The story-line is straightforward and simple – dislodge the black lum Andre from Globox and keep him from ruling the Glade of Dreams. Explaining it as such is, perhaps, overtly simplified, but Rayman has always been more about the colorful characters and game-play than it has ever been about story and narrative themes. The tone is more comedic this time around. Although the series has never really shied away from humor, it's definitely at the forefront with this installment, with it having a light-heart, self-referential approach that pokes fun at the genre.
While I am charmed by the enthusiasm and vibrancy of the Rayman series, it isn't something I'd ever really describe as funny, per si. I enjoy its energy and colorful approach, but it isn't anything that makes me laugh, just like Ratchet & Clank has never made me laugh. It doesn't mean I'm not entertained by them, but, instead, more like I appreciate the optimistic warmth. In the case of Rayman 3, however, I find the humor doesn't succeed in any department. Sometimes, it's because the voices become lost amidst the flurry the game-play, too often feeling like mumbling background noise. Other times, it's simply because the humor feels more sporadic and nonsensical, reminding me of the PlayStation video-game Gex, in which the humor always felt assuming of its own merits based on its meta-nature.
The game-play is a mixed-bag, but I lean more on the positive side of the spectrum. While I was playing Rayman 3 in the early-going, I couldn't help but wish I was experiencing its successors or Rayman on the Original PlayStation, even though I'm not necessarily for certain it holds beyond my nostalgic impressions of it. In-fact, there's even a bonus-feature in Rayman 3 that allows you to play a 2-D scrolling level that, at the time, felt like a smack in the face for what could have been. Also, the camera-angle is horribly messy, which can be a deal-breaker for any 3-D plat-former, forgetting the reservations I already had about it. It makes it difficult to fully explore your collectible and secret heavy environment, and it's never worse than in the final-boss, where you'll constantly not be aware of whether power-ups are in-front of you or behind you.
Fortunately, however, something happened about midway through – Rayman 3 really started to grow on me. A traditional 3-D plat-former with its own added identity, you'll come across various different canned power-ups that will help you on your adventure, such as the ability to hover vertically into the air, shoot missiles, or swing from place to place. These are all temporary power-ups, mind you, which adds an extra layer to the challenge, forcing you to optimize your allotted time as appropriately as you can. As far as difficulty is concerned, however, although challenge awaits if you opt to tackle Rayman 3's score-based level-system, it's mostly as a casual-experience with most of the difficulty arising from its camera-angles.
What made Rayman 3 eventually wear me down was its own creativity and charm. Whether it be from shrinking down and driving your sneaker, or the creative and unique environments you encounter. It fights through its faults by delivering intriguing, inspired game-play, and even if it isn't nearly enough to debunk some of its larger faults, it certainly helped make it feel like a ride worth taking. The graphics and visuals look commendable for the standard of the time-period, and they've only been polished since then with the added remaster, providing a nice face-lift. The UbiSoft published and developed plat-former provides a solid experience, bolstering various features that helps it stand-out as unique alongside other 3-D plat-formers. It's very rough-around-the-edges, which makes it difficult for me to downright recommend to casual-gamers, but if you're a fan of the genre or a fan of the Rayman series, Rayman 3 comes out to an above-average game.