A side-scroll sen­sa­tion

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Ray­man Ori­gins From: Ubisoft For: Mul­ti­plat­form RRP: $ 100 Clas­si­fi­ca­tion: G Score:

Ray­man Ori­gins could be one of the sleeper hits of 2011.

It’s a side-scrolling game plat­former fea­tur­ing one of game de­signer Michael An­cel’s most loved char­ac­ters, Ray­man (a char­ac­ter that has a body, hands and feet but no arms or legs).

Ori­gins harks back to the se­ries’ be­gin­nings and sees Ray­man hav­ing to free elec­toons (pink things) and nymphs from the evil dark­toons and other nas­ties that have been set free by a grumpy granny who lives in the un­der­world be­neath the Glade of Dreams where Ray­man and his friend, Globox, live.

Ori­gins sees Ray­man bo­ing- ing, bounc­ing and smash­ing his way through a va­ri­ety of en­vi­ron­ments, avoid­ing dan­ger­ous ob­sta­cles, grumpy old men with walk­ing sticks (who in­flate like a bal­loon when jumped on) and skele­tal hands that live at the bot­tom of water­ways.

As Ray­man pro­gresses through the game world, his skills in­crease and he’s able to glide in mid-air, run up walls and shrink. The game also has four player co-op and other play­ers can jump in and jump out when­ever they like, and you also get to play as one of Ray­man’s pals, with each one un­locked as you progress.

One of the most strik­ing things about Ray­man Ori­gins is the stun­ning art style: it al­most looks hand-drawn, with vi­brant colours, lush worlds to visit and whim­si­cal touches. Ray­man has to punch eye­balls guard­ing doors to progress to the next point. And the piv­ots he uses to swing over chasms ex­tend arms to help him.

But it’s also a game where pre­ci­sion is needed when jump­ing from plat­form to plat­form – other­wise you’ll find your­self land­ing on top of some­thing with spikes or pinched by the spindly hands at the bot­tom of water­ways, caus­ing Ray­man to blow up like a bal­loon then ex­plode. Thank­fully, Ray­man has plenty of lives be­cause you’ll miss jumps umpteen times.

Thanks to the co-op­er­a­tive play Ray­man Ori­gins is great fun played with friends and, se­ri­ously, if you’re a fan of sidescrollers and want to play one of this gen­er­a­tion’s best, play Ray­man Ori­gins. You won’t be dis­ap­pointed.

Ray­man Ori­gins: One of this gen­er­a­tion’s best side-scroll games.

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