NINTENDO DS REVIEW: WHERE DO BABIES COME FROM?

The sequel to the highly original "Feel The Magic XY XX" is as strange, innovative and irreverant, but not quite as original. by Cole Smith

February 10, 2006 - The sequel to Feel the Magic, The Rub Rabbits, incorporates the touch controls, dual screen and microphone like few DS games ever have - with the exception of the original. It's a quirky, fun game that is sure to appeal to awkward, pubescent teen males as you are given the opportunity to interact with a virtual girlfriend. You can play games with your love interest such a tennis and golf, entertain her, fight with her, have her try on different clothes and even have a baby with her. There's nothing graphic in the game so parents need not worry. It's all presented with a sense of humor in hopes that the nerds won't get too stimulated.

Consisting of various mini-games, the object in The Rub Rabbits is not merely to get the girl but to explore what to do beyond that. The original, Feel the Magic, was focused solely on getting the girl. This game gives us more options and overall deeper gameplay - just don't expect Diablo as most of the mini games aren't really that challenging. There are some multi-player modes in which players might actually be able to corral some young nubiles into playing it with them as you only require one copy of the game. You can even play a few games using just one DS and pass it around. After that it's up to you how you "play" the rest of the situation out.

The story begins as you watch a lovely gal head up an escalator. In an effort to try to get to here before she gets away, you have to rub the screen to slow the escalator down to make it to the top. At the same time, other suitors are on her track, so it's also a race of sorts which lets you experience some panic. To add further depth to this love connection, there is a girl that falls in love with you. She's after you and treats the other girl as a rival as she tries to get her out of the picture.

Some of the mini-games are tacky and pseudo sexual but as I mentioned there is nothing graphic. The character models are black silhouettes so not only don't you see any virtual skin, you don't even get to see a face. These tacky mini-games include touching your girlfriend in the same places that she touched you. It's a memory game of sorts. Another game involves giving her a massage, in the dark, to keep her warm. Probably the most controversial mini-game is the one that requires two players to hold on DS system in an effort to make babies. Both players, preferably a boy and a girl, hold down buttons on the game while they answer a few questions. After that, they cut a cake together (it requires teamwork) and wind up with a baby. The baby can then be sold on the black market…just kidding…but oddly enough you can give the baby away to other players. These babies are actually called the Rub Rabbits and you can do things such as design clothing for them and create different ones based on your answers to the questions.

Successfully completing these mini-games will result in you obtaining hearts which are the currency in the game. You can use them to unlock items or purchase things such as outfits for your girlfriend that you can have her try on. Remember, you don't get to see her naked you naughty fellows. All you will see is a black silhouette wearing some clothes. This game could obviously be a lot more risqué but it's just been designed to titillate so as not to draw any fire from watchdog groups. All I have to say is that it's a shame that games like this, with inoffensive sexual content, take more heat than games where you get to blow people's heads off.

 

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System: DS
Dev: Sonic Team
Pub: Sega
Release: Feb 2006
Players: 1 - 4
Review by Cole Smith