Monday, December 4, 2006
Good: Some great uses of the Wii controller, humor, on-rails sections
Bad: Some dud minigames, graphics, many games lack simultaneous multiplayer
Having little experience with the Rayman series, I was curious as to how this launch offering for the Wii would perform. Thankfully, Rayman Raving Rabbids requires absolutely no prior knowledge or experience with the series, as the title character himself takes a backseat to the manic rabbits that populate this entertaining game.
Raving Rabbids has little-to-no story outside of the fact that you've been jailed by insane rabbits that watch you perform in events, Gladiator-style. Each hub level (shaped like the Coliseum) features four small doors and one giant one. Minigames are contained within each smaller door, and the big one opens after you defeat three of them.
Minigames take on several forms, and they range from mediocre to excellent. Almost all of them feature unique applications of the Wii remote and nunchuk, as you'll lasso, shovel, fly, run, and slap rabbits by moving your arms around. Some are absolutely hilarious, especially the one involving beating up student rabbits that sing off key. Another requires you to put the remote's speaker up to your ear as you cross a pen filled with blowtorch-wielding underground rabbits.
It doesn't take long to blow through the single-player mode (even though it boasts 70 minigames), but their replayability and the multiplayer should extend your enjoyment with this title. While multiplayer is certainly fun, not many of them feature simultaneous play. Rather, you have to take turns competing for a high score. Thankfully, two of the best minigames (the on-rails and dancing sections) will let you play at the same time as your friends.
While the Wii is obviously no graphical power house, Rayman still looks overly pixilated at times. Inside the pseudo-Coliseum, the rabbit crowd looks especially jerky and ugly. Minigames focused on one thing are better detailed, such as the one that requires you to remove worms from a rabbit's mouth. Audio is comprised mostly of basic bouncy tunes and hilariously insane rabbit noises.
Rayman Raving Rabbids is one of the best launch titles for the Wii, and shows off different controller applications better than any of the others. You'll blow through the single player in a few sittings, but a few of the minigames will keep you coming back for more.
First Play: 8.5
Replay Value: 8.0