Rayman Raving Rabbids (Wii) Second Opinion Review

By Lex Firth 15.07.2017

Review for Rayman Raving Rabbids on Wii

Having taken on a life of their own in recent years, it's easy to forget that the Raving Rabbids - now more known for their eponymous TV series and upcoming crossover with the Mario universe - actually got their start in a spin-off of the Rayman franchise. At a time when fans of the series were still awaiting the long-rumoured Rayman 4, especially with the first two games' lead designer Michel Ancel back at the helm, it was certainly a shock to see a minigame compilation instead of a traditional platformer - but was the shake-up worth it?

Rayman Raving Rabbids is far removed from its parent series, stripping away familiar worlds and characters and leaving us with just Rayman himself, who's immediately whisked away into an unfamiliar location populated solely by the titular Rabbids, a species of screaming, crazy-eyed rabbit-like creatures with a penchant for slapstick comedy. The Rabbids themselves are the game's greatest success - they toe the line perfectly between amusing and endearing, and their simplistic design turns them into one of the most instantly recognisable characters of recent video game history.

The plot, as one would expect in a minigame compilation, is admittedly thin: Rayman is kidnapped by the Rabbids and forced to undergo various trials for the creatures' amusement. For completing each round (consisting of four minigames and a boss game), he's awarded with a plunger as a trophy - he soon discovers he can use these as a makeshift ladder and escape his prison cell. It's more of a means to an end than it is a deep storyline, but it's acceptable given the genre, and the limited amount of cutscenes do still carry plenty of humour.

Screenshot for Rayman Raving Rabbids on Wii

The minigames themselves are fun for the most part (save for a few early-game ones that go on for too long and are actually physically taxing - one in particular that involves filling up the Rabbids' diving masks with carrot juice is just plain frustrating), and there are 75 in total; while a few are simply repeats of each other, there's still plenty of replayability, especially after beating the game's fairly meaty story mode and unlocking "score mode." While it was a multiplatform release, it was clearly developed with the Wii in mind, and even as a console launch title it demonstrates a capable use of the Wii Remote technology. A particular highlight is the rhythm-based dancing games present in every stage, which actually feature licensed music - there's something really charming about watching Rayman breakdance to Cyndi Lauper.

Of course, there are some questionable design choices present here, too. The character customisation is admittedly limited and falls back on some tired stereotypes for comedic costumes, and the fact that the multiplayer mode isn't unlocked until after the story is cleared is just plain confusing. Raving Rabbids presents a formula here that's far from perfect, and was definitely refined in its two sequels, but it's still good fun, even beyond its few flaws.

Screenshot for Rayman Raving Rabbids on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Not every minigame here is a hit, but Rayman Raving Rabbids represents a confident first foray into the party game genre for the limbless hero. Those who missed out on the game the first time around will be glad to find it still feels modern eleven years later, and even though it's not quite as polished as mainstream Rayman efforts, it's still well worth checking out, whether you're an established Rabbid fan or a curious observer ahead of the upcoming Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.

Developer

Ubisoft

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Party

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (9 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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