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Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc
Score: 88%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Ubisoft Entertainment
Developer: Ubisoft Entertainment
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Platformer

Graphics & Sound:
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc is an elegant platformer with very nice visuals to coincide with the great audio. Each level contains many elements of great design and great lighting, and you will have the ability to set the game up to play on widescreen and/or progressive scan television monitors. The unfortunate part of the level design is that these levels are, in general, not all that big.

Your buddy, Globox, will always join you at the beginning of the level, and float off to the end thanks to his 'juicy' treat. But before he leaves, you will often be greeted by a tantalizing assortment of comedy relief. And behind the big blob that is Globox, is none other than actor (and funny-guy) John Leguizamo.

Where Rayman has always shined is in its great gameplay. Although the third game in the series didn't give me quite as much satisfaction as the second, Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc continues to offer the great addictive style as its predecessors. As a typical platformer, Rayman 3 once again will have you collecting goodies as you work through each level.

Also scattered throughout each level are some of Rayman's little buddies, who happened to be captured by the Dark Lum Lord. Once freed, these little guys will help you by giving you a number of power-ups, ranging from a tornado-like Vortex weapon to the grappling Lockjaw. Everything you receive is an intricate part of completing each level, as well as uncovering secret goodies.

Added to Rayman 3 is a point system, where everything you collect will net you points used toward bonus levels. Included in this point system is that you'll also earn points for finding hidden characters. These bonus levels will then give you a cool deviation from the game in the form of a fast-paced hopping contest while riding a type of surfboard. And guess what, it's more goodie collecting.

Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc's difficulty is a bit hard to judge. On one hand, you'll probably feel a lot of pain as you're fighting the hoodlums throughout each level (especially as you progress through the game). But at the same time, every time you get hit, your energy-reviving collectable balls reappear, giving you a better opportunity to defeat your enemies. And since the game is very linear in nature, the puzzles will usually reveal themselves after a bit of careful inspection. What probably gives the game the most difficulty is in the timing involved in completing those puzzles, whether you're using the grappling hook, shooting a rocket, or flying with your helicopter-head.

Game Mechanics:
Another added problem with completing puzzles is the camera angle. Although Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc's controller scheme is actually set up great, control over the camera can sometimes be a bit annoying. I found that once in a while, the camera would get hung up on walls (like when entering caves), making you walk blind into potential trouble. Other than that, Rayman 3 is perfectly set up and continues the Rayman tradition. If you've liked the past games in the series, you're going to love Rayman 3. It is definitely another positive step for Ubi Soft, as well as our armless/legless little hero.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

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