Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc HD

Reviewed by Kyle Bell, Posted on 2012-04-08


Developer: Ubisoft Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: March 20, 2012 Available On: PS3 & Xbox 360

Michael Ancel must have done a lot of drugs when he grew up. That's the only explanation for the world that he created in Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. It's a light-hearted romp with some dark overtones not found in most platformers. While it's clear that Ancel is a visionary, what's not as clear is if Rayman 3 can hold the test of time. After all, it's a last-gen game from 2003 re-released in HD for PS3 and Xbox 360.

Rayman 3 is your standard early 2000s platformer. Those familiar with Rayman 2 on the Dreamcast know what to expect here, except the third game is arguably easier and of course has snazzier visuals. Like most contemporary platformers it is a game largely about collecting things - in this case coins, which can be multiplied when collected within a couple seconds of each other - as well as freeing characters from cages. The coins are added to your score and used to unlock bonus content in the game.

For those not familiar with the series, Rayman is a limbless hero. He throws his fists as projectile weapons at enemies. The world is overrun by enemies known as Hoodlums who you frequently have to dispatch in a number of different varieties from scarecrow-looking shotgun shooters to flying death machines. Scattered throughout the game are also a number of creatively designed bosses, although the execution of these fights are hit-and-miss.

Rayman is of course capable of jumping and his signature gliding ability is back, but there are a few changes. The biggest additions to Rayman 3 are the five special cans that give him unique abilities. They remind me a lot of the hats that Mario used to gain special powers. These temporary power-ups not only give Rayman a unique appearance, they also are required to advance in the game.

The vortex is used to dispatch certain foes and can lower twisty platforms. The grappling hook can attach to floating rings to help Rayman swing to places he couldnít otherwise reach. The heavy metal fist provides a means to destroy doors and heavy enemies. The missile allows you to control a projectile to reach inaccessible switches and crates. Finally, the throttle copter allows Rayman to fly vertically for a short amount of time. The abilities have to be strategically used to complete a given level.

By far the biggest annoyances in the game come from two main culprits: the controls and the camera. Rayman 3ís combat system is completely reliant on a lock-on system that allows you to strafe while you throw your fists at enemies. The problem is that this game is extremely finicky about when to lock-on to an enemy. It will cause you to die multiple times. This becomes especially problematic during boss encounters.

Likewise, while you have limited autonomy over the camera, it often chooses to awkwardly swing around and block critical vantage points. You will often miss items entirely since you could never see them in the first place. Neither of these issues kill the game, but it does make it quite a bit less fun.

The graphics in Rayman 3 werenít bad for 2003 and they still look decent today due to the updated HD visuals. The smoother textures and fairly well-detailed character models are relatively impressive, yet the HD makeover reveals some graphical flaws that were not as evident almost ten years ago. Iíll also throw in this complaint: the game doesnít allow you to skip annoying cut-scenes that are repeated after you die due to the camera issues, so the problems pile on top of one another.

While Rayman 3 is probably not anyoneís favorite in the series, it is a worthy HD remake that I can gladly recommend. The one caveat that I have is that you should go into this expecting all of the annoyances of game design from ten years ago without any correction whatsoever. Thankfully itís a cheap download that will last you a good amount of time.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 7.5
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 7.5
Final: 7.5 out of 10
Written by Kyle Bell Write a User Review

Reviewed by Kyle Bell