Review: Rayman 3, Hoodlum Havoc
Version Reviewed: 1.00
If you will excuse the obvious puns, very few of the first release of N-Gage games were really engaging. The second batch are better - as Ewan has found out with FIFA 2004 (which I think he's been practising as he certainly made me look like the Scottish football team when we played together). Another good game in second tranche is Rayman 3 - Hoodlum Havoc, which I've been playing long enough to delay this review... (all through Christmas and New Year! - Ewan).
Ok, so what and who is Rayman? It's a platform game not hugely different to say Sonic in the quirky fun nature of the characters and scenery. It's certainly far more light and colourful than the Doom genre of games. Rayman himself is apparently French although there's no obvious indication of this in the game play, there've been no striped jumpers, berets, string of onions nor booze cruisers on the levels I've stumbled through, which is probably just as well.
Rayman is a delightfully languid mover; he's drawn such that his head, torso, feet and hands are not obviously connected, which sounds weird but gives a great impression of fluid motion and looks surprisingly natural, I can only assume one's brain fills in the blanks and makes things appear normal!
His aim is to wander through a series of level collecting golden spheres (lams) and searching for a character named Globox whilst avoiding hazards such as jumping piranha, falling barrels, pugilistic robots, and falling too far or in the water.
So how do we manage to do that? Easy, (or at least it sounds easy) the joypad makes Rayman climb, run and crawl (up, left and right and down respectively), and the infamous N-Gage 5 and 7 keys make Rayman jump (or helicopter his ears for an extended glide if he's in mid air) and punch - the punching action is amusing it's almost like throwing out a yo-yo as the hands fly out in front of Rayman and then spool back; it's a nice touch.
Once you've got Rayman fluently cavorting about the screen, you get an interesting variety of scenery to bound across, creep under and climb; imagine a sunny tropical jungle crossed with a mole ravaged Surrey and you'll get a good feel for the rolling landscape, with creepers to climb, swamps to avoid, and giant lily pads to bounce off.
In fact the scenery is one of the two things that grate a little, in some places the background scenery is just too crisp and clear and you'll sometimes attempt to jump off a vine onto something in the background (and fail dismally), the other minor downside is that going back through the same level again and again to find the last few missing golden lams can be a little tedious.
Multiplayer over Bluetooth I hear you ask? (What about Multiplayer over Bluetooth? - Ewan). Thanks. Yes it does that too, three different games collaborative and competitive. I believe you can have up to 4 players, but I've only played the 2 player games, as all the usual N-Gage Bluetooth provisos apply, in that not only do you have to find someone else with an N-Gage, but they've also got to have the MMC for this game to play with you.
So the big question, should you buy this game? Yes. and would I recommend it? Yes too, it's one of the lighter N-Gage games, but there's more to life than Doom and gloom. A decidedly chirpy 70%
Reviewed by Jim Hughes at