Archive for April, 2013

Rayman Origins

Rayman OriginsBack before I became an old man, I spent many of my days playing a game on the Playstation called Rayman. A unique, challenging platformer that offered a world constructed of an amusing palette of colors. The game was beautiful, and the animations fluid. Each character you encountered was just as imaginative and endearing as the one before it.

In short, the game was freaking beautiful. It wasn’t just gorgeous, it played as you would expect form the visuals. The controls were wonky, and the level design was challenging yet inviting. There was so much polish on Rayman, you would have been forgiven for thinking Michel Ancel used to work at Intelligent Systems.

Over the years, Rayman has seen a few different iterations. He’s made the transition from 2D platformer to 3D party games. He’s introduced new friends along the way, and even has spin-off games that circle around some of those friends. Ubisoft was one of very few companies that took a gamble on the Nintendo Wii early on, and it paid off well for them. The company was posting very respectful numbers early on in the Wii’s life, and Ubisoft kept cranking out Rabbid games.

Here we are five years later. Nintendo has a new handheld that is putting up record numbers, and Rayman Origins is no where to be seen. Ubisoft has made it clear that Origins will see a 2013 release. Why the company opted to not release in time for the holiday season of 2012 seems odd to me. You have people that would buy the game as a gift, or tons of children that now have Christmas money in their pockets that would present a perfect opportunity for moving a few units.

Hell, I want the game on the 3DS, and I’m a grown adult. Sure, I could buy a console version of the game, but my Xbox 360 sits in pieces as I attempt to fix it in my spare time, and I see no reason to buy the Wii version considering the game has quite a reliance on appearance. Look, Rayman on the Playstation was gorgeous, and I am sure Origins is on the Wii, but if there is the option for a better looking, identical version on an HD console, why bother?

Plus, platform gaming has made a huge surge on portable platforms. Thanks to the likes of the Super Mario games reminding gamers that 2D isn’t dead. Now with games such as Pushmo and Super Mario 3D Land showing that 3D can be more than just a selling point, but indeed a gameplay function, it seems Ubisoft is missing a prime opportunity.

Perhaps they felt too many other games would be competition around this time of year. Unfortunately for Ubisoft, it seems as though they missed a golden opportunity to monetize on the 3DS’s dry season. After slashing the price of the 3DS by a third of the sale price, sales have skyrocketed! Hopefully by the time Rayman Origins is released on a portable, I haven’t forgotten about it.