|System: Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ubisoft Paris / Montpellier||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. 18, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The controls are my only complaint. They work fine for the most part, and they've been implemented in really fun ways, but, unfortunately, they're not 100% accurate; that's where the game suffers. There were times where you'd see your character go left when you're trying to make it go right, and a few occasions where the otherwise extremely fun Guitar Hero-inspired dancing game didn't detect your moves correctly.
The use of the Balance Board takes the game to the next level and, though it's not mandatory in order to play the game, the game is a bit lacking without it. Sitting on the Balance Board and controlling the Rabbids with your butt is one of the most fun, yet ridiculous experiences in the game. Your friends will be cracking up while you put all your efforts into reaching the goal safe and sound. What's more, they'll have the opportunity to sabotage your efforts by throwing stuff at you with the shake of the Wii Remote.
Players will also be given the chance to decide on the next game everyone gets to play by winning a micro-game. These come in the shape of a quick commercial in between shows. The events in TV Party are so crazy in both micro and mini-games that everyone gets a chance at winning. Some people will be better at some games than others, which makes for a nice and varied competition. All this frantic excitement makes the game really fun even if the controls are not quite up to snuff. Everyone gets to play at the same time in most of the mini-games, whether it's competing head-to-head or simply sabotaging another player's performance. Even in the most chaotic situations, people will be just laughing and playing like their life is at risk. At least that's the impression I got after some agitated multiplayer sessions!
The graphics didn't really receive an upgrade, but they're exactly as expected: mostly nice and clean. The bunnies seem to be in great shape (except the ones in the Night of the Living Dead spoof), and there are some nice environments and attention to detail throughout. The cutscenes look a bit blurry when compared to actual gameplay graphics, but some segments look great with the newly-added 2D cartoon look. The game design was cared for this time around, and it could easily be compared to the first installment.
The sound, on the other hand, is a bit more of that "same old, same old" formula. The game is full of wacky and over-the-top "whaaahhh," "ghaaahhh" and "dhaaahhh" bunny sounds, and the background music for most mini-games is appropriate, perhaps foolish in some cases, but nothing out of the ordinary. However, all this contributes to the overall sense of mayhem in the game. It may even give you a headache after a while - I wonder if that was the goal in the first place!
If you're in the market for a fun party title that will get all your friends and family involved, you have to give this one a try! The game is really fun in small doses, and it's very easy to pick-up-and-play. No one should feel left out of this party, as the title ensures everyone's included, for good or for bad. If you're not quite ready to trust the franchise again, you should at least rent it and see for yourself. Conversely, if you're looking back at the first one and wondering if it'll provide the same kind of single-player experience, keep in mind this one is more multiplayer-oriented and may not fully satisfy your senses. All in all, Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party is a step in the right direction and a heck of a good time!
CCC Site Director