Rayman Legends

is the antidote to

Grand Theft Auto 5

. In contrast to last week's massively complex, graphically violent blockbuster, the 2D platformer is pure sweetness and simplicity.


No need to spend hours stockpiling cash and weapons. The only currency you'll have to save up here is your general "awesomeness". Shooting rival criminals in the head? The worst you're going to do is poke a few monsters in the eye as a slightly mean way of saying "excuse me".

It's a fun and slightly manic palate-cleanser. The aim of Rayman is to save the race of stunted, big-nosed blue monsters known as Teensies, who have been sucked into mysterious paintings to be beaten and caged by a chaotic array of monsters. Our stick limbed hero has to sprint, swing, glide and fight his way around a series of increasingly difficult-to-navigate worlds in search of his tiny friends.

Every bit of the journey looks beautiful. The game was created by respected French designer Michel Ancel. He was crafted an eye-popping and intricately detailed world, filled with one-eyed sea-monsters, skeletons and sharkmen, stilt-wearing toads and flaming flying eyeballs. Rayman and his rotating cast of stick-limbed allies feel fluid to handle, like real creatures animated on screen.

The gameplay doesn't quite live up to the graphics. Rayman never gets far without making some tangible progress - whether unlocking a new world, uncovering a creature or rescuing a fellow hero.

Musical levels, increasingly difficult bosses and, bizarrely, kung fu soccer are there to spice up the action.

But it can still feel a bit repetitive. Most of the levels follow the same format, with Rayman escaping an innumerable array of pitfalls while punching Teensies from their cages. Eventually you get to wondering why these creatures couldn't help themselves.

Give poor Rayman a break already. His job really does start to feel exhausting.

Stars: 3.5/5
Platform: WiiU, XBox 360
Rated: G
Verdict: Madcap but a little monotonous
Click here to buy Rayman Legends for Xbox 360.
Follow @nzherald_ent on Twitter for all the latest entertainment news.

- TimeOut