If the Wii’s bunch of launch titles all make it to these shores in one piece, it looks like there’ll be a little something for everyone.
With Wii Sports offering up short lasting but fun sporting titles, the ever incredible WarioWare all set to make an appearance early in the new year and Super Monkey Ball offering up some short-term Simian thrills, Rayman Raving Rabbids’ multitude of mini games are most certainly in excellent company.
Unlike the previous Rayman games which stuck firmly to old school platforming action – with the odd hint of puzzle solving liberally sprinkled around – Raving Rabbids goes down the now well trodden mini game route.
But with these sort of titles usually erring on the side of tripe, can this long running French series buck the trend?
Boot up Rayman Raving Rabbids’ story mode and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a delightful wee picnic. That’s until this idyllic tranqulity is completely obliterated by some cutesy Raving Rabbids with their buck teeth and blank looking stares. Fancy a Mogadon anyone?
You and your chums are kidnapped – boo! – and you’re forced to satisfy the blood lust of these deformed Rabbids by performing in over 70 mini games of various styles.
There’s all sorts of games on offer. An old school Time Crisis/Virtua Cop style scenario sees you fire off plungers at the oncoming Rabbids, using the Wii remote to point your gun while the nunchuk reloads with a little shake. Another has you timing shakes of both the remote and nunchuk in time to the music in a cracking homage to the Dance Dance Revolution games.
Our number one choice though is a reworking of the Olympic sport of hammer throwing. Only instead of a large ball and chain, you chuck a chunky looking cow metres down the course in order to achieve the highest number of points. Cow tossing? Sounds like a sport for Rebecca Loos.
While the games take only a few minutes apiece, there’s enough here to keep you going for hours. Once you’ve completed them all, you can replay whichever you like for a higher score. Did we say we like the cow one best?
The games obviously vary in quality and the amount of effort you need to plough in to get the big scores. The cow one is about the most unusual – you have to spin the remote around above your head and hit the release button once you’re all powered up. There’s a few that don’t require much more than the odd flick of the wrist in order to get your name in the top spots. It's all in the wrist Rebecca.
Once you’ve played through and beaten each mini game, you can drop out of the story mode and play through each to up your previous personal best. You can also invite a gaming chum to try to kick your sorry ass.
It’s here where Rayman’s longevity lies. Though playing through the single player story is indeed fun, it’s not suited to repeated play throughs. That goes double when you’re able to select the cream of the mini gaming crop for you and your mates to fiddle about with.
Sadly, not all of the games can have you playing at once. Some, unfortunately, require you to simply sit and watch your nemesis completely obliterate your previous best – despite it being their first go – before you can try your damndest to reclaim your crown.
Is Rayman Raving Rabbids for you? If you like pure enjoyment, then you can’t go wrong picking this up. Don’t go expecting too much in the way of depth though.