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Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc Review - Gamecube

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Ever wondered what life would be like without arms or legs? Well now you can see thanks to Ubisoft's Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. Making its first official appearance at E3 2003, the game seemed very impressive while only in its demo form. All that could be said about the game back then was that it had good solid controls, impressive graphics and it was indeed a platform game as the originals were. Now that the full version has been released, one question still remains: Can it live up to its prequels, and how will it be different from other platform games on the market today?

Gameplay

Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc (from now on, R3: HH) has a dark, yet strange story line. In the Rayman world, everything is peaceful until a black lum appears and starts turning red lums into black lums by touching them. The black lum leader is named André and his goal is to reach the heart of the world where he will gain access to massive amounts of energy giving him the power to make many black lums and in turn, turn the black lums into hoodlums so he can take over the world. In the process, a hoodlum spots Murphy the fly (who is a friend of Rayman) and chases him through the forest. Murphy suddenly comes across Rayman and Globox the toad whom are sleeping lazily. Murphy manages to wake up Globox but the pair fail to wake up Rayman and in the process, Globox rips Rayman's hands off so Murphy has to grab Rayman by the ears to escape the hoodlum. While it seems strange now, wait till you hear the rest of it. After finding Globox, Rayman's hands and flying past red lums, (which restores Rayman's life bar) Globox somehow manages to swallow André. You'll then find yourself being ordered by the Teensie king to go too the Doctor.

After playing through the story, which also happens to unfold during game levels, you are left to the main task of helping poor Globox get too the Doctor safely while fighting wave after wave of hoodlums. While it sounds simple enough and very average for a platform game, this is where R3: HH really starts to shine in terms of gameplay. Hoodlums will literally come out of no where and give you a shriek every time you hear their unforgettable war cry. Besides fighting the hoodlums, you'll come across puzzles during levels and the task of rescuing the caged Teensies. While rescuing the Teensies isn't necessary, you'll find that rewards will shine upon you which include upgrades, treasure and even extra energy added to your life bar after rescuing a set amount of caged Teensies.

The levels in R3: HH are by far, some of the best designed you'll see in any platform game. While they do feel a bit like they are set on one path to follow, the way they are set is what sets them apart ... (continued next page)