Rayman Origins Vita hands-on preview

Yesterday, you may have caughtthe newsthat Ubisoft is bringing Rayman Origins – along with five other titles – to the PS Vita when it launches sometime next year. What wasn’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’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’re told the Vita version will be more or less identical to its console cousin, and what we’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 – 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’ll be able to get a close-up or wide-angle view of the action by “pinching” the touchscreen, like you would to expand or contract an image on a smartphone.

It’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 – 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’ll certainly appeal more to those who prefer a more solitary experience.

Aug 17, 2011

Mikel Reparaz
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.