Rayman 3D is a port of Rayman 2: the Great Escape, a PlayStation, N64, and Dreamcast game. Rayman 2 is considered a minor classic in the 3D platforming genre but I confess that I missed it the first time around. This game has been re-released multiple times already and the only real addition this time around is the stereoscopic 3D. So, is this a solid launch title or a shameless cash-in? Actually, it turns out to be a bit of both.
The story of the game is rather simple. The hero you play as is Rayman, an interesting vaguely animal looking character whose arms and feet are not attached to his body. The evil Admiral Razorbeard and his gang of pirates are trying to take over the world and have kidnapped some of Rayman’s friends. At the start of the game Rayman himself escapes the pirates and then starts his journey to rescue his friends. He also needs to find four magical masks to awaken Polokus, the creator of the world who will help drive the pirates out.
The platforming is split into 18 separate levels, and the levels themselves have a variety of areas. The gameplay is more linear than most 3D platformers; exploring and collecting is not a crucial part of the game. In most areas you need to find a few switches to flip or to defeat certain enemies to advance to the next area. What needs to be done is always spelled out very clearly. There are a few “rides” in the game where you travel on a barrel or a friendly animal down a path and only control movement and jumping. These can be more frustrating than the rest of the game as they are the only time where one touch kills Rayman.
There are lums (fairies) and cages to find in each level. Collecting all of them in a level opens up a bonus stage.
The graphics use a bright and varied palette. Purple and yellow appear more than in most games which gives the game a cheery look. Rayman himself though is the only interesting character model. The villain's and hero’s friends look rote. All of the designs feel a bit outdated now; the game was clearly made in the '90s.