A relatively new member to this wiki.
-I'm currently 15, a sophomore in high school. -My major interests include classical music, writing, and games.
I was introduced to the Rayman series with, of all the games possible, Jungle Run on iOS (I do have foggy memories of seeing Rayman 3 as a child, but at the time, I never thought much of it.) Jungle Run, being an iOS game, was designed around the concept of the impulse buy, which is what I did- the countless awards and Apple's Game of the year award helped the decision to tap the buy button. As it turned out, the game was surprisingly polished and enjoyable compared to most iOS games, with none of the IAP, monetization, and social nonsense that pervaded the rest of the games on the platform. For a few months, it earned a place in my iPod's dock as one of my 4 most-used apps, while I tried to collect all 3600 lums and chase my times in the Land of the Livid Dead. I finished the game completely, and it seemed there was nothing else to do, but the seed had been planted.
Next up, I found out about Rayman 2: The Great Escape. I had heard about it before; I was searching Youtube for examples of sinister, creepy video game music, and one entry in a playlist was the Tomb of the Ancients, non-N64 version. I don't know what it was that caused me to remember that game particularly, but it stuck in my mind, and I resolved to play it some day. I think part of it was the fact that the game had garnered nearly universal praise. I tend to remember games that do that. I searched for "Rayman" on the App Store again, and lo and behold, Gameloft's really, really old 2010 port of Rayman 2 popped up. It seemed rather shady to me, because the port was just so old, and wasn't optimized for current devices at all- no retina support, let alone iPad or 4" display support. But a game's graphics don't matter much to me in the way of enjoyment, so I steeled up and got it.
The game blew me away.
Here at last was the 3D platformer perfected. The music, the Glade of Dreams, the surreal, yet slightly dark nature of the environments, the physics, the gameplay... it all came together into something that really transcended just being a game on a phone. Not even the touch controls, which admittedly were wonky at times, deterred me from playing through the entire thing and finding about 95% of the lums (still haven't found the rest yet, and I refuse to defer to a guide). I understood why people considered the game one of the best of all time, and I was hooked.
Finally I decided to play games on a proper console: namely, my computer. I attempted to buy Rayman 2 for it, but since it runs x64 Windows 7, I couldn't get it to work (and GOG's store didn't accept my card for some reason). So I went to Amazon and bought Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, which did run properly on my computer. Rayman 3, the game I had seen somewhere before, gave me a strange sense of deja vu in that I seemed to know where everything was, even though I was actually exploring each area for the first time. It's the strangest feeling. Overall, I enjoyed the game for its more refined gameplay and characterization, though slightly less than the wonder that Rayman 2 exuded.
I decided to explore the new 2011 2D reboot of the series, which had been produced and made recently, and garnered rave reviews. I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. So I played Rayman Origins. It was very easy to see what those people were talking about. The slapstick cartoon graphics were amazing, and a testament to the place 2D gaming holds in the modern age of ultra-realistic 3D graphics. Like many reviewers mentioned, there was a certain charm and unpredictability to the game that just constantly kept me coming back and playing more. I loved the level design, especially the treasure chest chases, which were scripted in a way that made completion feel awesome. I decided to buy the upcoming Legends.
So far, Legends has been even better. I think of it like Super Mario Galaxy 2 was to the original Galaxy: subtle stylic improvements that enhance the experience. Legends, while ditching the plotline almost entirely, features so much stuff that I easily got my money's worth. The Daily Challenges are surprisingly compelling, me being someone who rarely uses online features in games. The level design, and the environments, felt more engaging and intuitive than Origins, partly because of the enhanced lighting system, new art style, and music. The environments are inspired.
Now, I'm working on Origins on the Wii, the GBA port of the original Rayman, and Legends on my PC, along with Fiesta Run on my iPod. 2D Rayman is new to me, but just as much fun as the 3D games. I do wish Ubisoft would at least consider reviving 3D Rayman, which they nearly did with Rayman 4, which unfortunately turned into the Rabbids series, which I honestly detest for causing a drought of Rayman games for several years.