Perspective: Side view
Visual: 2D scrolling
Published by: Ubi Soft Entertainment Software
Developed by: Ubi Soft Studios SRL
Platforms: Game Boy Color (GBC), Atari Jaguar, PlayStation (PSX, PS1), Game Boy Advance (GBA), DOS
The GBC version appeared in 2000, that is, 5 years after the very first version of the game for the Atari Jaguar was released. The most interesting thing is that it came out even after the appearance of a direct sequel for older platforms - by that time Rayman 2: The Great Escape had already made happy the owners of PC, PSOne, Nintendo 64 and DreamCast. Therefore, the GBC version of Rayman is quite different from the original version of the game.
The plot, however, is taken directly from other versions. A certain evil Mr. Dark is trying to plunge the fairy-tale world into darkness and chaos. Since, according to the law of the platform genre, there is a superhero for every villainous ass, you must help Rayman get to Mr. Dark and stop the rapidly brewing mess. Hmmm, definitely, the prize for the most original plot in a platformer goes to another game.
First, the fundamental principles of gameplay from versions for other platforms are fully preserved. Its appeal is largely based on the extreme simplicity of its basic elements. All you need to do is go through the level from end to end. At the same time, Rayman, generally speaking, can two things - jump and punch, under which two GBC buttons are assigned. Everything. This gives a very important thing for any game - the utmost ease of initial development. Then, however, as soon as the player figured out the basics, Rayman begins to acquire more complex abilities that diversify the gameplay. As a result, the familiar player is not allowed to get bored. This seemingly obvious technique is implemented as it should in not so many games. Rayman, including the GBC version, is definitely one of them.
As with any platformer, the levels are full of secrets. Basically, these are all sorts of upgrades ... as well as the famous cells into which Mr. Dark brutally and cynically shoved (there is no other word, given the size of the cells) magical creatures. At the initial levels, the cells are not hidden very carefully. However, later levels have to literally comb through to find them. The initial availability of secrets, acting as bait, makes you hunt for them even when they are already hidden very seriously, with downright sadistic ingenuity. In addition, you will not be able to collect ALL bonuses in one playthrough of the game. for this you need a full set of superpowers, which you do not have in the beginning. This is a powerful incentive to complete the game at least one more time, which is also not bad.
Further, the GBC version has what its "big sisters" do - gorgeous, stunning, incredible, vibrant and expressive 2D graphics. At one time, a picture of the original Rayman demonstrated the full power of 32-bit platforms. Although GBC is generally eight-bit and is often compared to the NES in terms of graphics capabilities, Rayman looks like a SEGA Genesis or SNES game. Great work with color, gorgeous backdrops, gorgeous character sprites, with all this not dead, but perfectly animated levels ... Take a look at the screenshots, the game can be confused with a project for the GBA. It is completely incomprehensible HOW you can squeeze such a picture out of the GBC, even without traces of slowing down. In addition, the levels also differ in an enviable variety, and are not at all made for a carbon copy. The scrupulous work of the designers on the project is visible. Bravo, just bravo! In my opinion, Rayman can be safely considered the most beautiful GBC game. At least one of the most beautiful.
Of course, due to the peculiarities of GBC as a platform - and the release time of the project - the game is quite significantly different from the "original". Firstly, the GBC version has only 5 worlds and 40 levels, which is significantly less than in other versions. The architecture of the levels themselves has also changed a lot, almost COMPLETELY redone, some are similar to two-dimensional versions of locations from Rayman 2, which had already been released by that time. The game does not directly contain minor characters found in other versions, including bosses. The only boss is Mr. Dark in his own evil persona at the end, and the fight with him cannot be called difficult. Plus, Rayman has fewer abilities acquired over the course of the game. The plot is conveyed through a sequence of static images and text, and not through scenes on the game engine. The music is taken from Rayman 2 The Great Escape, and, by itself, suffered a little from the forced 8-bit, but by the standards of GBC it is quite good. Finally, the game became noticeably easier, which, in my opinion, is a definite plus.In general, the differences in the GBC version are enough to pass it even if you have already played Rayman on PC, PSOne, Saturn, PSP, PS3, or- what the hell is not kidding? - Jaguar.
Despite the fact that, as you probably already guessed, Rayman is a very, very good game for the GBC, it is not without some drawbacks. The most essential is the archaic password system instead of saves. Its presence is completely incomprehensible, because 2000 is not 1987, and the existence of the save system in the cartridge was no longer a miracle of technology, as in the days of the classic The Legend of Zelda. The matter is aggravated by the fact that passwords are not stored in memory in advance, but are generated for each specific case, carrying in an encoded form information about the number of lives, collected bonuses, etc. Thus, a rather long and unintelligible sequence of upper and lower letters, numbers and symbols is obtained, which you simply cannot remember. You have to write down and constantly have a piece of paper with passwords, which, of course, is inconvenient.
Sometimes during the game, another unpleasant little thing slips - the interaction of moving objects is sometimes determined not quite accurately. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it is downright annoying.
However, these disadvantages are not at all critical and do not create special problems.