The 90's was a proper paradise for platform heroes. There was a ton of different characters leaping about, and gamers were treated to numerous classics. Apart from the obvious Mario games I also fell for Spyro, Crash and Gex, but for some reason I never found time for Rayman back in the day.
It's a good thing then that Ubisoft have re-issued Rayman 2: The Great Escape on many occasions since its original release. I have played both the Nintendo DS and iPhone editions of the game, not all the way to the end, and I blame control issues for that, but nevertheless I've played the game plenty.
They say third time's a charm (for some it may be the fifth time), and everything is just like I remember. My first thought is that it looks exactly like the Nintendo DS version, but with some added 3D touch, I feel the urge to complain. I've already played this game on a device that looks very similar to the Nintendo 3DS. The biggest difference is that I control Rayman with the analogue pad instead of a d-pad.
Recycling is not necessarily a bad thing, and the second Rayman game is at its core a great game. My hunt for yellow lums and magic masks takes place through beautiful levels and the platforming is of the highest calibre. Rayman swings through the air, ride the waves behind a sea monster and sock it to one or two robots along the way.
The 3D effects works fine, and they give the player a sense of depth to the visuals. It seems to make it easier to judge distances and lets me calculate my jumps better (or is it just my prior knowledge?). The game engine could have done with some updates, and I notice drops in the framerate on several occasions even if there isn't a lot happening on screen. I've tried turning of the 3D effects when this happens, but it doesn't seem to be an issue related to the 3D.
The camera is unfortunately not your friend, and it always seems to want to make it hard on you. Sure you can use the L-trigger to centre it, but it's only temporary help as the camera soon goes off on its own again.
The poor camera is coupled with controls that also leave a lot to be desired. The analogue controls are better than the digital d-pad on iPhone and the absolutely horrible integration of the d-pad controls on Nintendo DS. But it's still a bit imprecise, and Rayman doesn't always do as you wish.
The first couple of levels offer us a decent soundtrack. The music is good, but at times it chooses to stop and start from the beginning, or play a new tune for a couple of seconds and then revert to the previous track. It gets annoying quickly, and is a good reason to turn off the sound completely.
Rayman 3D comes across as a rather lukewarm release title in many ways. The game has a lot of annoyances, and perhaps it's a case of one too many re-issues. But if you've never played Rayman 2: The Great Escape, it could still be worth a try as it's a great adventure to begin with.