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Rayman: Raving Rabbids (Wii) artwork

Rayman: Raving Rabbids (Wii) review

"As anyone not living under a rock knows: The Nintendo Wii has a lot of mini-game titles in its growing library. Some of these titles miss the point of success by a large margin, others however, are enjoyable games worth owning even if it is "yet another" mini-game collection. Rayman Raving Rabbids is one of these must owns. "

As anyone not living under a rock knows: The Nintendo Wii has a lot of mini-game titles in its growing library. Some of these titles miss the point of success by a large margin, others however, are enjoyable games worth owning even if it is "yet another" mini-game collection. Rayman Raving Rabbids is one of these must owns.

Rayman is back again, enjoying a nice picnic out in a forest when suddenly there is an earthquake, and chaos ensues. A herd of the newly introduced rabbids appears and snatches Rayman and his friends up from the ground and takes him away. He is thrown into a gladiator style arena full of the screaming bunnies where he must survive various tasks for their entertainment, a very fitting set up for a mini-game collection. The level-selection design is effective, albeit simple and straightforward. Once inside the arena you take control of Rayman via the nunchuck analog stick and select one of four mini-games to play per day. After completing the four mini-games a boss-like stage opens for you to play through. These usually consist of an on-rail shooting stage a la Time Crisis and The House of the Dead, or sometimes, a racing game much like the famed Mario Kart series.

The short mini-games however are what really make up most of your time playing through the somewhat lengthy story mode. These are very random in a Wario Ware style. Some of the more odd games involve closing porta-potty doors to playing a game of bowling by rolling a wooden barrel as the crazy rabbids are used as makeshift pins. Since this was one of the earlier titles to make its mark on the Wii the controls are almost more important than the content itself as it would either spawn many similar control themed rip-offs, or be a shining example of what not to do when making a mini-game title. Luckily the formula for Rayman Raving Rabbids is the former as most mini-games play almost flawlessly. Not only that there is a large variety of games to do - you rarely see the same mini-game twice, even a variation of it throughout story mode.

That is not to say every single mini-game is perfect however, as a few of them have problems. The first stage you notice with this problem is the porta-potty game. The goal is quite simple: You use the Wii remote to aim at one of four doors and shake the nunchuck to close it as it opens. For the most part this game controls quite well but from time to time one door seems intent on not closing exposing you to a screaming rabbid trying to do his business in peace. The real problem with this however, is it is later fixed in the variation of the mini-game (which includes walking bunnies you must not slap on your quest to close doors). Everything runs flawlessly which makes you wonder if maybe your Wii sensor bar was out of place or you were not aiming correctly. Going back to the original version of the mini-game though the problem still persists. This problem also appears in other mini-games as well and forces you to wonder why the developers did not fix such obvious things. While they are not in the least game breaking, it is possible to literally spend hours waggling your arms around in frustration do to a poor design.

Out of the many non boss-like mini-games one repeats itself almost everyday, thankfully it's quite enjoyable. While a wacky tune plays in the background (most notably a variation of Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Want to Have Fun) you must keep in rhythm by swinging the Wii remote and nunchuck forward to reach a specific score. This is yet another mini-game that functions almost to perfection as you rarely find missed beats while waggling your arms up and down.

Mentioned earlier upon completing the four normal mini-games in a given day will unlock a larger door to the boss stage. These are what really make the game enjoyable from a pure gameplay standpoint. While there is the classic kart style racing stage a few times the majority of the boss stages are on-rail shooters. These are not just small mediocre rip-offs of the classic action but full-fledged stages. Each one can last up to 10 minutes and are packed with fun things to do. As Rayman you journey through, plunger gun in hand, and shoot any rabbids that pose a threat to you. Your primary means of killing them is of course with the simple gun, however you can use the nunchuck to pick up the screaming little critters and send them flying into the sky along with other gun upgrades you would expect in any shooter.

While the mini-games function correctly for the most part and are an enjoyable experience there is a much larger reason to own Rayman Raving Rabbids, the rabbids themselves. While this may be Rayman's game he is greatly overshadowed by the wacky bunnies. They have more personality to them then many other characters in the media. The game is just plain funny thanks to the classic slapstick comedy incorporated into every drop of content dripping from the game. You will often see the rabbids bashing each other with clubs and plungers, and most of the mini-games involve humorously hurting the screaming critters in one way or another. It's quite funny to see this form of comedy in a video game as nonstop hilarity is not something you expect from this form of media.

Rayman Raving Rabbids is something everyone can pick up and play. Sure the graphics are slightly worse than even what the old GameCube could produce but everything else about the game is golden. It has humor, great music, and great gameplay. The main focus of the game, story mode is quite beefy for a mini-game collection and watching the transition of attitudes day by day from Rayman's cell to the rabbids in the stadium is great. There is a lot of variety and the on-rail shooting levels are simply amazing. This is definitely a title worth owning no matter who you are as you will find something in the game for you to enjoy.


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Community review by Zenax (October 23, 2007)

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