here. Not buy a game because it got delayed (for whatever reason) Ubisoft and any publisher has the right to do this to optimise sales. What's the point releasing a game when there were genuine concern about sales. They have been the biggest supporter of wii u, would you prefer they pull the plug on all their games? Because at the end of the day, its you and other Nintendo fans that lose out. I believe that they would have used the extra time to polish and add to the final game. I'm a nintendo fan and own both wii u and 3ds but I disagree with some of you. You not buying and playing what may turn out to be the best game on wii u is going to be your loss and not Ubisofts. They will sell lots of copies on all platforms and you will only damage sales on wii u and prove 1 thing to ubisoft, and that is they made the right decision.



ToxieDogg said:

I hate to admit this, but when they announced a Vita version, I changed my preorder to a Vita one.

Rayman Origins worked so much better as a portable game and looked stunning on the Vita. The sequel will likely be the same. I can live without a few second screen features.



ScorpionMG said:

@StephenYap3 ah, ok then! It might actually beat the fun mode from NSMBU.
But theres so many other games close to rayman that i cant afford to get rayman atm, sonic lost world, pikmin 3, donkey kong and mario 3d world. They all look amazing and with lots of fun in them



rjejr said:

I'm not looking forward to this as much as I was. We'll still play it, Ubisoft is great at dropping prices after release, this will be $19.99 by Christmas just like AC3 is now, but too much competition now. I want Sonic for single player and Mario 3D World for multiplayer. Next year we'll get this.



SpinelessOyster said:

I'm very interested in this. Though with everything else that's coming out for the Wii U that I want, I think it might have to wait a bit.

It seems a little silly to me that people would boycott this. Sure it sucked when Ubisoft delayed it, but we want games for the Wii U and they're giving them to us. Why not support them?



rjejr said:

@Damo - Dont you think Ubisoft will be able to incorporate the DS4 touchscreen for the shield etc, or do you really need to see where you are touching?



Buzzthebatgirl said:

This game has made one thing certain for me, I will never buy another Ubisoft game after this one. They love their Xbox360 and PS fanboys so much they can keep pleasing them for the few months left in their consoles, Ubisoft will never get another penny out of my Nintendo wallet again.



Mrclaycoat said:

Ubisoft was smart to move the date and release on multi platforms, you can't argue with $$$. I'll still pick this up since it'll be an amazing game and Ubisoft has been the best supporter of WiiU so far.



Dyltheman said:

ill still get this game, true im just as mad with them as the next guy, but they deserve my money if this game is good as the article is making it out. also, the game isn't made for 360/PS3 like it said (thank god i wasnt the only one who thought this)



Tasuki said:

Sadly though I wont be able to get this when it comes not. All my money right now is tied up in a PS4, ACIV, and GTA V. If Ubisoft would have released this when they first said they were I could have bought it then but now I will have to wait till it hits a bargin bin or I find it used.



sletari said:

Yeah, it would definitely be nice if it was launched earlier, especially because now it will be more or less competing with the other Ubi launches, but if the appeals to you, why not buy it? We don't want EA to be petty with Nintendo over the (supposed) Origin issue, let's not have petty feelings with Ubisoft either



Jellitoe said:

I will get this eventually, but with Batman being released soon and the current steam sale filling my queue, this will be a bargain bin purchase. A few months ago it would have been a day one.



WaveGhoul said:

Looks just as boring, repetitive and annoying as Origins was. Man, the original PS1 classic was such a great game, I even found it's art direction more appealing than Origins abstracty' paris-infused artsy fartsy painting parfe. I wont be getting this, not because of the stupid delay or it going multiplatform(i couldn't care less) but because it looks just as bogus as that overrated piece of battletoad slug dung' 'Origins'



Damo said:

@rjejr You need the whole touchscreen, really. The DS4 touchpad isn't going to be anywhere near accurate (or large) enough to do the same job.



hYdeks said:

game still looks great, and the challenge app is fun, BUT it's should have came out in February, not when a whole bunch of other must have games are coming out I'll be spending my money on Pikmin 3, Disney Infinity, Super Luigi U, and Wonderful 101 around next month and the time the game comes out. I will eventually get the game, but probably not till after Christmas season



JustinH said:

I went from being cautiously interested in this game (before the delay) to furiously against buying it (after the delay) to mixed feelings (just after the challenge app) to burned out (a month after the challenge app) to just plain indifferent.

Putting this out in September is a dumb, dumb move. This game would've filled a gap so well throughout the first half of this year.



MasterChordles said:

I cannot say how excited for this I am. I have played the challenge app every day I've been able to, and have yet to tire of it, which must say something. Day one purchase for me!



unrandomsam said:

Absolute junk like every ubisoft game. Dunno what universe anyone reviewing origins the same as donkey kong country returns was. It is boring. (I bought it twice second time on PC to see if it was the wii version that sucked it just isn't fun.)



unrandomsam said:

Same as the banks Ubisoft wants all the profit but none of the risk. Nintendo should tell them exclusive or nothing.



hYdeks said:

@unrandomsam third party game exclusives are basicly a thing of the past, unfortunately. They just want the big money, and that seems about it.



Truelovetat said:

As much as I wanna say how much I hate Ubi about this going multi-platform, I still wanna play this game on Wii U. I have a nice group of people that would say from what we have played so far, it might be one of the best of it's kind as far as platform/adventure game. I myself have not missed a daily or weekly challenge and right about now I am getting sick if the same few levels to play. But at the same time the controls are great and the touch screen control is even better. I wanna hate on Ubi but play this game all in the same sentence. So I'm going to swallow my pride and get this dam game on release and probably enjoy it greatly.



sinalefa said:

Not buying at launch. If I buy a full priced Wii U game in September, it will definitely be the Wonderful 101. And with all of Nintendo's first party games coming every month until December, (for both Wii U and 3DS) then I guess I will wait until January to get it.



JaxonH said:

@SanderEvers Unfortunately, not buying this game will not "show" Ubisoft anything except that Wii U isn't a viable platform for them, and with their support already scaling back, it would all but guarantee their full withdrawl from the console. That is not an end result I would encourage ANYONE to strive for. Yeah it sucks that they got over on us, but that's life. I'd rather forget about it, move on, buy the game, show them my FULL support, so at least they'll continue bringing new games in the future. Boycotting the game will result in no sales, and considering the limited sales of their other Wii U games, they will stop bringing games to Wii U. Then none of us will have new Ubisoft games to play, and the fact we could smile to ourselves and whisper "we sure taught you a lesson" means nothing to me. I care about games. If you WANT to never see an Ubisoft game on the Wii U again, by all means, boycott away. Cause that's what it's going to bring.



Geno92 said:

I think Pikmin 3 is going to holg my attention until december, then it's all about Super mario 3d world. I personally am not going to bother with rayman legends. Maybe someday when it ends up in a bargain bin for less then twenty bucks, then maybe I'll pick it up.



JaxonH said:

@unrandomsam Whatever man DKC Returns and Rayman Origins are two of the finest platformers ever made. There's a reason everyone likes them, and there's a reason they both received extremely high critical acclaim. One thing they have in common is they're both true hardcore games, with a real challenge. Not a game any noob off the street can endure, that's for sure.



Savino said:

So many games will be ready to launch when this game hit the shelves... I will probablyforget about this one because of the hype for some GTAV and KillZone Vita!



CAM290 said:

Why isn't this game on Nintendo 3DS? It seems like a 3DS title just by watching it



Subie98 said:

@SanderEvers not everyone agrees with the tantrum you're throwing. We strongly need ubisoft as a supporter. Sit down and relax. No need to protest so strongly like a crazed pro life person. This isnt an abortion clinic. Its okay. Promise.



WaveGhoul said:

Origins is one of thee' worst platformers i've played in years. Look past those tastey flashy 1080p artsy fartsy visuals and you're left with a poorly designed rythem-like platformer with enemies that are as about as threatening and agressive as a sleeping clam. I can't stand the controls and the weight of Rayman either. I just can't wrap around the 10's that it's been receiving...

Am i playing the same game here people? People must be too busy foaming over it's visuals and silly soundtrack, and the fact that it stood out among the crazy saturation of bland first person least if you owned an XBOX or PS3, then i could sort of understand the praise, but when you compare Rayman up against platformers like Wario Land Shake it, NSMB.U, Kirby's RTDL ect ect, it truly does feel 2nd rate in design. The original Rayman however was the absolute B-bomb!

It was so whimsical, charming and far less "I gotta run through the bloody stage and hop on stationary enemies while collecting musical lums".

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Bryon15 said:

I don't plan on buying this either. Ubisoft stabbed nintendo in the back by delaying this and then releasing it on their rivals consoles. I'm not supporting that.



Subie98 said:

@WaveBoy I dont think origin was amazing but it had decent game play. I can see how a lot of people like it. I never bought it as rayman has never been a game I wanted to spend money on because there was always a game i had an eye on. However my wife seemed to like origin and had fun playing with two players.



GreatPlayer said:

Don't worry. If Ubisoft made a good game, I am sure that the Wii U fans will turn coat and buy it anyway. Rayman Origins is SO MUCH better than New Mario U that it makes Mario U look like a sloppy piece of work.

@JaxonH Rayman Origin is superb! Looking forward to Rayman Legends! Rayman Jungle Run was the game I have most fun with on Android. Sonic the Lost World will also be good too! I am very disappointed about Mario U - it makes me think twice before I consider buying Mario 3D.



SideScreamer said:

I was pissed with the delay, not because it was going multiplat, but because the Wii U version was finished.
Still a day one buy for me.



Dormouse said:

This was the only game Demo available and part of the reason i got a Wii U. Sad that it got delayed but i still wanna play it. Day one purchase for me also! Also excited for Watch dogs and i hope the division gets ported later.



Mizzah_Tee said:

@Guitardude7 Wii U may need Ubisoft, but it doesn't need Rayman Legends. Buy Watch_Dogs, Splinter Cell, and AC4 with your money instead. Those are the types of gmes that need to sell on Wii U, not 2D platformers. I'm making a statement by not buying THAT game.



VeeFlamesNL said:

This game is good to go for me!
However, please can we stop with the '3D World innovation is less than this games' own?' We all know why they chose to develop that game.
I want all good games, but if I have the chance, I'll buy 3D World day one!



VeeFlamesNL said:

This game is good to go for me!
However, please can we stop with the '3D World innovation is less than this games' own?' We all know why they chose to develop that game.
I want all good games, but if I have the chance, I'll buy 3D World day one!
EDIT: Oh, and why is NSMBU disappointing some people? Love the HD graphics, and it's still amazing.



Marshi said:

@SanderEvers Dude,i see where you're coming from,but that kind of thinking will simply kill off the wiiu. I agree that delaying a game two weeks before release is shocking frustrating and downright unprofessional.But at the same time if you dont buy the game as you or anyone else initialy intended all you're doing is confirming to ubisoft that the delay was the right thing to do. In essense you'll let them win! I will buy this game because ive always intended to,but ive also let ubisoft know through forums and miiverse and emails direct to them that they made a harsh mistake.I dont think im the only one as a month later ubisoft gaveus the challenge app. That would have cost them money so trust me,they know they did wrong. Dont cut your nose off to spite your face mate.There are over ways to show your disatifaction without hurting yourself in the process



erv said:

I'm gonna buy this one day. Probably not at launch though, as there's already a lot for me to play by then.



LavaTwilight said:

I say, if you're going to buy this game, buy it for the WiiU! The graphic capabilities are just as good as the PS3 and 360, if not better. The gamepad improves the playablity as we've already discovered, and above all else let's SHOW those bigwig companies that if they do a decent game for this console that their efforts will be supported and they will make money from a project that's done properly and not half-assed!



AJWolfTill said:

Your comments in the last paragraph combined with the news that Ubi are scrapping support for Xbox smartglass for Legends due to it's unreliability should bode well!

Also due to the Challenge App I sort of feel like I have already experienced my game, It still looks great but I'm not sure when or if I will pick it up. Luckily for Ubi this potential sale loss will be in favour of one of their other titles.



unrandomsam said:

@JaxonH Not everyone. There is a reason why they are both rated the same. (Donkey Kong Country Returns because it is really good Rayman Origins for some other reason probably involving Ubisoft paying money. It is not even close to the same level.) You can play mediocre games all you like an convince yourself they are good because other people say they are.
(I even bought it twice thinking the wii version might have been particularly bad as often used to happen with multiplatform. The game was the problem its a total waste of time).



rjejr said:

@Damo @antdickens - Thanks for the feedback guys. Looks like WiiU it is then. (OK, it was always going to be a WiiU purchase, I didn't buy a WiiU just to play this, if I had I'ld be PO'd though and not buy it.)



JaxonH said:

@unrandomsam I have no vested interest in lying about the game to myself. I pre order 3-5 games per week, pretty much every game on every console from Vita to Wii U to 3DS to PS4 that looks even remotely interesting. I have more games than I can play, and certainly don't waste my time with anything less than excellent. If it wasn't good, I wouldn't play it. But moving on, you expect everyone to believe Rayman Origins isn't worth its salt, and that its universal acclaim was fabricated by an Ubisoft conspiracy to bribe journalists and reviewers? Ok, and Metacritic? Did they pay each and every person who submitted a user review? Oh that's right, they're probably delusional like me, convincing themselves a mediocre game is really fun just for the hell of it. Isn't it more likely that it received universal acclaim because it's well, um, a good game? And isn't it more likely that most ppl like it because it's uh, actually good, rather than ppl are delusional? And isn't it more likely that you just have poor taste rather than everyone being delusional, bribed and conspiring? I'm just throwing that out there. There is a difference between a bad game, and a good game that you personally don't find to your liking. Rayman Origins is a GOOD GAME, from level design, to challenge increment, to art style, to music, to polish (and lack of glitches and bugs). Now if you said it's just not your style,or you don't like it's atmosphere, or whatever, I could respect that. But you lost all credibility with that last post.



JaxonH said:

@unrandomsam Though I will concede you are correct in pointing out DKC is the better game, and you are also right in pointing out they shouldn't have the same review score. At least not in my opinion

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