Rayman DS Review
If you played Rayman 2 a few years back when it appeared on the then current generation of consoles, then Rayman DS will be quite familiar to you. This is because Rayman DS is basically a port of that game Ė a successful platform game turned mobile now that portable hardware has caught up to the previous generation of home systems in terms of power. So if youíre a Rayman 2 veteran, the first question that you need to ask yourself is whether or not you want to revisit a game that you played about five years ago or not. If youíre new to Rayman, then you missed a pretty darn good platformer in Rayman 2 and are lucky to have the chance to experience the game on your new DS system. Unfortunately though, the port has suffered a bit in the translation and the DS version does not match the high standards set by the original game.
In Rayman DS you play as Rayman himself, a big-nosed creature with hands and feet but no limbs. Raymanís paradise of a world has been invaded by Razorbeard and his band of pirates, and Rayman and all of his friends and neighbors have been locked up into cages. Luckily the pirates missed one of Raymanís friends, Murphy, and he is able to rescue Rayman. Now Rayman must in turn rescue all of the other locals as well as collect the 100 shattered pieces of the Heart of the World in order to have the power to get rid of the pirates for good.
Rayman DS is certainly a diverse platform game. Sure, you have your usual jumping from platform to platform and running from nasties, but there are a large number of other types of moves as well. You can perform a helicopter float, climb vines, bounce on mushrooms, swim underwater, hang from trellises, slide down slopes, and more. The game also does a good job of providing you with ample opportunity to use these moves, not only as part of the gameplay but to find hidden areas as well. To attack enemies Rayman can fire bouncing projectiles from his hand. If you also hold down the R button you will lock onto the enemy which will allow you to strafe and dodge while taking down the bad guy, assured that your shots will all hit their mark.
Rayman DS will let you use the touchscreen to control Rayman by moving a cursor. The cursor acts as an analog stick allowing you to control Raymanís speed from a slow sneak to a full sprint. This is not possible for the DSí directional buttons, which only allow you to make Rayman run and stop. Although you can adjust the position of this control spot, itís not really practical or even sensitive enough for regular use during play. The only other thing that the secondary screen is used for is to keep a running tally of the number of creatures saved from cages, number of Lums collected, and Raymanís health. As these are typical of the things displayed onscreen for a platform game, or at least quickly accessible, the touchscreen is pretty superfluous when playing the game unless you can manage to use the control cursor with consistency.