Previews

Rayman Raving Rabbids

We grab a Wii Remote and take on the crazy Rabbids in this insane mini-game-themed adventure

Titles made up of mini-games are all the rage at the moment. Wario Ware: Smooth Moves and its three-second brain busters looks set to be one of the best multiplayer games on Wii, and Sega is going all-out with an astonishing 50 mini-games in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz.

Now Rayman is joining the trend, with a mix of long and short mini-games all tied together with a totally bonkers plot.

Rayman's world has been invaded by those crazed rabbits who, although appear to be tough a sinister, are actually just a bunch of imbecilic buffoons. They have taken Rayman prisoner and locked up the Globox people. Now, purely for their entertainment, they set Rayman daily challenges which he must complete. And so you have your mini-games.

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When you start the game you're locked in a prison cell. It's dark, damp and you have nothing in the way of luxury. After a short poke around the cell, a big, mean-looking rabbit stomps in, grabs Rayman by the neck and carries him to a coliseum where you see doors around the outer walls.

Entering these doors takes Rayman to one of the many mini-game challenges in the game. Completing these challenges earns Rayman a gift from the idiotic Rabbids, which can include a range of décor for your prison cell, a tune to play on your in-cell gramophone, and a medal in the form of a gold plunger. We told you it's bonkers.

There are over 70 different challenges, which Ubisoft proudly boasts an included 35 different gameplay styles - apparently the most for any Wii game to date.

We didn't get to play all 70 challenges before being shunted off the demo, but we did test a great number of the different gameplay styles, starting with our favourite - the Time Crisis-style shooter.

The game moves you automatically through an environment like a lightgun game, and you use the Wii Remote to aim at and shoot the rabbits that come at you. It's great fun - the stupid rabbits leap out from carious hiding spots, screaming frantically and shooting plungers at you, and you kill them with your own bunnie-killing plunger gun.

It works because the controls are simple and accurate. You aim and shoot your plunger gun with the Wii Remote, and pulling the Z trigger on the Nunchuk expansion shoots an alternative hand-on-a-chain grapple gun, that either grabs the rabbits by the neck or smacks them in the face, giving them a comical black eye.

The other games, split into categories of precision, skill, workout and the like, were shorter simpler in style, but a laugh all the same.

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One game has you shaking both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk up and down as fast as you can to accelerate a mine cart down a track to hit a wall and launch a bunny through the air. Another has you pumping an orange-squirting gun by moving the Nunchuk up and down, and using the Remote to aim your orange squirt at a gang of incoming bunnies, filling their goggles with juice to knock them out.

One Skydiving challenge sees Rayman falling through the sky and players have to control the direction of his rapid decent by tipping the Remote, to get him through a series of giant rings as he falls. Not crazy enough for you? How about throwing a cow by spinning it with the Remote and thrusting your arm forward to send the cow flying through the air.

While most of the games seemed to work well enough, others were not as responsive. One game in particular, which had you moving the Remote in a circular motion to spin a skipping rope and making Rayman leap the rope by lifting the Nunchuk upwards, looked real easy when some other journalist person was messing it up. We just presumed they were gaming n00bs and that we could do a whole lot better, grabbing the Remote off them with a smug confidence. Then we miserably failed the challenge too.

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