Rayman: Origins first impressions

Annual gorging day is over and with it the various day-themed sales. Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday. Is Sunday anything? If not, I suggest Snake-Oil Sunday, when retailers give deep discounts on crap that doesn’t work as advertised.

Ten-buck Tuesday, where everything can be had for ten dollars. I could go on like this.

As I mentioned before, I picked up Rayman Origins on Black Friday. I stand behind my assessment of the demo; it’s incredibly charming with tight controls and a beautiful art style. If it didn’t release the same year as Mario 3D Land, it’d be a shoo-in for Best Platformer. Even as it stands it’s a strong standing at second place, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Strangely, I missed the Uplay thing. I know it’s a silly extra feature, but I always have leftover points, so it’s nice to just unlock some stuff right from the start. This game doesn’t feature it at all for some reason.

It’s funny coming onto this directly after Assassin’s Creed Revelations. I’m in the tank for AC, and I love Renaissance Batman as much as the next guy, but it felt so much like a paint-by-numbers sequel with a few frills added. Comparatively Rayman, also from Ubisoft, is just crackling with originality.

I got some more time in with Skyward Sword, and I’m loving it — for the most part. The dungeons are great and the overworld stuff plays like a mini-dungeon. My only reservation is the Dowsing, which isn’t really fun, and the necessity of Dowsing in the first place. I just got to the second temple only to be told I need to look around for some MacGuffins. It would’ve been nice not to have to collect them at all, but if it’s a necessity, at least let me collect them before I make it all the way to the stupid temple. It feels a little like artificial lengthening for a game that, from what I’ve heard about its 50-100 hour playtime, simply does not need it.

  • Of these settings, I think I’d have to go with Tsar Empire. It just seems so different from anything we’ve seen before. Some of the others seem a little too familiar, or similar to the various Renaissance settings from Ezio’s stories.
  • I don’t exactly buy this excuse not to remake FF7, but it is interesting to hear Square admit pretty directly that their older games had a broader scope. That may be a little more telling than he meant it to be.
  • Looks like come Wednesday I’ll have to fight off the old itch again. I want to play more Skyrim, but there’s just so much else I want to tick off my to-play list first. I know if I start it up intending to play for a few minutes it will inevitably take over my night.

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