Review by Big Bob
"Fun, but lacking enough substance to be recommendable."
While I was one of the people waiting in line for the Wii on the day of its release, I paid no attention to the launch title Rayman Raving Rabbids. I had never played a Rayman game before, and I was rather insistent to avoid buying minigame fests for a while for this system. A few months later, when the "Bunnies Can't..." videos started popping up online, my interest in this game grew. I finally managed to get ahold of it, and while it has a great sense of humor and great gameplay, it's simply too short and doesn't have nearly enough substance to make it worth anything more than a rental.
The game starts with Rayman and his animal friends having a picnic. The rabbids quickly show up and capture them, and force Rayman to...play minigames. Odd concept, no? They lock him in a tower, and for each set of minigames he completes he gets a plunger. As he gets more and more plungers, eventually he can stick them to the wall to get to the window high up in his room. That's REALLY all there is to the story. While Rayman does get exceedingly more respect from the Rabbids (at first he's violently thrown into his prison, but late in the game the rabbids show up at his door with gifts and a fanfare), there just simply isn't enough substance to go around. The ending is unsatisfying, and there's no exploration of the Rabbid's fortress or boss battles (only boss minigames, which while fun, get repetitive as they start reusing environments with more enemies). So all there is to do in the entire game is play minigames.
Don't get me wrong, the minigames are great. There are several different kinds; some require you to quickly move your arms in order to go faster, others require precision, a few require thinking, and each set of minigames also has a rhythm game that would be more fun if the song selection was better. A lot of these minigames have an excellent design to them, and are typically really fun to play. I could go off listing the large variety of games they have, but that would be a bit boring.
Probably the best portion of this game is its sense of humor. While Rayman is the main character, the Rabbids are the real draw here, as they're absolutely hilarious. They have absolutely no morals, beat each other up on a regular basis, and often scream for no reason at all. Several minigames show you either helping a rabbid or cooperating with them, but a few exist just so you can torture them. One stands out in particular: "Bunnies Like Surprises" has a blindfolded bunny, and Rayman's floating arms holding a bell and a horn in his hands for the bunny to follow. He's surrounded by obstacles, like bear traps, hot coals, and cacti, and the goal of the game is to give him as much torture as possible before the giant weight drops on him, giving you 50,000 points. This minigame is a good representation of the kind of humor RRR brings, and if that amuses you, I highly recommend renting it.
Like I said, while the game is fun and amusing, there just isn't enough substance here to recommend a full purchase. Maybe later when the price has dropped to 20-30 dollars it'd be worth picking up, but for now I can only say rent it.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 05/08/07
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