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7  |  Rabbids, Rabbids Everywhere...
Dezoris , 9/13/2008 3:19:39 PM

It’s hard to disagree with a game that contains evil alien rabbits from outer space. Then again, it’s also hard to find a decent multiplayer experience that lives up to other party games like WarioWare. Although Rayman Ravin Rabbids isn’t completely unique, it does come packed with a lot of crazy fun and screaming woodland creatures hell-bent on destroying you. Let’s begin.

 

Gameplay: 7/10

Rayman is captured by said bunnies, officially known as Rabbids, and forced to compete in games so demented you’ll be happy they never made a sequel. What?…they DID!? AHHHHH! THE DEMENTIA! Ok, once you get past the initial shock of the crazy antics you’ll be forced to endure, you’ll probably have lots of party fun as you throw cows, deliver exploding packages, and plunger evil bunnies in the Wild West. Sound A.D.D.? You have no idea.

Thankfully all the craziness becomes categorized as you uncover new minigames to play solo or with up to three friends in multiplayer mode. The solo adventure happens first, as Rayman competes day after day in a series of events topped with a grand finale that will determine whether or not he earns his safety for another night. I’ll stop here and say that I really appreciated this storyline at first, but as the days racked up it became LUDICRIOUSLY repetitive, which I suppose could be suggestive of the madness Rayman faced week after week, but come on. This is a game, it shouldn’t make me feel shackled. There are some nice perks that you eventually earn as the Rabbids slowly warm up to the idea of Rayman becoming an athletic icon, rather than a helpless victim, but they don’t do much for the actual gameplay. You mostly earn musical tracks and different outfits to wear. Sadly, that seems misplaced in a game like this. I’d rather dress up my boarder in SSX than in a pick-up-and-play party game. Still, you can’t complain with extra content.

Anywho, the real fun comes from the actual games, many of which are rewarding and have good replay value. I particularly enjoy the dance numbers in which you must shake the Nunchuk and Remote at particular times to vaporize Rabbids along with the beat of a song. And thank god I grew to like this game, because there are a lot of them in the single player. Another favorite is the Feed the Rabbid game where you must trace outlines of particular items within a set amount of time. As you complete a drawing, the object appears on a French-style café table and is immediately wolfed down by a hungry Rabbid. Anything from pizza slices to bricks can be a delightful snack for that little guy.

Some games, on the other hand, just completely suck. I won’t go into details because I want you to find and formulate your own opinions on particular games, but just know that some events become more frustrating than fun. In addition, some games are just too easy for even casual gamers. I’m all for appealing to a broad audience, but come on, pressing the same button repeatedly should only be used for so many different mini-games.

My favorite part of Rayman comes into play during the first-person action sequences. There are a good handful of levels that were designed as an on-the-rails shooter where you and a friend can protect yourself against an onslaught of Rabbids using nothing but your trusty plunger cannon and grappling hook. These levels are incredibly fun and creative as Rabbids burst out of boxes, emerge from the ground, and even catapult in to try and stop you from rescuing some little frog thing. The storylines in these brief but action packed sequences are very fun and almost feel like a completely different game than the rest of the events. The scenes range from the Wild West to the futuristic Rabbid mothership. All with their own destructive scenery and power-up items. It’s just too bad that you can’t use the grappling hook if two players are shooting together.

 

Controls: 7/10

As I mentioned before, all the games are organized into categories based on the control schemes. They range from Workout, where you will be expected to violently alternate the Nunchuk and Remote to accomplish a particular task, to Skill where precision and aiming play a key role in winning the event. These controls are easy enough for anyone to pick up, though some do require practice and an eventual “gamers edge” to beat our your competition.

The shooter sequences are really the depth of control in Rayman, and they’re quite nicely laid out. Look and shoot with the Remote and B button, reload by shaking the Nunchuk, and use your grappling hook by pressing Z. I must say, it’s very entertaining to watch an angry Rabbid wiggle in front of you, only to be projected back into a group of his fellow minions.

 

Replay Value: 6/10

Replay value is dependant upon if you’ve got friends over, or love a particular event enough to pop the disc in and fire up the game. I can’t say it’s easy for me to do, considering the other titles I have available, but there is a definite charm that Rayman has which other games do not. Again, perhaps it’s my warm spot for evil, frying-pan-wielding bunnies, perhaps not. But at the end of the day, I think you’ll at least want to occasionally revisit the wackiness and party game mayhem Rayman offers.

 

Graphics: 8/10

The visual effects in Rayman are actually quite nice when you consider the amount of variety that has to go into each event. Some take place in particular 3D scenarios, others are just stationary scenes with a colorful background. Despite this variety, the developers did a nice job of making each event unique, but still feel like it was part of an overall creative style. That definitely added to the fun I had. Having complete disconnect from the events would have surely been a nail in the coffin. I still feel that the most stunning visuals come from the plunger shooting scenes. There are varies weather effects, changing terrain, and some nice lighting scenarios to enjoy as you plunge the world clean of Rabbids.

The most entertaining part of the visuals are, of course, the Rabbids with their blank yet evil stares and sudden crazy outbursts of bloodlust. These are done very well and add a crucial comedic element to make sure the player stays in a fun mood, which is especially helpful during the single player campaign.

 

Music: 6/10

Dancing to Girls Just Want to Have Fun shouldn’t satisfy me as much as it does, but here we are. I’m guilty of even click on the credits to watch these evil minions dance mindlessly in the background. As for the ORIGINAL music in the game, it’s nothing spectacular, and it really doesn’t have to be since the player is never on the same screen for a very long time.

 

Sound: 6/10

Eh, sound is sound is sound. Again, the key factor here is the grunts, screams, and random expressions that the Rabbids have during each event. A lot of these are fun and entertaining, though they don’t serve an other useful purpose. I hate to be this brief during a review, but there really isn’t much else that needs to be said.

 

Conclusion: 7/10

Rayman Ravin Rabbids is a fun and comedic experience that’s worth sharing with friends. But when it comes to hardcore game reviews, it does wear a little thin. I’m happy to say I own this one, though I did wait for it to drop in price to feel better about the downtime it will receive compared to other Wii titles. I’d definitely recommend it for a fun occasional rental, or cheap purchase if party games are up your ally.

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