Rayman Legends is a platform video game developed by Ubisoft Montpellier and published by Ubisoft. It is the fifth main title in the Rayman series and the direct sequel to the 2011 game Rayman Origins. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and PlayStation Vita platforms in August and September 2013. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions were released in February 2014.
Rayman Legends was originally announced at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2012 as a Wii U exclusive and was planned for release during the console's launch window. However, the game was delayed and released several months later on multiple platforms.
Rayman Legends received critical acclaim upon release. Many critics praised the game's visuals, level design, controls, soundtrack, overall gameplay, and the large amount of content. Some critics went as far as calling Rayman Legends one of the best platforming video games ever made. The game was considered a commercial success and won several awards from video gaming publications.
The game carries on the style of gameplay from Rayman Origins in which up to four players (depending on the format) simultaneously make their way through various levels. Lums can be collected by touching them, defeating enemies, or freeing captured Teensies. Collecting Teensies unlocks new worlds, which can be played in any order once they are available. Along with Rayman, Globox, and the Teensies returning as playable characters, players can now control new female character Barbara and her sisters, once they are rescued from certain stages.
In addition to the main playable characters, Murfy the greenbottle, who first appeared in Rayman 2: The Great Escape, appears as an assist character. Murfy can perform various actions such as cutting through ropes, activating mechanisms, grabbing hold of enemies and assisting in gathering Lums. These offer a range of levels in which co-operation is required to progress. In the Wii U, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation 4 versions of the game, an additional player can control Murfy directly with touch controls, using the Wii U GamePad, the Vita's front touch screen, and the Dual Shock 4 touchpad respectively. In single-player mode, control will switch over to Murfy during certain sections whilst the computer controls the player's character. In the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC versions of the game, Murfy moves automatically and can be prompted to interact with certain objects with button controls. Other new features include sections where players can fire projectile fists at enemies and rhythm based levels set to covers of songs such as "Black Betty", "Eye of the Tiger", and "Woo-Hoo".
The game features over 120 levels, including 40 remastered levels from the original Rayman Origins, which are unlocked by obtaining Lucky Tickets, which can also win additional Lums and Teensies. Some levels feature remixed 'Invaded' versions, which must be completed as quickly as possible. The game also offers daily and weekly challenge stages, in which players can compete with other players via leaderboards in challenges such as collecting a certain number of Lums in a short time, or surviving the longest on a stage. More challenge stages can be accessed by raising the player's 'awesomeness' rating, which increases by collecting trophies earned by rescuing Teensies, collecting a high number of Lums in each level or by having a high leaderboard position at the end of a challenge. A local multiplayer football game, Kung Foot, is also featured, in which players use attacks to knock a football into the opponent's goal.
Rayman, Globox and the Teensies have been sleeping for a century. During that time, the Bubble Dreamer's nightmares grew in strength and numbers, and so has the Magician (who has survived the explosion in Rayman Origins), who has split into 5 "Dark Teensies". Rayman and friends are awakened by their friend Murfy who tells them about the bad news, and tells them that the 10 princesses of the land (including Barbara) and the Teensies have been captured by the nightmares and the Dark Teensies. Rayman, Globox, the Teensies, and Murfy set out to defeat these new threats. After defeating 4 of the Dark Teensies and fighting the worst of the nightmares, Rayman and friends go to Olympus Maximus and confront a giant cloud of pure nightmare. After the darkness has been destroyed and the last Dark Teensie is sent to the moon, the credits roll. If four-hundred teensies are saved, the player unlocks the last world of the game, Living Dead Party. Once completed, the nightmares are defeated and the player is awarded with 10,000 lums and 6 new invasion paintings. Once the player saves all 700 Teensies, they unlock the golden Teensie.
The game was first leaked in an online marketing survey, which hinted that the upcoming "Rayman Origins 2" would include dragons, vampires, ghosts, the return of the Land of the Livid Dead and also someone dear to the Rayman series, in addition to returning features from its predecessor. Subsequently, Ubisoft registered the domain names "RaymanLegends.com" and "Rayman-Legends.com".
On 27 April 2012, the game's first trailer was leaked, revealing several details about it, including new playable characters, as well as the inclusion of online multiplayer. The end of the trailer also showcased Wii U exclusive features such as the use of NFC to make figures placed on the touchscreen appear on the game, as demonstrated with Rabbids and leaked it with a figure of Ezio from Assassin's Creed. Ubisoft later released a statement that confirmed its development, though stated it was "intended as a purely internal demonstrative video, and in no way represents the final game, the final console or their features."
The game was officially unveiled for the Wii U and demonstrated by Ubisoft at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2012 trade show, Murfy (or Murphy) appeared as a playable character in the demo. Though Ubisoft has only confirmed the game's release on the Wii U, Ubisoft senior game manager Michael Micholic stated that Ubisoft is considering PS3, Xbox 360 and PC versions of Rayman Legends as "we're looking at a lot of different launch options". A trailer released at Gamescom 2012 revealed it would be exclusive to the Wii U.
It was originally set to be released on 30 November 2012 (as a Wii U launch title). However, on 8 October 2012, it was reported to be delayed. On 13 December 2012, a demo of the game was released on the eShop. The official release date was revealed to be 26 February 2013, but was delayed further to September 2013 to allow for the title to have a simultaneous release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. This delay upset fans since the developer had stated that the Wii U version was already finished. Fans started a petition for the game to be released on the original date on the Wii U, which had over 11,000 people signed onto it. To appease fans, Ubisoft said the Wii U would get another exclusive demo in the future, however this was just as negatively received. Developers that worked on the game have also expressed their distaste for the delay, while creator Michel Ancel was photographed with protesters campaigning for the release of the game.
In response to the delay, the development team have announced that they will be releasing the game's Online Challenges mode for free via the Nintendo eShop, which released on 25 April 2013. This mode features daily challenges based on one of five scenarios, one of which is exclusive to Wii U, and features online leaderboards and ghost functionality. They also stated that with the extra development time, they would be adding new levels, enemies and more to the game. On 24 February 2013, it was revealed that Michel Ancel and the Montpellier team might leave over this controversy but Ubisoft denies Michel Ancel departure rumours. According to Yves Guillemot, Chairman and CEO of Ubisoft, ZombiU's poor sales performance led to the decision of making Rayman Legends a multiplatform game. Although the team considered using Xbox Smartglass to recreate the game's Wii U GamePad features on Xbox 360, the system was not responsive enough.
On 1 August 2013 it was announced that Wii U owners who downloaded the Rayman Legends Challenges App prior to 28 August 2013 receive an exclusive costume for Rayman. Pre-orders of certain versions of the game either come with bonus character Avelina, inspired by Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, or bonus costumes for Rayman. On 7 August 2013, in a Nintendo Direct presentation, 2 new costumes were announced for the Wii U version: a Mario costume for Rayman, and a Luigi costume for Globox. On 23 August, the Rayman Legends Musical Beatbox App became available on the internet, iTunes, and Android devices. This app allows users to create their own songs from scratch, or by using Legendary Mode, which allows them to edit the game songs with 3 choices: Teensies in Trouble, 20000 Lums Under the Sea, and Fiesta de los Muertos. On 28 August 2013, Ubisoft announced on the Rayman Legends site that the European PlayStation Vita Version has been delayed to 12 September 2013 to apply the "final level of polish" players expect from a Rayman game.
The game features various improvements to the Ubi Art Framework engine used in Origins. These include a new dynamic lighting system, which lightens or silhouettes characters based on their environment, along with stealth sections that make use of light and shadow, and the seamless integration of 3D elements in 2D environments, made prominent in the game's 3D modelled bosses and monsters.
A smartphone game based on Legends' art style, Rayman Fiesta Run, was developed by Pastagames and released for iOS and Android devices on 7 November 2013. It is the sequel to the previous title, Rayman Jungle Run.
On the PS4 and Xbox One, Rayman Legends took advantage of the improved specifications. This means the game uses uncompressed textures and features reduced loading times between levels. Rayman's bonus costumes from the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions are also readily available in these versions.
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Rayman Legends received critical acclaim. Review aggregation websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the Wii U version 93.00% and 92/100, the Xbox One version 92.17% and 91/100, the PlayStation 3 version 91.81% and 91/100, the PlayStation 4 version 90.45% and 90/100, the PC version 90.00% and 89/100, the Xbox 360 version 88.88% and 90/100 and the PlayStation Vita version 83.33% and 87/100.
GamesRadar gave the game a score of 4.5 out of 5 stars, praising the level variety and presentation, whilst criticizing the sometimes chaotic multiplayer and some of the touchscreen sections during solo play.
Jose Otero of IGN rated the game a 9.5/10, praising the gameplay and the design of the levels, saying that "Naturally, Rayman starts out with simple running, jumping, and punching, but before you know it you’re sneaking past dozens of deadly traps, battling huge bosses, or playing through awesome challenge levels that look like '90s music videos. Every time I thought I found a personal favorite stage, the next one came along and replaced it", but criticized the absence of online co-op.
Although Legends outsold Origins in its first week from international sales with the Wii U version selling the most copies, the game failed to meet sales expectations. As of November 2013, the game's sales were approaching one million units, according to Ubisoft. However, in early November 2014, Ubisoft reported that Rayman Legends was still selling well and contributing to the company's earnings.
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