Simply saying the name Rayman Legends aloud is enough to get a reaction from Wii U owners, but that reaction could easily lie on either end of a broad spectrum. On one hand it's a bitter development story many would like to forget, but it's truly difficult to deny the title's charm, imagination and sheer joyfulness now that we've had a chance to play it. In fact, a recent article by Digital Foundry even claims that it's best played on Wii U after all.
Versions of the game across Wii U and its contemporaries the Xbox One and Playstation 4 were compared in terms of graphical power, performance, and differences in gameplay mechanics, in an effort to decide which version could be considered the best choice. Analysis showed Rayman ran just as smoothly across all three systems, differing only in load times on the more advanced hardware but keeping to a solid 60fps (frames per second) across the board. The incredibly lively and detailed art-style may get a slight jump up with a little extra power, but the visual upgrades are apparently "close to non-existent".
Our review of Ubisoft's platformer mentioned how we felt it was a title best suited for Nintendo's system, and it seems as though Digital Foundry shares our sentiments. When it comes to sheer enjoyment, the usage of Wii U's GamePad is the defining factor.
It's the Wii U version of Rayman Legends that remains the definitive edition of the game, with the title taking advantage of the GamePad's unique features in ways that genuinely add variety and more fun to the gameplay. Let's not forget that while this game may have been ported to a vast range of different hardware platforms, it started out life as a Wii U exclusive, built around the unique capabilities of the system. Indeed, it's the Nintendo console that offers the experience that the developers originally intended for the game, before the last-minute switch to a multi-platform release.
Rayman Legends is a blast to play in any form, but in the end Wii U owners can arguably enjoy a more full-featured version unique to Nintendo's console. Mechanics may have been altered slightly to fit button-prompts on other platforms, but there's a sort of sour victory in stating that the GamePad simply does it better.
If you've played this title for yourself, and can possibly even compare it to other console ports, be sure to leave a comment below.