Rayman made his wonderful debut as one of the original launch games for the Playstation back in the Fall of 1994. It also marked a major success for the French developer Ubi Soft. It involved a colour depth that had never been seen before and solid gameplay to round out a wonderful experience.
Six years later, Ubi Soft's main man with no appendages returns. First appearing on the N64 for the 1999 Holiday Season with rave reviews, Ubi Soft now unleashes this masterpiece on the much superior Dreamcast.
The premise of the story is this: the pirate terror has enslaved the world and only Rayman's speed, agility and magical powers can save all as we know it.
Ubi Soft once again demonstrates its unique and mastery of the visual experience. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, Ubi Soft leaves your jaw dropping on more than one occasion. The graphics are easily the best ever seen in a platform game. What Rare tried to convey in Banjo Kazooie or DK64 is now fully realized in Rayman 2. Lush, highly detailed landscapes are complimented by a blazing 60 FPS that results in a very smooth experience. As you progress through the game's many stages you will come across numerous environments, each wonderfully presented and unique in their own way. Enhanced visual effects implemented into the Dreamcast version include floating leaves, snow, rain, lightning, footprints, clouds and over 1000 textures for incredible detail.
My only complaint in the graphics department comes under the camera control. There are times in the game where the corridors and rooms are very small and tight in nature. In these areas the camera angle becomes a little erratic causing confusion and difficulty in seeing enemies and objectives. This is a minor nuisance and does not take away from the overall experience of the game.
Not only do the French know how to spoil us with visuals they also have the secret to creating soundtrack masterpieces. Rayman 2 is no exception. The music is some of, if no thee best, ever heard in a game. The wonderful ambient sounds bring the lush visuals to life. If you have a good sound system, do not hesitate to take full advantage of the Dolby Surround enhancement.
The sound effects are pretty standard fare but I have to admit the character voices which are presented as quirky sound effects made me chuckle with glee on more than one occasion. Well done.