Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc Xbox Review

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Platform games have had a tough time going from 2D where their fun capers spawned many games upgrading to the well used ‘3D’ arena where some have successfully moved on with the times and others have suffered terribly by not cutting it at all.

Blinx had so much promise but in my eyes the game lacks long term appeal and this is where I am hoping Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc will rekindle my interest.

Now Rayman 3 has been around for quite some time on various platforms and now it is finally time for the Xbox treatment to be given to the title. Rayman is probably one of the stranger heroes in a game as he lacks certain credentials. His arms and legs are… well… not there! Maybe when the original rough art work for the game was sent to the powers that be, possibly an accident such as spilt coffee was knocked onto the art and rather then the management decision makers noticing this spill mistook it for an aged effect and then maybe thought that a character with no arms and legs was novel and original so here began Rayman.

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Alright then that is a completely imaginative scenario of which I am sure the developers have a much better excuse, but nevertheless Rayman is a bizarre looking character but fun to control anyway.

So in fitting style we have an equally bizarre storyline to go along with the game. A red Lum transformed himself into a, and I quote from the manual, “little ball of fluff”. Had to quote there down to the complex technicality of the term.

This “little ball of fluff” tried to wreak havoc and unfortunately ends up in your pal’s stomach and it is left to your bizarre character Rayman to help him and stop Andre the little ball of fluff from escaping. It’s right out of a book, well maybe not but this is where the fun begins, honest.

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For a multi-format game you would expect some slightly naff visuals in places, but this is certainly not the case and instead you are left amazed at some of the more lovely levels.

With some glorious scenery throughout the game with what has been lost in many games that did exist in the 2D worlds was that magical feel. Rayman 3 has it and in great abundance.

So like most platform games there are plenty of different levels and puzzles to keep you amused throughout the game. These are not very hard but engaging enough to make for some interesting moments in the game. Things are made more interesting due to the different power up’s you can find which in turn help you work out the puzzling problems you will confront on quite a frequency.

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Such power up’s include the vortex which is collected like all the power up’s in little tins dotted at crucial moments in the level. Vortex allows you to access higher platforms by spinning their cog-like stands down to a level you can reach. Others include the Heavy Metal Fist which gets you past some harder then normal doors. Another fun power up is the Shock Rocket. Guide this through hard to reach caves and openings to trigger switches and hit enemies from a distance. Other abilities that don’t require power up’s are available from the off like your helicopter mode which basically is using your hair to slow down your descent, bizarre but useful.

The enemies are also a rather interesting affair. Welcome the Hoodlums which of course are there to create havoc as suggested by the title of the game. Looking like a chamois leather wrapped over a child and then their lips sealed together with your mums sewing kit. Firing there multitude of guns with different levels of intensity throughout the game, you have to do some clever manoeuvring and even shooting around walls and other obstacles to reach them.

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There is also plenty to unlock. By earning lots of points by collecting objects hidden in chests and finding cages where some creature has been locked up you can access some funny mini games like Hoodlum Tennis. Also videos which are very funny when they are training videos for Hoodlums on how to get Rayman.

The music also has that magical element and voice actors are all funny and well done. Even if you are not really a platform game lover, you might enjoy this as for me it represents some of the best platform gaming that has been lost since the days of 2D platform games.

Conclusion

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Magical games have returned and not a moment too soon. I am having trouble to find something I dislike about this game, but there it is, a stunning platformer and a winning franchise has returned.

Rating: 4 / 5