Rayman 2: The Great Escape (PS1, PS2, N64, 3DS, Dreamcast, PC) (1999) Review

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After the massive success of Mario, Sonic and the Legend of Zelda making it big in the world of 3D gaming it was of no surprise that the rising video game star Rayman would soon be joining them and the result was one of the most beloved games of all time Rayman 2.

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Every resident of the Glade of Dreams including Rayman has been captured by an army of robotic pirates led by Admiral Razorbeard, the reason behind doing this isn’t explained very well and my only guess is that they are only doing this because they want slaves.

Rayman manages to escape the Prison Ship and returns to the Glade of Dreams, here he finds out that the pirates have destroyed the heart of the world causing Rayman to lose his powers,luckily a new fairy called Ly is on hand to help rayman regain his powers while he is on his quest to rescue all the slaves from their kidnappers.

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Similar to its predecessor Rayman 2 is an action platformer and the only major difference here is that this game is 3D and apart from that everything else is essentially the same, Rayman can run, jump, hover and grab and swing from pink rings, throughout the game you will sometimes run into Ly the fairy and when you do she will either give you a new power or she will enhance  power you already have making it more powerful and useful for example you can get a hover expansion which allows Rayman to fly in certain areas.

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The main objective of the game is that Rayman needs to find and collect four ancient masks in order to awaken the god Polokus, once awakened Polokus can help Rayman by destroying all of the Pirates who remain in the Glade of Dreams while Rayman returns to the prison ship to take on Razorbeard.

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There are still some fetch quests for Rayman this time around but luckily they are not required, one of the objectives is to find and collect all 1000 yellow lums (800 in the PS1 version) these yellow lums make up the heart of the world that was destroyed by the pirates, they are spread all over the glade of dreams and collecting them all gives bonuses in certain versions of the game in the PS1 version you will unlock the beta level of the original Rayman 2 before the game was made into 3D and in the pS2 and PC ports  you will unlock a minigame for each level that you collect all of the yellow lums, the PS2 and PC version also allow the player to purchase new upgrades and abilities using the lums you have collected.

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Another collectible in the game are the familiar spirits, these creatures have been locked in cages all over the land, Rayman can free these spirits in a similar manner to first game by simply punching the cages, in the PC and PS2 port if Rayman brings these spirits to Ly the fairy he can take part in different minigames that he can try to beat in order to gain a health expansion.

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In most versions of the game Rayman will travel throughout the Glade of Dreams via the Hall of Doors a magical portal to each stage in the game.

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The PC and PS2 ports of the game scrap the Hall of Doors for an open world environment that Rayman can use to access all of the stages while also using the hub world for access to new content such as the shop and Ly’s minigames.

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I have played a lot of 3D platformer’s in my time and out of all them this one has the best control and the smoothest frame rate, this was a big surprise to me because Rayman has so many abilities that it should make some of the games main mechanics quite difficult but instead everything is perfect and it feels great, this came out on the same systems as Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot but it feels better than some of the more modern Mario Games and that is just mind blowing.

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The visuals in Rayman 2 are obviously going to be very different to the original game due to the leap into 3D, I like the visuals here but it’s hard to love them after playing the first game where its visuals were absolutely outstanding, the new look and style brought to Rayman 2 is nothing more than just ok and don’t get me wrong they are not by any means bad graphics, for the time they were up to par with the systems it had to work with, its just nothing about them is really unique or memorable which is more of a disappointment than an actual problem.

The soundtrack unfortunately has the same problem but in my opinion its worse, no music in this game made me sing along or made me feel any emotion, I’m sure there are people out there that love the soundtrack presented here but for me it was nothing more than generic and uninteresting.

Rayman 2 is a really good game but its not quite as unique as the original and that’s not really a bad thing especially considering that they are completely different experiences, the story is interesting, all characters are likable, it controls great and the only real disappointment were the visuals and soundtrack and even then that’s just a personal preference.

In my opinion I wouldn’t say that Rayman 2 is quite as good as the original game but I would recommend it out of the 2 of them its still a great game and the lack of needed fetch quests does make it a lot less stressful. 7.3/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Rayman 2: The Great Escape

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

 

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Sonic Heroes (2003) (GC, PC, PS2, XBOX) Review

Happy New Year and to kick of 2016 we are going to be looking at another controversial 3D Sonic game

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Sonic Heroes released in 2003 and was Sega and Sonic Teams attempt at making a next generation Sonic game that uses Team based mechanics, just like Shadow the Hedgehog this game also has a reputation of either being a piece of crap or a pretty fun experience.

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Sonic Heroes is split into four main campaigns Team Sonic, Team Rose, Team Dark and Team Chaotix, each of these teams have unique story and for the most part a different objective which ties into the games main plot.

Team Sonic receive a threat from Dr Robotnik about some new scheme he is creating and so Sonic, Tails and Knuckles run off to find and defeat Robotnik.

Team Rose are on the hunt for Big the Cat’s Missing Frog and Cream the Rabbit’s Chao Chocola.

Team Chaotix work for a detective agency and they hunt down a new client who offers them a lot of money if they rescue them from where they are being kept prisoner.

Team Darks story begins with Rouge the Bat searching for a hidden treasure when she accidentally comes across Shadow the Hedgehog and Omega (a security bot built by Robotnik),  Omega is angry because Robotnik locked him away for so long and Shadow has forgotten everything about himself and his past, all three of them seek out Robotnik for revenge and answers to why Omega and Shadow were locked away.

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How you play the game is that you control three characters for each team one Speed Character, one Power Character and one Flight Character, In teams Sonic, Dark and Rose you will need to use all three characters to pass obstacles and defeat enemies while trying to get to the goal ring as fast as possible.

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Team Chaotix are personally my favorite team to play as they are the only team that offer new gameplay, while playing as Team Chaotix you will need to play through all the same stages as the other teams but each with a new objective for example in one stage you need to find and rescue a lot of Chao and in another you need to find and blow out a bunch of flames that are hidden through out the level.

A big problem with beating the game with all four teams is that you will literally be playing through the same stages over and over again, yes each team does use slightly different paths but most of the time its the exact same stage and its gets really boring and repetitive, this is why I enjoy Team Chaotix the most they offer a more unique gameplay and its a nice break from the action style gameplay of the other teams.

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While playing through each stage you will find small golden keys that you will lose if you take damage, these keys are very important because if you manage to survive a stage with a key you will be sent to a bonus level which will either allow you to earn lives or you can try and catch one of the seven Chaos Emeralds.

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The controls are some of the worst I have ever used in a Sonic game, the characters move way too fast which often causes players to hit unforeseen enemies, some areas in the game require rail grinding and these controls make these sections a lot more difficult than they need to be, far too often did I try to quickly switch rails and the game decided to fling me far into the distance making me fall to my death, the awful controls make the special stages almost impossible to play which is extremely annoying because you need to play these to get the Chaos Emeralds and just getting to the special stages isn’t that easy of task to complete in the first place.

Glitches are not uncommon in this game so be wary if you ever to pick this one up, my advice is to mostly use the power characters as they are strong enough to take out a lot of enemies as well as moving at a reasonable pace, flying characters are by far the most useful this is due to a glitch allowing you too quickly build up your Team Blast bar by quickly throwing  your team mates using the flying character, the speed characters move far too quickly and I recommend you never play as the speed characters unless you get to section where they are needed.

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Team Blasts are a new type of special attack where all three characters in your team will work together to destroy every enemy on screen.

The music in the game isn’t really anything special, I love the vocal tracks but the level themes are just basic and not very catchy which is a shame because for me the music is what I look forward to the most when I play Sonic games and especially when I play the 3D games as they have a reputation of not being some of the best games out there.

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The visuals are amazing in this game, Sonic Heroes looks like one of the old 2D sonic games brought into the 3D world, the level designs are perfect rail sections are only implemented when they need to be, surprisingly their isn’t too many loops, every area is unique and offers a new gameplay style for example in the jungle levels you will find frogs that can make platforms appear and disappear and the Casino levels offer pinball and bingo sections to help you earn a whole load of rings to help you on your adventure and its not too often that you will die due to bad game design.

 

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The game has three types of Boss battles within the four campaigns you will either fight Dr Robotnik in one of his aircraft’s, another Team you meet while on your adventure or a barrage of Robotniks robots, for the aircraft’s just use the speed character because you can glitch the game by spamming homing attacks on the boss killing it almost instantly and for the other two I recommend a fully powered flight character as you hover in the air avoiding enemy attacks and due to the flight character being very over powered by using this character you will beat the level very quickly.

If you collect all seven Chaos Emeralds and manage to beat each Team’s campaign you will unlock Final Story which is the games real final boss and its eventual conclusion.

I wont go into too much detail here due to spoilers but I will say that this boss is a blast to fight, if 3D sonic games have one good thing about them it is almost always the final boss, the real enemy of the game is not Dr Robotnik but is a returning villain from past Sonic games that long time fans will surely enjoy fighting once again.

In conclusion Sonic Heroes is a really fun game with a lot of really big problems, it looks amazing but it plays and feels horrible, the soundtrack is not very interesting and the whole game feels rather repetitive, its not quite as bad as Shadow the Hedgehog but that doesn’t mean it’s a good experience.

Sonic Heroes is ok at best, its a shame because if all of these issues didn’t exist it would of been a classic 4.0/10

I still want a sequel though, come on Sonic Team its been almost 13 years and we want a Sonic Heroes 2 just make this one not so broken please.

I hope you enjoyed this review of  Sonic Heroes

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

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