Let’s Play #15: Rayman 2: The Great Escape

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Rayman fighting a pirate robot in the first sanctuary.

 

And yet another game I grew up with. Rayman 2: The Great Escape was the first game of Rayman I’ve ever seen. My father played it before me, when I was like 5 years old or something, and he managed to complete it at 100%. We lost the disk after a while and couldn’t play anymore.

A few years ago, a friend of mine found a disk of Rayman 2 for the PC – you’ll love this one – as a bonus gadget in a pack of friking cornflakes! He didn’t have much interest in it, so I asked him if I could have it. And there’s how I got back my disk of Rayman 2!

Since then, I’ve played and replayed Rayman 2 a lot. And when I say a lot you know I mean really a lot. I had to stop eventually when I got my current computer with Windows 7 because Rayman 2 doesn’t really like 64 bits. Luckly for me, there is a patch for you if you want to play it anyway, and that’s exactly how I managed to keep playing it.

Overall I have two complains to do about Rayman 2. There are two things I don’t like. The first are the controls. It’s impossible to change the controls so you’re forced to stick with them. Second is the impossibility to minimize the game without crashing it on re-launch. Rayman 2 doesn’t like to be minimized via ALT+TAB and will crash if you do it.

But except that, Rayman 2 is great. The plot is also great and if you happen to have the original manual, you can even get some bonus plot from the second page of it.

This is how it goes: The world of Rayman gets attacked by a race of robot-pirates coming form deep space. Taken by surprise, most of the people were captured and enslaved by the pirates who brought them onto their huge floating pirate-ship. Rayman was taken too, but as his best friend Globox is captured and put in jail with Rayman, he reveals to our hero that he has a plan: Ly the fairy has given Globox a Silver Lum which he gives to Rayman. Thanks to the magical energy of the Silver Lum, Rayman is able to recover some of his powers (mainly his ability to shoot with his hands).

They escape the prison ship but they get separated as they fall into the void under the space ship. Rayman lands without a lot of trouble but he’s worried about his friend and he must now find Globox, rescue the trapped people and recover the 1000 Yellow Lums in which the Hearth Of The World was scattered in, by the pirates.

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Rayman swinging on a pink lum in the level Iron Mountains.

 

The game is your classic 3D platformer, adapted for the two main powers of Rayman: using his ears as an helicopter to glide, and shooting small spheres of energy from his hands. The levels are linear and in those, Rayman can find different type of Lums: Yellows are collectibles, Reds replenish Rayman’s health, Greens act as checkpoints, Blues give Rayamn oxygen (when he’s underwater) while finally Purples make Rayman able to swing in mid-air.

The game focuses more on the platforming aspect of the game rather then on the battles with the pirates (which are still very entertaining). You will only fight small groups of pirates at a time. 1 or 2 not more. Pirates however, aren’t as dumb as you think. The thing you have to watch out for the most, is their ability to shoot trying to anticipate your movements; that is, if you are strafing left they will shoot at your left so that, if you were to continue to move left, you would get in the trajectory of the shot. Quick tip: you can exploit this thing by just tapping left-right-left-right and make them shoot away form you. Some of those however aren’t so easy fooled.

Another thing I like about the enemies is that they are placed to catch newcomers off guard. While some of them just stand there waiting for you to come, most of them are hidden and will pop up from the ground in front of you, ready to shoot you in the face.

Apart from that, Rayman 2 follows a very intuitive scheme: the level are linear, and you can travel between them in a meta-area which acts as a “select-stage” thing. You can replay levels you haven’t completed to gather all the lums, or replay the bonus ones to get your power ups back. But levels aren’t easy. Especially if you’re new to the game. After a few play through, you start getting an idea of where things are and how to get to them, lowering the difficulty of the game but still keeping it very enjoyable in my opinion.

If you want to get into the world of Rayman, play Rayman 2: The Great Escape. You won’t regret it.

Let’s Play’s stats:

-First episode aired on: Dec 24, 2014
-Last episode aired on: Feb 9, 2015
-Number of episodes: 19
-Total time of Let’s Play: 5 hours