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Platform

Wii

 

Genre

Adventure

 

Publisher

Ubisoft

 

Developer

Ubisoft Montpellier

 

ESRB

E +10 (Everyone)

 

Released

November 1, 2009

 

 

- Grows repetitive, no matter how crazy it gets
- Voice samples also repeat, adds annoyance
- Bonus content suffers from technical issues

 

 

- Utterly insane, wacky premise
- Expansive customization options
- Rewards bring extra replay incentives

 

 

Review: Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo (Wii)

Review: New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)

Review: Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (DS)

 

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Rabidds Go Home

Score: 6.5 / 10

 

rabbids go home          rabbids go home

 

The Rabbids, a group of mentally unstable rabbit creatures who originally appeared as antagonists in the Rayman series, have become a well-known and popular brand synonymous with the Wii, mostly due to their bizzare character designs and traits that bring the kind of “disturbing but sort of cute” caricature commonly found in Hot Topic stores and the like.

 

But you can only do so much with a concept alone: despite the memorable characters, the various spinoffs and party games starring these lunatic lapins

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- Adventure Game Reviews

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haven’t shared the same praise among players, but with Ubisoft’s latest effort to warm the hardcore audience over, there may finally be a game worth their time….even if it borrows its gameplay from another well-known title.

 

The story of Rabbids Go Home goes something like this: apparently tired of life in the junkyard, the Rabbids group has decided to return to their home on

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the moon. The only problem is that the moon is too high up, so the demented bunnies have decided to gather up as many stuff as they can in order to build a garbage pile high enough for them to get home. All of the junk surrounding them isn’t enough to build their stairway to heaven, however, so it’s off to the big city to collect anything and everything (and at times, everyone) they can fit into their dingy shopping cart.

 

Believe it or not, this is the most normal part of the story; the rest of Go Home’s cutscenes involve nonstop wackiness as the Rabbids bring terror and mayhem to the city-folk as they go about their business. Offices are ransacked, hospital patients are kidnapped, dogs, cats, and babies are stolen, and even a jet engine is pried off a speeding plane, resulting in the biggest destruction of an airport since Modern Warfare 2. All of it is done with a tongue-in-cheek level, though, sort of like a Pixar movie on acid, including some allegories about commercialism and heavy spending. But don’t go thinking that this game is sophisticated in any way: the sheer insanity of the Rabbids and their disregard for the people around them make ‘Splosion Man look like a distinguished gentleman.

 

As for the gameplay, players control a pair of Rabbids on their shopping cart as they speed around different locations, picking up all manner of items that they driver over. The more stuff they collect, the bigger their pile grows, which results in an end-of-level high score that adds to their pile back in the junkyard. The concept of collecting random objects immediately brings the Katamari series to mind, a collect-a-thon that’s also known for its random LSD imagery and humor (which, in Japan, is perfectly normal), but to Rabbids’ credit, levels don’t have time limits; The level ends when you manage to secure the “XL Stuff” of that particular area, which is always represented through cutscenes and the excited wails of the Rabbids.

As is usually the case with Wii games, some Wiicific commands attempt to separate the similarities between the two titles; Waving the Wiimote causes your Rabbid to let out a screeching “Baaah!” which can be used to literally blow the clothes off of people, as well as stun the few attacking enemies (such as dogs, or guys in HAZMAT suits). A button press can also launch a fellow Rabid that also works offensively as well as knock out switches or turntables in order to move forward. Further abilities are unlocked as you progress, while taking possession of the level-specific XL Stuff usually retools the controls for a short minigame segment (stealing a patient encased in an inflated bubble, for example, will allow you to hover in the air for a short period, while stealing the jet engine results in a frantic race-type mission).

 

rabbids go home          rabbids go home

 

The Wiimote integration doesn’t end there, though, as Go Home also uses the motion controls toward its visual aesthetics; often you’ll be transported inside your Wiimote, where a Rabbid has taken residence. Shaking the controller in different directions sends the intruder bouncing around the walls, and usually comes into play with some extra minigames. The interior hub also serves your creative edge, as a full-featured customizing system lets you reshape your Rabbid’s look, from the shape of its head to the color of its ears. The more stuff you collect, the more extra gifts you’ll unlock in the form of headgear and other accessories.

 

The amount of customization tools is so huge that the game includes a separate channel that can be installed to your Wii menu. Called “Rabbid Channel”, this online-enabled extra allows players to share each other’s creations for online voting, with monthly and holiday-specific contests occasionally popping up and inspiring further creativity. It’s a neat bonus that’s unfortunately marred by two distracting issues: Connecting to the main server and loading up the fan-made creations can take an awfully long time, and the Rabbid Channel itself requires a large chunk of the Wii’s meager storage space.

 

The main game falls short of greatness as well; as utterly wacky and insane the situation in each level gets, the gameplay ultimately remains the same, and grows repetitive quickly. The repeated phrases from the startled citizens don’t help either, and a couple of times you’ll even collect the same XL stuff in completely different levels. Achieving a perfect collecting score becomes the primary motivator for repeating levels (and yields further rewards along with opening up newer areas), but after a time it becomes more of a chore to find those few remaining items while attempting to reach a checkpoint without dying.

 

Repetition aside, Rabbids Go Home is still a worthy title just short of becoming a Wii classic. The madcap humor and random situations are almost worth the price of admission alone, and the build-a-Rabbid workshop can provide an addicting time sink. A wacky and worthy purchase that requires no extra substances to achieve trippy results, bring the Rabbids home to entertain the kids and horrify the parents.

 

- Jorge Fernandez

(January 29, 2010)

 

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