Rayman 2: Revolution Review
Rayman is and always will be one of the most recognized videogame characters. It's not daily when you see a limbless character running around colorful areas, and getting rid of nasty enemies. Rayman is certainly the most unique videogame mascot ever, screw the fat plumber, enough with the hedgehog, and no more bandicoots. A limbless hero is all we need. UbiSoft has enjoyed tremendous success with the Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, PC and PSOne versions, the reviews were all high and positive. All four versions of Rayman 2 had positive reviews, and having complete both the Dreamcast and PSOne versions, there really is no argument as to whether or not the game deserves them. The only version of Rayman 2 to draw the best gameplay scenario of the game was the PSOne version, primarily because of the voice acting. Even though the game was cut back slightly in terms of replay value, the PSOne version of Rayman shined like a beaming light. The PS2 version is no different. With stunning visuals, slightly changed gameplay and voice acting, Rayman 2 arrives on the PS2, and it's easily the best version of the bunch.
The graphics are more detailed in the PS2 version than the Dreamcast version. The textures look much sharper and cleaner, while the character detail features even more polygons than before. For starters, this being an adventure game and all, the environments are absolutely gorgeous. The selected color palette for each level is without a doubt the best I've seen since Super Mario 64. The levels light up almost as if they were a Picasso painting, the sheer level of detail is overwhelming. Each stage can consist of dozens of different textures, such as one whole tree with vines on it, or mushrooms or switches or just plain old walls, the point is that to date Rayman 2 has the best and most innovative level design. On top of that, they also look absolutely stunning.
As if the DC and PC versions weren't good looking enough, the PS2 version makes a pretty game even prettier. The character detail is fantastic, Rayman looks almost as if he was a Toy Story character. His facial detail is excellent as well, we have a few side shots of him showing off his cheeks and cheek bones. Cheek bones, how cool is that? Rayman's facial animation is top-notch as well, his vocal reactions match well to his facial reaction, something like that takes some good effort. Rayman 2 is pretty much a flawless visual package, it got no draw-in, no slowdown, and no grainy textures. Instead the game offers some of the cleanest character models, best looking and most innovative stage design, viva la revolution!
The PS2 version of Rayman 2 is much different than the Dreamcast version. While the stages are identical, the gameplay and the stage select portion have been changed. On the DC version, Rayman would walk across a plain in order to get to the next stage. In the PS2 version, Rayman finds his way to a stage through a forest like area, he navigates it a lot like Mario did the castle in Mario 64. There are signs on where to go and whatnot, its different, nothing like the DC version. The beginning of the game starts out almost similar, but Rayman isn't able to shoot energy balls for about 10 minutes of the game. Instead he has to punch his way around, in order to regain power Rayman has to find a friend of the fairies, finding the first will give you a normal shot (gray energy spheres), finding ten of them will allow you to access a secret stage.
Eventually you will power up your shot with the help of the Teensies, four little guys who guide Rayman along his journey. Your mission in the beginning of the game is to find your good pal Globox, and free Ly from a force of energy surrounding her. But Rayman will then focus on defeating Razorbeard. As Rayman you will be able to jump, shoot, solve puzzles, save the 1000 lums, defeat enemies, swim, and even climb walls. Rayman is indeed a very skilled character, yes he is, and his adventure consists of nearly 30 hours of gameplay, if not more. Gamers who loved Mario 64 when it was released, owe it to themselves to pick up Rayman 2: Revolution, this baby is it! You won't find a better platform/adventure game for a very long time.
Let's put it this way, if UbiSoft ever decides to make a Rayman animated movie, they better use the same voices as used in the game. Rayman 2 has some of the best voice acting in an adventure game, not since Ape Escape can I remember when I heard voice acting of this caliber. Rayman and all of his companions sound exactly like they should, the voices are perfectly fit, and reaction times feature absolutely no hesitation, no wonder the game uses a DVD-Rom. To this day, I still can not get over Mario 64's addictive tunes, and Rayman 2 has cast the same spell on me. The game's audio is brilliant, the tunes are well done and believe me when I tell you, they won't be forgotten any time soon. The soundtrack and voice acting each act together flawlessly, this is about as it good as it gets for an adventure game.
The one thing that many adventure titles seem to greatly suffer from are terrible camera angles. We know Super Mario 64 had them, and we all should know that Sonic Adventure had them, but surprisingly enough Rayman 2 doesn't. Rayman 2 features the most consistent camera control in ages, you can rotate the camera yourself or with the touch of a button set it behind you automatically. Controlling in general is just as easy as it could get, the analog sticks work well, and the left one has very good sensitivity for movement. Rayman 2's control is top notch, it takes little to no time to get used to it, I just wish that the Dual Shock was used a bit more.
After completing the PSOne, PS2, and Dreamcast versions of Rayman 2, I can honestly say that along with Ape Escape, this is the greatest adventure game on any console to date. You won't find anything better on any console. Rayman 2: Revolution features incredibly lush, vivid and bright visuals that make this game come to life, the gameplay is challenging in many parts, and yet irresistible. And the voice acting feels like something straight out of a Disney flick. Make sure you go out and buy Rayman 2: Revolution, it deserves your attention, especially if you love adventure games.
4/8/2001 Arnold Katayev