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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Rayman – Ravin Rabbids – Nintendo Wii First Impressions

I may have found my favorite my favorite game for the Nintendo Wii. At least thus so far between the games that I have played: Wii Sports, Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz, and now Ubisoft's Rayman Ravin Rabbids. I have some time into the game now, and have found it entertaining, challenging, and unique. It also provides more physical activity than the other games mentioned.

The premise for the game is the character, Rayman – licensed by Nintendo – is a gladiator stuck in a Coliseum, trying to escape. So, you start off being tossed into the Coliseum floor to see if you can survive the day’s games. For each day or level, you must complete three of the four games before completing a day ending challenge. After each day’s challenges are completed, you are awarded a plunger and are escorted back to your cell to spend the evening.

Once you are in the cell, you learn that there is a way out, but it is too high to reach. With each day’s completion, you get an additional plunger that you use to start climbing higher towards the window. In addition, you have both a jukebox and a locker in your cell. As you complete the individual games, you are awarded various songs and costumes that you can play when you are back in the cell.

Another fun theme in the game is that all of the fans (Rabbids or Rabbits or Bunnies) at first are out for Rayman to meet his demise. However, as you progress throughout the game, they become less aggressive until they become indifferent and then finally they become fans, cheering Rayman as he goes into each battle. Think Maximus from the movie Gladiator.

At this point, I have completed just over 50% of the challenges for Rayman. Some of my favorites include:

  • Throw the cow. The very first one I played. Basically you swing the Wii controller over your head and pull the trigger to throw the cow as far as possible, like a hammer throw.
    Out of tune Rabbids. While the Rabbids are singing a choir performance, you search and find the Rabbid that is singing out of tune and slap them upside the head.
  • “Dance-Dance-Revolution.” In a twist on DDR where you step to the beat, in these challenges you move your Wiimote and Nunchuck up and down to the beat as a Rabid crosses a place on the scene. It will have you dancing trying to keep up as the familiar tunes play.
  • Keep the Rabbids in the Bathroom. Four Rabbids are in a portable toilet at the beach. Your job is to slam the door on them anytime they try to come out. This one is quite entertaining, and I have yet to beat it.
  • Keep the bunnies in their holes. Think Chuck-E-Cheese where you hit the moles on the head with the mallet. In this game, you direct your shovel with your Wiimote and flick the Nunchuck to smack the Rabbids on their head and send them back into their holes.
  • Level Ending Shoot-out. These are the most common level ending games. Basically, it is somewhat similar to the video game Time Crisis, albeit with less violence. You walk your way through a level using your Wiimote (Wii Remote) as the aiming gun and the ‘B’ button as a trigger for your plunger gun. The goal is to knock down the Rabbids before they attack you. When you run out of ammunition, you flick the nunchuck controller down to reload.

There are two ways to play the game, in story mode and then more of a party mode where multiple players can compete for scores. While I have not played in party mode yet, I can tell this will be a it with friends.

Overall, I give the game very high marks and recommend you purchase it for your Nintendo Wii if you do not already have it. There is a brilliant mix of the Rayman Theme, unique use of Nintendo Wii controllers, high physical activity and fun and challenging games. Get the game, it will not disappoint!