|System: DS, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ubisoft Paris||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 13, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Joseph Catalanotto
Rabbits are pretty cute, right? I mean, they're all fuzzy and quiet and small and y'know, cute. But Ubisoft's Wii launch title, called Rayman Raving Rabbids, forever changed many peoples' views on the rodents. Rather than being cute little pets, could they perhaps be crazed, evil beasts concerned only with world domination? Well, the second outing with the Raving Rabbids on the DS attempts to let you find out.
The plot, if it can really be called such, is simple and laid out before the game even begins. The story is told with sparse dialogue and fun, colorful pictures. Essentially, the Rabbids have left their home-planet and have set their sights on an even greater prize: Planet Earth. Now, it's up to Rayman not to save the world, but rather to get photographs of the invaders.
What's weird about the story is that it really has no bearing on the actual game. In fact, Rayman never really comes into the picture at all. Instead, you take control of some unnamed entity (most of the time) or a Rabbid itself (occasionally) as you play through the myriad of mini-games that the title offers. But the whole photography premise of the game never comes into play, except for the fact that there's a little "film meter"; the meter fills up as you score points in mini-games, and you've got to fill up the meters to unlock more games.
See, the entire game is divided up into areas of the world; different continents are marked with plungers (supposedly the universal motif of the Rabbids themselves). Each marked area is apparently one area occupied by the Rabbids; so it's up to Rayman to travel there and snap some pics that will, uh, somehow save the world? I'll get back to you on that one.
Each area is divided up into a number of different mini-games, and this is where Raving Rabbids 2 really starts to get the ball rolling. Each area has six or more games, all of which must be cleared to proceed. For each game, there's a meter; the more you fill up the meter, the more points you get (by the way, you've got to get the maximum number of points on every mini-game to actually fill up the film meter and unlock newer areas. But how do you fill up the meter?, you might ask. Well, that's when the actual mini-games come in.
The only real reason that these mini-games are any fun is because they're awfully creative. Sure, they take some mechanics from a few popular games (a very Elite Beat Agents -esque game pops up early on ), but for the most part, they're clever and original. The variety is huge, the games are unpredictable, and (at first) they're quite fun.
For example, the first level has you doing a variety of things. You may take control of a mechanical cow (what's with it with the Rabbids and cows?) and attempt to throw off the Rabbid rider who's on top. The more you rub the bottom screen, the more the cow jerks around up top, and the more the meter fills up. Another game has you coloring in a sequence of pictures on the bottom -- and on the top, a Rabbid with a can of spray paint emulates you coloring as graffiti on a wall.