Rayman DS
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4  |  Rayman DS
larsoncc , 4/28/2005 7:23:47 AM

Rayman DS is terrible. The graphics in don't even match up to the Nintendo 64 version of the game, and it's the same game from beginning to end. In fact, if you want to play a "suped up" version of this game, try the Dreamcast version. Whatever you do, don't buy the DS version, however. There's no anti aliasing of the graphics, and not only does this make the game ugly, the crappiness makes Rayman more difficult to play. Details in the distance or sometimes even up close are hard as hell to see. The game becomes a confusing mess of blocky garbage, and that's a problem throughout the game.

The substandard graphics are a major failing of the game, but they are by no means the worst failure of this version of Rayman. The game suffers from horrendous controls. This is due, in part, to the level design in Rayman DS. Most of the hallways and corridors are at angles, which makes it difficult to maneuver through with the D pad. There is a half-assed attempt to make up for this by providing a touchscreen analog control. Good luck fumbling with it, as you're screaming at the two screens in frustration. The analog control is simply not implemented very well. Rather than using the entire touchscreen, it has a virtual analog controller. There is one specific spot that your thumb must be to use the analog control. Frequently, I find myself looking back down at the analog control, to see why Rayman is standing there like a dope. Or worse, why Rayman has decided to go in entirely the opposite direction that I specified. All in all, the fake analog controls are a very frustrating experience.

The fact that this game is also a port makes it less desirable. I, for one, didn't buy an advanced system just to play a rehash of the same games that I've been playing since 1999. This game wasn't designed for this smaller screen, this particular type of control scheme, or this level of graphical power. Aside from the messed up control, there are no additions to this version of Rayman. Forget the possibility of multiplayer through the DS's wireless configuration. Forget using the second screen for anything worthwhile. All in all, this is the most pathetic launch game for the DS.

On the upside, this game does have wonderful sound, with the voice actors mumbling phrases, in an imaginary language. The voice acting is cute and adorable, and adds to the sense of adventure in the game. Likewise, the graphics in this game are passable despite the lack of refinement found in the Nintendo 64 version. Another upside to Rayman is that you'll frequently find the game for about $10.00 less than comparable Nintendo DS titles. The price point makes it a little less painful to add this game to your library, and the game doesn't entirely stink.

However, despite the price, given the nature of the game, I can't recommend Rayman. There are better titles for the Nintendo DS, and you're better spending the extra $10.00 to get a game like Wario Ware Touched!. I give this game a 4/10.

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