Welcome to Rayman Advance, on of the most visually stunning handheld games in existence. Good to look at, but is it good to play? Let’s find out.
This is a platformer (surprise!) that invents a rather leisurely style of its own. The game is never really very frantic and plays at an amiable pace. The enemies are a mere nuisance, as most of the game relies on your ability to jump and hover.
Control is fine. A to jump, B to punch, R to run. Easy. Rayman gains his skills as the game goes along, so he can revisit older levels to get new items. The momentum sometimes feels a bit weird, but this is easily accustomed to after about a half-hour’s play.
Rayman Advance plays unlike any other platform game. Rayman must rescue the Electoons who have been caged—six batches of them hidden in each area. They appear almost randomly—going to certain niche areas of the game screen will cause things to just pop up, sometimes right in your face. This can prove frustrating when an unkillable enemy spawns right next to you at the end of the level with one health point left.
This cart will have you swearing when you fail a jump for the umpteenth time due to the extremely close-up viewpoint. Rayman appears VAST on the screen—he takes about half of it! When combined with the dark on later levels, this style of view will make you angry. The levels themselves are rather fiendish, too. Spikes everywhere and one-hit-kills around most every corner.
The game’s sound is, in a word, awful. Annoying tunes blare out of the speakers, and the FX aren’t that good either. Everything sounds a little crackly, and the repetition will drive you crazy!
But now a good point! This game looks awesome, with the exception of a couple of sprites (the restart points look blurry and off-colour). The backgrounds and character designs are lush, and the bosses fearsome.
The Electoons are well-hidden, and if you have the patience to look for them, you could be spending months on this game. It keeps you perplexed, but is a little too frustrating for my book.
Rayman Advance is a good bet on the cheap, but think twice when faced with a full purchase. Give it a rent if possible.