Publisher: Ubisoft Developer: Ubisoft Genre: Party Players: One - Sixteen Launch Date: 11th November 2011
The Rabbids are at it again, trying to take over the world bit by bit and doing this whilst multiplying in numbers by the second. Your mission if you wish to accept it, is to take part in numerous challenges and whittle down the numbers to make sure your world as you know it, isnít destroyed forever. Well thatís the basic premise out of the way, and with Rabbids containing no real story line this begs the question, is this game really worth your money? Is the game a real killer app for the Kinect sensor and a must for all party lovers worldwide? Read on as we delve into the review and take out one Rabbid at a time! Gameplay - 7/10
Rabbids: Alive & Kicking is a party game and with that said it doesnít try to be anything else then that. The developers knew what they wanted to aim for and how they was going to achieve this and with the amount of games that is currently packed onto the disc, itís fair to say that they did a good job with the time they had to develop the title. With a wide range of mini games to choose from it is fair to say that not every single game is fun to play or works well, unfortunately there are a few bad apples in the bunch that are either exceedingly boring to play through or are really unresponsive with the Kinect technology on offer. This normally boils down to some games where you have to jump or lean backwards or forwards. This problem lies primarily in the fact that the game is the first to implement augmented reality into what the Kinect can offer to us the gamers. If you take a step forwards or backwards the game will adjust everything to the correct proportions to help and make everything aligned evenly. Letís take the mini game Guitar Zero as an example, the game works a lot like Guitar Hero or Rock band but in a simpler format. If you turn or move the on screen guitar will do exactly the same and will follow your every movement. Not only will it move around but if you was to jump or lie on the floor or do one of the many poses the game asks you to do the guitar will always follow suite. That is one of the games that shows off the augmented technology really well, but coming back to the point of games being unresponsive, with how new this technology is that they are trying to implement to work properly with Kinect, its obvious that they wasnít going to get everything correct meaning some games are just plain badly implemented and partially broken.
Now where did i leave my fake tan and steroids?
Coming away from the aspect of the games area of the game play, the game itself offers a few different modes, you have your single player for the players who just want to play alone and have fun or try to beat high scores, then you have you have the ability to scour through the games list and see what games supports numerous amounts of players. Itís a good point here that the game supports up to sixteen different players with six being allowed on screen at one time. Like most Kinect titles though the game works best with two to four people. Depending on the amount of players that you want to join you will depend on what games you will be able to choose from, where as some games will only support one player, some of the others will support either head to head player or two players. A majority of the games on offer though will support up from three to sixteen players depending on the size of your group and how many want to get involved in the fun. If it is a party that you are having yourself then one of the other modes featured in the game is the ability to set up party enabled games that will last the course of twelve rounds of play. There are three different party modes in which you can choose from with each offering a different but unique style of play. The idea of the games is to earn the highest score out of all of your friends once the last round as been played. These are a nice little diversion from playing the game with just a few friends, but you still play the same games that you would normally play with no change. The last mode that the game as to offer is called My Raving Rabbid, this is a simple mode that put you on screen with your very own Rabbid that will follow you around on screen or make fun of you. You can either choose to beat your Rabbid by hitting, slapping or kicking him around the room or you can add accessories onto him like giving him cake or retro sun glasses. All of the points you earn from playing the normal games can be spent in My Raving Rabbid to offer more ways to play with your new best friend. What Rabbids tries to do is implement a new form of technology onto the Kinect tech that is currently available and whilst it mostly works well some of the games felt like they needed a slight bit more polish to have taken advantage of what the game could truly offer the player.
When your Rabbid misbehaves, teach him a lesson Graphics - 7/10
Graphically Rabbids: Alive & Kicking isnít trying to do anything special but what it does offer is a nice variation of different graphical styles that help to stop the game or experience from getting boring. The first of these styles is the fact that when you first boot up the game you will be met with a familiar face on screen, and that familiar face will be yourself and the very room that your standing in, that is because just like old eye toy or vision camera games, some of the games on offer will use the space in your room to create games and experiences that will use you and your body to play them. Add in the depth perception augment that the game uses, no matter if you move forwards or backwards everything on screen will twist, turn or get larger/smaller to go with your on screen body. The secondary style is a cartoon style that sees the Rabbids taking part in small tasks in their lab, these games are normally pretty short and with very few games that use the cartoon style you will find that you wonít get to play many of them. This then brings us onto the third and final art style which is more of your contemporary style with a futuristic twist thrown in for good measure, you will get your normal 3D renders of both the Rabbids and the characters that you will get to take part as in saving the world by doing various and wacky tasks. Each of these levels is normally set out in a world like complex be it train stations, shopping malls, beaches or just the city life itself there is plenty of variation thrown in for good measure. Not only is their plenty to look at but the colours are both bright and very vibrant and easily please the eye when viewing them. Apart from that there is very little else graphically that goes on in the game and because of that you will be hard pressed to come across and slow down or frame rate drops or texture and pop in issues. Having played the game for many hours nothing graphically went wrong apart from a few issues with the Kinect sensor on the games where you play as yourself.
Doing your Mick Jagger face obviously won't impress much Sound - 6/10
Musically this game is quite challenged and this comes from the fact that, how do you make a game that appeals to everybody whilst also making it wacky and fun. Well Ubisoftís answer to this is include many different but short lines of music that both sound upbeat energetic, whilst also making them wacky and fun to listen to. Whilst this does work, the fact that there is very little that comes in the way of audio when your skipping through the menus is quite disappointing. Every game comes with its own track but the problem is you probably wonít be playing the games long enough to realise that the music is different or has changed at all. Add in that none of the characters apart from the Rabbids themselves try to speak aloud and you find that you have a very wide array of mute characters. Sure the Rabbids are cute and funny, but there is only a limited amount of time that you can listen to the sound of bwarrr every few minutes. Not only do some of the mini games also come with their own soundtrack though, but they also come with their own special sound effects relating to whatever game it is your playing, like the Mr. muscle game for example you get the extra added sounds of inflating and deflating when posing for the game and staying true to the shape it wantsí you to make. Overall the music or sound effects in the game are not the best, but for a party game they easily get the job done and add to the overall experience quite nicely, by all means donít come into the game thinking your going to be getting an amazing one hundred piece orchestral score as you will most likely be kidding yourself and you are by far in the wrong place.
Looking at your own decor whilst making a human pyramid is the only way to have fun... Difficulty - 7/10
Taking part in the mini games is fun and both easy to do, most of the games you will easily pick up what you have to do and how to do it within a few seconds with only a bare few leaving you bemused and puzzled for awhile. Nothing in the game is challenging at all with flash cards displayed on the site of the screen that will help depict everything that you need to do and the movements that are required to do them, Do not be fooled though, whilst being able to play the games and set scores is easy enough, to actually quite hard to achieve high scores to warrant three stars in some games. Even getting one star can be a challenge on some of the tougher games which require you to do the best you physically can do. The cut off points in the game can be deemed as being rather harsh and if you make one bad move then you can pretty much say to yourself that youíre not going to be walking away with the three stars from that game. The other fact though as to why you may not be doing all that great points wise in the game is that you need to mostly been fast and flexible. Thinking a few steps ahead of the game is always a plus and wondering what the game will be throwing at you next normally works rather well. By playing through the game though you will soon become tired out after a good hours workout especially seeing as the game will make you get on the floor a lot to then get up and do jumps or high fives. Donít get me wrong the variety is great but the game could have done without having the need to be absolutely perfect at each of the games in order to obtain the highest scores.
What could it end up being i wonder? Achievements - 8/10
This is an area where the game really shows off its true sprit in being original and different to other games currently on the market. A majority of the achievements are tied to doing various tasks in the mini games and these can come in the form of doing something wacky and fun to something that is just downright hard and is going to need a whole lot of practices and precision to achieve. The achievements is not an easy one and will take some time to achieve everything that is currently packed into those little gems that no doubt will come in time especially if you play the game often with friends and family. Some of the achievements will take a bit of grinding over multiple games whilst others will take a numerous amount of players in front of the sensor or playing the game in order to pop the achievement. Not the entire list is hard though, some of the tasks that you are required to do will come quite easily and without much effort and in no time at all you will find yourself with a good chunk of the achievements and a bit of the overall score to show for your actions. Doing simple actions such as scrubbing the floor with your hands instead of feet in one of the games is a classic example and this would net you the Cinderella achievement for ten gamerscore. From playing the games the points you earn will turn into cash, and if you get $25,000 or $50,000 you will net yourself another two achievements, these could then be tied quite easily in with buying all of the items in My Raving Rabbid which will give you some progress towards that juicy fifty gamerscore that will follow shortly after. Summary
Overall the game is pretty decent but does come with its flaws, but for what the developers have tried to achieve in the game and with it being a fairly new experiment these types of mistakes will come. Whilst some of the games can be quite fun others can feel tedious and depending on the player you will no doubt find what games you like and what you donít. Everybodyís list will be different. As mentioned before itís good how the developers have taken old game ideas and implemented them into this for a classic spin on the genre with the power of Kinect, Activision should take note that if they are looking for a fun and inventive way of bringing back Guitar Hero ditch the plastic and make it all augmented with the power of Kinect. This game does show it works and with a bit more of a tweaking it will work even better then it does now. Overall a pretty decent party game that will no doubt get friends and family in stitches with the things you will have to contend with. But if youíre a player who likes to play alone then possibly holding out a little longer may be the best call. This does truly show though that Ubisoft are currently the pioneers in the Kinect age and are always trying to innovate even if they do get things wrong at times.