Bunnies hate having to unlock content.
Party games can be lots of fun. With enough controllers and friends, and maybe a little alcohol (of course, only if you're of age), they can be an absolute blast. However, imagine getting everything set up and ready to play, only to find that you can only play a paltry amount of mini-games, with the rest locked away and unplayable. That's the problem with Rayman: Raving Rabbids.
The game packs a ton of zany mini-games onto the disc, and most of them are a lot of fun, once you unlock them in the single-player mode. This mode is strung together on the thinnest of premises. Rayman's world has been invaded by a gang of crazy rabbit-like creatures called Rabbids. They've kidnapped our hero and thrown him into an arena, forcing him to compete in crazy events for their own entertainment.
If there's one thing that sticks out about Raving Rabbids, it's the Rabbids themselves. If you haven't already seen Ubi Soft's series of viral videos, be sure to check them out for a taste of how incredibly whacky this game truly is. The game delivers laughs in spades.
These mini-games will have you doing the weirdest things you could imagine, including: pulling worms from teeth, throwing cows like a shot-put, slamming urinal doors, and shooting Rabbids dressed as Superman with your plunger-gun, just to name a few. A few games repeat the same control mechanisms as other games. In the case of some games, like the whole series of rhythm-based games (each with its own song), it's fine, but in other games you might only be shaking the controller like mad. There's no need for more than one mini-game like this, as they all bring the same thing to the table.
For the most part, the games control fine, as they should considering how simple they are. Before playing a mini-game, a Mario Party-style explanation screen will explain what you will be doing, along with an animation of a Rabbid playing the game, which actually helps quite a lot in figuring out exactly how you'll be using the Wii remote and Nunchuck. For the multiplayer mode, some games have all the players playing the game simultaneously, while others require players to take turns. This is really nice considering that Wii owners with a single controller won't be left in the dark for multiplayer. However, It would be nice if there was an option to only display these games. Also, the interface for selecting mini-games is terribly confusing. Games are divided into multiple categories, and within each category they are displayed as a picture, so there is no quick and easy way to find a specific game.
Two specific types of games require a special mention. They are they shooting games and the dancing games. The dancing games are based on a simple rhythm-based mechanic, in which Rabbids move to the front of a stage on either the left or the right. When they hit the front of the stage, the player must shake either the nunchuck or Wii remote, depending on whether the Rabbid is on the left or right of the screen. These games start out very easy but eventually work their way up to a decent level of challenge. Plus, watching the Rabbids dance in the background is indeed hilarious. The shooting games are done in the style of those old light-gun arcade shooting games, such as Area 51, and include a lot of tongue-in-cheek references to that style of games. While easy, they're also a good deal of fun. The Wii remote's pointer is used to aim your cross-hair, and the B-button fires, while a quick shake of the nunchuck reloads. A grabber-chain can also be launched with the Z button on the nunchuck, and pressed again to throw out whatever has been grabbed (including Rabbids). Watching these shooting levels is often as fun as playing them, as you'll catch the Rabbids at their most hilarious.
Rayman: Raving Rabbids is a lot of fun with a group of friends, but only after you've put the time in to unlock all the mini-games, or if you have an SD card and access to the Internet to download a completed save file. The single-player game is little more than an excuse to force you to play all of the mini-games so you can unlock them for multiplayer and high score modes.