This isn’t a game for loners. It really is as simple as that. If you happen to have a few friends to come over and play with this holiday season then you’ll probably get a bit of enjoyment out of Rayman Raving Rabbids 2. If however, you tend to sit around in a darkened room muttering and groaning whilst playing your games and eating your cheese-based snacks, then you’ll be bored of this game in under five minutes. The sad thing is, that really isn’t an exaggeration. As a single player experience this title is dire, and it isn’t a whole hog better when you get some friends in on the action.
Unlike the vaguely tedious colosseum ‘hub’ of the first game, now the solo-mode is split up over different areas of the world. You pick a region, you play some games, you move on. Another nice new addition is the use of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection...sort of. Whilst Ubisoft might have implemented online play they have instead gone for the far simpler and vaguely pointless online scoreboards. So you can see how well you’re doing in comparison to people all over the world, which is perfectly nice, but fairly unnecessary and also often very, very slow. All the sections in the one-player mode are themed by continent. So when you play in America you’ll have to complete minigames loosely (very loosely...) based on America, in Europe you’ll have to complete games based on some lovely European stereotypes and so on and so forth until you’ve travelled all over the world bashing bunnies in all sorts of strange ways.
What’s most disappointing about this game is how it manages to totally mess up what was a fairly enjoyable formula. Out of all the minigames on show only a few are entertaining and the rest of them just involve you shaking your arms around with very little subtlety. This, dear reader, is not fun. There is no guile, no intelligence, no variety, nothing worth your attention whatsoever. Put simply, this game is worse than the original. Admittedly there are some suitably wacky and inspired minigames that involve some inventive use of the Wii control system, but these are few and far between.
A lot of the minigames are simply too easy as well. One, Usual Suspects, gives you a video of a bunny committing a crime before asking you to pick said bunny out of a police line-up. When the video shows you loads of footage of said bunny wearing a large fruit hat committing said crime and then the line up only contains one bunny wearing said hat...well, as you can imagine it gets very boring. And what’s more, it takes forever. Even on harder difficulty, this game is often stupidly easy, stupidly mundane and just plain stupid. Also, the main incentive of playing the solo-mode is once again to unlock amusing costumes, which gives you very little incentive indeed to play on.
The game still has its moments though. The shooting ranges are just as good as before, if not better. The backgrounds are now real-world environments with the game pasted on top of them, it looks a bit odd, but it really does work very well. All the levels are fast paced and terrific fun. Another fan favourite from the original, the music-based games, return once more but with a difference. You can now pick from a number of different instruments to play along with and all the tracks are now sung by a small Rabbid choir. Odd, but wonderfully entertaining. All the humour is still intact from the original with various cutscenes breaking up the action and providing the game with some much needed structure.
We’ve never encountered a game that can go from the dire to the delightful quite so effortlessly. In single player, this is a below average, badly made and poorly conceived Wii title. In multiplayer mode, it is occasionally inspired but mostly passable. A good example is a minigame that sees you have to balance a platter of food and deliver to to a Rabbid. In multiplayer mode you get the chance to knock over your fellow players by bumping into them. In single player mode it is just you...and your food. In contrast, this is about as boring as watching paint dry with a blindfold on.
Ubisoft have made the crucial error of messing with a formula that was never broken. They’ve gone for style over substance and failed spectacularly. The sheen and style of the game is perhaps better than before, but the new minigames are so mind-numbingly dull and often easy to complete that you’ll be left with a rather foul taste in your mouth. If you didn’t enjoy the original, then you’re not going to enjoy this. If you did enjoy the original, you’d probably be well advised to just keep playing it and ignore this unless you have some very Rabbid-loving buddies.
The game is really let down by its inability to do anything different to the original. Whilst Ubisoft have obviously really tried, what they have created is a mundane pile of Rabbid droppings. The minigames are a lot worse, the variety is often non-existent and it simply doesn’t do anything exciting.
The cut-scenes are really nicely done and the overall presentation of the game is great. There is lots of colour, lots of very good animations and the shooting ranges look great.
The sound was great in the original, but in this it just starts to grate a bit. The howls, cries and yells of the Rabbids are really overused and whilst the songs in the original were enjoyable, here they are just mildly irritating.
When the game that came out with the Wii is better than the second offering you know something has gone wrong. When a game is awful as a one-player experience and just about workable as a mulitplayer experience, again, you know something has gone wrong. Your money is too good for this game.
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We loved the original, so playing through this game was like being kicked in the face by a rather large overly aggressive Rabbid. It never really does anything exciting, and when it does the moment is all too brief. Style over substance is nearly always a mistake in videogames, and whilst it looks great and has some excellent humour, it is never enough to rescue this game from the mire of mediocrity. And on that poetic ending, we advise you to either rent this or pick up the original at a cheaper price.
Shame, as I was hoping for an improvement over the first which was fantastic in parts but utterly terrible in others. I'm half tempted to pick this up for the shooting/music sections since those were brilliant in the original, but I know I'll only end up trading it back in...
Nice review James.
( Edited 13.10.2012 02:47 by Guest )
Apparently Michel Ancel isn't happy that Ubisoft took his Rayman creation and made it into this mockery of a series...Well, it appears to have come round and bitten Ubisoft in the arse, since the DS and Wii exclusivity this time has certainly not paid off (not yet, anyway). In certain European countries the original is actually out-selling this as Ubi's overpriced RRR2
( Edited 13.10.2012 02:47 by Guest )
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At least the price should go down on the original game, right?
I was hoping this would be better than the original. The original was a solid collection of mini-games, nothing amazing, but good.
TAG: That American Guy"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."
What a shame, I was looking forward to see how they could have improved on this first (which I quite enjoyed).
This was an AWESOME game. This review was the worst sh*t I've seen in my life. The rabbids are so hilarious and cute, it makes me want to open my mouth real wide and scream DDDDDAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! Rabbids=friekin hysterical