A genre that has come out on top of all this motion control malarkey is the mini-game compendiums. Every console has a favourite, my personal being the Raving Rabbids from Ubisoft, initially a supporting cast to Rayman and now stars of many zany party games that require you to swing your arms around maniacally.
Though Rabbids: Alive and Kicking is not the first Xbox 360 Rabbids game, this version is more suitable than the previous button mashing mini-games fest as the added Kinect support allows for full body tracking and a few interesting twists on the normal games found in this sort of title.
This time around the “boffin” Rabbids are trying to work out how to create more Rabbids which results in a catastrophic experiment gone wrong, causing a tsunami of the little blighters that flood from their underground hideout and spill onto the streets of San Francisco. Stating off with a great intro showing the resulting chaos caused by this experiment gone wrong, the camera then pans from the madness of this impromptu Rabbid invasion right to a small flat, with Rabbids peering through the window at you, standing there in all your glory waiting to start the game.
Though the story is side-lined quite quickly, it does set up plenty of the single, multiplayer and party play games to either have on a random or select from a list what you want from around 40 games. The game menu select system is all carried out by the Kinect in the usual swipe fashion and works particularly well.
Of course it wouldn’t be much of a game without the mini-games and there are loads to get through, each with an insane Rabbid twists, dressing up as a giant hotdog and blocking Rabbids from getting to your hotdog stash; playing an air guitar, Guitar Hero style, to battling huge Mecha-Rabbids across the Golden Gate Bridge plus there are a group of quizzes to test your mental skills under threat of electric shock.
Even though most of the levels involve waving arms or other crazy gestures, a few try different ideas and really push the Kinect, like one level where you are having a shower and Rabbids are sneaking up on you, to scare them off you need to fill in a silhouette shape on the shower curtain, with shapes like UFO’s and a cactus to scare them off, or augmented reality whack-a-Rabbid level, with you needing to stomp on their heads as they burst through your living room floor.
With both single and multiplayer modes available there’s a lot to do here, Sadly though for every decent game there is a bad one, some are just a little boring whilst other times the Kinect just will not register your movements. One particular level you play as a security guard who needs to run and punch through constant waves of Rabbids who are on a smash and grab in a mall. The Kinect will detect your arms for punching but not your legs to run, strangely only when I turned to the side and ran it registered, making you twist and turn all over the place an making the game very difficult, resulting it as one of a few games you will never return to.
There aren’t many slap stick comedy creatures on computer games, (other than the monkeys from Ape Escape) with the Rabbids managing to get laughs out of the simplest of things and this is shown in full effect in the augmented reality mode that offers you your own Rabbid to play with. With points earned from the rest of the game you can purchase clothing and even items for him to interact with like a cow or a light bulb which he swallows. Left alone to his own devices he will wander around your living room and be a general pain, if he gets on your nerves, just slap him around a bit; silly and pointless but fun nether less. Again the Kinect is its own worst enemy, working really well when you attack your Rabbid and then failing when trying to open up a simple menu, causing great frustration when all you want to do is get out of this particular mode or even selecting an item to use.
Rabbids: Alive and Kicking is a fun party game that will entertain the room for a few hours, however with more than a few dud games and some Kinect issues it’s likely to only be a one off sort of game than one people will be badgering to play over and over again.
Rating: AverageReview Policy
You can order Raving Rabbids: Alive & Kicking from ShopTo here.