Rayman Legends turned out to be one of the best platformers I have ever played in my entire life once it hit shelves for the Playstation 4 (I was a late bloomer in the Legends hype train, don’t hate me for that). Its superb art style, gameplay, controls, sense of humor, and its unbelievably amazing musical levels. . . I could stay here all day talking about how good the game is, but that’s not what I’m here for today. I’m here to talk about Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition, the newest version of the already five year old game, recently released for the Nintendo Switch. With such an impactful Definitive Edition tag, I was expecting the ultimate experience for an already near-perfect game.
Sadly, while this is still a fantastic game retaining all the elements that made Legends such a, well, legend, this is easily the worst version of Rayman Legends I’ve played of all the four I own, and definitely not worthy of being called a “definitive edition.”
Let me get this out of the way, before anyone crucifies me: the game itself is still phenomenal. The platforming is still top notch, the controls are as responsive as they’ve ever been, the Black Betty musical stage is still one of the greatest things in gaming history. For all intents and purposes, it gets the job done. The problem is, this is the “definitive edition,” and there are more flaws and less content in this game than in previous iterations.
It’s not as if all technical flaws I found throughout my playtime were deal breakers, far from it, but once again, we are talking about the so-called “definitive edition.” The game’s visuals are still great, with the same excellent level of animation and the same 1080p resolution as always, but this time around I’ve noticed much more framerate drops than in previous versions. Especially when comparing it to the PS4 iteration. The quality level on certain textures was also noticeably worse than previous versions, most likely due to the fact that this game was compressed beyond imagination, taking only 2.9GB from the Switch’s minuscule internal memory, compared to 9GB from the PS4 version.
Another main gripe I had with this game was regarding its loading times. They are very long for a game like this. Compared to the literally nonexistent loading times from the Xbox One and PS4 versions, some of the “definitive edition”‘s (feels good to overuse cynicism sometimes, doesn’t it?) loading times can last around 15 seconds. Not even the Vita version takes that long to load. Again, that isn’t exactly a deal breaker, but it did impact the game’s overall pace.
Finally, there were some gameplay elements that were simply removed from this version, like the 5-player multiplayer (if Super Bomberman R can handle up to 8 players on one console, there’s no excuse here) and being able to use touch controls when playing with a friend. Sure, they are small gameplay elements that were removed, but once again, and I apologize if you’re already sick to the bone of reading this, I expected more from the “definitive edition.”
So what’s new in this so-called “definitive edition?” Well, for starters, all previously console-exclusive costumes from all separate versions are present in this game. And…..that’s basically it. No new levels, no new characters, nothing else added to the main story mode. The only noteworthy new addition is an improved Kung Foot mode, which, given the amount of content and fun present in the game’s main campaign, is still a very forgettable extra. And that’s all that is new for this “definitive edition.” It’s basically the same game from five years ago with a slightly botched performance being sold for the price of a new game. For as much as I love Rayman Legends, this game was a bit of a disappointment.
Have you ever seen a reviewer not recommending a game with such a good score? Well, that’s the weird situation Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition has put me into. As a game itself, it’s great. As a Rayman Legends, a game that’s already five years old and released for multiple systems, it’s by far the weakest version, with less content than previous iterations, longer loading times and slightly worse performance. If the Switch is the only console you own, then go for it, it’s still a very good game afterall. If you own any of the other consoles in which Rayman Legends was released for, stick to the versions released for them. Not only will they play better, but they’ll be cheaper as well.
To summarise it pretty quickly, this is a great game. Just not a definitive one.
Also available on: PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Wii U (“Non-Definitive” editions)