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Ah, Rayman. This nerd has quite the love for the little armless hero. Not quite 17 years ago, when the first Rayman game was released, it was a gorgeous, hard-as-nails 2D platform game in the vein of the Mario games. It was wonderful, hard, - infuriating at times, and absolutely gorgeous to look at. 

So, does Rayman Origins pick up the gauntlet left many, many years ago by our eponymous hero?  Find out, after the break!
Rayman games have rather missed the boat since its inception in 1995. While the original was, and still is an utter classic, subsequent versions just went off the deep end. Rayman 2 went 3D which removed so much of the charm of the first, and since then it's been spin-off after spin-off... Where oh where has my Rayman gone?

Well, he's back. Finally. Rayman Origins is the best platformer in years, and in absolutely glorious hand-drawn 2D. It's staggeringly beautiful, and, best of all, the oft infuriation from the original has been tossed out the window. There are no lives to lose; you can't actually die permanently at any point. Worst case scenario you need to restart from the beginning of a "scene" (every level is made up of these scenes). At most you'll have to replay a minute or two. 

Sixty levels make up the game, with collectible secrets and goals for each level. The Vita version adds hidden "relics" that can be found on each stage, as well as a "ghost mode" for those of you who think you're fast. In this mode you can race against other people's fastest times at clearing a stage. Of course, by playing this mode you won't be able to take in the fantastic graphics. It really can't be overstated how beautiful this game is. 


Yes, it looks pretty random, but it's just fabulous. Really it is. The audio, too, is just as lovely as the visuals, with quirky sound effects and addictive tunes that accompany each level. The underwater level theme is a highlight, and makes this nerd smile every time.

But, alas, not all is roses with this portable version. One of the great features of its TV-side console brethren is the addition of multiplayer. Not any old multiplayer, either , but one of the best example of couch-cooperative gameplay we've ever seen in a platform game. It works so, so well. No frustration, no competition, and much fewer yelling matches at your gaming partner for being... well... crap. Sadly, the Vita version doesn't feature any WiFi (local or otherwise) cooperative modes. Boo. 

The only other downside is a few framerate issues. While few and far between, they are certainly there, especially on the loading screens, though in-game can get a little jerky, too. However, don't let that detract from what is an absolutely glorious portable experience. The Vita's tremendous d-pad lends itself perfectly to this type of gameplay, and the graphics positively shine on the OLED display. We honestly can't recommend this game highly enough.

We award Rayman: Origins a stonkingly great four and a half nerds. Welcome back, Rayman!

Amazon link below!
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Worst case scenario you need to restart from the beginning of a "scene" (every level is made up of these scenes). At most you'll have to replay a minute or two.

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