Rayman 3 Hoodlum Havoc Review

So, letís say you happen to have no arms but you have hands. Or that you have feet, but no legs. As a matter of fact you donít have a neck either. Personally Iíd be a little bummed. But a little dude by the name of Rayman has achieved more without the use of limbs than many videogame heroes that come stocked with a full set of stems. Heís done so well in fact that he is now on his third outing (fourth if you really feel like counting Rayman Arena, which I would not advise). But is he like a fine wine getting better with age, or should he start looking for gigs in a freak-show circus? The answers lie ahead...

Just another walk in the woods for Rayman.

As I mentioned, and as the title implies, Rayman 3 is the third release in the Rayman series. It is your traditional platformer along the lines of a Mario or Crash. Just like the games in both of those series, Rayman has a style that is easily recognizable. A lot of that style is from the main man himself. You see Rayman does not have any arm, legs or a neck. He does have hands and feet however. Now before the women and children go screaming out of the room thinking he must be some type of horror movie reject, let me tell you that what he lacks in limbs he more than makes up for in a funny personality. This is another staple of the Rayman series; its ability not only to make fun of itself, but also of the video game industry itself. Rayman has also created a nice reputation for itself for having some of the best drop-dead graphics of any game around and Iíll cover this a little later. But first the story...

Our story starts quickly enough when one of Raymanís sidekicks, Globox, ends up swallowing the Dark Lum Lord, Andre. Lums are the bad guys of this world and they look a little like small black fleas. (By the way, you happen to throw a hood on one of them and what do you get? A HoodlumÖ) As you could imagine the Lum lord is none to happy to be in the belly of Globox and heís trying very hard to get out. This of course is something Globox wants also, but in a humane and reasonable way. Itís up to Rayman to help out his friend and so he starts globetrotting to find the cure for one serious case of indigestion.

If youíve ever played a platformer then you already mostly know what Rayman is about. Itís not bringing anything new to the table; itís just trying to prepare the same things in a slightly different way. There are many different levels and most of them are really colorful and nice to look at. The graphics in Rayman 3 are solidly done, even if the PS2 version may be a little lacking when compared to the XBox or GameCube versions. I found the levels pretty imaginative with one of the more entertaining parts being the way Ray travels from one major level to another. Itís done in a wonderfully psychedelic stream of rail riding and pretty cool music. Actually the colors and background graphics are so bright and trippy that they often take your eyes away from the next jump you should be concentrating on.