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Rayman Legends PS Vita Review

by on September 5, 2013
 

If you haven’t already read our Rayman Legends review, or if you’ve been living under a rock, there’s a chance you may not yet know that it’s a wonderful, glorious platformer, full of exciting level design and colourful, cheeky, funny characters. Unfortunately, that’s my superlatives count for any given review used up in the opening paragraph, so from here on out, it’s cold hard facts.

This review is specific to the PS Vita version of Rayman Legends, for the original Xbox 360 review, click here.

Right away, it’s worth mentioning that, when all is said and done, this is the same game that you’ve played on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, but is also closer to the Wii U version. It looks and sounds as stunning as all the other versions (PC aside, which is obviously 1080p and incredible looking), and sections that make use of the 3D planes seem to pop even more than the home console counterparts.

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As you expect, Legends makes full use of the Vita’s additional input methods. What this means is that you are going to be using the touch screen to control Murfy for certain levels, so control will be taken away from you in terms of the platform elements. This can lead to frustration, but it also adds a layer of difficulty. Without directly controlling Globox, he’ll saunter along for the most part, only running when need be. Whereas you could just search out the hidden Teensies yourself, you are either relying on a keen eye or prior knowledge of a level to find it, and if you do miss it – and the hidden doors are a particular bugger to direct him to, sometimes – the only way to go back is to trick Globox into dying, or play the level again. Occasionally he’ll miss a jump, too, which is frustrating.

With the hidden doors, there are often new mechanics such as getting Murfy to rotate platforms, and this is all done via the motion controls of the Vita. These work fine, too, but I encountered a few sections where the alignment required was precise, unlike, say, if you were in control of the character yourself and could just move on, or jump. It’s all about preferences, and I preferred controlling the platforming character whilst tapping the B (or circle) button to activate Murfy.

Of course, being on the Vita means that the local multiplayer you’d expect to find in the other versions isn’t present. It is possible to do LAN multiplayer, but as you’d imagine, the chances of most people experiencing this are few and far between. There are also less Teensies to collect. In the other versions there are 700 (maximum per level is 10), but in this version there are 615, with the Invaded levels missing. This actually makes it easier to 100% the game, as the Invaded levels were some of the toughest levels going on the Xbox 360. There’s still a healthy amount of content though, and there are actually 5 Vita-exclusive Murfy levels unlocked after you collect the first 100 Teensies.

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Murfy’s Challenges are fun, but they are unlocked in increments. So although 100 Teensies will open up the main painting to let you play the first one, after that you’ll need 145, then 205, then 270, and finally 320. Of course, playing through the game you’ll probably get these anyway, and you’ll want to get 400 at least, so you can unlock the final “Land of the Livid Dead” painting. As you complete these new levels, there are a few additional unlockable characters that I don’t believe appear in other versions of the game;, for example, Globox Cell, a Splinter Cell version of Globox who thinks he’s invisible, but obviously isn’t.

Challenge mode, however, is thankfully fully present. That said, it appears to be a Vita-specific leaderboard, as none of my PSN friends list appeared (they are PS3 players) at all – it’s a bit of a shame that the audience has been split into platform specific leaderboards. The load times are slightly longer than the Xbox 360 version previously tested, too. It’s hardly a deal-breaker, but it’s worth mentioning that if you’re playing from cart, some levels do take longer to load. It’s all about minor things here; for example, having a touch screen means you don’t have to watch the animation of Murfy appearing each time, you touch the screen and he’ll tag in – it’s quick and simple.

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VERDICT: So this isn’t the definitive version of the game (that argument boils down to personal taste: mine is the Xbox 360/PS3 version), and although there’s no real explanation for the missing Invaded levels, it does appear some attempt has been made to make up for this, with a handful of exclusive levels in their place and Facebook integration that attempts to make it more social still.

Legends is still a wonderful game, and the tight controls work incredibly well on the Vita – I am particularly fond of the sticks. With the challenge mode present and a good amount of content to get through (including the Back to Origins levels), this is still an excellent game, if ever so slightly inferior to the versions that have come before it.

8

VERY GOOD. An 8/10 is only awarded to a game we consider truly worthy of your hard-earned cash. This game is only held back by a smattering of minor or middling issues and comes highly recommended.

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  • Rotmm

    This is a game I’d love to turn up on the 3DS…. primarily because there isn’t a Vita in the house ;) But also because Origins just worked so well on it and even though it is a fairly difficult platformer for a 5 year old, it’s so bright and colourful that my son has put some serious hours into it.

  • AshKetom

    yeah.. 3ds suck…

  • http://GodisaGeek.com/ Adam Cook

    I never played Origins on 3DS, actually – it’s the one platform I missed playing it on. The Vita version is great though (as per my review, above) but if you CAN, you should go PS3/360.

  • Rotmm

    I’ve been playing it on 360 since last Saturday when Amazon delivered it. Lovely, lovely game.

  • http://GodisaGeek.com/ Adam Cook

    I’m really glad you’re enjoying it, mate. Really glad :-) 360 is where I played it, mostly, but I’m tempted to 100% the vita version, because it’s easier to do so, lacking – as it does – the harder invaded levels.

  • ALKi1234

    I’ll get it second hand.

  • http://GodisaGeek.com/ Adam Cook

    Fair play. Do you have any other version of the game?

  • ALKi1234

    No. The first time i played origins was on Vita,and i LOVED it. not really bothered about playing 2 player and what not.just me,vita and a nice pair of headphones….heaven.

  • chris

    would you change the score at a later date now knowing that the 28 invasion levels are coming in a patch?

  • http://GodisaGeek.com/ Adam Cook

    Good question. The major thing that I found less enjoyable on the Vita version was the Murfy levels. On the 360/PS3 you control Murfy with a tap of the B (circle) button. It’s personal preference (though I know, from discussions with others that I’m not alone) and I just don’t enjoy the platforming character’s AI when you’re doing the Murfy levels.

    The Invaded levels coming as a patch is great news, though I’m still not sure why they weren’t there to being with.

    We’ve never actually needed to change a score, so that’s something we’d have to discuss behind the scenes, though I suspect that it’s more a case of an addendum to the review, noting that they’ve been added, because, as I say, the major reason for the 360/PS3 scoring a 9 here, and the Vita version an 8, is the Murfy levels.

    I should add, I totally expect that some will adore the Murfy levels, I just personally didn’t very much. I’d also add that if you’re after a portable version of one of the best games released this year (my opinion, obviously) then the Vita version of Legends is still wonderful, as I say in the closing verdict of the review :-)

  • http://GodisaGeek.com/ Adam Cook

    Then you’ll probably love it. It’s weird, there are parts of Legends which are *waaaay* better than Origins, but also the opposite is true, too.