Rayman Raving Rabbids (Nintendo DS) Review

By Adam Riley 08.04.2007 3

Ubisoft's Rayman Raving Rabbids has already been a massive success on Nintendo's Wii from launch around the world, starting in November over in the US and then from early December last year across Europe. The other versions of the game have failed to spark much interest, though, with both GBA and PS2 editions being mostly ignored (and with good reason). But now the DS version has just been released here in Europe, and is being targeted at a different audience completely. Can it live up to its big brother, though, or will it prove to be another washed-up platform romp?

Back when the Nintendo DS first came out, there was a Rayman game right from the start...and it looked quite decent in comparison to the crop of half-baked Third Party efforts appearing at the time. This, however, is a major step backwards. Characters are blocky, very small and lack any of the character found in other versions of Raving Rabbids. Levels are shaky in appearance as the camera's viewpoint fails to sufficiently show you whether the depth equation has come into play or not and the frame-rate inexplicably stutters from time-to-time. It really is shocking to see a game look like this at this point of the DS's life, especially when its predecessor was so much better. At least all is not lost in the presentation stakes as the licensed soundtrack includes amusing high-pitched renditions of La Bamba and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, plus other charming ditties. Sadly, the side is let down yet again, this time by the compression of the audio files, which severely decreases the overall sound quality.

Screenshot for Rayman Raving Rabbids on Nintendo DS

Luckily the game itself plays far better than you would expect after seeing this graphical travesty. Rather than taking the gimmicky, crazy mini-game approach, Ubisoft's Casablanca team chose to go down the tried-and-tested side-scrolling platform route for this DS version of Raving Rabbids. To start with, the game places you in a strange rabbid-filled world and lets you use the face buttons for control alone. So you run, jump, throw your fists at enemies and can check on your progress and objectives by using the shoulder buttons in what is a pretty basic, yet surprisingly solid, platform fare. As you progress, you must hit switches, collect various items and can ultimately gain new abilities the further you go into the game, which then means that you can back-track and unlock aspects of earlier levels with newly gained powers, bringing a nice element of extra length to the game (and not proving to be too boring as a result as you can use the hub system to 'jump' betwixt levels quickly).

Screenshot for Rayman Raving Rabbids on Nintendo DS

On top of this, Rayman can actually level up in a tenuous RPG-linked fashion; as more specific items are collected throughout a stage his energy bar will extend at certain junctures. Also, if you check your status page using the shoulder button, you can check on how many collectible items are left to uncover in a particular area, meaning that you know exactly where you are up to and which levels you need to play through again. Levels are not particularly straight forward, though, as there are elements where enemies move from the foreground to background and vice versa in an attempt to kill you by surprise (and it really is a shock when you cannot tell what is actually going on because of the dire graphics, as mentioned earlier!). You must also make use of Rayman's alternate forms to get past certain obstacles or scale to the heights of previously out-of-reach locations, with an early example being where Rayman can create a large boulder at the right time, then push it along, squashing enemies along the way, and then jump atop of it and leap to the next section. Moving platforms, deadly drops, secret ledges and other such platform staples all make an appearance in what really is a solid effort.

Screenshot for Rayman Raving Rabbids on Nintendo DS

But where is the use of the touch-screen? Well, it comes as a separate entity, working as "between-normal-stages" style of on-rails level. These have Rayman automatically moving along the screen, leaving you in control of his collection of items (touch him to extend a force-field that collects things), jump over gaps and obstacles (tap on him), fling Rayman upwards to ledges (pull down on springs and let go at the right time) and even remove blockades (quickly tap them). To spice matters up even more, the stylus control gains extra moves if you change into some of Rayman's other forms by using the D-pad. This element in particular makes these on-rails style efforts very enjoyable indeed. As repeatedly stated, the main game is definitely worthy of a play-through and is far better than the rushed port of Rayman 2 that launched with the DS. It is just such a shame everything looks so terrible...

Screenshot for Rayman Raving Rabbids on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Rayman Raving Rabbids fails to live up to its big brother on Wii, but considering both games take completely different approaches that is neither here nor there. In its own right, RRR on DS is a very sturdy platform outing that is crippled by some shockingly bad visuals and poorly compressed music. Willing to overlook those negatives? Then give RRR DS a whirl...

Developer

Ubisoft

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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

Comments

Certainly left a better taste in my mouth than Rayman DS! Shame it looks so terrible, though...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

No I can't overlook bad visuals. The fact that they're scored at two says enough for me.

I do agree that the graphics are pretty unforgivable...especially after the DS being out for so long! It looks far worse than early PSone efforts :roll:

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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