Review by CKY2KWC

Reviewed: 08/31/03

Finally, a true successor to Rayman 2

Next to Batman, Rayman is one of my all time favorite characters. I currently own all of his games except the ''brain games'' which i will eventually pick up just because its Rayman. Playing through all those games gave me a real sense of what Rayman is all about. Lush graphics, great music, and an ingenious control system. I am thankful to report that these elements are all present and accounted for, however toned down they may be. Nonetheless, here is the review:

To say these graphics raise the benchmark for the Gamecube would be an understatement. Everything you would expect from a Rayman title is here in strides. I always remember the series for its jungle-like settings but other levels are greatly designed as well such as the snow level and the pirate ship. The only reason i dont give these a 10 is because some of the textures may look a bit muddy at times
but I give you my solemn swear it does not deter from the experience. Oh how could i forget the surfing in between levels. The lighting and backgrounds are so colorful and well used that it can make grown men cry. Overall you would be hard pressed to find graphics this detailed without slowdown or generally any problems.

As i said before, Rayman, to me, is renowned for its beautifully crafted music, and while this installment in the series does not disappoint, it doesn't do much for me either. I'm STILL waiting for an update of the original Rayman theme from Rayman 1. Man, that is some beautiful music. I liked the theme from The Summit Beyond the Mountains. Very peaceful and such. Some of the other themes are too repetitive and hardcore tribal for me. I can't name any specific levels off the bat, but i do remember that the overall quality of the music and sound effect was clean and clear with Dolby on its side, but the music needs an new twist.

This installment of Rayman offers a few new handy features. One is a lookaround mode which enables you to go into first-person mode to check out your surroundings. This is good because some of the camera angles dont allow you to get a full view of your surroundings. Another ability you gain is to turn black lums into red lums for health. A bit of nostalgia was employed here because Rayman makes his goofy face just like he does in the original side scroller. I commend Ubi Soft for doing this. Although the story might be a tad too convoluted for my tastes, it gets the job done by establishing an overall well plot and a somewhat decent story is all you can ask for in a game these days these days. It may not be as epic as the likes of Metal Gear Solid, but then again, what is? Also, this game suffers the curse of the platformer, the camera angles. Although a button is provided to recenter the camera behind you, sometimes it is at a fixed angle or it gets stuck on objects. One day the platformer will be rid of this problem and we will all live hapilly ever after. The final and most noticeable change is now Rayman can lock onto his targets and hit them from different angles. This makes for new puzzles and better ways to penetrate the enemy's defense.

In conclusion, if you have beat Mario Sunshine or any other platformer (there are tons) then Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc is the wise choice to buy. I recommend picking up
Rayman 2: The Great Escape for your N64 or (preferrably) Dreamcast. Hoodlum Havoc is a solid platformer that offers a challenging lenghty quest, and tons of bonus features that anyone in their right mind would be crazy not to give it a try.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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