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WII
GENRE
Party
DEVELOPER
Ubisoft Paris
PUBLISHER
Ubisoft
WI-FI ENHANCED
Yes
WII EXCLUSIVE
No
EXPECTED RELEASE DATE
November 13, 2007
BUY NOW AT

Rayman Raving Rabbids 2

The Rayman series has always been a hallmark for Ubisoft: fantastic graphics, great gameplay and a charming, off-kilter world. Yet last year's Rayman Raving Rabbids showed Ubisoft reach a new milestone-- in humor. The game wasn't only pretty and easy to play, but it was hilarious. After last year's impressive sales, the minigame compilation is getting a sequel that focuses much more on multiplayer and, perhaps more importantly, the Rabbids as they break out of Rayman's world and invade our very own Earth. Ever the dutiful hero, Rayman has followed them and infiltrated their ranks with a laughably crude disguise that of course has the Rabbids fooled... for now.

media

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impressions

While we've not seen anything about the single player campaign, which again positions the player as Rayman partaking in a journey to unlock minigames for multiplayer, an Ubisoft Paris developer said that the interface to set up multiplayer games would be less cumbersome than last year's. To start, a small set of the 50 - 60 minigames will be unlocked without any single play required. Further, multiplayer "campaigns" of minigames can be created, allowing whoever's interested to jump into a suite of minigames based around sports action, rhythm or however the game owner wans to organize them. Gone will be the deep-dive, multi-screen entry and exit into individual games.

Additionally, a lot more of the games will be tailor-made for multiplayer, versus the "one person at a time" gameplay the first Rabbids had. And with the real world setting, Ubisoft Paris has let its imagination run wild as Rabbids go one step further than last year: this time they're trying to blend in by imitating us. One game's based around Rabbids frantically goofing off in a set of office cubicles whenever the boss isn't looking. Spinning in their chairs, yelling at the top of their lungs, abusing office furniture: everything's fair game with a frantic shaking of the remote. The moment the boss Rabbid pops in-- which could be anywhere from his office door to an air conditioning vent-- the remote must be held still and every Rabbid snaps back to office drone desk work, tapping away on computers. Another equally hilarious and satirical game has players holding the remote to their heads like a phone in order to pantomime everyone's favorite annoyance: talking on cell phones in a movie theater while the movie's playing. Yet if a flashlight-wielding usher Rabbid walks in, the remotes must be quickly put back down to avoid being caught on the phone.

The novelty and glee doesn't end there. Rabbids recreate the famous run-from-the-boulder scene of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, engage in football that's more "capture the flag or tackle like crazy," serve toppling cheeseburgers from tipsy platters, and shake and then chug soda to create the loudest, Rome-destroying burp. Yet unlike the prequel, gamers get to play as Rabbids in addition to regular, ol' Rayman. Rayman is a selectable character in multiplayer, of course, but the goofy Rabbids have a huge wealth of additional customizations: with over 110 costume pieces, from hats and wigs to outfits and overall body skins, more than 70,000 different appearances can be created for a player-controlled Rabbid. Want to be part Indiana Jones, part French maid? '20s flapper mixed with football player? A Viking or hula girl? How about the Assassin's Creed get-up or Sam Fisher from Splinter Cell? They're all here and much more, and they can be mixed and matched endlessly. While glorified paper doll-play in nature, the ludicrous appearances Rabbids can take-- a presentational highlight of last year's game now owned and amplified-- only adds another layer of off-the-wall humor.

Refreshingly, all-for-himself minigames aren't the only kinds. Cooperative 2-vs.-2 games appear as well, adding a more Mario Party-balanced assortment of challenges. Wii's online capabilities are even put to use by providing an online leader board of gamers' best scores in the minigames.

Two other well-known game modes from the first game have also gotten a major shake-up: the rhythm dancing games and the on-rails shooting segments. The dancing games have evolved into a four-Rabbid Rock Band simulation that includes singer, drummer, lead guitar and bassist. Each player (single players may be able to choose what part they want to play) must follow on-screen rhythm cues to perform well; get off-beat and a note is strummed incorrectly or a Rabbid song lyric mangled. Yes, they'll still be playing and singing "Rabbid covers" of well known songs ranging from "Smoke on the Water" to disco hits.

Even more striking a change, if only visually, are the five on-rails shooter levels, which abandon the video game-themed parodies in favor of full FMV environments a la Mad Dog McCree and the hilarious Rabbid TV commercials from last year. The difference from McCree is Rabbids 2's shooting is tighter and more responsive, and actual elements of the environment can be shot and affected by the toilet plunger-launching gun.

word on the street

The original Rabbids was a bit of a surprise hit: for months all the press focused on Red Steel, but a different Ubisoft title took over the buzz once it came out, and that was Rabbids. Given the success of the original, the sequel's improved design, real world satirizing and an even stronger focus on the insane Rabbids, Ubisoft's likely to have another hit on its hands.

press release notes

The Rabbids Strike Again! The mischievous bunnies are back in a hilarious sequel that is guaranteed to be even crazier and funnier than the first – and with even more wacky games!

They've invaded the world of Rayman®, and now the insane Rabbids have a new objective: invade planet Earth! They have established their base at a shopping mall and begun training for their nastiest scheme yet. As part of this training, the Rabbids must carry out several missions around the globe to help them in an attempt to dominate the world. The Rabbids will also try to study human behavior by mimicking everything we do... but in the Rabbid sort of way, with no logic... of course.

Back to battle the Rabbids and stop the invasion is Rayman, who will infiltrate the Rabbids by disguising himself as one of them.

Key Features

  • New wacky games: 60 brand-new games that spoof popular culture and are even wackier and crazier than those featured in the first Rayman Raving Rabbids.
  • All-new party mode: Play co-op or battle your friends simultaneously with up to four players!
  • Unique use of the Wii Remote™: Discover new and innovative ways to play with eight types of gameplay, including shaking, precision, dexterity, and balance.
  • Rock Out with the Rabbids: Use the Wii Remote as your guitar, drums, or mic as you create and listen to music from the most popular bands around.
  • Travel around the world: Take Rayman on a world tour to defend Earth and travel to different regions including the USA, Europe, and Asia. Challenge the Rabbids as they try and infiltrate everyday life.
  • Customize Rayman and the Rabbids: Use more than 110 items including skins, hats, accessories, and clothes to dress Rayman, and to create your own Rabbid. Unleash your creativity with over 540K customization combinations.

overall

A large part of the original Rabbids' success was its zany charm, but that wouldn't have been enough to float a successful sequel. Ubisoft has stepped up to the challenge with Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 and not only created a new swathe of minigames but improved their accessibility, variety and long term appeal thanks to an increased multiplayer focus. There's such a healthy number of improvements we're led to wonder if Mario's relentless and redundant Party will take a note from the Rabbids before its next outing. Regardless, while Ubisoft's newest creation should be seen in person to be truly appreciated (like all good jokes), we can assure you the game, even in our limited hands-on time, was quite funny and addictive, and we're looking forward to getting the whole experience when it hits stores next week. Vivez les lapins!







WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar M. Noah Ward
Staff Profile | Email
"Death narrowly avoided, thanks to another friendly NPC."


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