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Rayman Raving Rabbids TV follows up the previous Raving Rabbits game (from the launch of the Wii) with more zombified rabbit fun for (pretty much) all ages. Whilst the introduction of the balance board doesn't really revolutionise the experience the crazed bunny minigame party fun still shines through.
Mini games come in a variety of shapes and sizes. What unites the genre is the speed with which players can pickup the games and the relatively short time required to complete a level or two.
Rayman Raving Rabbids is unique because of its combination of crazy (sometimes zombie inspired) gaming scenarios and frantic multiplayer minigame action. It's a combination that the Wii is ideally placed for with its casual gaming demographic and motion controllers.
Players work their way through some 50 mini games that involve a variety of actions. Some of which ape the balance board's first game Wii-Fit, here we find a pseudo yoga, rabbit skiing and other balance games. The variety on offer is more than enough to satisfy most tastes, providing you are willing to go along with the wacky styling.
The game offers a solo mode, where you work through a series of mini games scoring points and unlocking more game types. The balance board is integrated into the solo minigame - not being able to connect more than one at a time - and although a little gimmicky it' s nice to have a reason to pull it out from under the sofa again.
The single player experience is complemented by the social friendly multiplayer mode and an online dress-up a rabbit mode (much like Nintendo's own Mii Contest Wii channel.
The wide range of games are each well implemented. Impressively, for the number of games on offer, Rayman Raving Rabbits TV manages to match the top notch games found in Mario and Sonic at the Olympics Wii or Guinness World Records Wii. The experiences here focus on the number (like Wario Ware: Smooth Moves Wii) and exuberance of games over quality, but happily end up delivering both.
Players are attracted to the sheer volume of mini games on offer. What will keep them coming back though is the great simultaneous multiplayer fun. Get a group in front of these rabbit mini games and they will be whooping and hollering in seconds. Sure, it's playground humour and classic gameplay, but if it's not broke why fix it.
Playing alone, you can make sessions as long as you like, although we doubt you would want to play more than an hour or so in a session. Multiplayer games can be tailored to suit the audience and time available. With 50 mini games, there is plenty of entertainment here for either singe or multi players.
Young gamers may be a little disturbed by the zombie eyed marching rabbits, although this is all depicted in a cartoon fashion (no rotting flesh in sight). The reaction times and frequent use of the Wii-mote pointing is more of an issue for very young players, who may need some assistance with some games.
Intermediates, particularly students, worker or parent gamers who enjoy social gaming are probably best place to appreciate this game. Thankfully you don't need to play hours of the single player just to unlock games for the group play mode - a mistake of Mario and Sonic at the Olympics Wii.
Expert gamers are actually a big part of the target demographic for Rayman Raving Rabbids TV. The problem is that many of these gamers have moved on from the Wii since the first game. Those that dip their toe back in the casual gaming pool with this title will be reminded about much that used to entertain, although still the longevity is still limited for experienced gamers.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: