Oh hey I know Rayman, he's that rabbit guy right?
No! He's not! AT ALL! Rayman is a limbless hero that's been around sense the playstation 1. His first game was a artful platformer taking place in bizarre landscapes using the excuse that Rayman is literally a cartoon character. The game was hard as hell, and unforgiving, yet loved for it's quirky humor and tight platforming, even if you never did see the end of it. After that the series took a darker turn with Rayman 2 which, honestly is on every console ever made, and I'd be surprised if you haven't heard of it, Rayman's colorful land was ravished and drained of life and while fun, a ton of the life from the original vanished, though it never stopped the game from being fantastic. 3 was a return to form but after that the series quickly fell apart into minigames and various other genre's that Rayman frankly didn't belong in. With the wii's launch he was imprisoned by Rabbids, small white rabbits, in a minigame fest and was soon written out of his own title.
Well that's all nice and fine, but what's origins then?
After vanishing for so long he's finally back with the rabbids nowhere in sight, in Rayman Orgins, Ubisoft has returned to Rayman's roots and the game resembles 1 in terms of gameplay. Rayman and his friends are all having a lazy day around the Glade of Dreams when their obnoxious snoring wakes up a crazy old witch lady who doesn't take kindly to that at all. She awakens a legion of demons and goes after rayman and his friends, taking over the overworld in a fit of rage. Whoops. Gameplay takes place on a 2D plain where you run around hovering with helicopter hair, slapping enemies, jumping puzzles and all sorts of things you'd expect from a certain plumber. The game also brings the difficulty of Rayman 1 with it, though with more kinder checkpoints. The biggest draw though is 4 player drop in and out local co-op, hit or miss as it may be there's no online whatsoever, but if you can gather around 3 other players all four of you can run around New Super Mario Bros style in a race for points. Featuring unlockable colors/skins and all sorts of things to make sure you aren't forced into a character you don't want to be, though they all play the same.
A bit of warning though, you only have one hitpoint so if you get blasted you're dead. You can find heart power ups to keep you alive that act like a shield but that's about it.
Sounds tough, but is it JUST platforming?
Hell no! You'll have swimming stages (that are actually fun and have amusing synchronized swimming events) and 2D Shoot em' up type levels where you ride a giant Mosquito that can fire pellets at enemies, suck larger enemies up, and fire them like cannon balls. The game also features hidden worlds, unlockable challenges, time trials, and challenge courses where you have to chase down a treasure chest that's fleeing for it's very life. There's plenty to do in each level as well as you look for cages to break open to free Rayman's friends from certain death or... being stuck in cages, which in turn unlock more levels and more characters/skins.
Oh, that's pretty neat then. Is there a demo?
Yes! In fact there is, right now on XBLA/PSN you can find the demo that features 3 short stages (one of each archtype of platforming, swimming/chase, and SHMUP's)
Oh neat, can I see some more media then?
Sure you can!
Game releases next week! 11/15