Earlier this year, I was delighted by the presence of Rayman Origins. Such a wonderful title shattered expectations and held an aesthetic that not only made it stick out from everything else, but made it an outstanding title overall in this generation. We’ve seen Vita ports of console titles before and they’ve been great translations of said games. Rayman Origins on the Vita continues that trend and it, depending on what you are looking for, could be the definitive version for you.
Origins is fundamentally the same game as console versions, so for a more in-depth analysis, check out my review here. The music I’ve been whistling for months is still there, the solid platforming hasn’t changed, the vibrant colors haven’t faded, and the meaty content hasn’t been chopped, leaving almost everything in tact verbatim from what was released last year on consoles. The visuals deserve the most credit because nothing was lost in the translation, something Mortal Kombat unfortunately had to sacrifice. Having the screen in your hands lets you see the visuals more closely, which is further exhibited by the ability to zoom in. Pinching the screen allows the developers to brag about their art team while letting you get a custom view of the action.
Pinching isn’t lone new feature. Besides using the touch screen to choose options, a new collectible has been added to the roster. The noise of chattering teeth is Origin‘s way of notifying you of your proximity to this new item. When you recognize your cue, you must search for a hidden teardrop shaped item and tap it on the screen when you’ve discovered it. Some are difficult to find and each can be found by miming the piano on the front touch screen, but it is a neat, simple way to add yet another thing to chase after.
Rayman Origins might even be a little easier with the ability to pop enemies after an attack. After you’ve neutralized one of the many cartoony threats, their bubble form will arise, just like the console versions. However, this time they are easier to destroy due to the new ability to simply tap them for that extra Lum and the same applies to lone Lum bubbles. This is a small bonus on the surface, but this allows for higher score counts at the end of the level, resulting in more saved Electoons. I was able to hit the max goal in most of the levels due to this and was rarely left with a tantalizing four star rating.
Rayman Origins might not be the best destination for some people on the Vita. If you went to the console versions for the fun co-op, you’ll be saddened to learn that is has been completely excised from the game. As some sort of apology, Ubisoft added a Ghost mode to allow you to race against your friend’s ghosts, but this mode isn’t nearly as enjoyable as actual co-op. The gesture is appreciated, but I can’t see any reason why people would even play Ghost mode in the first place.
The absence of actual multiplayer might make people look down upon this iteration of Rayman Origins, but the game makes up for this by just being so damn awesome and seemingly crafted for a portable system. Since Origins is divided neatly up into levels, it makes the game a prime platformer for smaller chunks of time. I held off on keeping the console version because I guessed the Vita version would serve the single-player style of game better. Patience does pay indeed pay off.
+Still contains gorgeous visuals, positive musical score, and meaty campaign
+Most Vita-specific features are thoughtful additions
-Checkpoints in Moskito levels are the same
Final Score: 9/10