All together now, “Bwahhhh!”…
Ubisoft’s anarchic anti-heroes, the Raving Rabbids have once again returned in a collection of mini-games. Raving Rabbids Alive and Kicking may well be unremarkable in that the game once again is at its best when played with friends, as this is the case with many of the Rabbids games. But what is remarkable is that the game is on Xbox360 with Kinect, offering both full body motion control and Augmented Reality. Scary stuff!
Raving Rabbids Alive and Kicking is a compilation of some 40 odd bizarre games, best suited to the party atmosphere when amongst people who can appreciate this level of silliness. There is a very loose story tying all of the games together, one in which the Rabbids are once again invading our homes, this time in a very real sense. The story may not be especially deep, or even make any sense for that matter, but it is told through a series of animated shorts starring the Rabbids that are frankly hilarious. If you have seen any of the trailers for this, or any of the previous games, then you will know what to expect. Rabbids being stupid.
Before I get onto the mini-games themselves, a quick mention of My Rabbid mode. For a game that is so obviously a group activity, it seems strange that it would provide a Rabbid virtual pet for the player to enjoy. This Rabbid will quite happily wander around your living area through augmented reality and can be interacted with by the player. Through the games, the player can earn Toilet Paper, the Rabbids version of currency, which can then be spent on props, outfits and other items for the Rabbid. It is strangely cute and lovable.
Through the power of Kinect, the Rabbid can be interacted with as it blissfully roams the living room. Slapping and kicking your Rabbid is all permissible and works really well, offering a level of interaction that would rival other virtual pet games out there.
This is thanks mostly to how well Kinect performs in the game. There are still a few problems with the Kinect unit’s motion detection, but for the most part the players movements are perfectly translated into the game, be it whilst playing with a virtual pet Rabbid or performing some outlandish movements as required by some of the mini-games. A point of note though, multiplayer requires a large amount of space – not just for the motion detection, but also for the safety of the players. There will be much flailing of limbs involved.
The mini-games are as varied as they come. There are basically two different types: games that take place on screen, and games that take place in the player’s home. The ones on screen will basically take the players movements and translate them into the animated environment of the Rabbids, whereas those taking place in the players own world will see the player and their living space being used as the playing area in an Augmented Reality style.
Some of the games are very short and quick, whilst others will involve more time spent with the Rabbids. Players will find themselves doing all manner of things, such as trying to fill silhouettes on the screen, avoiding spotlights, playing hide and seek, and even swinging a Rabbid from a large bogey hanging from their nose. It is quite a surreal experience.
The humour for which the Rabbids have become known is apparent in spades here. It can be crude, gross and downright weird, but it is guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of players of all ages. However, the problem with party games is that people don’t usually party that often, which reduces the appeal. This problem is apparent with Raving Rabbids Alive and Kicking, there is just not a lot to entice the single player to continue once the party is over.
But for gatherings large and small, Alive and Kicking is a blast. The humour will have people rolling on the floor with laughter, the variety of the games will keep people guessing as to what they will have to do next, and to top it off, it really makes Kinect look impressive and will wow the players. Raving Rabbids Alive and Kicking may not hold much interest for the single player, but I am certainly hoping that the Rabbids are invited to the next party I attend.