Rayman - GBA

Also known as: Rayman Advance

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Also for: PC, PlayStation, Game Boy Color, Pocket PC, Saturn, Jaguar
Viewed: 2D Side-on, Scrolling Genre:
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Ubisoft Soft. Co.: Ubisoft
Publishers: Ubisoft (GB/US)
Released: 22 Jun 2001 (GB)
2001 (US)
Ratings: 3+


They said it couldn’t be done and they were wrong. For some reason, the consensus with handhelds is that they cannot accurately match the graphical capabilities of home consoles. Rayman Advance from Ubi Soft is one of the most amazing looking portable games we have ever had the pleasure of playing. It looks almost identical to the PlayStation version and that is some accomplishment. It’s time to take Rayman with you wherever you go.

Rayman Advance is one of the best 2D platformers to come along in a long time. Firstly, it looks gorgeous. Each of the four layers of parallax scrolling are brightly coloured and extremely detailed. The animation of Rayman and the other characters is smooth and the whole game looks polished. Most importantly, Rayman Advance plays excellently. If you couldn’t control your character properly, even the most beautiful game would be rendered unplayable.

A nice addition to the gameplay is that Rayman gradually learns new skills and abilities. For example, the first skill that Rayman learns is how to hang. This new technique allows him to reach certain hard-to-reach sections of the level that were previously inaccessible. In each level there are six cages that need to be found and sometimes you need to re-visit earlier levels with new skills to find all of the cages. Only when you have found all of the cages can you face the end boss.

The level design is superb and new ideas are always being introduced to increase the challenge. Some levels permanently scroll and other levels feature nasty puzzles. Learning how to punch and float is helpful for dealing with the baddies. Rayman Advance is an impressive benchmark to judge future GBA platform games by.