13 Reviews

Rayman Origins Vita review: A neglected classic finds its home

Michel Ancel's underrated platformer makes more sense than ever on PS Vita.

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The difficulty level doesn't breed frustration too often, though: Rayman Origins is pretty good at telegraphing what you need to do, so if you can't do it, that's invariably due to your own lack of dexterity. Any true platform game aficionado will tell you that there's no satisfaction in performing tasks that are too easy, and Rayman Origins constantly reminds you of that fact, by sticking you in tricky situations that generate a warm glow when you overcome them.

Wisely, Rayman Origins mainly eschews the PS Vita's bells and whistles, completely ignoring the motion-sensing and the rear touch-pad. You can play through the whole game, indeed, using just the X and square buttons, plus the left analogue stick. Which servers to emphasise its purist platform-game credentials.


However, there are two, quite useful, ways in which it makes use of the touch-screen. The first addresses something that occasionally proved to be a problem with the console versions of the game: you can do a classic iPad-style pinch-move to zoom in or out. Which, occasionally, comes in handy.

And sometimes, when you kill a wave of enemies or brush against a plant, you release bubbles containing several Lums, the game's collectible currency. On the PS Vita, you don't have to run these over - you can just touch them. Which is also handy, since they have a tendency to float off the screen. The game's curious currency system also adds replay value.

There are hidden cages, guarded by various (usually trickily arranged) enemies to find, each of which contains an Electoon (which is basically a pink blob with a smiley face). When you finish each stage, you get another Electoon for that, and if you collect sufficient Lums, you can get as many as two extra Electoons. Hitting Electoon milestones opens locked levels within areas, as well as the new areas themselves.

You simply won't find a better-crafted example of the old-fashioned art of platform gaming than Rayman Origins - it's up there with the finest of Miyamoto's creations. Given that it was largely ignored when it came out late in 2011, that makes it a true hidden gem - one for the gaming cognoscenti.

And it seems to make particularly good sense on the PS Vita, where its looks and gameplay are in no way inferior to the looks and gameplay of the console versions, and you can carry it around with you, dipping in for a short period at will. If you fancy yourself as a gamer of above-average sussedness, then get a copy, and bask in your self-satisfaction.

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The verdict

Nothing less than a truly classic slab of platform action: Michel Ancel's neglected opus fits perfectly on the PS Vita.

  • Surreal, tactile hilarious and never repetitive
  • Hard, just as a platformer should be
  • Makes judicious, not gratuitous, use of the PS Vita's special abilities
  • The music can get annoying after a while
  • Probably not the coolest game to be seen playing in public
PlayStation Vita