Rayman Origins Vita hands-on preview

Rayman loses his friends but looks almost as good on the small screen

Yesterday, you may have caughtthe newsthat Ubisoft is bringing Rayman Origins %26ndash; along with five other titles %26ndash; to the PS Vita when it launches sometime next year. What wasn%26rsquo;t announced was that Ubisoft had already let a small group of gaming-news outlets in on the secret a couple of weeks ago, and gave us the opportunity to be among the first to try the game on Sony%26rsquo;s upcoming handheld.

While our latest hands-onwith the console version of Rayman focused mainly on its mulitiplayer craziness, the Vita version supports just one player, making for a slightly quieter experience. Apart from that key difference, however, we%26rsquo;re told the Vita version will be more or less identical to its console cousin, and what we%26rsquo;ve seen so far seems to bear that out.

Gameplay-wise, it certainly felt identical, as we hopped around and collected coin-like Lums in a jungle level near the beginning of the game %26ndash; and then had to quickly start hopping up a series of floating platforms as a giant plant-monster boss pursued us, taking up most of the screen as it went. Probably the biggest difference (aside from the odd feeling of loneliness) was the addition of a manual camera-zoom feature; while the camera will still zoom in and out on the action automatically, you%26rsquo;ll be able to get a close-up or wide-angle view of the action by %26ldquo;pinching%26rdquo; the touchscreen, like you would to expand or contract an image on a smartphone.

It%26rsquo;s difficult to make any real judgments based on a single, early level of the game, but what little we played of the Vita version was fun %26ndash; and aside from a slight (but noticeable) hit to the clarity of the visuals, it looks to feature the same brilliantly animated craziness and depth of gameplay as its full-sized version. If nothing else, it%26rsquo;ll certainly appeal more to those who prefer a more solitary experience.

Aug 17, 2011

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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