Review by ShyningFade

"Little rabbid Fufu, I don't like your attitude..."

When Ubisoft first announced it's support for the Wii, most fans of the upcoming Nintendo console had to do a double-take. It's a well known fact that the Gamecube suffered from a lack of third party titles and by seeing how generous Ubisoft was with the number of titles they announced, it left many of us in shock. But, when it all comes down to it, the quality vs quantity debate begins to rear it's ugly head. And despite Ubisoft's praise and support, it's games like this one that make us question just how seriously Ubisoft is taking the Wii.

Game Play:

If you're a newcomer to the wild world of Wii, brace yourself. Due to the nature of Nintendo's console and controller, it's inevitable that many developers will take the all of the ideas they've created and attempt to stuff them into one neat package and call it a game. The result? A system who's lineup is flooded with many "me too!" mini-game compilations that may, or may not, appeal to you.

Now, mini-game compilations can be a ton of fun. If the Wario Ware series is any indication, they can also become very successful as well. And the premise behind any good mini-game fest is to stuff the game full of content, usually at the expense of a story line or deep game play.

Rayman Raving Rabbids continues this trend, by placing players in the shoes of Rayman (which oddly enough, aren't even attached to his body), who is captured by a bunch of ornery little creatures that are known as the (you guessed it) Rabbids.

Upon his capture, Rayman must compete in a series of gladiatorial events (mini-games) in order to win plungers. No, I'm not making this up. As I said before, look elsewhere if you're looking for a game with a serious tone and deep game play. As with any mini-game compilation, it's best to loosen up and get ready to laugh if you want to get the most out of your game. And RRR is no exception.

RRR features a large collection of mini games, all of which require the player to perform a variety of actions that translate into the game's action, thanks to the innovative Wii's controls. For example, let's say a mini game requires you to spin a cow above your head. You would hold the remote as if you were holding a chain, and then you would spin it as if you were really spinning. Racing in a mine cart? Turn the remote on it's side and pump it up and down as if it were a handle. Forced to whack a few Rabbid-like moles? Turn your remote into a virtual hammer. And if you're up for a little bit of Rabbid huntin' Elmer Fudd style, use the remote as a light gun, blasting those wascally wabbids in a House of the Dead/Lethal Enforcers style shoot 'em up.

While most of these sound fantastic on paper, the execution isn't quite as tight as one would like it to be. Let's take the whack a mole game, for instance. In that game, there are holes shaped in a 3x3 grid. In order to reach the Rabbids in the background, one has to push the remote towards the television, as if you were really reaching into the background. However, the controls aren't perfect, and sometimes you'll find yourself pushing, while your in game avatar isn't moving at all. It's issues like these that plague the game, and unfortunately, case more frustration than entertainment.

It's not to say that all of the mini-games suffer from this, because a lot of the mini-games are a tremendous amount of fun, but some games are downright unplayable because of these controls. It makes for a fun pick up and play experience, and is definitely acceptable for a launch title, but this is one game that I personally cannot see lasting the test of time. And that is an absolute shame, since this title is jam packed with personality and humor, and an expansive score mode which allows players to replay games unlocked in the story mode for a variety of bonuses while allowing up to four players to compete.

As a result, RRR is a game that holds a ton of replay value, but the real question is whether you'll want to actually play through it again or not. The lifespan increases if you have a bunch of friends around, but the unforgiving controls can make the experience a hassle when you constantly have to explain how to perform the motions correctly because they're not registering properly in game.

Graphics and Sound:

Another slight disappointment with the game comes as a result of the game's presentation. Although previews and even the instructional manual list this game as having 480p support, it is nowhere to be found in the game. The result? Yet another blurry looking Wii game. Thankfully, for those of us not living in the stone-age, RRR thankfully supports 16:9 widescreen, so at least it's not a complete bust when it comes to visual extras.

But don't get the idea that RRR is a terrible looking game - RRR features bright, colorful, cartoon-like graphics that perfectly capture the zaniness Ubisoft set out to create. I could do without the liberal use of hot-pink in the menus though... whoever thought that it would be a good addition to the game needs to be shot.

The music is average as well, providing suitable background music without bringing anything extraordinary to the table. But just like the rest of the content, expect plenty of weirdness in the sound category as well. Composers of the game's music must have a deep love for trumpets, funky clavis, harmonicas, and other under-used instruments as this game is chock full of them, producing some of the strangest songs I've heard in a long while.

But if there's anything to write home about, it's definitely about the Rabbids' soon to be legendary war cry. To this day, I still crack up whenever I hear the Rabbids scream at the top of their lungs, because I know that all sorts of insanity is sure to follow.

Closing Thoughts:

While I might have come across as being negative in my review, it's not to say that this is a horrible game. It's just an average game, that's complimented by it's sense of humor and fun mini games. If you're unsure about this game, definitely give it a rent, and it seems to be a love it/hate it kind of game.

Pros:
*Rabbids steal the show with their off the wall humor and antics
*16:9 enabled graphics still look nice despite not running in progressive scan.
*Rabbid hunts alone are worth the price of admission
*Nice variety of mini games
*Huge replay value

Cons:
*Controls are unresponsive at times
*Some mini games are way too hard, especially the last few dancing levels
*Story mode high scores don't translate into Score mode scores
*Low-grade presentation


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 03/06/07


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