‘Rayman Legends’ adds excellent 2D platform action to popular series

Luke Van Hoomisen, Split Screen

If you are looking for a great addition to an epic game night, consider picking up “Rayman Legends,” the second modern co-op 2D platformer in the comeback of Ubisoft’s original mascot Rayman.

This legendary experience offers you and three other friends the opportunity to run, jump, slide, and punch your way through a variety of levels drawn out as beautiful paintings. There are six distinct worlds, each with their own personalities being brought to the table. You journey through levels based off of navigating a feast during the Day of the Dead, infiltrating a submarine, running down a castle under siege on-beat to a remix of Black Betty and that’s just to name a few.

This game oozes with creativity, but what sets it apart from the bunch is that you can have even more fun by challenging these crazy paintings with your friends. The game can be completed solo, but getting punched into a ledge by another player or fighting over an extra life makes it all the more exciting. Sure, there’s also an online option, but there still isn’t anything like getting salty or working together with a friend on the couch.

This game shares the same philosophy as Split Screen: gaming is best as a shared experience.

This game provides a healthy balance of competition and cooperation. At the end of each level the total amount of “lums” (points) that each player collected in the level is shown. There are however a multitude of semi-optional segments found throughout the game with imprisoned “teensie” NPCs who contribute to your overall completion as the more your team gets the sooner you can progress to the next exotic world. Not to mention that missing an opportunity to help these cuties will fill your group with pings of regret. Throughout the game you will be helping and hindering each other until the very end.

This whacky game even features a zany remix of Ram Jam’s classic rockabilly single “Black Betty” during a castle siege. This level contains dragons spewing fire, chains to slide down, and falling towers to jump from. The only way to survive these perils is to move and act to the rhythm of the song. Each gallery of levels has one of these musically inspired stages. I won’t spoil which songs they are, because the surprise is priceless, but you and your buds will be adventuring to metal, surf, mariachi, and even orchestral music.

This game goes for $30 through most retailers and there is a wealth of content to be found here. Past the meat of the game there are levels from Rayman Origins. Beyond just more levels: there is a versus soccer game. Here you can kick a flaming soccer ball into your opponent’s’ goal only to have them bounce it back into the air with their heads. This minigame is great for parties with four players or settling scores one on one. The games that we normally play on Split Screen tend to have those purposes in mind.

If you ever need some more inspiration for an epic game night with great friends check out Split Screen on KBVR-TV channel 26 at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. Also be sure to check out Split Screen Radio every Wednesday at 5 p.m. on 88.7 KBVR FM. On Wednesday, April 13, we will be featuring Bill Lodges, OSU professor of Digital Communications on our radio show.

The opinions expressed in Van Hoomisen’s column do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff.