Support Luke, click to buy via us...
There's something in the water at the offices of Ubisoft, home of Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party. What else could explain the man eating plants, bunny eared walruses, and zombie Rabbids in the latest installment of the mini-game series? Many people will groan yet another mini-game collection, but Raving Rabbids offers not only entertainment but also a large dose of exercise.
Each game is a parody of a TV genre, from Pop Idol to cult film. You complete one game from a selection in each time-slot of the day, with a range of difficulty levels in many of the games. This is a big improvement over the original Raving Rabbids in which you could get stuck if you couldn't complete. In multi-player mode each player can set a different difficulty level, making it easier for a diverse group to play together.
The games vary from the very physical dance game "Strictly Come Idle", to the surreal "Pimp My Rabbid" in which you have to dress your Rabbid according to criteria like "Cool but smelly", or "Mixin' My Tosties" where you cook and feed stake to the bunny eared walrus. The games are enhanced with "Ren & Stimpy" style animated sequences and even in-game advert breaks for suitably odd products such as a tape worm based diet product, with the opportunity to earn bonus points.
Best played with up to eight family and friends for maximum entertainment, but is still fantastic fun in single player mode.
As the name suggests, Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party is best played with up to eight family and friends for maximum entertainment, but is still fantastic fun in single player mode, however lacks the sense of progression to really hook you. The variety of games, together with the ability to set different difficulty levels in some games, means there is something for everyone. While most of the games can be played by several people at a time, some are played in turn, but even then the other players are given the chance to sabotage the current player. This is nice touch which keeps the rest of the players involved. The music and dance games are especially good for multiplayer play, although you may want to make extra room if you have four people strutting their funky stuff together.
Unlike Wii-Fit, this doesn't feel like exercise, important for encouraging kids to get active, and it won't constantly tell them they are overweight or unbalanced.
Raving Rabbibs games have always made the most of the Wii's controls, and TV Party is no different, but this time with the help of the balance board the games are even more active. The board is used both on it's own and with the WiiMote and Nunchuck controllers to make some of the games full body activities. The dance games in particular make excellent use of the board and both controllers, while "Mount Beehind" has you sitting on it to slalom down the piste on an upturned cow! The balance board is not just used as a gimmick, the games that use it are genuinely more immersive and fun than they would be without.
As a Wii-Fit user I'm always looking for alternatives. While many of the Wii-Fit games are fun, they can get boring over time, so finding something to break up the monotony is important. Although Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party is no exercise regime, some of the games, especially the dance routines, are active enough to be worth a try. For the last week I have been spending part of my morning workout with the Rabbids, especially the dance games which make Wii-Fit step aerobics look very dull in comparison. I've found it a great way to warm up before the more intensive Wii-Fit exercises and because it's so much fun it is a great encouragement to drag myself out of bed. The games are also much more varied than the rather limited equivalents in Wii-Fit, which can quickly get dull.
The addition of the balance board has taken both the fun and the activity level up a notch, making it a great complement to more traditional exercise games.
As Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party is designed for groups it is a great way to have some active family fun together. The games are perfect for most ages, and even non-gamers will want to play. This is the first game I've had that my non game-playing girlfriend has actually wanted to play, which is saying something. Unlike Wii-Fit, this doesn't feel like exercise, important for encouraging kids to get active, and it won't constantly tell them they are overweight or unbalanced. In fact, I suspect you'll have a hard time keeping kids away from Raving Rabbids.
Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party is a perfect example of the kind of game that got the Wii voted "The gadget that most makes us happy" in a recent poll in the UK. It is unashamedly targeted at making you smile, while getting you out of your seat and having fun with family and friends. The addition of the balance board has taken both the fun and the activity level up a notch, making it a great complement to more traditional exercise games. The implementation is pretty well flawless, and a big improvement on the original Raving Rabbids.
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: