Review by Dorkmaster Flek
"Bunnies Love Taglines Like This"
Bunnies Like The One Minute Review
If you've played any of the previous Rayman games, you're probably expecting a typical but solid 3D platformer. In that case, you'd be wrong. Raving Rabbids is a drastic departure from previous Rayman outings, providing you with an onslaught of 70 minigames to play while working through a single player story mode to unlock games in the other modes, as well as music tracks and new costumes for Rayman, and a multiplayer score mode for up to 4 players. All the games make use of the Wii remote and nunchuck in different ways, and the vast majority of the games are actually quite fun and surprisingly deep for a frantic minigame-fest. But the winner here is the art direction. The premise of the games is based around the titular "rabbids", a race of hilariously demented bunnies bent on world domination. The bunnies are undoubtedly the stars of the show, and their various antics, blank stares and inevitable screams of agony will make you laugh every time. Some of the games are so-called duds, but the majority of them are very solid. If you're looking for a fun party outing to make you laugh and hold you over until Wario Ware and Mario Party eventually hit, look no further than Raving Rabbids.
Bunnies Love Their Wii-motes
The basic premise of the game is centred around Rayman's imprisonment by the titular race of insane bunnies. He is forced to compete in a series of trials (read: minigames) against the rabbids in order to win plungers, with which he can create a ladder to the window of his cell and escape to freedom. If none of this makes sense, don't worry, it's not supposed to. Each day consists of 4 minigames, 3 of which must be cleared to advance to the final "boss" game of the day, although you earn new music tracks and outfits by clearing all 4 games each day. The boss games consist of usually rail shooter or racing games, while the normal games are simpler, and they all have names such as "Bunnies Don't Like etc..." or "Bunnies Are Good At etc..." The games themselves are well designed and implemented, and quite varied. You'll use the remote to tilt a maze board to navigate a marble through the maze (under the guise of helping a brain impulse travel the brain so the bunny can react to being hit on the head), shake the remote and nunchuck to accelerate a mine cart along a track to send a Superman-clad bunny flying as far as possible, and play Whack-a-Bunny in a garden with shovels to name a few.
Some of the games are a little boring, but the majority of them are enjoyable and some of them are surprisingly deep. The rail shooter games in particular are very well designed, and hitting the high scores in these games requires practice at knowing where everything is coming from and maintaining a combo of hits and bullseyes, as well as using elements of the environment to score multiple hits at once for score bonuses. All of the games have a multiplayer option, although only about half of them offer simultaneous multiplayer, while the rest offer hot-seat style play with each player taking turns at the game. This is somewhat disappointing as simultaneous multiplayer games tend to be more fun. It doesn't take away from the excellent design of the games, but it is something that should be mentioned regardless.
Bunnies Look Good And Make Funny Noises
Visually, Raving Rabbids is a good looking game, though nothing spectacular stands out in a technical sense. The framerate is solid, and all the environments look good, especially the rail shooter levels. Similarly, sound-wise everything is solid but unremarkable. There are a few background music tracks that accompany the games, and there is a subset of rhythm-based minigames that feature bunnies dancing to remixes of various popular tunes such as Misirlou, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and La Bamba (think The Chipmunks, except bunnies...and not nearly as annoying).
Where Rabbids really shines however, is the artistic direction. The rabbids have an incredible amount of personality, and their adorable blank stares followed by inevitable yelling and smashing things with blunt objects will have you busting a gut. The animations of the bunnies themselves are totally on the ball and hilarious, and their dancing animations are particularly funny. The bunnies quite honestly carry the game, even outclassing Rayman himself. It is a testament to Ubisoft's design that they can essentially repeat the same joke throughout the entire game, namely the blank stares of the bunnies followed by their goofy yelling and waving their arms around, and you will laugh every single time. It sounds crazy, but they're just that funny.
In addition to the excellent presentation, you can also unlock challenges and promotional videos for the game featuring the bunnies responding to various real-world situations with their hilariously blunt methods by achieving high scores in the various minigames in score mode. Each game is worth a normalized 1000 points, and the points are achieved via your score or time taken, depending on the game. Be warned, however, that achieving a high enough score in each of the various minigames is no easy task. Many of the games will take much practice before you can meet the requirements for the full 1000 points. The game has a surprising amount of depth and replayability for the most part.
Bunnies Have The Final Word
All in all, Raving Rabbids is an excellent example of what the Wii remote can do and a great launch title. Some of the games are somewhat duds, but most of them are very well designed and fun. It has a surprising bit of depth to many of the games, and the presentation is top notch. The bunnies are absolutely hilarious and will have you busting a gut while trying to concentrate on a game or watch somebody else play. It's not the most technically impressive game, but all the games look great and the cute design of the rabbids only makes them even funnier when they inevitably freak out and start hitting things. The lack of simultaneous multiplayer in a good number of the games does hurt a bit, however. I would score this a little higher than an 8, but not quite a 9 so we're rounding to 8 for GameFAQs. If you're a fan of party games, this will definitely hold you over until Wario Ware and Mario Party hit early next year.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/02/07
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