Rayman Legends is a “hey, come in here and look at this!” game. It constantly surprises and delights. It coaxes forth smiles. It’s alive and generous, full of movement and joy and landscapes like paintings instead of landscapes like videogames. You discover a hidden area and an invisible audience murmurs “ooh!” in admiration. You slice your way through cakes. You explore a steampuckish undersea city. A fat dragon like a bumblebee or an eager dog flaps clumsily after you. You jump off a raft and slip under the water into an impossible kaleidoscope of little fishes. As if that’s not thrilling enough, they then start singing to you. With your feet on the air and your head on the ground.
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One of my favorite things about Rayman Legends, and the Rayman series in general, is that it’s not so in love with its weird little mascot that it’s going to rub my face in it constantly. As a character design, I don’t really get Rayman. Why is he missing his limbs? Why do his extremities float in midair? What is he? A dog? He looks like a dog. Why is he so cheerful? I don’t think I trust him. He seems to want something from me, like he’s about to ask if he can crash at my place for a while. Granted, it could be worse. He’s no Mario. I can’t stand that guy. I’d rather have playable Donald Trump in a platformer. Rayman is only in the Jak and Daxter range on the “look, I just don’t like you” scale.
So I love that the Rayman games pretty much let me play whomever I want. Teensies with their diminutive stature and exaggerated honkers are who I want to play. What I like about being a teensy — Goth Teensy, of couse, because the goth perfectly offsets the precious — is that it creates a narrative of self-determination in the Rayman world. Instead of a weird limbless dog-thing or a fat Grimace wanna-be liberating the teensies from captivity and restoring teensy royalty to its rightful place, a teensy is freeing his own people. That’s the political message of Rayman.
Okay, not really. I just think they’re pretty darn cute. They’re like a more bulbous version of the spies in Spy vs Spy.
Rayman Legends is out this week. If the sequel to Rayman Origins is half as good as Rayman Origins, platformer fans will have another must-have. However, if it doesn’t have a playable Goth Teensy, I will freak the flip out.
Now that the Total War games got really good with the last Shogun, I’m eager to see how Rome II has turned out. If you know any of the following words, you’re probably as eager as I am: hastati, principe, triarii, peltast, velite, onager, flammable pigs.
As you can see from our daily updates, Diablo III: The Living Room Edition is available now for your latest-gen console of choice that isn’t a Wii U.
Outlast is an indie found-footage horror game for the PC that isn’t very good unless you’re into jump scares. Here is the impromptu review I let slip at the first jump scare: “Oh god! JEE-sus Christ…”
Sega releases an updated Mickey Mouse platformer that only needs to clear the modest bar set by Capcom’s Donald Duck platformer from a few weeks back.