I loved the PlayStation 3 port of Rayman Origins. It was quirky, gorgeously designed, and all-in-all a ridiculously fun game to play. In my review I praised the game’s fresh take on the series, the side-scrolling platformer that all gamers must own. So you must imagine my delight when I got my hands on the port of the game created for my beloved PlayStation Vita.
It’s still a load of fun, just more compacted to fit comfortable in your hands. It’s still beautiful, still accompanied by an up-beat and addictive soundtrack, and in almost every way is a perfect version of its console counterpart. The high-res art and animations play nicely on the Vita’s screen. My only regret is that the co-op mode is completely absent, denying you the satisfaction of slapping around your friends playing on other Vitas.
To make up for the lack of multiplayer, however, Ubisoft has included a Ghost Mode. Ghost Mode does exactly what all good ghost modes do — lets you speed-run through levels and show off your best times to your friends on the PlayStation Network. I can see why it was used to replaced multiplayer, but to be perfectly honest multiplayer via the Vita would have been genius, considering how ridiculously enjoyable Rayman Origins is when played with companions.
Back to the eye candy for a bit. I’m amazed at how well the Vita’s screen makes the game look like I’m playing it on a home console. The Vita’s OLED screens bright, lush visuals for your retinas to devour, and the gameplay is so smooth and rich you could swoon. Every last detail added for the game’s console version is there on your Vita, every last little quirk and tuft of air and every last scowl on every last sleeping Lum.
In order to let you better enjoy this breathtaking game design, the Vita version includes a zoom feature. Pinching together and apart your fingers on the touchscreen moves the camera in and out. This comes in handy during some of the more tightly-packed areas and battles, allowing for more precision moves.
The Vitas controls are spot on, and I actually find navigating Rayman through some sticky situations much more fluid and intuitive with the Vita’s D-pad and buttons than I did with my Dualshock controller. The Vita’s incarnation of Rayman now has the ability to make tighter and more stealth moves.
Still brilliantly crafted and offering endless entertainment, Rayman Origins for the Vita is a gorgeous reminder of the game that got lost in the holiday release rush. This game should be at the top of your Vita launch purchase list, right next to Lumines. The only thing that could have made it over-to-top mind-numbingly perfect would have been the addition of multiplayer, a feature that would undoubtedly make excellent use of the Vita’s connectivity features.
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