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Recently Released Footage of 16-Bit Rayman Shows What Could Have Been

Is there any modern gaming series more celebrated or enjoyed by retro gamers than “Rayman”? This old-school game featured some of the most exciting, precise, and fun platform gaming on modern consoles.

While it is sad that no new games are currently planned, it’s still a joy to run through the earliest “Rayman” entries, including those on the Playstation and Saturn.

Personally, I fell in love with “Rayman: Origins” after missing out on the series when it first came out. I was still still focused on the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis and was quite ready to let them go yet.

However, recent retro gaming news about “Rayman” caught my attention when the creator of the series released incredible gameplay photos of the original Super Nintendo prototype.

Rayman On The SNES: Seriously?

It might be hard to believe, but “Rayman” was originally an idea created for the 16-bit era. Creator Michel Ancel recently posted several images of a prototype cartridge to his Instagram, including several photos of the in-game action.

“Rayman” fans were shocked at what they saw: few realized that this incredible game was considered that early, showing Ancel had put years of thought into his trademark series. The graphics were appropriate for the time, though quite handsome.

There were many differences between the original prototype and what later came out. For example, the level designs were darker and more ominous than the rather bright colors the series is known for today. “Rayman” was also a little odd looking.

That said, it looked like a typical side-scroller of the day and could have had the potential to be a lot of fun. While no video footage of the game has been released to gauge how well it would have run, fans are hoping that Ancel will share some with a legion of adoring and fascinated fans.

An Intriguing “What If” Scenario

As fans drool over the possibility of seeing actual footage, it is interesting to ponder what would have happened if Ancel had released “Rayman” on the Super Nintendo. Would it be the highly praised series it is today or would it have went the way of “Bubsy” to join a nearly infinite number of “also ran” game series?

The early photos of the game do look promising, but there’s a possibility that “Rayman” would have blended into the background in the marketplace of the SNES. After all, cute gaming icons were a dime-a-dozen then and people were less prone to take risks on new mascots after the troubling failures of other games.

However, when the game was released on the Playstation and Saturn, the gaming world had gone three-dimensional and dark. There weren’t a lot of really colorful and fun side-scrolling games on the market anymore, but the release of “Rayman” filled that void. As a result, it was highly successful.

Its success helped fuel the release of even more colorful and enjoyable games on higher-end systems, including the Xbox 360. Wildly popular and heavily praised, these games were even more divergent from the never-ending litany of “gritty” first-person shooters that have captured such a huge share of the market.

While it is impossible to say for certain that a SNES “Rayman” would have struggled to make an impact, it’s clear that its release was well-timed and expertly executed. Hopefully, Ancel releases footage of the game so we can get a better feel for how it would have played.

Until then, there’s always time to boot up your favorite retro version of “Rayman” and have a blast. It’s hard to believe that a series as modern as “Rayman” could be considered retro, but its gameplay style is so retro chic!

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