Rayman 3D • Page 2

Back to the future. 

The game is up to its eyeballs in character and delightfully French, but it also has a camera that was awkward even in the old days. You have to use Rayman's first-person view an awful lot to grasp the layout of the levels or see where the next platform might be.

It's largely because of this camera that the 3D effect doesn't really work. Having the inside of a polygon jump out at your face because the camera got stuck on a wall is even more jarring in 3D, and things are constantly getting in your way at the forefront of the screen.

I lasted about ten minutes before wanting to turn the thing off. It's further evidence that games need to be designed for 3D – retroactively imposing the effect doesn't ever work very well.

There's something weird going on with the sound, too. Changes in music are triggered when an robot pirate appears or something else exciting happens, but it doesn't change back when you die.

Sometimes it cuts out abruptly at odd moments. In the absence of music or ambient sound there's a horrible buzzing noise. It's one thing that the original game's problems still endure, but these technical inadequacies are inexcusable.

Rayman 3D undoubtedly presents a tough challenge. It's difficult in ways that games just aren't any more, especially when you get into the second half. Some of that is down to the camera and other mechanical obstacles, but mostly it's about the level design; this game is not afraid to make you swear and try again.

2
No.2: if you leave him alone for long enough, he starts bouncing his floating body around like a basketball.

Our hero has infinite lives and the checkpointing is fair, if not forgiving. It assumes you won't give up the second it shows its teeth, as so many publishers sadly believe today.

Playing Rayman 3D reminds you that working around a game's quirks used to be fun. There's a bit in the most infuriating level, the Sanctuary of Stone and Fire, where you have to ride a bouncing plum down a lava flow by shooting in the opposite direction from the one you want to go in. But the camera is positioned behind Rayman, so it's literally impossible to see where the hell you're headed.

It's infuriating to the point where you feel like snapping the 3DS in half, but there's still a real sense of masochistic achievement in beating the stupid broken thing. I even had a slight nostalgic thrill when I found a bug and Rayman dropped through the floor and into nothingness – you NEVER see that anymore.

That's not to say it has any place in a game released in 2011, or to make excuses for this one's faults. However, if you were around for 3D platforming's nascent years, you'll probably enjoy Rayman 3D more than you strictly should.

Rayman 3D is an artefact. It's completely anachronistic in today's world. If you speak its dying language, there is still fun to be had in this surreal, angular, polygonal universe. But this is a 12 year-old game being marketed as a new experience, and that sort of thing really ought to be discouraged.

5 /10

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About the author

Keza MacDonald

Keza MacDonald

Contributor

Keza is the Guardian's video games editor. Previously she has been the UK editor for Kotaku and IGN, and a Eurogamer contributor.

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