The Wii U’s library is full of some fantastic titles.
In fact, for all the power of the Xbox One and the PS4, it’s the Wii U which has delivered on software this year, with critically acclaimed titles such as Bayonetta 2, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Shovel Knight entertaining gamers across the world. Whilst 3rd party software on the console remains sparse, we’ve decided to revisit arguably the best 3rd party title on the Wii U: Rayman Legends. A sequel to the fantastic Rayman Origins, Legends can support up to 4 -player simultaneous platforming through a huge variety of levels. Not only are there traditional platform levels but there are also levels that require heavy and innovative use of the Gamepad, a rarity in the Wii U library.
Graphically, the game is absolutely superb and a showcase for console gaming. Running in full 1080p, the game runs the UbiArt Framework engine in all its glory, rarely dipping in frame rate. Each world looks fantastic, from the early castle world to the underwater labyrinths later on. In fact, it’s somewhat ironic that many Nintendo gamers overlooked this Wii U title when the game looks infinitely better than New Super Mario Bros. U, a rethread on the NSMB formula, which arrived on the Wii U at launch.
The gameplay is solid and picks up where Origins left off. Rayman has a variety of tools at his disposal and the platforming is tight and responsive. The addictive nature of the gameplay works well with the level unlocking mechanic too; each levels contains a number of secret ‘lums’ which, when collected, will unlock further stages, allowing the player to progress. Even early on in the game, I was constantly being challenged to explore every nook and cranny and repeating levels never felt dull or boring.
The one downside I’ve experienced so far is the mixed quality of the gamepad levels. Here, the on screen character known as ‘Murphy’ simply walks throughout an environment and the player must interact with the level to allow him to progress. The player may be required to press switches or shield Murphy from environmental hazards, and in most cases these levels work well. The downside comes from how long and drawn out some of these stages are; in such a fast paced platform game, it can be frustrating to have to pull out the stylus and spend a few minutes on these less action packed stages.
As I near the end of my time with Rayman Legends, I’m beginning to think that this may well be one of, if not the best, platform games on the Wii U. Whilst Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze and Super Mario 3D World were fantastic games, Rayman Legends beats them in many ways. The graphics and audio are simply out of this world and the inclusion of the first game, Rayman Origins, makes this title great value for money. Since its original release, the game is now available on virtually every console under the sun. Check it out, you won’t regret it.