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Product: Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc
Company: Ubi Soft
Website: http://www.raymanzone.com/
Estimated Street Price: $49.99/£39.99
Review By: Byron Hinson

The Features

Rayman has become quite a beloved character on the consoles and the PC scene over the last few years, the French creation has added a number of new ideas to platform gaming and helped create a number of well loved new characters along the way. Rayman 3 sees our favorite limbless friend return for yet more 3D platform gaming, this time on the next generation consoles.

Adventurers beware - Rayman's universe has exploded into a whacked-out world of cartoon mayhem and mind-blowing battles! When Globox accidentally swallows the Lord of the Dark Lums, a fanatic army of trigger-happy Hoodlums wreaks total havoc to get their Lord back! Rayman's only chance? Journey the vast reaches of the world to purge the Dark Lum Lord from the manic Globox, scour the lands for unearthly new powers, and do battle with hordes of Hoodlum soldiers, contraptions, and mechanical bosses. This time, it's war!

  • Rayman is bustin' loose: Rayman is in prime form, with new, high-tech powers and gear like Shock Rockets, the LockJaw, Funky-Boards, and other cool stuff.
  • Totally wicked enemies: Charge into intense strategic battles with the crazed Hoodlum Army and massive, transforming bosses.
  • A bizarre, epic adventure: Plunge into enormous, eye-popping worlds packed with zany comedy and a whacked-out cast—featuring John Leguizamo as Globox.

Gameplay

Review Quotes
"There is very little to fault Rayman 3 on graphics wise. The levels are quite small in size, but they are packed with animation and detail along with a long view unlike a lot of titles around currently."

So you know what Rayman 3 is all about, I for one was not really a platform game fan a few years ago, but more recently since I started to enjoy console games more and more they have become some of my most favorite games. While Rayman 3 does not really add a great deal of originality to the genre, it does everything it already knows perfectly. The main idea of Rayman 3 is to reach the end of the levels by killing the various enemies you come up against and picking up various power ups to help you get through to the areas of the level that are not accessible without them, such as high speed throttle copter or the heavy metal fists which help you smash through doors your normal fists can't.

The controls are a bit fiddly at first, especially the attacking ones. When coming up against an enemy you have to hold down the right trigger button to lock on to and then press the X button to shoot. With the right trigger held down you need to move left and right to fire at the sides of each enemy you encounter. While this this fiddly at first, you get used to it quick quickly, the problem with the locking system though is that is can sometimes be quite hard to get it worked when you are near an enemy.

The game play is quite varied, with lots of little sub sections such as trying to get back to the top of a waterfall before the piranhas get you and the big boss encounters all of which have to be defeated in a different way. It all adds up to a lot of fun. The only lack of variety I can find is that the game doesn't seem to have a lot of different enemies, you always keep coming up against the same one ones since the beginning of the game.

The game also has a number of bonus levels, these can be unlocked through a very good points system. You gain points by collecting various pick ups which are jewels both big and small and by getting rid of all of the enemies in the level. At the end of the level you get a percentage score and also up to five stars depending on your score. The points open up a number of bonus levels and games for you play through and expand the longevity of the game too.

Graphics & Sound

There is very little to fault Rayman 3 on graphics wise. The levels are quite small in size, but they are packed with animation and detail along with a long view unlike a lot of titles around currently. The game is fully of wacky characters and loads of different colors all which look great. There are also a number of excellent lighting and reflection effects which really add to the graphical greatness. The only downside to this is that there is a small amount (and I do mean small so don't worry too much about it) of slow down when comparing it to the Gamecube version, it also doesn't have the excellent rain effects that the Gamecube version has, which surprises me when the Xbox is graphically superior to the Gamecube. This isn't to say that the graphics are not as good as the Nintendo version as they are better overall thanks to improved lighting and less compression thanks to the Xbox having a DVD-ROM.

Review Quotes
"So you know what Rayman 3 is all about, I for one was not really a platform game fan a few years ago, but more recently since I started to enjoy console games more and more they have become some of my most favorite games."

Now we have the sound, it is a little strange at first when you notice the first voice changes over other Rayman games, but I can safely say that the speech and music in Rayman 3 is excellent, almost on the level of Jak and Daxter on the Playstation 2. As mentioned earlier there are a number of quite well known actors doing the voices, and the good thing here is that they are cartoon actors which know how to voice lines in funny ways unlike film stars and television personalities. Unlike a lot of platform or action titles, there is also very little repeated voice action (which I felt the Gamecube version had, so maybe there is more speech on the Xbox release). The music is also very good, it suits the mood and style of the game perfectly.

Final Comments

How It Grades
Controls: 80%
Gameplay: 90%
Presentation: 85%
Graphics: 91%
Multiplayer: N/A
Sound: 91%
Manual: 88%
Interface: 86%
Price/Value: 88%
Overall: 90%

Despite the very small control niggles that worried me when the game first arrived on my doorstep, the game turned out to be excellent and consistently good all the way through. The graphics are superb and really help to show off the Xbox's graphics engine and the sound is also a major plus. If you are a fan of platform games, make sure you get Rayman 3, you won't be disappointed.

Specs & Package
Overall Score 90%
Version Reviewed Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc (PAL)
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? 1 Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc DVD-ROM
1 Set Of Instructions
The Good Points Excellent graphics
Great gameplay
Excellent sound
The Bad Points No multiplayer
Xbox Live! Enabled? No
Widescreen Support No
PAL 60 Support (Europe) Yes


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