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Rayman 3 HD in XBOX and PLAYSTATION Download

They seem to be the latest fad for publishers, as Xbox Live and the PSN have made it relatively easy and cheap for publishers to pump them out when the release calendar looks a little sparse. They bring classic videogames to a new generation of gamers, all while updating the graphics to be a little more palatable to our eyes, which have been spoiled by recent releases. HD re-masters also make games that are now relatively hard to come by readily available to play on the most recent generation of consoles, so even if you do manage to get your hands on a copy of an old game, you won’t have to dust off an older console and pray that it still works.
You know, there was a Rayman legacy before he appeared in the stellar Origins last year.  For over the last decade or so, Ubisoft has produced a number of games featuring the limbless hero, starting on the PS One with an artful side-scrolling classic and continuing onward with the incredible Rayman 2: The Great Escape for Dreamcast and Nintendo 64.  Since that time, though, the sequels felt a little tacked on rather than feeling like in-depth tales, as you’ll see from Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, which was recently given the digital HD treatment for Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network.

Not that there’s anything really wrong with the way Rayman 3 plays.  Honestly, Ubisoft did add a couple of new tricks here to spice up the game.  For instance, he can now use combat fatigues – or battle suits – provided by Hoodlums who are destroyed.  These include a metallic suit that allow him to bust through doors and a rocket suit that lets him fire guided missiles through portals.  These prove useful over the course of his journey.

And the story isn’t bad either.  Taking a break from the usual journeys, Hoodlum Havoc pits Rayman against Andre, a good Lum turned bad who wants to overtake the world with his army of Hoodlums.  But he’s accidentally digested by Globox, Rayman’s dimwitted friend, and spends a good portion of the game making him miserable while our limbless hero tries to save him.  It’s an interesting turn of events from the usual grand scale of Rayman games.

But, honestly, the game does take some missteps when it comes to presentation.  The first notable factor of this is the audio.  Rayman 3 is loaded with so much rapid-fire dialogue that jokes are easily missed, and things don’t make sense.  While Ubisoft did go out of their way to add stars like Billy West (“Futurama”) and John Leguizamo (who makes an interesting Globox), the dialogue just flies by way too quickly to comprehend it all.  (And whoever voiced Rayman is uninspired and way too typecast.)  What’s worse, Ubisoft didn’t adjust the volume, so sometimes it’s hard to hear what anyone’s saying.  At least the music is pretty good, though we prefer the tunes of Rayman 2.
The HD re-master does no harm to the consumer, yet some curmudgeonly part of me still feels that they’re little more than a money grab for publishers. Curmudgeon Cat might not be entirely wrong, but I think I’m being entirely too cynical if that were the only reason that publishers would want top bring them to the market.

My qualms about HD re-masters aside, Ubisoft’s latest HD revival is Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, no doubt brought back in order to celebrate and capitalize on Rayman Origins’s launch on PS3, Wii, 360, and Vita and its upcoming launch on the PC and 3DS.

I’ve seen some great work in HD re-masters in terms of polishing and updating how a game looks without tampering with the feel. Just Add Water’s Stranger’s Wrath HD polish is an example of just how good an HD re-release can be. Unfortunately, my experience with Ubisoft-published remasters haven’t been quite as positive. The Splinter Cell trilogy re-releases were hardly touched, only having the games’ resolutions pumped up to suit 720p, so that you can play on your TV screens without your eyes bleeding. Rayman 3 didn’t quite suffer from the same issues that the Splinter Cell trilogy did. The HD re-release looks wonderfully sharp and the colors are vivid on my TV. Rayman 3 has managed to retain its youthful good looks or, rather, has managed to avoid looking dated simply because of the game’s amazing art direction and stylized graphics.

As soon as the initial pleasure from the nostalgia of playing Rayman 3 dissipated, it became painfully obvious how dated the game is. Rayman 3 made itself unique from the other Rayman games by trying to show off how cool and hip it was, telling jokes, poking fun and exhibiting self-awareness that it’s a Rayman game. The jokes might’ve been funny a decade ago, but the entire “self-awareness” act is now just a tired trope and stale.

The game’s mechanics don’t do Rayman 3 any favors either. As I was playing through the game, I realized how much more patient I was in the past as a gamer, and just how much frustration I could put up with in a game. As with most platformers, Rayman 3 involves collecting items for unexplained reasons. You just collect the red glowing orbs for health and the yellow gems because the game tallies your score for it at the end. The gamified bits certainly aren’t a bad thing. You really don’t need story in order to try and justify every part of the game, especially when it’s stretched as thin as the one in Rayman 3.

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