Review by n fan
Better than Rayman 2 and Mario Sunshine?
When a platformer appears on a Nintendo-console, and it isn't Mario, the chance is that it will get less hype than it deserves, and a platformer that isn't exclusive for the console isn't exactly what everyone is talking about. That's very unfortunate, as the N64-version of Rayman 2 found itself in that situation, being forgotten among big names like Banjo Kazooie/Tooie, Donkey Kong 64 and of course, Mario 64. Gamecube is currently not in the N64's league when it comes to the selection of quality-platformers, but that didn't help Rayman 3 much, as Mario Sunshine was one of the few quality-platformers available. No hype, then. But how does it compare with Mario's game quality-wise? Quite well, I would say.
Graphics: Rayman's games usually have its graphics among its greatest strengths, and of course, this is not an exception. Sharp it is, very smoothly it moves, and the characters look great. Where it really is in a league of its own is the stunning variation the levels boast visually, and how colorful the whole thing is, it just looks so pretty, so beautiful. Not quite as jawdropping as games like Metroid Prime and Starfox Adventures, but still among the absolute elite of Gamecube's games visually: 9.5/10
Sound/Music: There certainly is a satisfying selection of different tunes featuring in here, some of them which I like, some of them which I forgott after 5 minutes. The sound-effects are what you could expect of a good Gamecube-game, nothing that blows you to Mars, but does what it should quite nicely. The voices in the game are, eh, at certain points they work well, other times they are just annoying, and I wouldn't have minded if the next Rayman game didn't feature such voice-acting: 7/10
Gameplay: Here the game is better than Rayman 2 in some ways, worse in others. In areas like control and camera, I would actually say that it in Rayman 2 was better, here you feel less in control, even though it is better than in many other games. The level-design is variable, inferior to that in Rayman 2, but not at all bad. However, some new items are a welcome addition to the experience, and the things that made Rayman 2 so fun are not forgotten. The battles are very enjoyable, and boss-battles are pretty frequent, and very fun, lots of neat mini-games to try, the variation in the levels almost couldn't be better, and the number of different challenges is simply impressive. Speaking of challenge, the game is easy to complete, but completing it 100% is quite another thing, so don't complain about the game being easy before doing that: 9/10
Lifespan: Took me a good while longer to complete this than Rayman 2, but it isn't exactly a Final Fantasy length-wise. Still, with lots of things to unlock, you certainly have enough to do, and completing the game 100% is a challenge that isn't done in an hour's time. Also, the replay-value is good enough for me to want to return to the game, and more importantly, enjoy doing it: 8.5/10
To Rent or to Buy or to Run Away From:
Certainly this is a game I recommend you to buy, not far behind Mario Sunshine, and I would consider it to be the second-best platformer on the Gamecube. It doesn't quite match Rayman 2's gameplay, but the fact is that this game offers a brilliant experience, and if you buy it, you get a game that's not only among the best-looking Gamecube games, but also among the most fun games it offers. Not perfect, but what game is? ''Buy it'' is an advice I consider to be good.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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