Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc
On the whole, platform games have given up being bastard hard, substituting challenge with mass and variety. Collecting a stack of objects has become a stand-in for the lack of real danger in infinite continues and regular restart points. We could protest, but, hey, as long as it's done well, we can't knock the enjoyment we wring out of them.
Rayman 3 starts as it means to go on: chucking you around linear levels on a straightforward path to the finish. In each self-contained section you collect various power-ups that give you limited abilities to use in making your way to the exit. In the main, it plays to its strengths in trying to offer more than your bogstandard platforming, switching from basic styles of shooting and puzzling to keep your interest. And it's all done with that traditional, French weirdness - the part where you shrink down into your shoe and drive after one another for no reason at all is a particular highlight. It also offers some replay value in collecting high scores to trade in for external sub-games.
To be negative, it's a little brief and not that difficult, although this does mean it doesn't out-stay its welcome. Thankfully, it's filled with a self-referential wit that makes it enjoyable to play (Rayman's companion. Globox, being just on the right side of getting on your tits) and what is here is never short of entertaining and good-looking. And it's at least $10 cheaper than the console versions. Not the best platformer but the best current platformer for the PC.
Download Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc is a continuation of the imaginative Rayman franchise, which takes place in a fantasy world full of vibrant scenery and lush environments. In this installment, all of the fairy-like red “Lums” are transformed into evil black “Lums” at the hand of the evil sorcerer Andre. As Andre wreaks the titular havoc on our hero's world, Rayman sets out to restore peace and order. Similar to games like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon, Rayman 3 tasks players with running through linear levels full of pitfalls, enemies, and traps. By including a fun point system and continuing the snarky yet humorous attitude of the previous games, Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc remains an absolute blast.
Main Game Features:
- 9 unique worlds
- New point system
- Bonus unlockable content and collectibles
The Rayman franchise has always been a fun and lighthearted series, propelled by its unique movement mechanics and aloof attitude. Rayman has a pretty interesting physique, as his hands and feet are not connected by limbs, but rather float in place. This allows him to shoot out his hands and feet for swift attacks, while his floppy hair can be used as a means for hovering. Although Rayman 3 puts a bigger focus on action than on platforming, these fun traversal features make any Rayman game consistently memorable and fun to play.
One of the biggest changes that Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc makes to the established formula is the introduction of a point system. Throughout levels, there are various ways to earn points, including attacking enemies, collecting gems, and finding hidden collectibles. The point system ties into a combo system, which rewards players for gathering points in quick succession. As you reach various point milestones, you'll unlock access to bonus levels. This adds a nice replayability factor to the game, as hardcore fans will want to reach the highest score possible.
Rayman 3 amps up the amount of variety in both its level design and visual look, offering over 45 levels spread across 9 unique worlds. Players must guide Rayman through a gauntlet of fantasy-themed worlds, traversing areas like deserts, swamps, and even the skies. In addition to hopping across dangerous platforms, Rayman must fight off deadly enemies while attempting to free trapped companions. Extra content can be unlocked if you find enough of the hidden collectibles, so it's always smart to check off the main path!
Fans of 3D platformers and action games will find a lot to love in Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. From its vibrant levels to its inventive gameplay, this mid-2000s gem doesn't receive the love it deserves. Not only is Rayman 3 fun to play, but it's packed with funny dialogue, set in a visually appealing world, and contains a cast of memorable characters. By improving upon the previous games' controls and adding in a dash of aesthetic splendor, Rayman 3 earns its spot as another awesome entry in an excellent franchise.
- Inventive and unique gameplay and movement
- Varied level environments and design
- Hidden collectibles and bonus content
- Less exploration than in previous Rayman games
- Occasionally frustrating platforming
What do you do when your faithful manic sidekick Globox accidentally swallows the Lord of the Dark Lums? Short of pumping his stomach, you do what ever it takes to find a cure for him. That's exactly what everyone's favorite legless and armless hero, Rayman, sets out to do in Rayman3: Hoodlum Havoc. Braving an endless army of Hoodlums, Rayman puts it all the line to save his buddy, rescue imprisoned Teensies and dish out a little whoopass by throwing his hands at the bad guys.
Ubi Soft has done a fantastic job in creating an absolutely surreal dreamlike world that is loaded with detail. There are a nice variety of environments, many of the levels dark, foreboding, and distorted, while others just explode with rich colors. One notable level was particularly disorienting with its wild flashing lights, reminiscent of something out of a disco from the 70's. Along the way, Rayman picks up powerups by rescuing the trapped Teensies and gains some powerful allies.
All the Rayman characters are extremely well done. They are intriguing, if not slightly disturbing and yet strangely endearing. How can you not love the irrepressible John Leguizamo (best known for the character Sid in Ice Age and the Clown in Spawn), who voices Globox. He is hysterical. The game has all the humor and charm of its predecessors but while it may look like a child's game, there are definitely some minor adult innuendoes that might go over the heads of young children (and that's a good thing).
The PS2 has some great platform type games and while there is much to like about Rayman 3, it just falls a bit short when compared to games like Ratchet and Clank. The camera is all over the place at times and especially when fighting in tight quarters, it's sometimes hard to see what's in front of you. The puzzles themselves are pretty straightforward and fun, but there are levels where you want to scream. The level with the witch running around a pot of brew was extremely frustrating. Other levels begin to feel like repeats of previous levels and the boss fights become drawn out to the point where you start to lose interest.
On the positive side, the game has decent depth to it and will not disappoint loyal Rayman fans. Each level is packed with secrets and puzzles. The number of secrets you discover determines your rating, upon completion of each level. This offers some limited replayability. The end result is that fans of Rayman will love this latest release in the series; all others should rent it or hold on to your money for Jax2.
Ubi Soft Fall 2002 -- Here we go again! This time, it looks like Rayman's gotten himself into some sticky situations on the seedy side of town. Lucky for him, he's armed with a new set of powers and combat tactics to keep hordes of smarter and more savage enemies, including Dark Lums, from pounding him to mush. We hope the disjointed one's third game will be as great as the last.
Since Rayman 2 was released, some phenomenal platformers have hit the scene from the likes of Nintendo (Mario Sunshine) and Sony (Sly Cooper, Jak and Daxter, and Ratchet & Clank). And while Rayman 3 is a slight improvement on the limbless wonder's impressive-at-the-time last adventure, it just can't compete with the genre's lofty new benchmarks. Its problems begin with a horribly uninteresting story and unfunny voice acting. Thirty seconds in I was looking for the at least tolerable Raymanese voice option from Rayman 2, but alas, it was not to be found. From there, the game continues its descent with a haphazard mix of derivative gameplay that runs the gamut from imaginative and fun (like the hunt for a gun-toting baddie around his mansion) to utterly annoying and dull (like the absolutely infuriating and pointless levels where you surfboard over planks of light). For each thing that's kinda fun, you get three or four things that aren't. Even bits you'd think would be enjoyable, like a bunch of unlockable bonus games and "funny" cinemas, are so poorly executed they aren't worth looking at more than once--if at all. But...for all its incredible faults, at its core, the game is still pretty good-better than many of the uninspired action-platform games that have found their way to stores recently (Dr. Muto or Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, anyone?). Good? Yes. Great? No.
Here's an odd statement for Rayman to wrap his limbless arms around: Hoodlum Havoc improves on almost everything that its predecessor offered, yet Rayman 2 remains the better game. Havoc's visuals are much better, with smooth, stylish environments and spectacular lighting effects. Plus, the control (especially the targeting) is much tighter. But in an effort to change things up--making constant combat, intense boss battles, and quick action Havoc's focus--Rayman has lost the sprawling sense of adventure that made the prior game so enticing. What you're left with is a solid, sometimes engaging action-platformer, but nothing more.
Dear Rayman: Your latest effort, Hoodlum Havoc, is a fun game. You're as spry as ever, hippity-hopping all over the place and shooting your fists at whomsoever needs a beating. And your helicopter hair is dynamite, as always. And yet...sorry, Ray, but it's like this: People expect you to exceed their expectations. Rayman 2 really knocked their socks off, and they're hoping you'll do it again. Havoc is cute, lighthearted, accessible, and fun. But its straightforward jumping puzzles and quirky boss battles will put your fans through their paces without really challenging them. This is a no-nonsense platformer from the king of nonsense! Let's discuss it further over lunch. Sincerely.