Rayman Raving Rabbids

Hare today, diagnosed with rabies and put to sleep tomorrow

Those of you who enjoyed punching Rayman's Rabbids in the face on Wii - and we know there must have been a few of you, judging by sales figures - may pick this up hoping to play a similar sort of beast, a cheery if often overly-simple collection of minigames with critical-faculties-threateningly cute rabbits to shoot at with plungers.

Unfortunately this is a very average platform adventure, with Rayman slow-strolling his way across levels, collecting extra life and eliminating obstacles with specific special moves. Yawn.

Degrees of separation

It's not totally unpleasant. In fact, there are a few nice 3D elements that work their way round segments of each sidewards-bound 2D level, leaping fires and winding round corners. What with mad bunnies popping up screaming every now and then, it's got a certain unhinged charm. For five minutes, anyway. What's very irritating is that they've split the action into two entirely separate kinds of levels - one where you only use buttons, and one where you only use the stylus.

The button press levels are basic at best - D-pad to move, B to jump, Y to fire, and X to enact special skills, but you can only ever do one thing at a time, with reactions feeling slow and unresponsive. The stylus sections are side-scrolling and, unable to control Rayman's movement, you just use the stylus to swipe at ropes in order to cut them, drop bridges, activate levers and dodge passing firefly-type-bugs. And while the stylus use is okay, keeping the stylus and buttons distinct from each other means you're never at all challenged.

Solidly average then. And Rayman responds to the DS's controls about as dextrously as a snail whose shell has been filled with helium.

The verdict

With rabbids like this who needs enemies? Solid but very average platformer starring a fairly unresponsive hero. Still, the music's quite cheerful when it's not driving you mental.

Nintendo DS
Action, Adventure