Review: Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc


Publisher: Ubi Soft
Platform: PS2, Xbox

I used to laugh at my dad when he couldn’t make Super Mario get past that first jump back when the NES was the hottest thing around. Poor Wally. He’d sit there and look down at his controller, mash the B button so Mario would get a little speed, hit the A button three seconds too early and land right in the center of that stupid pit, amidst my howling laughter. Well pops, the tables have been turned. I spent a good five minutes trying to make Rayman’s stupid ass jump off of a wonderfully rendered purple cliff onto another wonderfully rendered purple floating island. Damn. Rayman 3 is a cartoony action game, very similar to Mario World on N64, as Rayman jumps, slides, and punches his way through hordes of funny looking, pixilated baddies. Rayman battles these hoodlums through level after level and world after world, which is both the strength and weakness of the game. The different worlds are as interesting as they are beautiful, as psychedelic images flash, water and jungle beckon, and fire and lava engulf our armless (that’s right, Rayman has no arms, but he does have fists that can fly off and come right back) hero. The graphics in the levels are better than you’d see in most Saturday morning cartoons-rich and imaginative to be sure. The levels within the worlds tend to get a little repetitive however, as you’ll have to maneuver your way through remarkably redundant terrain before arriving in new territory. Still, “Hoodlum Havoc” does a pretty good job at keeping things interesting by adding in unique gaming elements, such as a race up a waterfall, a hang gliding mission through a forest and plenty of other unexpected twists. It’s fun, just don’t ask my dad to play.