You are a real cool dude named Rayman and your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to get the 'Great Protoon'? back from Mr. Dark, free the 'Electoons'? and put them all together to restore harmony and order to the world.
Sound easy? It's not. Sound fun? It is. This is a very good side scroller game with a lot of twists.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
The controls are simple but effective. You have movement on the keypad of right, left, and crouch down. You get Jump with the 'A'? button and you get your fist or other special features on the 'B'? button. You get the fist move shortly into the very first of the game so don't worry about it when you first start -- you must jump and climb your way a bit before you get it. Once you get this move you will find it immediately necessary to continue along the path. The documentation states there are over 60 levels -- I will have to take their word for it right now because I have not gotten that far. It will take some real time to finish this game. I like that. Finishing a game in a weekend takes the fun out of it real quick.
There are extra lives all over the place and you can earn lives by collecting small blue orbs called 'Tings.'? There are also plenty of continues to keep you moving along in the game. You start the game with five lives, and you can get this up to seven or eight lives really quickly early in the game by collecting all those 'Tings.'
There are three save slots that can be copied, deleted, or played. You must make it past certain spots to have the saved games actually help you out. When I first started, I got a few screens into the game and then turned it off. When I wanted to play again, I found that I was starting from the beginning. Do not forget to stop and have your picture taken as this will help you out if you lose all your lives and then have to use one of eight continues to get going again. This will allow you to start farther into the game when you continue, but it still will not be far enough along for a save point. Keep at it and you will find the game pulls you in. I have lost myself in this game for a couple hours at a time.
There is no multiplayer mode for this game. No surprise, as very few game developers have included it (this seems to be the one area that is frequently overlooked on the Game Boy Advance), but it still would have been a fun addition to this release. It would have been a lot of fun to have multiple Raymans (or is that Raymen?) running the course. Either that or match play taking turns but able to watch each other's moves and scores and learn from one another. Maybe a race through the levels seeing who can get to the end of each level first would have been fun. There are lots of possibilities.
The Game Boy Advance version of Rayman is clean and clear. The eye candy factor alone is worth playing this game. The colors are bright and comic book-like. The contrast is good so you can see what you are doing. All in all the visual presentation is fantastic. This is a great looking game. The animated fist is a lot of fun and has a good stretch on the return. Try launching the fist and then crouching down or jumping up, the results can be great and the animation is fun.
The music and sound effects are good and appropriate. The amount of sound you want is changeable. If you do not want the music, you can turn it off, or if you like only the music and want the sound effects turned off you can do that also. I like both together. The best part is that Ubi Soft gives you the choice.
Reading the instruction booklet is helpful. You will get some good tips on what to expect and how to use some of the special powers. There is not a lot to it and it is a fast read so a quick skim is recommended. You will learn what each of the special items look like and what to look for during your journey.
Rayman Advance is an E-rated game and I decided to run it by my eight-year-old son and his swim team buddies. They climbed all over each other to get the game and try it. Once they played it, they were even more enthusiastic to play again. It was a great way for the boys to pass the time between events. Oftentimes, there was one boy playing and two to three looking over his shoulder to watch the action (and to give advice -- they were practically playing by committee). This is high praise for a game these days. It takes a lot to please six boys at age eight. Rayman was able to pull this crowd away from other such titles as Zelda and Pokemon (and THAT is an accomplishment). I really enjoyed this game a lot myself and being a somewhat overgrown child, I guess that fits. I would recommend this game for all ages. It has a lot of replay appeal. A great game! Score: 92. Well done, Ubi Soft.