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Writer: Steven Hansen
PS3 (reviewed), Vita, 360, PC, Wii
Released: Nov 15, 20l1 (PS3/360/Wii), Feb 15, 2012 (Vita)
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
I never got too into the Rayman series over the years, but when Rayman Origins caught my attention, looking that pretty, I had to take a peek. I also had to check and make sure that I still loved 2D platformers and that it isn’t just nostalgia that gives the genre its glister. Turns out, I do in fact still love 2D platformers. And I love Rayman Origins.
In Rayman Origins, some things definitely happen. Rayman, his goofy pal Globox, and friends are all chillin’ out in the Snoring Tree when their chill beats disturb an old, scary lady from down below, causing her to unleash a pox upon the world that Rayman (and company) must stop by saving sexy nymphs and doing other things. It may in fact be an origin story (as the name might imply), set in the beginning of the Rayman universe. Or it may not. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that it warms my soul.
When I first took control of my unfamiliar, limbless protagonist, I felt an innate satisfaction in simply maneuvering him around the environment. It was just like all of the great platformers in how empowering it was simply to jump, but Rayman has some modern contrivances that help elevate it, as it builds on the fundamentals of its predecessors.
Writer: Andy Astruc
XBL (reviewed), PSN
Released: March 7, 2012 (XBL), April 4, 2012 (PSN)
Developer: Darkworks, Ubisoft Shanghai
The world is coming to an end. All the power plants exploded, a meteor has entered the atmosphere, the robots have taken over and all the men have caught a mysterious disease and dropped dead. In a stroke of good fortune, the only people equipped to survive the coming storm and inevitably depressing aftermath will be forest-dwelling, bearded lunatics and people who play video games.
More radiation and dust-covered bikini babes for us, in the end. The realm of the post-apocalyptic wasteland is not new to video games (Fallout, Enslaved, Rage and Beneath a Steel Sky just off the top of my head), but could we ever really tire of decaying worlds stripped of colour and happiness, where life itself withers and rots like old cheese? I Am Alive certainly thinks you’re ready for one more spirit-crushing trip to the death of everything.