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Joseph Rositano
27 Feb, 2009

Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party Review

Wii Review | Baaahhhh!
The original Raving Rabbids was considered as one of the best launch titles available for the Wii. At the time it had a unique sense of humour and was one of the best examples of what the Wii's motion sensing technology could accomplish. Unfortunately, Ubisoft didn't quite capture the same charm with the second instalment. Not only had dozens of other party games been released on the system since, but the mini-games just weren't as imaginative or engaging for solo sessions. Raving Rabbids TV Party is, thankfully, a step in the right direction.

Despite being titled under the Rayman moniker, the limbless hero again takes a backseat in favour of those psychotic bunnies. In fact, the only time you'll actually see Rayman is during cutscenes in the single-player campaign. The story plays out in typical Raving Rabbids fashion – the Rabbids are chasing Rayman when they're struck by lightning and somehow manage to be teleported inside Rayman's television. Seizing the moment, the Rabbids take over regular scheduled programming, prompting for an assortment of movie, reality show and lottery spoofed mini-games.

Where's the Rabbid Adults Only channel?

Where's the Rabbid Adults Only channel?
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In previous entries players have always been restricted to playing a specific group of mini-games. The original Raving Rabbids, for example, limited players to only four mini-games at any one time. With TV Party, the developers have incorporated the idea that you get to create Rayman's TV schedule, which gives players more freedom. At the select screen you'll have an assortment of up to eight mini-games per time slot, with each one representing a different channel. Unfortunately the layout is anything but inspiring, looking like something you would find in the chapter selection screen of any half-decent flash movie. Regardless, it's at least neat and straight to the point.

One area Raving Rabbids 2 was criticised for was a majority of its mini-games required wild shakes of the Wii remote which simply wasn't imaginative and, obviously, got tiring during extended play sessions. Ubisoft have been a little more creative with this instalment. Perhaps the most dominant example are the mini-games which can be played using the Wii Balance Board peripheral. For instance, there’s a racing game where you have to ride down a mountain slope on a wild yak (yeah, it's bizarre to say the least). To steer, players have to sit on the Balance Board and lean left and right with their butt to move. It’s a novel idea and adds new appeal to the aging franchise. For those that haven’t purchased Wii Fit you need not worry either - all mini-games support the standard Wii remote and Nunchuck combo.

A few other notable games include dance routines where you have to mimic the actions of an on-screen figure, and drawing games where you’re required to draw a shape by using the Wii remote as a virtual pencil. The FPS levels have also made a return, though they are a little different from previous games. This time they play out like you’re watching a film, and you have to shoot specific targets which don’t quite fit into the movie’s theme. In the zombie level, for example, you have to shoot Rabbids who are dressed in chicken suits. Most games are imaginative and utilise the Wii’s motion sensing and pointer capabilities efficiently, but sadly there are a few stinkers in the mix. One particular mini-game which sees players race in mine karts by pumping the Wii remote up and down. It just gets tiring, and again falls back on wild shakes.

The new dancing mini-games.

The new dancing mini-games.
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Most mini-games support four player splitscreen or full screen multiplayer, although there are a few games which unfortunately require players to take turns. There’s even an option to have eight players join in the fun, but understandably you’ll need to take turns and share around your four sets of controllers. One of the more satisfying elements in multiplayer are commercials which interrupt certain mini-games. The commercials play out as a micro-game in a similar manner to the WarioWare franchise, and have players perform a quick button press or motion the Wii remote in a particular way. If successful players are rewarded with a temporary power-up, which will affect the mini-game in various ways such as granting your Rabbid a speed boost or invulnerability. While this is also featured in solo sessions, it adds a twist when playing with friends as it can turn the results in anyone’s favour.

TV Party is unfortunately the worst looking game in the series. Each mini-game will range from decent looking to downright ugly – there’s just no consistency which hurts the production values. Ubisoft set the bar for party games with the original Rabbids, but since then they’ve failed to step it up a notch. It’s really disappointing and feels like a missed opportunity. The sound is exactly what you’d expect – lots of bunny screams blasting through your TV speakers accompanied by some quirky tunes. It sets the mood and is somehow still appealing after two years.

Despite a few issues here and there, Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party is a fun and wacky party game to play. The mini-games are far more appealing, there’s support for the Wii Balance Board peripheral, and the Rabbid’s humour is still going strong. With that said, if you’ve played the previous games in the series or are looking for a strong solo experience, there really isn’t a lot that will keep you coming back for more.
The Score
Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party breathes new life in the franchise thanks to the inclusion of Wii Balance Board support and a more appealing set of mini-games. However, it’s time Ubisoft took it up a notch as the Rabbids humour and style is starting to wear thin. 7
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  13/11/2008 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $69.95 AU
Genre:
  Party

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