games / Reviews

Rayman 3 HD (PSN, 360) Review

April 10, 2012 | Posted by Trace Aber


Game: Rayman 3 HD
Genre: Platformers
Players: 1
Developer: Ubisoft Paris
Publisher: Ubisoft
Rated E for Everyone

Last year the classic Rayman series of video games was revived with Rayman Origins, a game that took the franchise back to its roots. For many gamers this was their first time playing a Rayman game, and while they already had the first two games available for digital download, they were missing the third and final title, Hoodlum Havoc.

Originally released in 2003, Hoodlum Havoc proved to be the last of the original Rayman trilogy, before Ubisoft found out that games involving Rabbids would sell. The game plays very much like an early 2000s platformer would, though it does at times feel more mature than most thanks to the game’s darker themes. Of course, the game still retains its charm and humor throughout, even with the darker undertones.

This release is nothing more than a texture upgrade from the 2003 edition, so don’t expect any changes to gameplay or controls. To those not familiar with platformers from the era, Rayman 3 may appear to be rather dated. Making matters worse, this game is certainly the worst of the original trilogy.

Rayman 3’s biggest problem stems from the downright infuriating camera. The auto-camera constantly gets caught on parts of the level, causing many unfair and frustrating deaths. Sometimes it’s almost as if the camera cannot keep up with Rayman, especially during combat. Thankfully, manual control is available, but in 2012 a bad camera is nearly inexcusable.

Combat with the camera can be tricky enough, but when the game’s auto-targeting system fails just as much things can be downright impossible. You’ll find Rayman targeting the environment more than enemies. In fact, control in general feels slippery all throughout, and in a platformer this shouldn’t be the case.

Hoodlum Havoc’s biggest addition lie in the powerups – what look like tin cans are actually colorful costumes that grant additional abilities. Some of these include tornado fists, chain-arm gloves, and, of course, propeller-blade helmets. These costumes play into most of the game’s nine worlds, as completion of certain puzzles require them.

That being said, the game does look much better than it did in 2003 overall. Everything is generally smoother, for better or worse, but some of the more subtle graphics look out of place at times. Oddly, some of the original game’s pixels pop up every now and then, and can be somewhat jarring after playing in such a smooth world.

Pros
-Looks much better than 2003 version
-Powerups can be fun to use

Cons
-Horrible controls
-Atrocious camera
-Game is terribly dated

The 411
Rayman 3 HD reaffirms that it is the worst game of the original trilogy, and it plays even worse in 2012. The fact that Ubisoft Paris didn’t even attempt to better the camera or targeting system is mind-boggling, as it makes the game come off as second rate into today’s world. It’s not a terrible game by any means, but there’s not much reason to go back to it.

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Trace Aber

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