Saturday, February 6, 2016

Rayman Adventures (iOS, Android) Review

The first review of February for SuperPhillip Central is a first in general for SuperPhillip Central. It's SPC's first free-to-play game getting the review treatment, and it's for my favorite franchise that comes out of Ubisoft, Rayman. His first free-to-play affair takes us to collecting an assortment of cute creatures known as Incrediballs. How is the game overall? Find out with my review.

Is Rayman Adventures an Incrediball experience?

Rayman's previous mobile outings had him running, jumping, hovering, punching, and kicking in automatic runner fashion. This holds true with Rayman Adventures. However, this time around the game is not a premium-priced one. Instead, it's a free-to-play affair with its own caveats that make the adventure a perilous one for a small amount of bad reasons. Otherwise, Rayman's platforming prowess shines brightly on mobile devices once again.

Rayman Adventures sees Rayman automatically running like in Rayman: Jungle Run and Rayman: Fiesta Run. Here, you can change his direction with a swipe in the opposite direction. Swiping is also the means to attack foes. Meanwhile, a quick tap of the screen initiates a jump, and during a jump, holding your finger on the touch screen begins your character's ability to hover in the air. It's not a perfect control scheme, as some of the finger-fu required for some of the more involved platforming and combat sections would be better with actual controller support (which is only available for Apple TV players), but what's here in Rayman Adventures is serviceable enough.

The tutorial level eases you into Rayman's Incrediball adventure.
The main formula to Rayman Adventures is to collect goofy, little, spherical characters known as Incrediballs. Each selection of levels you transport to has one of these to rescue after clearing a handful of levels. These levels feature objectives like collecting as many Lums as possible, rescuing Teensies in more exploration-based levels than normal, and beating down enemies on your way to the goal.

Barbara will teach these foes to not to mess with the Teensies.
At the conclusion of the handful of levels, you get an egg that must be incubated for a period of time. Items in-game and money in real-life can be used to hasten along the process. Hatched eggs will let loose one of over a hundred Incrediball creatures, which if new to your collection, will grow a tree some extra height. As the tree reaches new heights, new level types and bonuses are unlocked.

However, with a limited amount of Incrediballs to collect, you're bound to come across clones. When this happens, a gauge becomes partially filled. When filled completely, you earn some bonus gems, used for everything from buying special potions to speed up the process of hatching eggs to unlocking new costumes for Rayman and Barbara (two other playable characters, Globox and a random Teensie, will be available sometime down the line).

The find-the-Teensie levels are my favorite kind in Rayman Adventures.
Levels ordinarily take but a few minutes to complete, making Rayman Adventures work well for mobile play. They're based off of level tropes from Rayman Legends, such as locales like Medieval Mayhem, Olympus Maximus, and Toad Story, for instance. However, once you've completed a set of levels, there is no returning to them. You are whisked away to an entirely new series of levels once you decide to leave that set behind. The inability to replay some of my favorite levels I had played was a bit of a bummer. It would have been nice to have had some way to catalog my favorites for future play, if only for the benefit of being able to enjoy them again.

The ground punch from past Rayman games feels as good as ever to perform in Adventures.
Furthermore, as hatching eggs are locked behind a wall of time, you have moments where you can't make progress in the game. Sure, there are no things like being unable to play because you've expended all your amount of play sessions like many free-to-play mobile games, but there is also no way to earn new eggs while waiting for the current Incrediball egg to hatch. This means you're not making any form of long-term progress in the game, which can be mighty annoying. It gets particularly annoying when you have to wait upwards of three hours or more for an egg to hatch.

Rayman Adventures runs admirably on both iOS and Android. The Ubi Art engine once again steals the show and animates characters beautifully and renders colorful worlds to enjoy and behold. Some minor frame-rate issues popped up for me in some levels, particularly ones with lots of enemies, but since levels are so short, deaths due to the chugging of the visuals didn't irritate too much. Rayman Adventures' sound is the usual collection of fun voice clips and fantastic music as heard in Rayman Legends.

This type of level requires you to defeat all foes while staying alive in the process.
While the free-to-play model is usually one to feel suspicious about, its appearance in Rayman Adventures isn't too sinister or ghastly. Yes, waiting for your Incrediball egg to hatch to make any kind of progress is a bummer, but all in all, Rayman Adventures' F2P structure isn't that bad. Furthermore, controller support would have been appreciated, but what's offered with touch isn't too problematic either. If you're looking for a continuation of the charm of Rayman on mobile devices after his adventures in Jungle Run and Fiesta Run, you've got it with Rayman Adventures.

[SPC Says: B]

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