With so many sub-par platformers on the market, it's refreshing to find a game like Rayman 2. It's really no surprise that this turned out to be such a fantastic final product, as the first Rayman was a step above the waning, but still powerful, 2D side scrolling market. The second incarnation also features a fantastic musical score and spot-on controls. I ask you; what's not to like?
Rayman 2 takes the series into slightly darker waters, with a story about robot pirates that have seized control of the world and have been systematically herding the world's animals up to display in a galactic zoo. Once our limbless friend catches wind of their evil doing, he rescues his friend Globox and prepares to exact his revenge. Through the course of his running, jumping, punching and ring swinging mayhem, Rayman will brave lava pits, don water skis, and square off against the pirate's giant airships. And, to give the game a classic adventure feel, Rayman must collect the four masks of Pollukus in an attempt to get his groove back. And graphically, this game couldn't look better, with lush foliage and smooth textures in every frame. While so many potential mascots make a shoddy transition to the third dimension, Rayman succeeded on every level.
The sound effects and musical score are as superbly fitting as the first game, in that every song perfectly conveys the mood of the particular scene, and the sound effects are heard in respect to their depth; that is, when an enemy is defeated from far away, the sound effects are minimal, making the jump to 3D even more convincing.
The only thing one could potentially point out as a detriment is the occasionally stubborn camera. Using the left trigger, one can center the camera, which works fine for the majority of the game, but sometimes won't exactly cooperate in critical moments. Otherwise, this is a simply perfect experience. For those of us who still play our Dreamcast's regularly, this is a must have.