It's one of those classic 'cute' games but has all the elements of a great game: Firstly, it's playable. It has the usual platform affair with lots of jumping, climbing, crouching and walking as you set on your travels about the different levels. When you first pick the game up, not only will you have an instant idea of what to do as you jump about, but you'll also gain up other abilities as you go along. As you finish certain sections, you are rewarded with new skills and powers to help you on your way like punching, hanging and flying.
The second thing is that it's tough. Sure, you can whizz through the early levels, but to finish the game you'll have to return and find all the items you couldn't reach without all your special abilities. For example, picking up the ability to punch will allow Rayman not only to punch away the baddies but to also punch down berries and use them to float about on otherwise fatal water, enabling you to reach power-ups and the numerous hidden bonus levels. Some of the set pieces in Rayman are brilliant, like the swamp stage where you have to grow your own platforms as you go to escape the rising water level. There's a lot more in this game than you'll see at first glance with swinging pendulums, floating platforms and all sorts of strange creatures to thump or befriend.
Lastly, the graphics and sounds have been beautifully engineered with some great themed levels full of soothing colour and animation. All the graphics have been done using 65,000 colors and look excellent, the scrolling is of the smoothest quality and the control system feels exactly right and needs very little to get use to.
It's this attention to detail on both characters and scenery that gives Rayman its charmingly odd looks. What's even better is that some of this attention has been spent on making the gameplay a little more intelligent than your average platformer's.
The Jaguar is crying out for games of this quality and everyone needs games that set such high standards. A must buy.