Game Review

Review

Region: European (PAL)

18th November, 2007 by Thomas Bowskill

The Rabbids Are Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Those Charming Rabbids Are Back!

Those Charming Rabbids Are Back!

If I learnt one thing last Christmas, it was this; Rabbit's + Wii + Violence = Hilarity. Or to put it another way; I discovered the joys of Rayman Raving Rabbids. With this title, Ubisoft gave the world a prime example of how to make a good, fun, energetic game. Plus, they introduced the cutely deranged Rabbids! There was only really one gripe people had with it: a lack of a decent multiplayer mode.

So, coming full circle on the year, we see another Raving Rabbids title launched- aptly named Rayman Raving Rabbids 2. Read on to find out what the crazy critters have to offer this time round...

You Get To Play Backwards Rugby in the USA

You Get To Play Backwards Rugby in the USA

Those who played the first game will know there is a story to Rayman Raving Rabbids. If you haven't played it, allow me to fill you in: The Rabbids appear from underground and take over Rayman's world. In the process of this Rayman gets imprisoned and forced to compete in the Rabbids version of Colosseum games (enter wacky mini-games).After several victories, our lovable limbless French man becomes a hero amongst the Rabbids, and is awarded with some plungers (toilet plungers). With these, Rayman devises a crafty escape plan, and subsequently escapes. He then gets stuck in a hole... and the game ends.

With the new game, comes a new part to this story. After having their way with Rayman's world, the Rabbids set off to conquer ours. The beginning of the game shows a fantastic introduction where the Rabbids are superimposed seamlessly into actual video footage of cities. The scale of this invasion is apparent by the countless number of flying yellow submarines deploying the hordes of the Rabbid army all over the world. Their intentions are made clear when they attack, with plungers, the poor news reader presenting the breaking news. Never fear though, because Rayman is coming to the rescue again! Although goodness knows how he managed to get out of that hole...

They've Even Taken Over The Cinema's: How On Earth Will We See Uwe Boll's Next Smash-Hit Sucess?!

They've Even Taken Over The Cinema's: How On Earth Will We See Uwe Boll's Next Smash-Hit Sucess?!

After the introduction you can get stuck straight into the game. Initially, all you have open to you is the trips option- the mode you will be spending the vast chunk of your time on. From here you can opt to explore USA, Europe, South America, The Tropics, and Asia. Each of these regions has their own themed mini-games that are usually based on one humorous stereotype or another. In the USA you will find yourself playing American Football, in South America vast amounts of chilli are consumed, and in Europe you will find yourself burping from atop the Arc de Triomphe. To list them all would take me too long- lets just say there are 50, and they are all good fun.

The games themselves are similar in fashion to those of the first title. Each and every one of them requires you to perform some kind of interactive gesture with the Wiimote and Nunchuck. Sometimes you will be twisting to avoid objects, other times you will be pointing the Wiimote at a Rabbid and using the Nunchuck to slap it... You'll even be shaking it vigorously to unblock a toilet (first time I have seen one of the Rabbids use their plunger in the correct context!). There will be moments where you need to cooperate with another player too: like in the bicycle race, where one player peddles and the other steers. Oh, and you will also be spitting in coffee...

Rabbid Hero Anyone?

Rabbid Hero Anyone?

One of the greatest mini-game has to be 'Fart Wars' which is a parody on the Star Wars Death Star battle scene: The Rabbids chow down on chilli and then use the power of their farts to propel themselves through a narrow canyon, avoiding all manner of obstacles until they reach the end... where a giant toilet-bowl awaits! You also get to act out that famous boulder scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark... but without the sort of success Indiana had. To top it all off, you will even be Singing in the Rain: what a glorious feeling- it made me happy again!

The music rounds have made a welcome return to the game, albeit in a slightly different form: This time Rayman is part of a four-piece band and you must perform the on-screen commands in harmony to play Rabbid covers of popular songs. Personally, I feel this is a good laugh, and much better than the dancing game from last year. Shooting rounds are back as well, but this time they consists of Rabbids running around actual cities: It's cleverly done, and quite amusing to see- if somewhat a little slow paced.

We Call This One Visor

We Call This One Visor

When compared to the last title, it is apparent that all the mini-games have been dumbed-down in terms of controls and depth (there are no longer any not-so-mini-games). This has been done to create a faster, more multiplayer friendly experience- and it has accomplished that perfectly. What's more is that each game feels distinctly unique: There is so little recycling of content and scenarios. Highly commendable.

Once you have completed each mini-game in the Trip mode you can access them again at any time in Free Play mode. You can also mix 'n' match these to make a custom trip- negating the random selection of mini-games. You can also unlock costumes for your Rabbids by completing them: these include Ninja Turtles, Naruto, Spiderman, Sam Fisher, Hippies, Snake charmers... you just name it!

Rabbids Going For Gold

Rabbids Going For Gold

Rabbids 2 is the kind of game you will spend hours playing with your mates. The experience is an absolute blast when shared other people. Without the atmosphere they create, the game feels remarkably shallow. Sure the Rabbids are still humorous without others around, but they are bloody hilarious if you are playing with a group of mates. Nothing beats competing against three of your mates; trying to put each other one off, and doing your best Rabbid impressions! Then there is the part where you can dress up your Rabbid in all manner of costumes: Seriously, get a group of mates round to play this game, and you will most likely spend an hour engrossed in the Rabbid customisation screen.

Visually speaking; Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 flows a lot better than its predecessor. The animations seem to be more refined, and the effort gone into superimposing the Rabbids into real life footage (for the cutscene's, and shooting games) is fantastic. The noises are as wacky as ever, with several thousand 'BWAAAAAAAAAAH's' barraging you whilst you play. Its all high quality stuff.

Conclusion

The Developers Hard At Work...

The Developers Hard At Work...

Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 is one of the best multiplayer experiences you will be able to find on the Wii. The crazy concept, mixed with easy, and quick games, make it accessible to everyone- a great blast with the mates. If you are looking for that Christmas game to play with all the family, look no further.

But the greatness of the game only lies in its multiplayer mode: There simply is nothing worthwhile in playing this one alone. I strongly advise against purchasing this if you do not like getting the mates round for a bit of crazy Wii action. You would do a lot better playing the first Raving Rabbids game if you just wanted the single player experience.

8/10

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