The world has seen a number of iconic, video game heroes since the 70s.
Just to name a few, many gamers can probably recall playing Super Mario, Spyro the Dragon or Ratchet and Clank in their lifetimes.
There’s one classic explorer who has made an impact on gamers lives since the ’90s: Rayman.
Similar to other protagonists, Rayman’s transformation has followed closely to the development of game consoles, finding himself new fighting abilities and comrades over the years.
He is now renowned for being one of Ubisoft’s greatest creations.
Having named his first game as one of the Top 10 Retro Games to play in your lifetime, we are going to explore:
- Who is Rayman?
- What Rayman Games have been released over time?
- Other Games Similar to Rayman?
Rayman: Our Favourite Limbless Hero
Who is Rayman?
How could one possible describe this hero?
Rayman is the brave humanoid that risks his life to save another species under attack. He sports a funky hoodie and trainers rather than armour; something a stereotypical hero would wear.
In fact, in many installments you can dress Rayman to rock any outfit you want! You can use Disco Rayman, Assassin’s Creed Rayman and even Mario Rayman!
The first thing anyone would notice when playing Rayman games is that he doesn’t posses any arms or legs. He does have hands and feet but they magically hover beside his body.
The protagonist was originally designed to be fitted with fully-functional arms and legs but, due to rendering problems, he had to go without.
Thanks to his lack of limbs, his fighting attacks can be taken to the next level! In many games, he throws his fist in order to attack someone from a distance.
His hair also allows him to glide through the air and fly through gusts of wind. This power up known as the “HairlyCopter” makes his hair spin in fast circles like helicopter blades.
Rayman Games: A Timeline
Rayman has a long history behind him.
While many games have been released, we picked the most significant episodes that brought changes to the protagonist and his capabilities.
This was the first game to introduce us to the character.
His appearance is incredibly different to what we now know but you’ve got to admit, he’s so cute!
The game was a platformer where he starts off already known as a hero throughout the Glade of Dreams. He saves the Electoons from the wrath of Mr. Dark, who has stolen the Great Protoon, as he explores different worlds and defeats various boss levels – some great physics lessons in this game.
He releases many trapped Electoons from cages. Vulnerable characters are still seen in cages in Rayman games today.
Betilla the fairy grants him new abilities along the way – many of which are included in more modern games! For example, he learns how to use various attacks and swing from hoops to cross various levels.
Rayman 2: The Great Escape
Exploring the capabilities of the Nintendo 64, Ubisoft decides to explore Rayman in a 3D format; no longer is he a 2D platformer.
His appearance is now similar to the one we know today (except he may have a few more angles in his body shape than we remember but we must bear in mind that the technology didn’t exist).
Despite the angles, this game is said to have raised the standards of 3D gaming and is considered as one of the best games of all time.
Robo-Pirates have threatened to take control of the Glade of Dreams having destroyed many galaxies in its way. It’s up to Rayman and comrade Globox to take them down.
This game introduces us to new friends of Rayman that make reappearances throughout the series. One useful creature being Murphy: “a flying encyclopedia” who guides you along the way. Another popular character is, of course, Globox.
Globox fights alongside Rayman featuring as a multiplayer character in future games.
Finally we meet The Teensies. Having freed them from cages, they offer you help throughout the rest of the game.
Rayman 2 was originally released for Nintendo 64 and Windows but was further released for Dreamcast and PS1 a year later.
An additional special edition version was made for Ps2 titled Rayman: Revolution at the end of 2000.
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc
Yet another enemy has decided to destroy peace within Rayman’s land and once again, our hero isn’t having any of it.
A black lumb named Andre (yes the bad guys name is Andre) has gathered and created a group of Hoodlum soldiers to take over the world. Globox and Rayman are ready to tackle him down.
Check out this advert for Rayman 3! So many innuendos in this photo, it’s unbelievable.
This game was released on PS2 and Gamecube with 3D graphics and similar controls to the last instalment.
2D platformers were also developed for Game Boy Advance with this version of the game being the most popular (82% on GBA compared to 80% for PS2). Nevertheless, this game received a great reception.
Rayman Raving Rabbids
Revolutionizing the very existence of Rayman, this game introduced his arch nemesis: The Raving Rabbids.
Always causing trouble in the weirdest yet most adorable ways, these messed up bunnies had you playing mini games for hours in order to save Rayman.
He has been imprisoned by the Raving Rabbids and has to complete trials in order to receive funky outfits and toilet plungers! Using the plungers, he can eventually build a ladder out of his prison cell to freedom.
The trails are made up of unusual yet hilarious mini games; each weirder than the last.
Due to the popularity of this game, it led to a mini series of games featuring the rabbids in a number of different ways – some of these games didn’t include Rayman. Nevertheless, I have a lot of great memories playing these games.
It has been 8 years since a game focused on Rayman has been released and it was well worth the wait for fans.
Rayman Origins introduced a whole new artstyle; Rayman and his friends have been presented in a way that we have never seen them before.
Ubisoft decided to not focus on the 3D aspect of Rayman and instead, a 2D platformer reminding us of older Rayman games.
The game starts with Rayman, Globox and two Teensies all having a nap after the events of the last game.
Their snoring pesters a granny from the Land of the Livid Dead and she sends many nasty creatures and darktoons to the Glade of Dreams. These beasts capture the electoons and send the world into Chaos.
Therefore, its up to Rayman and co. to fix it! Fortunately, this game supported excellent co op play allowing up to four people to work together to defeat the Darktoons.
Rayman Legends is the most popular Rayman game to date.
The game offers brilliant level design as well as a fantastic artstyle and detailed music to listen to. Everything about this game is divine.
This is another 2D platformer that offers 3D aspects within the game. Boss levels can go deeper into the level as well as popping out of the screen!
And the amount of levels available on this game leads to hours and hours of unique play.
This game follows on directly after the previous game. Having been asleep for 100 years, Rayman is woken up to learn that who they thought they once defeated is still alive and at large. 5 Dark teensies have captured lots of good teensies and its up to you to save them.
My absolute favourite thing about this game is the music levels.
Rayman Legends Definitive Edition: His Latest Adventure
And that brings us to present day.
Ubisoft have just released Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition for Nintendo Switch and I absolutely adore it.
Not only do I get to enjoy this amazing Rayman game, it is also so easy to enjoy with other people thanks to the Joycon controllers and I can take it with me wherever I go!
And Ubisoft have used the Nintendo Switch to make the game even more entertaining.
They have utilised the touch screen to include new ways to interact with the game; destroy enemies, cut ropes and manipulate platforms all with a tap on the screen.
The developers have received a lot of praise for this game. Some redditors shared their thoughts on the platformer:
“Really well made levels, great music and animations and a fantastic sense of humour have made this one of my favorite platformers. I recommend it for anyone.” – Reddit user Kplo
“Not only is the game beautiful and plays amazingly well, but just the fact that is has couch co-op is a god send. Me and my roommate used to play all the time, barely any games have this feature anymore and it’s saddening.” – Reddit User THTIME
“Best platformer in a long time. The added multiplayer is icing on the cake!” – Reddit user lkjhlkjhlkjhlkjhlkjh (what a username!)
However, I do have a couple of issues.
Levels can take a long time to load. And I mean long.
I expect loading times as long as that to be something of the past yet it still bothers players today.
As well as the loading time, the game has a bit of a latency issue. There are some particular levels where it is almost impossible to complete because you die before you have the chance to move!
Hopefully these issues can be addressed in the near future.
Despite these small flaws, Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition is still one of my favourite Nintendo Switch Games.
Games Similar To Rayman
This is not a kept secret but Rayman isn’t the only 2D platformer in the world. We have been graced with other quality platformers in the past:
Ori and the Blind Forest
A white guardian spirit named Ori falls from a tree during a storm and is guided by Sein, the “light and eyes” of the Forest’s Spirit Tree.
Together they solve puzzles and defeat enemies in order to restore the forest and the life within it.
Ori and the Blind Forest was inspired by Rayman Games, no wonder it’s a great platformer!
The art in this game is absolutely stunning and it has won The Game Award for Best Art Direction. The Game features hand-painted artwork as well as unique character animation.
This game is ideal for anyone looking for the perfect co op campaign. It is impossible to complete this game on your own.
The two of you solve puzzles in order to find various pieces of the Totem.
Kalimba offers a lot of laughs and frustration as you try figure out how to cross the level. It got to the point that one of us was purposefully dying just to restart the level and annoy the other player.
This game includes a feature that counts your death toll and let’s just say, our score wasn’t that impressive.
We have presented why Rayman is one of the best Heroes to date:
- He is a timeless character with a great history of games behind him.
- His popularity hasn’t died since 1995.
- He has inspired other developers into making great 2D Platformers.
Why do you love Rayman? Are there other video game characters that you prefer? What other great platformers are out there?
Let us know in the comments below!