Platformers for the win
It’s no secret that I’ve been playing games for a long, long time – since before the term “gamer” was coined to represent, among others, those of us glued to the screen, mesmerized by Mario’s seemingly endless quest to rescue his beloved princess. Since then, the world of games has evolved like crazy. I remember thinking that Super Mario Bros. 3 was the most graphically sophisticated game ever. Now? Not so much, even though the entertainment value remains the same.
Anyway: With the advent of the newer gaming consoles, 3D games became more and more the norm, while my beloved 2D platformers more or less faded into Oblivion (capital O intended – get it?). And I miss them, I miss them so much. Besides Wind Waker, which is probably my favourite game of all time, I prefer 2D platformers above most other games. Point in case? When the Nintendo Wii was released, I bought one on release day (purely by accident – or providence – but that’s another story), along with two games: Rayman Raving Rabbids, and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. I’ve finished Raving Rabbids, mostly because it’s hilarious and made up of small games, hence making it very casual. However, I’ve probably logged only about 3 hours total of Twilight Princess since its release. What I’ve used the Wii for, mostly, is purchasing old NES and SNES (and the occasional Sega Mega Drive) games and played those. And they are – you probably guessed it – platformers.
But now. Now there’s a new kid in town. Mario has already called me a blasphemer for this, but when I got The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for Christmas, I exchanged it. I exchanged it for one of the most awesome and hilarious games I’ve ever played: Rayman Origins. When I first heard about it being marketed as a return to the 2D platformer, I was hooked. When I watched a gameplay video on Youtube, I was sold. I had to have it. And I have not regretted it for one second.
Rayman Origins is made by insane people, there can be no doubt. But insane in a good way. Like – on acid, but without in any way being a danger to themselves or others. From the moment you start the game, it is like being on an intense sugar high. It. Is. Crazy. CRAZY FUN. And it IS a return to the roots. Rayman was my first Playstation game, and it has held a special place in my heart ever since, along with the early Super Mario Bros. games, Alex Kidd in Miracle World and Wind Waker. Origins does it justice, most definitely. I especially love the zany intro movie, and the Mosquito levels.
It’s a rare thing these days that I want to sit down and play a game for hours, but that gaming joy has been rekindled with Rayman Origins. Ubisoft, I am grateful.