Review by xMynDx
"When does Rayman: Raving Rabbids 2 come out?"
I recently obtained my sleek new Wii, but all I had to play on it was Wii Sports and Zelda: TP. Not that there is anything wrong with either of these games, but I was just looking to expand my collection. So, I drove a block to the nearest EB Games and decided to buy either Red Steel, Elebits, Trauma Center, or Rayman: RR. I soon decided against Red Steel, and later decided against Elebits. It was down to the wire, and despite that I had heard amazing things about Trauma Center, I couldn't resist the alluring rabbid on the cover of Rayman.
I have not regretted my decision.
The intro movie opens up with Rayman picnicking with some globoxes (froglike creatures), when suddenly rabbids pop out of the ground, capturing the globoxes along with Rayman. The story then shifts to a prison cell, which is sort of your "base" that you return to each day. It turns out, the Rabbids want to use you as a "gladiator" figure in their arena of minigames. You'll have to play from there to see what happens. Obviously, this is not a strong plot, though at least it gives a reason to play minigames at all. I don't give the story a good score, but that does not reflect strongly in the overall score simply because that is not what is important.
There are two modes in Rayman, Story Mode and Score Mode. First I will cover story mode which is the first thing you should play anyway in order to unlock the... unlockables.
So from your prison cell, you have a few options. There is a jukebox which allows you to play songs you've unlocked while playing the game (not that many, and it's not a terrific feature), there is an armoire with clothes which allows you to change your outfit as you unlock them (can be a fun feature), you can sit on the toilet (yes you heard me right) to play minigames that you have played already, or you can knock on the door. When you knock on the door, a big bunny guard carries you out into the arena and your day begins. Each day you are required to complete 3 of 4 minigames in order to move on to a final trial for the day. Of these 4 minigames, 3 of them are switched up from day to day. Sometimes you will see a particular motion repeated in another minigame another day, though the environment and *fun* (covered later) will always be refreshing. The fourth of these minigames is a dance or "shake your booty" mini-game that you may have seen in the trailers. You use the nunchuk and wii-mote somewhat as drums that you play with the song. Bunnies come out from the sides, and as they reach the podium near the middle, you strike with the corresponding controller (left or right). Although this may sound dull, repetitive, etc, the songs change, and then after you get all of the songs, you get them at faster speeds. This actually turns out to be one of the most enjoyable experiences in Rayman:RR, and is what will extend the life of this game!! As for other minigames, you will have to see what they are like, but I must warn you, the story mode is not necessarily for the people looking for a huge challenge. Sure, some are difficult but not many (at least in order to achieve the score required to move on to the next day). The saving grace is that the game is quirky, funny, and altogether a good laugh. After you have completed 3 of the 4 minigames for the day (or you can complete all 4 if you wish), you enter another gate to play the final trial for the day. This trial usually involves a fun, but easy, plunger arcade-style shooter, a warthog race, or similar activity. These can be a lot of fun, though as I mentioned before, they are easy. After you have completed the final trial, you are thrown back into your cell. Rinse, repeat.
So then there is the score mode, and this is what keeps the game going and making it worth your money. Well, I shouldn't say that... the score mode lacks a lot of what makes the story mode funny (which is a big part of this game), but in the score mode you will attempt to score high enough on any minigame you've already played to rank in the top 3 on the game (names listed as ORC, ICK, and I forget the third one). ORC can be VERY difficult to beat, and even ICK on the faster paced dancing games.. and you WILL get hooked on them (especially the dancing ones) until you do indeed defeat their scores. Additionally, there is a point value assigned with the score you get which contributes to further unlockable "challenges" found in score mode. These challenges are repeats of previous minigames, but you must do 3 for example in series that deal with a similar topic.
I won't say much here. We all know this is a Wii, not a PS3 or Xbox360. The graphics are vibrant and colorful, and done rather well. I wish some of the bunnies were textured just a bit better during regular game play, but I can't complain. I love it.
The sound is pretty terrific, with enjoyable songs, sound effects, and BUNNY VOICES. The only thing about this department that I was disappointed in was the fact that the Wii-mote speaker was not used as much as I would have liked it to be. If you've played Warioware:SM, and enjoyed the sound effects from the wii-mote there, prepare to be disappointed. However, that is the only downfall. Additionally, there is one minigame in which you do in fact use the wii-mote speaker to listen to a pig oink to direct you around bunnies, which certainly was not done as well as I hoped, but this is a minor detail.
I include this separately because I know so many people are concerned about it. I'm guessing, especially if you don't play with anyone, that this game is likely not worth the money if you expect 20+ hours of gameplay for 50 dollars. However, you can certainly work much more time out of it than story with the score mode as I previously mentioned. If you have a fried over that also enjoys the game, it makes it all the more fun... and it will last twice as long. But honestly, I finished the game in, I believe, about 3 hours (the story mode). However, I have played at least 15 hours since then, just playing minigames for higher scores.
As a game to buy, I give it an 8/10. As a game to rent, a 9/10. However, I gave it the better of the two ratings on the listed score because pretty much all that hurts the game for me, is the length. With this in mind, I don't believe a shorter game makes it any "less" of a good game, and I can only hope that larger, funnier, number 2 is soon developed.
Overall Score: 9/10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/18/07
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