“Rayman Raving Rabbids” review

by on Mar.05, 2010, under Wii Game Reviews

Game: Rayman Raving Rabbids
Developer: UbiSoft

If you are looking for an example of a near-perfect Wii release title, Rayman Raving Rabbids is the game for you.

If you’ve ever spent time in front of your PC or console, playing platform action games, chances are you’ve probably met Rayman; a goofy yet lovable spiky haired character who frequents fantastical and bizarre worlds without his major appendages! After releasing over a dozen games on various platforms, UbiSoft’s latest title featuring our hero is now a launch title for Nintendo’s Wii console (ok, so we’re a bit slow reviewing games.) This time around the usual high-octane platform action environment has been replaced with a collection of wacky mini-games pitting our protagonist against a wide range of psychotic bunnies bent on … well, frankly we’re not too sure what their motives are … except that they are psychotic and hellishly amusing!

In the opening cinematic you witness Rayman and a bunch of his blue Globox buddies being captured by the Rabbids and unceremoniously tossed into prison. For the rest of your life, you’ll be dragged out of your cell each day, forced to participate in a series of challenges for the amusement of our floppy-eared foes … that is, until you can engineer a daring escape using a collection of drain plungers!

If you thought the back-story was a bit bizarre, wait until you see the mini-games, concocted by Ubisoft’s depraved and warped Canadian development team! Prepare yourself for the trials ahead as you:

• Stuff a gourmet bunny with as much food as he can eat.
• Stop bunnies escaping from a bunch of outdoor toilets by slamming the doors shut as they attempt to leave.
• Take down elite rabbid special forces by shooting carrot juice at them.
• Toss cows over long distances for no apparent reason.
• And much, much more!

You’re looking at over 70 mini-games to defeat, although several do make a repeat appearance with more difficult objectives. There are also a collection of disco challenges, where you keep beat to the stylized music of Cyndi Lauper and Ritchie Valens to name a few unfortunate artists. The final day’s challenge invariably involves either a freakish race involving warthogs or a first-person rail shooter where Rayman takes on a plethora of bunnies with his plunger shooting pistol. The shooter sequences are particularly good and range from wild west shootouts in a dilapidated town to intense combat within the corridors of your typical Star Wars battle station.

Instructions on how to complete each of the mini-games is provided on the loading screen, complete with a helpful bunny demonstrating the necessary moves. Using your Wii-mote and Nunchuk to tackle each of the challenges is simple and intuitive; a testament to just how well the mini-games and unique Wii control system were blended together during development.

At the end of each day, you’ll be sent back to your cell for a complimentary auto-save of the game. You can also admire the warm interior of your cell as you gradually acquire decorations and furniture as the game progesses. You can also unlock soundtracks to play on your juke box as well as various costumes to pimp your hero with.

When you have ultimately completed the game’s story mode, there are still plenty of things to do. You can play through each of the individual mini-games (either alone or with friends) and there are plenty of unlockable bounues to find and reveal through persistent play.

Overall, Rayman Raving Rabbids is, without question, the best release title for the Wii console. It’s an excellent party game when friends are around, and has enough content to keep even the most fanatical console kiddie flailing away trying to get that last bonus unlocked. If you’re looking for casual game-play, oodles of bloodless bunny violence, a touch of warped depravity and a spiky haired hero, then this game is definitely for you.

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