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Rayman Raving Rabbids (Nintendo Wii) - Rayman Raving Rabbids (Nintendo Wii)
The clever thing is that the game takes this combination of the cute and the cruel and runs with it, with mini-games that have you slamming toilet doors for the easily embarrassed critters, tossing cattle like Olympic hammers, whacking bandaged bunnies in an attempt to build the biggest bump on the head, and ‘guiding’ a blind-folded bunny into as many dangerous looking objects as possible in an attempt to rack up points for pain. Other challenges see you squirting carrot juice into the diving masks of rabbits before they can reach and batter you, pumping your arms for all they’re worth in an attempt to send Super-Bunny soaring through the air, and attempting a spot of amateur rabbit dentistry. There’s even room to take a few penalties, engage in some winter sports or draw food for the plate of a half-starved lapin. Average mini-games these are not.
And this is where the sketch show comparison comes in. For a start, RRR is genuinely funny, pushing a rich vein of slightly sick humour while never going over the top to turn offensive. More to the point, it moves fast and packs in real imagination and variety. In a good sketch show, it doesn’t matter if you one sketch falls flat or you don’t like a character, because another one will be along in a minute and as long as the overall quality stays reasonably high, you’ll come away entertained. Well, the same applies here. A number of the events misfire, either due to poorly considered controls or a silly difficulty level, but the majority work brilliantly, and it’s rare that you get time to get bored, fed-up or frustrated.
There are, of course, recurring themes. Each level contains a rhythm action game where carefully timed swings of the remote and nunchuck help a disco-dancing Rayman groove his way through a stream of rabbit invaders, and not since the glory days of Samba de Amigo have controllers been waved with such abandon. Meanwhile, the end of level challenges take only two forms: first, cool light-gun style adventures where plunger-wielding rabbits have to be shot before they shoot you and, second, warthog-racing levels where a combination of smooth steering and whip-cracking is the only sure-fire way to succeed. The shooting sections, in particular, are thoroughly enjoyable, with their fun movie-inspired looks and cute references to other games. You have to dig the stealth bunnies with their cool Splinter Cell goggles.
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