|System: DS, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ubisoft Paris||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 13, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
While they are all simple and relatively quick, the fact remains that they get pretty old pretty quickly. They pretty much all involve tapping or sliding the touch screen to complete objectives (although a few do take advantage of the microphone). Sure, they're fun and crazy at first, but the more you play, the more you'll realize that you're really just progressing through a group of recycled, boring touch screen mechanics.
There is, however, one brand of mini-game that is better than all the rest -- although it too will become monotonous all too quickly. Each boss level, if you will (although it's actually just the last game of each area), is a rhythm based game. The premise: a bunch of crazy Rabbids in a hilarious make believe band (for example: one lunatic is "playing a guitar," which is in fact a broom). There are a number of speakers on the bottom, and as circles fly over the speakers, you've got to tap them. It's a lot like the popular DS rhythm game Elite Beat Agents, in fact.
However, unlike EBA, this game also becomes boring rather soon. It won't be long before you realize that the level essentially remains the same throughout the entire game, with little actual variety or change. And, as we all know from experience, anything that remains the same does not stay fun for very long.
Another problem with the game -- and a big problem, at that -- is the title's difficulty. Or rather, its lack of difficulty. As I mentioned already, the gameplay mechanic of Raving Rabbids 2 is essentially just a bunch of simple, touch screen mini-games. Even if you don't understand the game that you're about to play, it probably won't affect the outcome -- just jab at the touch screen furiously and you'll probably come out with a full meter. It's pretty pathetic that you can win a game without even knowing what you're doing, but unfortunately, that's the case in Raving Rabbids 2.
A surprisingly well done aspect of this game is, interestingly enough, the visuals. As a handheld, it's hard for the DS to put up truly spectacular graphics -- though it's been shown that it's possible by titles like Final Fantasy III and Metroid Prime Hunters. However, from a title that clearly lacks originality that would seem to indicate a lack of real effort by the developers, I would never have expected graphics this nice on the DS. Characters are big and lifelike (if a Rabbid can really be considered lifelike), and the animation in the game runs smoothly. Really, it's just a pity that the attention to detail with the game's visuals couldn't have also been applied to the gameplay mechanic.
There's also a multiplayer offering, but it's poorly done. After all, multiplayer tends to work well when there's a solid single-player mechanic and more human players are added. But without a good core mechanic, as is the case with Raving Rabbids 2, there just doesn't seem to be much chance for good multiplayer. It's uninspired and boring, just like the main game.
All told, I definitely wouldn't recommend Raving Rabbids 2. Yes, it has some nice aspects: the gameplay is fun at first, and the graphics are surprisingly well done. But it's one of those titles where the more you play, the less fun you have. Additionally, the title really lacks any sort of replay value; it's monotonous to the point that even if you play through the entire game (a rather short task, I might add), it's highly unlikely that you'd want to do it again. If you're looking for a real DS mini-game compilation, perhaps you ought to check out the recently-released Mario Party DS.
CCC Freelance Writer