Rayman Classic is of course a 2D platformer, a port of the original Rayman game from 1994. This appears to be a port of the PC version of the game to Android and iOS. It stars the limbless, eponymous protagonist that has become one of Ubisoft’s most iconic characters. his is one of the first games that plunged Ubisoft and Michel Ancel into prominence thanks to its gorgeous visuals and Red Book audio that made it a fit for the CD era of gaming. It also was kind of a brutal challenge, and still is.
Levels have blind leaps of faith, difficult sections with spread-out checkpoints, and difficult boss fights to tackle with limited health, lives, and even continues. Rayman’s fists are a useful weapon, and the limbless nature of the fist makes it act as a boomerang, able to hit enemies on the backswing. Yet, the game often throws small height differences to make it tough to hit certain enemies. The reasons for that amount to “screw you, player.” You have health, but sections with enemies that can knock you into instadeath are frequent. And the long distances between checkpoints in levels is a severe annoyance. Plus, the levels are way too long, with many jarring contrasts between the different sections. If these sections were split into individual levels, the game would feel more fair and fun.
Rayman’s graphics hold up pretty well, though they do look a bit aged. This game suffers from the move to high-resolution and LCD displays from low-resolution and CRT displays. CRT blurriness, tiny screens, and small resolutions gave a nice, smooth look to Rayman back in the day. In 2016, the pixels have a jagged look to them. And because the game has a higher amount of detail than 8-bit and earlier games, it looks flawed on HD LCDs instead of endearingly chunky.
One of the refrains I saw as Rayman Classic was being teased for mobile was the question of how the controls would work. Well, the virtual joystick is subobtimal compared to physical controls, but still decent. Quick and precise left/right movements are a bit tricky to pull off.
what you get here is a history lesson, Rayman represented as it once was but that’s the problem with Rayman Classic: there are other, actually good Rayman games now but unless you’re curious to study this relic more than you intend to enjoy it, I’d say to pass.