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Rayman 2: The Great Escape Review: Throw Your Fist, if You Can Aim Correctly.

A port of a successful game on several platforms since 1999, Rayman 2: The Great Escape is a 3d platforming game that was released to the appstore on March 1.  To advance in the game, the player must collect lums, little pieces of the world.  Once a certain amount are collected, you can advance to the next area, and once 1000 are collected and a few other tasks completed, Rayman can awaken a spirit to save the world from the robot pirates from outer space.

The gameplay mainly consists of running around as Rayman, and throwing his floating fists at enemies.  He also has other powers that are available to him, such as helicopter ears in which he can glide slowly to the ground.  Rayman has lost his powers, but over time and through the narrative more of his old powers are regained.  Each bigger level has many smaller areas, each of which are passed once enough lums are collected, and his friends freed from their cages.

Likes

Completeness: It is great to have an iDevice game that not only delivers solid gameplay, but brings along a full story as well.  Too many times have I heard gamers complain that there aren’t enough complete games on the platform; apparently Gameloft noticed that too so they decided to publish one.

Rayman: For those not familiar with this series of games, I thought I’d quickly touch on the main character.  Rayman is really fun to play as; he is athletic despite not having any limbs, and throwing his fists is very fun- you can melee attack at both short and long range.  He really is unique within the gaming world.

General Sillyness: The premise of robotic pirates from outer space is hysterical, I found myself laughing during the entertaining cutscenes.

Dislikes

Controls: This game is great… except for the controls.  There is a virtual joystick on the left and two buttons on the right, for jumping and throwing your fist.  Those buttons are great, but the joystick takes this title from being a great title to being an okay game with a lot of potential.  It is difficult to get the orient Rayman properly, I found myself having to attempt obstacles over and over again because I would miss because of poor controls.  Ironically, here on No DPad, I think that this game should have a virtual dpad because character motions would be much more accurate.

Camera: It wasn’t always easy to get the camera centered behind Rayman, partly because of the controls, and partly because of the slow response time of the camera.

Auto-Save: In iPod games it is customary for any game exited to auto-save immediately when the home button is pressed.  Unfortunately, the game has predetermined save points that sometimes take a while to reach.  This is not a pick up and play title.

I have had some fun with Rayman 2: The Great Escape, but my fun often was turned to frustration because of the plagued controls.  I also do not always have a ton of time to spare, so the first time I picked it up I played for about 15 minutes and quit.  When I returned, I had to do everything over again.  If you don’t mind these issues, then it is definitely worth trying because it is a wonderful game, but otherwise it may be worth waiting to see if Gameloft updates the controls.

Rayman 2: The Great Escape was developed by Ubisoft and published by Gameloft, and is available for $6.99 in the appstore.  I played version 1.0.1 on my iPod Touch 1G.




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