Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition (Switch) Review
Rayman Legends is a really well made, gorgeous and incredibly fun game. That much has been true since the original release in 2013. And Rayman Legends Definitive Edition has everything the original had, plus a few bonuses, making this version the best way to play Rayman Legends, either at home on the TV, or out and about. So the majority of this review will be from the perspective of somebody only just getting into Rayman Legends now, but if you want to know if it’s worth the double dip on Switch if you’ve already played it, I’ll put my thoughts on that near the end!
So if you don’t know anything about Rayman Legends, it’s pretty easy to summarise- a very fluid platformer, with a huge amount of levels and activities to play in, each with their own secrets and goals within. So straight up, if you’re after a good single player game with a very satisfying measured progression, you can probably stop reading and get it. If you’re still on the fence here, I’ll get into how it all works a bit more.
Each level is fairly straightforward, with a different gameplay mechanic taking the spotlight for the level, which can be anything from shrinking Rayman, gliding through a level while ‘shooting’ punches, or navigating through bites taken out of giant blocks of cake. There are simply too many gameplay gimmicks for me to list, but thankfully, everything makes sense and is easy to grasp quickly, thanks to a fantastic art style and imaginative cues.
As you’d expect, you beat the level by just getting to the end. But your performance in the level is dictated by two things- captured Teensies to rescue, and Lums, which is the game’s equivalent to coins. There are 10 Teensies in most levels, with two of them being royal Teensies, which are hidden in their own separate puzzle rooms. Then each level measures Lums gathered, with different thresholds for bronze, silver, and gold. There’s a threshold for lucky tickets as well, which can be scratched for a variety of prizes, including ported levels from Rayman Origins.
Playing through these levels, trying to rescue all the Teensies and collect all the Lums is where the longevity comes from, with most levels not offering a huge challenge, but a select few definitely wanting a few tries to 100%. The game rarely feels unfair, with deaths not being punished beyond a checkpoint restart. Deaths are tracked on your profile page, but you’re not penalised for deaths in levels that require a lot of restarts or tricky moments. It’s so refreshing to play a game without the fear of in-game death affecting your nerves! But by the same token, there’s no bonus or recognition for playing a flawless level, other than self-satisfaction.
The weird thing to see come back is the character Murphy, who was the character that performed your touch screen actions on the Wii U gamepad originally. Now when he shows up, a lot of his functions are a simple tap of the A button, hoping he’s in the right place when you push it (he jumps around sometimes). That said, there’s a section of the game that’s based entirely around the original Wii U gameplay, bringing back Murphy centric levels with an AI controlled Globox taking the place of Rayman, while you tap and swipe ropes and blocks to get him to the finish.
The game also features daily and weekly challenges, giving you a chance to try to get the fastest time, or get the furthest in a level, or collect the most Lums, etc. while ranking your attempt against others in the world. It’s a very mobile game thing, but it works really well with the style of gameplay. This part of the game probably offers the biggest challenge to overcome, with your score being ranked up against other actual people. I’m not usually a fan of leaderboards, but I did find myself coming back to this section to see how my skills stacked up.
The art style of Rayman Legends is just spectacular, as well. It’s not often where a game’s mechanics merge so well with the art style, with all of the new things thrown at you in each level making sense at a glance. My favourite is using Murphy to eat giant chunks of cake to make tunnels for Rayman to run through, in a giant Mexican party themed world. And each world has their own distinct style to them, with their own enemies and music and obstacles.
So if you’ve played the game before, everything I said is nothing particularly new. The game is still as good now as it was back in 2013, so why would you double dip? And honestly, the ‘new’ features might not be enough for you. There’s every character skin from different releases here, all in one box, and there are the touch screen functions available for undocked usage. The Kung Foot multiplayer function has been upgraded as well. But overall, it’s hard to justify a $60 re-release if you already played it on Wii U or something else. It’s such a great game, and the handheld part of it is really cool, but you’d just be playing the same thing.
That said if you haven’t played Rayman Legends at all, or even a Rayman game at all, this is a fantastic jumping on point. It’s gorgeous, the gameplay is fluid, and the progression is so satisfying. This is definitely the best way to play the game, and I can’t recommend it enough!
- Great Visual
- Great for portability
- Not much new stuff if you've already played it