Rayman 3D (3DS)

Game Review

Rayman 3D Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Rayman goes 3D

When Rayman 2 first saw the light of day on the Nintendo 64 console, it pretty much came out of nowhere and surprised many gamers with its amazing transition into the realm of 3D gaming. After seeing a host of releases on various consoles of the time period, the game was finally released on Sega's struggling Dreamcast system to surprisingly rave reviews. After a lacklustre attempt to bring the classic 3D platformer to DS, Ubisoft has taken another stab at it with Rayman 3D. But is this the game fans have been waiting for or just another vain attempt at bringing our limbless hero to the small screen?

Since Rayman 3D is basically a port of the 2000 Dreamcast version of the game, most of its gameplay conveniences aren't quite as up-to-date as some of the more recent 3D platforming efforts. Your main goal in each level will be to make your way to the magic warp door at the end of the level, collecting Lums and releasing caged inhabitants along the way. Once you've completed the level, you'll receive a tally of how many cages you broke open and how many Lums you were able to collect. You can even go back and revisit a level in order to collect any Lums and cages you might have missed the first time through.

As you progress through the levels on the world map, there will be times where face off against one of the game's bosses and while fairly standard in design, they do tend to make great use of Rayman's special powers, not to mention aspects of the level they take place within. These fights tend to be a bit too short and simple, but they offer a nice change of pace at given intervals and work well in laying out the story of your adventure as the game progresses along.

At the beginning of the game, Rayman only has a limited move set that mainly consists of being able to run, jump, and fire off his power fist, but he can also grab onto ledges and even climb certain walls and spider webs in order to reach tricky parts of the level. Having these limited moves affords you an opportunity to get a feel for the game before you begin gaining new powers to come to grips with. As if these basic platforming skills weren't enough, the game will also allow Rayman to ride various objects, including a gunpowder keg and a missile shell. These provide a whole new set of play controls and offer up a great diversion at different spots throughout your adventure. There are even a handful of underwater levels to further mix things up a bit.

If you're able to collect all of the Lums in a particular level, you'll be given the chance to take on a special bonus level. One such bonus level pits you against a pirate in an all-out foot race with you controlling one of Globox's children. While these aren't nearly as in-depth as the actual game levels themselves, they do provide a fun challenge separate from the main game and provide a nice incentive to go back and try to collect things you missed the first time around. Of course there are other hidden secrets to uncover as you play through the game as well, for those who are willing to put in the time and exploration to locate them.

Rayman 2 on the Dreamcast had some pretty good controls, but the developers have changed things up a bit for his 3DS outing. While the analogue Circle Pad makes controlling Rayman far more intuitive and responsive than the D-Pad used in the DS release, the manual camera controls have been moved to the D-Pad, which means if you need to adjust the camera yourself, you'll have to move your thumb from the Circle Pad to do so. While the developers made some nice improvements to the automatic camera, there will still be times when you need to adjust it manually, and this can take some time to get a handle on. Luckily the majority of the controls are very well implemented and give the game a very responsive feel for the most part. The game also received a few difficulty tweaks that make the game a bit less frustrating, but might not be as appreciated by fans who enjoyed the stiff challenge of the original release.

It's worth noting that Ubisoft did very little to upgrade the visuals when they ported this game over from the Dreamcast release, so don't expect the same level of visual flash we've seen from games specifically designed for 3DS. That said, the game does have its fair share of moments that will wow you, although it would have been nice to see more of them. The depth of the 3D visuals adds a very beautiful and realistic look to the surroundings, but it can be a bit distracting at times when you find yourself in a closed up area with walls all around you. The frame rate will drop down a bit at times when the action becomes overly intense, although it's nothing too distracting, and the game tends to remain fairly smooth in most areas, even with the 3D effect in full force.

Anyone that's played the console versions of the game will know what a great musical score the game features, not to mention the trademark Rayman gibberish talk we've grown to love over the years. While the majority of that soundtrack is present in Rayman 3D, the quality can sometimes be a bit streaky. For the most part, the music has a beautifully spacious sound to it and sounds quite good, but there will be times when the music becomes more intense that it will take on an odd static-like effect. It doesn't happen terribly often, but it does slightly diminish what is an otherwise wonderful musical presentation.


Ultimately, Rayman 3D might not be the complete reworking that some fans had hoped for, but it is a solid portable version of what remains one of the better 3D platformers. There are a few minor issues here and there, like the somewhat average visuals and a camera that doesn't always cooperate, but for the most part the game still manages to capture the majority of the magic from its earlier console days. Toss in the added depth of the 3D visuals and the gameplay enhancements, you get what is easily the best portable version of Rayman 2 and a game 3D platformer fans should definitely check out.

From the web

User Comments (101)



Corbs said:

This one was hands-down my favorite 3DS launch title. Had a blast running through this 3D platformer again.



Weblaus said:

Well, it's not that hard to be the best portable version, with the GBA version being essentially different games (and 2D) and the DS one being really, really bad.

Anyway, the game indeed is decent, but feels like a perfect example of shovelware to me. If Ubisoft at least had ported the third Rayman game (which is pretty muich the best in the series) instead, but doing part 2 again is just lazy.



andyutd97 said:

Think Ill pass but it looks interesting. At least your american these days corbie instead of Japanese on your last review.



James said:

Yep, Corbie changes his nationality more often that I change my underpants.



Archy said:

I only heard bad things about Ubisoft's 3DS games, and Rayman 3D is said to be the worst game released by them for the 3DS. I am amazed to see it got a 7 from you guys.



siavm said:

Normally I agree with reviews on this site but not this one. That score is just to high from what I have been hearing over the web.



Zach said:

@Archy Are you amazed that 4 other publications have either agreed or given it a higher score, and that none of the bad reviews so far are below 60%? Anyway, the metacritic link is on the right if anyone wants to read other reviews of this.



Weblaus said:

It's not the worst game of their bunch, just a case of very uninspired recycling. Asphalt 3D certainly is worse, especially in comparison to Ridge Racer 3D.



JRL186 said:

Awesome!! I've never played any of the Rayman 2 games on any system. Heard it was a pretty good game, so I decided to pick it up for the 3DS. Thanks for the review. Sounds like it should be good for a newbie.



Squiggle55 said:

thanks for another review, I'm tempted by this title. The fact that it's basically just a port doesn't bother me at all because I've never played it.



Megumi said:

Wait, this is a launch title?! xD
I might look into it, never played a Rayman game at all...(unless you want to count the Rabbids, lol) So, this may be fun for me.



citizenerased said:

Awful port + great game = decent game.

Frame rate drops on a Dreamcast port are pretty unacceptable. Sound effects don't play 10% of the time. And the 3D shows lots and lots of ghosting.



Stine said:

Not really too interested. If I decide I want Rayman 2 one day, I'll probably pick up the PS2 version instead. If I don't find it really cheap somewhere.



Azikira said:

I think this really relies on its fanbase more then innovating the game at all. I probably wont get it seeing as how I have the older one anyways.



Corbs said:

It says in the review several times that it's a port of the Dreamcast version, considered the best available version of the game.



SwerdMurd said:

given that I don't really have too much love for the source material in the first place (no nostalgia glasses) I can safely pass on this one



Corbs said:

The 3D was just fine to me. Good depth and I could easily tell the difference between things close to the screen and things a good distance off. I think the biggest hurdle for most people is the fact that the visuals are basically still Dreamcast quality visuals, so even lending 3D depth to them still doesn't put them on par with games that were created for the system from the ground up.



Detective_TeeJay said:

I feel bad about this, but I'm going to have to pass. I have to save my money on games I haven't played before, (plus Ocarina of Time).
If I had ample cash to spare, I would get it because I love Rayman, but as the circumstances are, I just can't.



EliPro said:

I have only one question corbie: Should i get this if i haven't played rayman 2 EVER?



Yasume said:

As much as I love platformers, Rayman (2) is not exactly my cup of tea. Tried the DS and PC version, but I couldn't get into it.



moosa said:

@Corbs I find it interesting that you consider this your favorite launch title when you've scored a number of them higher already.

From what I remember from playing this game on the N64 all those years ago, this game had a number of flaws and it's share of frustrations. I didn't see anything like that mentioned in this review. But there were also moments that just seemed... "magical," or something. Something about the level designs that just made me say "wow." By the end of the game I was left with a pretty positive impression because of that, even though some of the parts frustrated and annoyed me.

I think it's unfortunate that Ubi didn't put any real effort into trying to revamp the game, given that it had some clear flaws upon release, which was all of those years ago. But I still have those fond memories of this game, and I think some who can appreciate an old fashioned 3D platformer style who haven't yet played it could find something to love in this.



Corbs said:

When I review, I try to review from the perspective of all gamers, not just myself. My enjoyment comes from a lot of things that many gamers won't share, such as nostalgia and a great love of 3D platformers. I'm not reviewing these games for me, I'm reviewing them for everyone. So despite it being my own personal favorite launch title, I doubt it will be everyone's top pick.

@EliPro - If you are a big fan of 3D platformers, I'd say it would be worth taking a chance on. If you're not, probably not going to make a fan out of you.



JustAnotherUser said:

Great review Corbs,
Will pick this up when the price drops as I already own 3 copies of the game on different platforms.
Also quick question: Is Globox Village in the game?



Kevember said:

I've played it before on the N64 and DS, but I'm a fan of 3D platformers and this is a game I really love, so this is gonna be my first 3DS game, also a friend told me the 3D effect looks great in this one.



Marioman64 said:

my friend had this on PSP and it had the voices instead of the gibberish. I was thinking with the massive storage space on the 3ds cartridges they would do that but oh well.

anyway, I was hoping they'd try again with an analogue stick. they should make mario 64 3ds too because using a D pad and having to hold the Y button all the time was annoying



Kosmo said:

Am I the only one that's shocked Ubisoft is releasing an exactly similar game ten years after it came out? No updated graphics, no voice, no new levels... For those having played one of the MANY existing versions of Rayman 2, I personally don't think it holds any interest.
It's not even the "revolution" version from PS2, which included an Overworld... Really, shame on you Ubisoft...



WaveBoy said:

I loved the original Rayman back on the PS1 during the beginning of it's launch, yet I completely missed out on Rayman 2 back when I had a dreamcast. So, since i've got killer nostalgia for the original this one does spike my interest, but that's maybe also because it's the first '3D' platformer for the 3DS.

Hmmmm, to buy or not to buy, that is the question.lol One thing is for sure, Super Mario 3D is going to destroy this little lazy ubi soft port. And I'm not exactly sure i want some 10 year old 'nothing new'(aside from 3D, really) llazy port of a game to be my first 3DS '3D platformer'....I want Super Mario 3D to be my first 3DS platformer, hopefully nintendo releases it christmas this year.



danschemen said:

it's a good game but this was also released for the ds so i don't need one for the 3ds



Sakura_Moonlight2421 said:

If your like me and didn't have enough money to own a Dreamcast or a N64; and missed the other ports at later intervals. I'm going to welcome this edition with open arms. I've waited too long to not play this.



Corbs said:

I just finished perfecting the game 100%. Now it's time for a little 'sub in the tub' action via Steel Diver.



Corbs said:

Of course, I've been at it now for probably close to 30 hours. Plus I had just played through the Dreamcast version about 3 weeks ago in preparation.



zander said:

hey corbs can you help me again super monkey ball or nintendogs+cats.



Corbs said:

Well you're probably not going to want my opinion on this one as I'm not a big fan of Nintendogs. So I think it goes without saying which one I'd pick.



DrCruse said:

I personally never really cared for Rayman 2, so I won't be picking this up.



LordJumpMad said:

How meny times did they remake this game, and still kept the flaws.
You think they could have added something new to it.
or at less make a new Rayman game



HappyHappy said:

I haven't played Rayman 2 since Rayman 2 Revolution came out; I think I'll pick this up when I get my 3DS.



BulbasaurusRex said:

What's wrong with mapping manual camera control to the D-Pad? Who wants to manually adjust the camera while simultaneously moving their character?



Odnetnin said:

I can't wait to pick this up once it hits the bargain bins (seriously!). Thanks for the informative review Corbie.



WaveBoy said:

Bulbasauras Rex
Good point. But i think it's just the akward placement. But again, you shouldn't be adjusting the camera while you move anyways, and in this case ya can't.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@Bulbasaurus Rex and WaveBoy: Why WOULDN'T you want to adjust the camera while you're moving? Seriously, that kind of thing is standard nowadays, and it's a huge reason that people complained the 3DS only has one analog instead of two (the same problem the PSP's been dealing with for years).

Well, I'm completely convinced now: I don't want this version. Sounds entirely inferior to Revolution, so I'll just wait for the (probably) inevitable PS3 release.



WolfRamHeart said:

Thanks for the review Corbie. Nice job getting it out before launch day.

The game sounds okay but I think I'm going to pass on it for now. I will reconsider picking it up when it drops in price. I think that I will be content playing Pilotwings and Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars instead.



Panthon13 said:

Let me ask this... Is it worth 15 dollars? Preordering a 3DS on Amazon gets you a 25 dollar credit to a select amount of offered 3DS games, pretty much all of the launch titles. So, I'd only have to pay 15 for this. Is that worth it?



Knux said:

I can't wait to get this along with my blue 3DS and Super Monkey Ball 3D tomorrow or Monday. Great review, Corbie!



Corbs said:

What's wrong with mapping manual camera control to the D-Pad? Who wants to manually adjust the camera while simultaneously moving their character?

I do, that's who. I do that with all my 3D platformers.

@wolframheart - Word has it Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars crashes a lot. So something to keep in mind if you're thinking of buying it.



Croz said:

Does anyone know of the UK release for Steel Diver? and the even BBC listed it as a lauch title but I havn't seen it anywhere.



Corbs said:

Steel Diver has no currently announced date in the UK and it is not a launch title there. Only in North America.



Rensch said:

If it goes down in price I'll pick it up and sell that crappy DS version I still have.

Rayman 2 is one of my absolute favourite games of all time, don't get me wrong, but I had hoped for something new instead of a game that has been released on nearly a dozen platforms by now.



WolfRamHeart said:

@Corbs: Well, that is disappointing to hear about the crashing issues for GR: Shadow Wars. I suppose that I will hold off on that one until I read the Nintendo Life review. Maybe I will get Steel Diver instead. I do appreciate the heads-up so thank you.



Tate24 said:

It doesnt make me wanna go out buy it !

Been there done that!

If had abit more new content that maybe but doesnt interest me



motang said:

I might get this one eventually. I have the original Rayman for PC and DSiware, that game is awesome.



Angaran said:

Corbs do you think I will enjoy this if I have never played any of the remakes before, I really like 3d platforers



PSICOffee said:

As much as I hate Ubisoft, this is the only game i'm considering getting from them. I expected this game to get this score, but I'm curious as to all the fuss about it. I barely played the DS version and hated that globox guy. I did get Rayman 1 when that game out for the original GBA so it only seems natural...



CowLaunch said:

hmmm, never played a Rayman game before, love 3D platformers, and Super Mario is some way off. Could well be perfect for me.



shake_zula said:

Cheers Corbie, I wasn't going to bother with this game but will do after reading your review. Get Steel Diver reviewed man, I'm really psyched for that



SamuraiShyGuy said:

@ Corbs,
How could it be your favorite 3DS launch game when you only gave it a seven? Are you saying SSFIV deserves a 6? It doesn't make sense to me.



NESguy94 said:

I still have the N64 version, I don't need another copy. If you don't have it, it's a game you should pick up.



Corbs said:

@SamuraiShyGuy - It's quite simple. I'm not reviewing games just for me. Fact is, Rayman 2 is one of my all-time favorite video games in history and I have a huge nostalgia factor going on for it. I can't review games from just my own personal perspective as other gamers don't share all of my personal gaming likes and dislikes. Gotta review a game for what it is and try to do so from an "every gamer" perspective.



moosa said:

@Corbs In my opinion, you should be careful about reviewing games that way, because no game (no matter how good) will please everybody. When it comes to the final score, my belief is that it should be a direct reflection of how much you, as the reviewer, enjoyed yourself while playing, and nothing more or less. I definitely do not think that ending up with a score that matches the Metacritic rating is an ideal to aim for (I'm not accusing anyone of doing this intentionally), because I believe if every reviewer is doing their job well there should be a range of opinions to reflect the diversity of taste. If some people loved the heck out of it, their scores should reflect that.

That being said, there are certain games that I've absolutely loved but I couldn't rate extremely high because of a number of flaws that held it down. Maybe the good parts would be so good in spite of all the bad, or I would fall in love with the fiction of the game and all the ways it inspired my imagination. But in the end I would have to score it based on how much I enjoyed myself as a whole, and those annoyances and frustrations would pull down the experience. Some games that were like this for me that I can think of off the top of my head are the Zone of the Enders games and some of Treasure's games. I can see how Rayman 2 could be one of those games, because as I said in my impressions above, there were a lot of flaws but some of the good parts could be so good.



Corbs said:

@moosa - I think you're missing the point. I know what factors make a good game and what factors that bring a game down. What I'm saying is that I can't just play a game and if I like it give it a 9 and if it's not my particular taste or favorite genre, give it a 2. That would mean that since I'm not a big fan of racing games that I'd have to give every one I reviewed, no matter how good it was, a 3 or 4.

I know when visuals are great and when they're not. I know when a game has a great storyline and when it's completely boring. I know when a game has tight and responsive play controls and when it's loose and all over the place. Those are things I grade on. But some aspects of a game are more important to me personally and some times I can overlook looser play controls, or other negative facets, if it's a game I have a particular love of or nostalgia factor for. But it wouldn't be fair for me to overlook that in the review just because it doesn't bother me as much from a personal standpoint, would it? A little bit of yourself comes across in the reviews and that can't be helped. But you can't let it take over a review or show too much bias.

I've been doing this a for a very long time, I know what I'm doing.



Zach said:

@moosa It would be really tough to review kids' games then! A review should reflect the quality of the product, and a good reviewer should be able to look beyond their inherent bias to see this.



SamuraiShyGuy said:

Yeah, that makes sense Corbie. I didn't realize the nostalgia you had for the game. I understand you are trying to be objective in your reviews, but at the same time it is still your opinion. It's almost an oxymoron, the way it contradicts itself. It's kind of odd to think about. I guess it would be more acceptable to review subjectively if you are only reviewing games in your genre of preference. But at the same time, I'm gonna be mad if a reviewer out there tries to be harsh on Ocarina 3D because game technology has advanced. But I was never questioning the way you review. Your reviews rock.

As for reviewing kids games, no offense to those who review them, but I don't think they are very important. Kids don't read them and I highly doubt there are many adults reading them before they buy a game for their kids.



Zach said:

@SamuraiShyGuy I have to disagree about kids' games, often times a parent will show up in the comments section asking questions about the game or thanking us for reviewing it.



gazamataz said:

it's a good game.if you like old school platforming and have'nt played it.buy it.



moosa said:

@Corbie It is only my opinion after all. And I wasn't trying to say you're doing anything wrong, only sharing my thoughts really.
I'm not sure what to think about the racing game thing. If you really dislike racing games, should you really be the person to review them? Personally, I enjoy all genres of games and don't even have any favorites, so I suppose I am different in that sense. The only genres I never really have any interest in are sports sims and other simulations like flight sims etc., and I wouldn't feel comfortable reviewing any of those games. To be completely honest, if I was interested in a racing (or any other genre) game, and saw a review from a reviewer that I knew wasn't into racing games, I wouldn't be too interested in what they had to say about it.

As far as kids games go, yes, they should be reviewed as best you can simply out of necessity for the sake of the kiddos, but honestly the opinion of adults means VERY LITTLE in terms of what those little kids will enjoy. Kids will go crazy over games that I would cringe over. For the same reason I wouldn't want to read a review of a racing game written by someone who doesn't like racing games, a review written by an adult for a game created for small children isn't going to be worth much. It would be a different story if a reviewer was to incorporate the actual opinions and reactions of children though. In any case, where NL has made it their job to review every downloadable Nintendo game, I'm not complaining about anyone reviewing children's games because that's what you have to do. But I wouldn't say its at all ideal.

To be clear, I'm not trying to say anyone is doing anything wrong. I'm simply sharing my own thoughts and opinions about reviewing games.



Zach said:

If a reviewer is good at their job, you won't be able to tell whether or not they're into racing games from their review of one. Anyway, I'll bow out now - this is outgrowing the Rayman 3D forum



Corbs said:

Sadly, we don't always have the luxury of reviewing just what we want, so sometimes you take what you are assigned. And it really doesn't matter as long as you know what criteria are important for a particular genre and how to distinguish between the good and bad. You don't necessarily have to like a genre of game to understand what fans of that particular genre are looking for in their games. That comes over time with experience and writing a variety of reviews.

And I realize it's your opinion and I respect that. I was just merely explaining how it works with my reviewing. I'm sure you have your own style of writing your own reviews or perhaps the outlet you write for has their own guidelines. Everyone and every site is a bit different. I'm not questioning them, only explaining to the readers how I go about reviewing games.

@Zach - Yeah I think we got a bit off-topic on this one. Okay everyone, back to the Rayman 3D discussion.



NeoShinobi said:

I love Rayman 2, but I think I'd rather just get the actual Dreamcast version. Besides, I've already played and beaten this game on both the N64 and PSX anyways.



Knux said:

Been playing this today, and I am loving every minute of it too! The 3D effect is also pretty dang awesome.



BulbasaurusRex said:

@48,54 That only applies when it's a completely manual camera system or you're aiming a gun in a shooter. When a platformer is using an automatic camera that only occasionally needs a manual adjustment when it picks a bad angle (like this one), you need to stop, adjust it, and then move on, or you'll be likely to hit an enemy / dangerous obstacle or walk off a platform.



moosa said:

@Corbs @Zach Sorry for getting off topic; it was interesting.

I just realized that I can get Rayman 2 Revolution on PS2 for $5 on eBay (including shipping). And I believe that version has even more content. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I won't be buying this version at all.



Corbs said:

I've never played the PS2 version. I remember hearing it wasn't nearly as good as the Dreamcast one I already owned so I just stuck with that, despite my love for the game. Enjoy it moosa!



lex0plex said:

This game is very entertaining! The 3D effect is really cool especially in the flying segments and water skiing. I only have brushed the surface of this game, but I am so far extremely glad I settled on this for a launch title.

If you love 3D platforming like Mario, but with more open world-ish levels, you'll love this game. I also think the graphics are very, very good, but I haven't played any other 3DS game so I have nothing to compare it to except for normal DS games. Compared to DS games, the graphics are GORGEOUS!

I found no need to use the control pad as a camera, instead I stuck with the useful "R" button first person camera. It works very well.

The music has been absolutely amazing, the 3DS surround setting makes it seem like the music is coming from all around you. This, along with the great 3D makes for an extremely trippy experience

Picked it up for $39.99, and as one of the less expensive 3DS games, I have absolutely no regrets. Cannot wait to get home to continue playing it! So far it'd give it a 10/10! I cannot imagine giving it anything less, unless something goes wrong in the later levels...



cheapogamer4life said:

Loved the Dsiware version of Rayman so I should be picking this one up sometime down the line....
Good review Corbie!



Supremeist said:

Eh. Won't be picking it up. I can't wait to get my 3DS, though. But wait. I have to wait until August 25th [my birthday]. - DANG!



hray95 said:

I'm trying to decide between this, Ridge Racer, and Monkey Ball. I did play this game when it came out for Dreamcast and loved it, but I am not sure it still would hold up.



Supremeist said:

I remember once playing Rayman as a kid, I loved it, so I am going to give this one a shot.



TromaDogg said:

This is the best Rayman 2 handheld port (given that the original DS one was shoddy), it's just a shame that Ubisoft keep feeling the need to rehash Rayman 2 though and haven't thought about porting Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc as that was also a great game but had better visuals and not so many people have played it.



dronesplitter said:

The 3D looks great, but don't bother turning the slider on until you are in control of Rayman. Also, might as well turn it off when you're at the end of the level. This game doesn't seem to be able to maintain the great 3D whenever it shows a cutscene or puts a dialog box up. Ugh, why did this port have to feel this lazy, it was right there on the edge of being a solid port but no they had to rush it near the end or whatever excuse there is, leaving parts of it looking and playing great while the cutscenes and sound effects are botched. The frame rate can be buttery smooth in places, unstable elsewhere.



Mus1cLov3r said:

Seeing as this one is $10 (used) at my local Gamestop, I'll definitely be picking it up sometime.

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