Rayman 2 The Great Escape

a game by Ubisoft
Genre: Action
Platforms: Dreamcast, Nintendo 64Nintendo 64, GameBoy Color, PC
Editor Rating: 8.8/10, based on 6 reviews
User Rating: 7.6/10 - 10 votes
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See also: Rayman Games
Rayman 2 The Great Escape
Rayman 2 The Great Escape
Rayman 2 The Great Escape
Rayman 2 The Great Escape

People say:

9

"Wow--that game looks amazing." It was a phrase I couldn't escape hearing from passing co-workers, day in and day out, as I played the Dreamcast version of Rayman 2. And, yes, this thing looks unbelievable, the closest any game has ever been to resembling a real-time cartoon. While the N64 version looked pretty in its own right, the DC game packs new effects like falling leaves and extra background characters, and the whole thing runs at a smooth 60 FPS. Better still: The gameplay's as solid as the visuals Rayman 2 melds myriad play styles. In addition to the standard platform action, you'll waterski, ride a bucking missile, earn the ability to fly. rocket down a beam of light on a single-seat monorail, and much more. Except for the usual camera quirks that plague these types of games, the varied gameplay styles all work incredibly well. Rayman 2 will keep you busy for a while, too; it packs more than 50 levels, including three new stages exclusive to the DC version. You also get a four-player mini-game (which'll take you a while to open). On March 15, Ubi Soft is also unveiling the site www.rayman2.com/dc, from which you'll be able to download new maps, chat with fellow Rayman 2 fans and see their best times, nab special holiday downloads, etc. The Dreamcast needs a game like this. And so do you.

9

This is one beautiful game. After seeing the PC version more than a year ago, I knew any DC version would look spectacular. Here it is, and it does look great. It also plays really well-just as good/better than the N64 version. This is the first real platformer on the DC where you can fully explore all parts of the game's world (Sonic didn't quite capture that feeling). As a fan of action platform games, I can say that Rayman is one to add to your collection.

9

What an amazing-looking game. Better yet, the game's as fun to play as it is good-looking. It has gigantic levels and tons of stuff to collect (I'm a big fan of this stuff when it's not ridiculously tedious), so getting loo percent on this one will take you some time. The control is right-on for a 3O action/adventure game as well, and works really well with the DC pad. And I can't wait for the online stuff--it really increases its replayability in a whole new way.

9

Rayman 2 was a great game on the N64 and I have to say that it's equally as great on Dreamcast. The presentation is second to none and in places looks like a CG cartoon rather than a platform game--but it's the flow of the game and the way it carries you through the vast levels that really impresses the most. This is one of those games that sucks you in and takes up hours of your life without you realizing it. A sure sign of a truly great game.

Download Rayman 2 The Great Escape

Dreamcast

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Nintendo 64

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

GBC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Although it's been a long time, Rayman is back--but on a different platform (literally). Hopping over from the PlayStation (where he debuted at the systems launch in 1995), Rayman is now calling the N64 home--even though it comes without the colorful side-scrolling game-play of the PlayStation version. Instead, R2 is a 3D platform game, complete with outstanding 3D visuals and standard action. You play as the limbless hero--who has hands and feet, but no arms or legs--as he tries to outsmart pirates and the Mystical Guild, who want him for their intergalactic zoo. If you enjoyed Mario 64 or Gex, you may just get a (leg-less) kick out of this one.

People say:

9

The amount of time Ubi Soft has taken to develop the N64 version of Rayman 2 was well-spent. This has got to be the most detailed and lush game on the N64 ever. Moreso than even Rare's best attempts. Even in low-detail and low-resolution, it looks great (though fuzzy in low res). The control is very tight and the difficulty is well-adjusted so that anyone can pick up and play right away. But perhaps my favorite feature of the game is the use of Z-targeting. This keeps the enemy you're attacking in your view at all times so you can dodge attacks quickly without having to worry about where the camera is positioned. It's been in a few games now and it makes so much sense that it's a shame more 3D action platform games don't have it. The action starts up right where Rayman 1 left off, and there's just about every kind of level a 3D action platform fan could ask for, too--Waterskiing, flying, sliding through tubes, wild piggyback rides on top of a missile with legs. Cinema scenes are done with the in-game engine and will make you laugh at least a few times. The music's nice, but more to fill the game's ambience than make their way into your head so you're humming them all day long. While we haven't heard much from Rayman in the past few years, it's nice to see that his return has been done the right way.

9

This game has "sleeper hit" written all over it. Rayman 2 is more fun than Tonic Trouble and looks better than Banjo. In fact, with the Expansion Pak in place, this thing pumps visuals that had some office passerby asking if I was playing a Dreamcast title. Better still, Rayman 2 offers plenty of gameplay variety, excellent control and fantastic level design. It's not quite as fun as my favorite 3D adventure game, Banjo-Kazooie, but it's close.

9

Five years is a long time to wait for a sequel, but I think that Ubi Soft has shocked us all with the quality of Rayman a. Graphically it's on a par with some of the Rare games (especially with the expansion pak) and the gameplay is sprinkled with cool ideas and quirky humor to keep you interested. The Z targeting system is a welcome feature too, making this one of the easiest to control 3D platformers around at the moment.

9

Rayman a Is surprisingly awesome. I figured it'd be another uninspired 3D action/adventure. I was very wrong. There are a ton of imaginative and fun minigames and gameplay elements in each of the levels, and the graphics are some of the best I've seen on the N64 to date (with the Ram Pak). And get this: The control and camera don't get all that touchy like most 3D games. It's obvious a lot of work has gone into this title, and it really shows when playing.

Rayman is coming back to consoles for the Nintendo 64, PlayStation (both around February/March) and Dreamcast (to be determined) next year after a long time away from the video screen. A true sequel to the original Jaguar, PlayStation and Saturn game, Rayman 2 takes Ubi's mascot to the third dimension. This time around, Rayman must fight for freedom against a horde of evil space pirates who have enslaved his friends and are out to destroy him.

There are a total of 30 levels in Rayman 2, which range from exploration to fast-paced action. Ubi told us that they have tried to make most of the game fast-paced, much like Indiana Jones. The result is a mix of having to run-jump-swim-dodge, etc. and having to actually explore each level. Vour objectives change as you go through the game as well. In one level, for instance, you have to waterski behind a snake, making sure to take the right turns and hit jumps without breaking your line. In another, you swim after a whale, collecting air bubbles it gives off until you've gotten to an underwater entrance to a pirate ship. Another has you riding a walking missile, being careful not to crash into anything. The graphics are nice, but still seem to have that N64 blurriness to them in some areas.

This time, Rayman's joined by a supporting cast of characters which includes the pirates, their secret weapons and bosses and Rayman's new friend, Globox--there are some cameos here as well from another Ubi Soft game. Cinemas in the game will run in real time, and the game's designers have really made Rayman 2 look like an interactive cartoon (and Ubi Soft is actually doing a Rayman CG-animated TV series in France that may eventually make its way stateside), just like the first game, Rayman has a variety of moves to aid him in his quest, including his patented helicopter technique, which on a few levels can be used continuously. He also now shoots a ball of light which destroys his enemies.

Rayman 2 uses a new version of the Tonic Trouble engine, and looks promising even at this early stage. Ubi Soft has not decided whether the game will utilize the 4 MB RAM Expansion Pak or Rumble PAê. Lacking music or sound effects, the game played just as you would expect a 3D version of Rayman to play. It's still early and there's tweaking and polishing to be done, but you can expect to see Rayman 2 on shelves next spring.

Overview

I really wanted to grow past playing platform games. I really did! I haven’t bought a console system in years and, despite an occasional glimpse, haven’t wanted to go back. Rayman 2: The Great Escape made me love platform games all over again, while making me feel privileged in the fact that I could play it at such amazing quality, on my relatively low-end computer.

Rayman 2 continues the adventures of our favorite disjointed (and I do mean "without-joints") character. Apparently robo-pirates have taken over Rayman’s peaceful world and it will take the uniting of four sacred masks to give him the chance to get even. Along the way he needs to rescue his friends to help him with some impassable obstacles, grab as many lums (little high-powered, grinning, fairies) as he can, and beat the main robo-baddie.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

With so many different ways to control the main character (riding a flaming barrel of gunpowder, water-skiing from the back of a snake, and controlling a floating pirate ship), no level ever gets stale. In fact, you’ll always be excited to discover what lies around the next corner and then return to the level to try it one more time for fun. You can also return to the levels to try collecting all the yellow lums for a blister-inducing bonus round. This will not only give you an excuse to try those contraptions again, but also adds to the replayability of a relatively short game. The controls are easy to figure out; however, you may still want to invest in a programmable gamepad (there is no in-game way to map the keys!).

Rayman 2 also ran more than adequately on my system, which came as a great relief after some recent stutter-fests. I’m rather proud of Ubi Soft, the game's developer, for not feeling obligated to throw in any "adult" content to make Rayman 2 any less cutesy than it is. Sure, there are those gamers who will not try this game because of its juvenile look, but that’s their loss! Don’t let this happen to you!

Graphics

I was very skeptical when I heard that Rayman’s sequel was going to be in 3D. The best part of the original Rayman to me was the lush cartoony graphics. It really made it stand out when the world was full of side scrolling platform games. How in the world could they imitate that in 3D? Well, I still don’t know, but somehow they did. Yes, Rayman 2 plays like a fully interactive cartoon. Actually it has animation that is much better than what you would expect from typical Saturday fair. I don’t know if you can get the sense of the inherent beauty and mystery in Rayman’s world from these few screenshots, but trust me though, it’s there in spades. Rather than recreating reality, Rayman 2 succeeds in creating a startling surreality of color and depth that you’ve never seen before (and this includes those famous console games like Super Mario 64 and Donkey Kong 64).

Audio

The audio, although nothing spectacular, does its job by keeping things hopping. You’ll find yourself not so much being immersed in the music, as being entertained by it. The music captures the game’s spirit, by just being a lot of fun.

System Requirements

Pentium 133 processor, Windows 95/98, 32 MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM, Sound Blaster compatible sound card, and a 3D accelerator card (Voodoo1 or higher w/4 MB RAM)

Reviewed on: Pentium 233 w/ MMX, Windows 95, 32 MB RAM, 16x CD-ROM, Sound Blaster Awe 32, and a Monster 3D card.

Bottom Line

Rayman 2 is a great game. Not just a great platform game, but a well-made, fun to play romp through an intriguing world. The graphics are beautifully artistic and the sound is groovy, but most importantly the gameplay feels fresh and engaging. Congratulations Ubi Soft, you deserve a 92.

One of the best old-school platform games out there has to be the original Rayman for PlayStation. To give you an idea of how old the game is, it came out before GameFabrique was in existence. There are not too many PSX games that you can say that about. Anyway, Rayman had a great hero, storyline, graphics and gameplay and since the day that I finished it, I was hungry for more. Nearly four years later, my hunger has been satisfied.

The original was a good old fashion 2D side-scrolling platform game. Rayman 2 takes our hero into the vast and beautiful world of 3D. There are 45 new areas that you will try to conquer all the while learning new skills. You will run, jump, ski, swim, climb, slide, swing and fly trying to collect Lums and break open caged friends, setting them free. There are plenty of characters that you will meet along the way making this adventure worthy of the Rayman name.

Gameplay

Rayman makes the jump from 2D to 3D with pretty successful results. There are hours and hours of gameplay to be had in this adventure. Be prepared to battle enemies (albeit fairly easy enemies), solve puzzles, and try to gather 1,000 Lums. While this may not be the biggest game ever, it is large and if you want to complete it 100 percent, be prepared to invest some serious gaming hours. The best part is that all of the hours are well worth it because this game is just fun to play.

Let's talk about the puzzles for a second. The thing that I really liked about them was that they were challenging yet not overly difficult. If anything, most bordered on not quite challenging enough but I think they really fit the game well. The main objective is exploring, gathering Lums and freeing your friends. The puzzles presented just enough of a roadblock to slow you down but they will never make you slam down the controller in frustration.

As I just mentioned, the biggest part of this game consists of gathering Lums and breaking open cages to save your friends. They did a great job of really making you look around in every nook and cranny to locate these items. If you are not thorough in your search, you will inevitably miss a few. Even if you are thorough, you will probably miss a couple and you will scratch your head in wonderment of where you could have possibly missed them. The great thing about the game is that you do not have to find every single item to advance to the next world so the inexperienced gamer can still continue on and the hardcore gamer can keep searching the levels to get 100 percent. This fact alone helps the game be fun for the entire family.

Another good thing about this game is the control. Rayman goes exactly where you direct him and jumping and shooting are instantaneous. Sure, that seems obvious but some games just miss this key element, especially in platform games where control is critical. You will hear no complaints from this gamer on the controls.

It was amazing to me how different the majority of levels were from one another. It seemed like no two levels were even remotely similar. There were levels focused on swimming, water-skiing, sliding down mountains, and climbing huge spider webs. Sure, there was some crossover between the things you do on levels but I could not wait for a new level just to see what I would encounter next. Some of the levels are a little frustrating (the level that has you sliding down a hill with very hard to see semi-transparent obstacles in the way comes immediately to mind) but the challenges never get to the point of not wanting to play any longer.

The last thing that I want to mention on the positive side of the game is all of the different characters and enemies who will cross your path. They did a great job of creating the characters in this game. One level has you battling robot pirates while another has you fighting a giant spider. There are plenty of other enemies, like the Zombie Chickens, that I can't even describe. You have plenty of friends who like to help you out as well. You will literally save the whales (at least one anyway). Then there is sssssam, a serpent that takes you water-skiing across marshes. These are only the tip of the iceberg. You'll just have to play and find the rest of the characters on your own.

I did have a pretty major complaint with the game though. If you have ever read my reviews on 3D platform games, what is the one thing that I always complain about? If you guessed camera, you win! As per usual, the camera can be a real pain in the backside. It seems like the places where you need the best camera control were the places where the annoying buzzer would sound, signaling that you can't change your camera. With precision jumps and shots needed, a troublesome camera adds difficulty to tasks that should not be terribly difficult, which adds a bit of frustration. There are worse games out there but this one is not perfect either.

I had a couple of other minor complaints as well. First, you can't bypass the little cut-scene stories. Cut-scenes get old to me after playing a game for a while so I prefer to skip them. Too bad, no can do. Also, there were times where I would try and jump in the water and I would just die while other times, I could swim. Most of the places that you could not swim were marked so if I did not see anything telling me not to swim, I would try and die. Finally, I just really hated the fact that the characters spoke gibberish. I know that the game is limited in space and voice clips take up a lot of room but come on, I would rather have nothing than squeaks that make no sense at all.

Graphics

Wow. I am impressed. I have bad-mouthed the N64 graphics on most reviews but I will have to give some credit where credit is due. I played in High Resolution and this game is one of the best looking N64 games I have seen. The lighting effects, water and atmosphere are just beautifully done. I have seen this game on the PC with a Voodoo3 graphics card and while the N64 version does not have that quality, it comes close. If more N64 games could look like this, the system may actually be worth owning again.

Bottom Line

I really enjoyed this game and think everyone else will too. If you can get past the occasionally frustrating camera angles, you will be in for a huge adventure full of surprises and fun. You will never know what to expect next. The graphics rival the best on the system and the gameplay is always exhilarating. Well worth the purchase price.

Snapshots and Media

Nintendo 64/N64 Screenshots

Dreamcast Screenshots

GameBoy Color Screenshots

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