Rayman Legends doesn’t have to be about Rayman

, | Games

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.