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Platform

Wii

 

Genre

Party Games

 

Publisher

Ubisoft

 

Developer

Ubisoft

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q4 2006

 

 

- A lot of thought were put into these mini-games

- Looks surprisingly good

- Quirky style

 

 

- Some of the games need more two-player simultaneous options

- Annoying toilet humor

 

 

Review: WarioWare Smooth Moves (Wii)

Review: Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (Wii)

 

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Rayman Raving Rabbids

Score: 8.5 / 10

 

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Party games have certainly become the toast of the town in the Wii library since the console's launch, as developers try to find ways to get people from a wide array of demographics interested in their title while at the same time trying to use the Wii remote in interesting ways.  With that in mind, Rayman Raving Rabbids is easily one of the best of the bunch thus far.  The variety of mini-games available is impressive, thereís even costumes, music, and other goodies to collect in the single-player game, and thereís a quirkiness present throughout that comes off as quite charming, if a tad lowbrow.

 

The cartoon-like silliness found in the Raving Rabbids spreads to all of the different mini-games available (70 of them in total).  Players will find themselves trying to keep doors shut on porta-potties so not to embarrass the bunnies doing their business inside, there is also a game where players have to fend off an onslaught of malicious bunny snorkellers by spraying carrot juice at them, and thereís even the opportunity to draw various delicacies for an eager bunny gastronome to devour.  These different tasks are all good for a chuckle, and can 

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be surprisingly challenging.  Whatís particularly nice is that Ubisoft has gone so far as to include some more traditional styles of play in these mini-games as well.  There are racing portions, music games, and even a gun game in the spirit of Virtua Cop and Time Crisis.  Blending the traditional with the offbeat helps Raving Rabbids in appealing to far more people than other party games.

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Also interesting about the mini-games is that the control schemes are often such that it shows how much thought the developers put into this Wii game.  A lot of the other mini-games out there are often translations of real-life activities, with controls that are mundane at the best of times.  In Raving Rabbids, the games are such that often times one is hard pressed to think up a real-life equivalent.  While the games can seem over the top, the controls make perfect sense.  

 

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One major oversight on the part of the developers is that two people cannot play some of the games simultaneously.  Instead, players must take turns, which can suck the fun out of some of the games, because once you get started itís suddenly time to stop again.  Some may be fundamentally impossible to support simultaneous play, but other games will leave players wondering why they have to sit and wait when it would have been far more fun to play together instead.  Even setting up a split screen multiplayer mode would have sufficed.

 

As players make their way through the game, it will quickly become apparent that Raving Rabbids sports a twisted sense of humor, though it does shift toward toilet humor at times, so consider yourself warned if you donít particularly care for that sort of thing.  This not only unfolds through the mini-games, but through the story that is told in the single-player game, where Rayman finds himself kidnapped and imprisoned by the bunnies, and has to do these mini-games for their enjoyment.  All the while, he is trying to figure out a way to escape his predicament.

 

Looking at the game, itís pretty amazing what Ubisoft has been able to do visually with the limited hardware in the Wii.  The game is downright lush.  The textures are amazing, great lighting, and a decent amount of detail for a more cartoon-like motif.  It should also be noted that he animations stay smooth throughout, though there really isnít much here that would tax the console graphically anyway.  It looks very good, but, again, beware of the toilet humor, as some of the moments in the game can be a bit gross.  By the same token, Raving Rabbids' audio is a mixture of the quirky and the icky.  The bunniesí screams, and comedic sound queues work extremely well, but the particularly lowbrow moments can annoy.

 

Lowbrow humor aside, Raving Rabbids still succeeds in being a far more compelling party game than a lot of its competition on the Wii.  With 70 mini-games, each with a lot of thought poured into it, there is plenty here to keep gamers, and even non-gamers interested for a very long time.

 

Jeff Nash

February 10, 2007

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