Developer: Ubisoft
Price: £40
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii
It's a bit like:
Rayman, New Super Mario Bros Wii

Can you remember what you were doing last time you played a Rayman game? We're having difficulties. We were probably chasing girls and pulling on their pigtails, drinking ginger beer and playing hopscotch and engaging in all other sorts of youthful activities, on account of it being bloody AGES ago.

Rayman Origins screenshot
Rayman uses his feet as a propeller. We like that

Sometimes two dimensions is enough

Rayman Origins definitely knows what it's doing. Dispensing with years of research and innovation into 3D, the game takes place entirely in two dimensions – just like it was back in the old days when you could buy a Beano and a sherbet dip-dab for a quid and still have change left to try and buy a single fag off someone behind the playground bogs. And it's really, really good at it. This is one of the best platformers you'll ever, ever play.

Rayman Origins screenshot
You can hit each other, too, if you'd like. It doesn't hurt, but it is fun

Don't ask us to explain the plot. We've played the game and read the press release and neither of them seem to have any connection to each other – it's all tremendously French and probably makes sense if you've chewed your way through a few heads of garlic, but at least it looks good. Rayman's world is bright and colourful, and moves nicely too.

Rayman Origins screenshot
Sometimes there are shooting sections that take place on flying mosquitoes. They're surprisingly good fun

Four heads are better than one

Whatever the fuck's going on – something involving princesses? “Darktoons?” “Lums?” Really, we don't a word of it – it's fun to play through. Rayman Origins supports four-player simultaneous co-op, much like New Super Mario Brothers Wii – and in a world where most multiplayer takes place online, having four of your sat in the same room at the same time playing on the same console feels fantastic. We'd forgotten how much we've missed screaming at each other and trading insults as we play.

Rayman Origins screenshot
Even moving around is fun, as this screenshot attests

It's really very hard to find anything wrong with this game at all, aside from the limitations placed on itself by losing that third dimension. Play can feel a bit shallow at times – but hell, it's a platformer, what did you want? - and that storyline really, really doesn't make any sense. Is that a magic bong at the end of levels? Why does it vibrate? Why is that creature riding it? WE JUST DON'T KNOW. We'd just like to know why we're moving from left to right sometimes.

Rayman Origins screenshot
Water is often dangerous, on account of horrid mouth-tentacles. Just like real life!

But it's nice to play a game for the joy of playing it – not the plot, the clever mechanics, not the great characterisation – and just soak up the pure, uncut fun that populates the majority of the disc. Get some friends over, and give it a go. We can promise you you won't be disappointed.

8.5/10
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Rayman Origins is out now on PS3 and Xbox 360