Rayman Raving Rabbids was one of the most exciting games available when the Wii launched two years ago. People were amazed at how easily you could make things happen with the Wii’s innovative motion controls. The game was made with the Nintendo Wii in mind, and the crazy bunny formula fit the game like a glove. Along with Wii Sports, this was possibly the most compelling example of how much fun you can have with the Wii, so it became an instant success. Sure, the first RRR was released for other platforms too, but the world unanimously agreed that the Wii version was the real winner and certainly the most fun.
The series went through a little bump though, as the second title didn’t accomplish anything new when compared to the first one. In fact, the game in general was a much weaker offering, and players weren’t happy about that. Luckily, it seems as though Ubisoft has been listening carefully. TV Party might be strongest RRR game after all, especially when it comes to multiplayer action. After a few sessions of frenzied mini-game competition and an intense dose of single-player, I can assure you this game is very amusing!
Since the Rayman Raving Rabbids series started, Rayman has become more of an afterthought. The series is more focused on gameplay than on an actual storyline, so we haven’t seen much of him lately. Even if Rayman was once a star of adventure platforming, those days might be over, as the wacky Rabbids have finally taken over almost completely in this third installment of the series. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily! When it comes to parties, the Rabbids know what it’s all about. Let the experts do the job!
TV Party starts with a comical cutscene where Rayman is being chased by the crazy Rabbids. Will they ever leave him alone? He runs all the way home and locks the door. Phew! Looks like we’re safe…but not so fast, my friend! The bunnies were struck by lightning and ended up inside the television! No matter what channel you choose, the bunnies will be there, waiting to get you in trouble. It’s game time, and every player gets to participate and leave their sense of pride behind. Are you ashamed of what could happen? No time for that!
The game offers Solo Mode as well as Party Mode (multiplayer). The single-player campaign will have players go through a series of events broadcasted at different times throughout the week. This schedule is, of course, fictional, but it will create a sense of continuity in this mini-game mayhem. Each TV channel offers a different kind of game based on different types of shows, whether it’s reality TV (Trash TV), Extreme Sports, or Music and Movie Channels. The mini-games are all fun for the most part, but the idea of playing with friends is definitely more enticing than just experiencing it by yourself. This game is all about the social experience and less about personal challenge, just like the title implies.
If you’re ready for a hot party in front of the TV, invite your friends over and get ready for a fast and frenzied party mode, which can be played with up to eight people, for as long as you want it to last. You can even set up the event so you have to play two or three days in a row! One of the best features this time around is the nice set of options available in the game, which makes it much more multiplayer oriented than it ever was. You can select the number of players, how many controllers you’re going to use, how long the game will last, and turn Wii Balance Board gameplay on or off. Also, instead of having to worry about unlocking the games on the single-player mode before you can have your friends over, the games are all available right off the bat.
There’s a great variety of mini-games this time around (over 65 of them), and they’re actually quite fun. Replacing blandness and frustration with truly comical situations and fun controls is the best thing Ubisoft could have done. I’m happy they did it right this time, because RRR 2 was quite a disappointment! When I got to play TV Party with some of my friends, there was nothing but giggles and good times, which is definitely a good sign. The Rabbids are hilarious, and the mini-games tend to hit on that tone as well. Whether it’s Gnu-Sledding, Dancing with Dweebs, hardcore motorcycle riding, plunger shooting, or harvest-racing in some hillbilly town, most mini-games are just a blast! The movie spoofs are, as always, very humorous, and the rhythm games are quite a workout!
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!
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 4.0 Graphics
The presentation is funnier than ever, and the cartoonish approach in some portions of the game is perfect! Some cutscenes look a bit fuzzy, but overall it’s a good-looking game. 3.7 Control
The controls could definitely be more accurate in some of the mini-games, but the fun ways in which the controllers are used make up for it. Chaos is fun sometimes! 3.8 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Whaagghh! and Ghaagghh! is getting old…but not really. Wacky Rabbid sounds and goofy, lighthearted soundtrack add all the frenzy to the formula. 4.3
This game is hilarious when played with friends. It will make everyone laugh! There’s a nice variety of mini-games and they’re all pick-up-and-play. Playing alone is not very fun, but that’s not what this game is about!
4.0 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.