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Rayman Raving Rabbids

Rayman Raving Rabbids is a Wii, PlayStation 2, Windows, Game Boy Advance, Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS game and is the fourth major installment in the Rayman series. It was a launch title for the Wii.

The game consists of more than 70 'trials' which aim to make innovative and varied use of the Wii's controller. There are two main gameplay styles: Story Mode (which unlocks the trials) and Score Mode (which unlocks challenges and bonus material). The minigames can be replayed in Score Mode to better one's score or compete against other players in multiplayer or through the use of a "web code" system for online standings at Ubisoft's Rayman website.

Release and development history

The game's development was led by Michel Ancel, the original creator of Rayman, at Ubisoft's Montpellier studio. The game was brainstormed while the studio worked on the King Kong video game.

Work on the game began during the later stages of making King Kong, when the developers were looking to create the "ultimate enemy" for use in the next Rayman game. The studio head Michel Ancel sketched an initial concept for a rabbit character, and from there, the idea of a mass invasion of bunnies grew. The title started full development shortly after King Kong went gold.

The team began work on a traditional action adventure platformer. Although when they received the Wii development kits from Nintendo, the team began focusing on implementing a wide range of gameplay types. When seeing that these styles do not fit into a platforming game, Rayman Raving Rabbids was altered to become a game consisting of separate mini games.

Before the game's release, some of these trials and concepts were revealed. Some of them did not appear in the final game, such as hawk and tarantula riding.

Features

There are two different play modes in Rayman Raving Rabbids: Story Mode and Score Mode.

In Story Mode, the game follows fifteen days of Rayman's imprisonment. Each day, Rayman must complete at least three trials, followed by one special 'boss trial', such as an First-person Shooter or a racing game. Completing trials earns Rayman plungers. When he accumulates enough of these, he can build a ladder up the edge of his jail cell and escape to freedom. Completing trials also earns Rayman different music and costumes.

In Score Mode, a player can repeat past trials in an attempt to improve their score or as a multiplayer party game.

Rayman has a few costumes, each with a matching song. Gangsta, Raymaninho, Disco, Gothic, Caramba, Rock'n'Roll, Granny, DeeJay and Bunny.

Storyline

Rayman is having a picnic with the local Globox kids, when suddenly there is an earthquake. Suddenly the kids sink into the ground and the Rabbids appear. Rayman offers them food, but they ignore him and their commander Sergueï kidnaps Rayman and throws him in an arena full of raving mad Rabbids, several with weapons. After completing his first trials Sergueï comes and gives him a plunger. As the game progresses, Rayman becomes more popular among the Rabbids by completing more trails. After building a ladder of plungers to reach the window and escape, Rayman realizes he left the Globox kids behind. The Globox kids are supposedly being tortured.i

Characters/Bunnies

The Rabbids are the common enemy in this game. Their technology varies from the advanced (giant robots) to the insane (plunger guns). As well as this there are horned elephant-like creatures taht appear in graveyards and various animals such as sheep, cows and pigs.

The only returning characters from previous games were Rayman and the baby Globoxes. In the DS and GBA versions, Murfy, Ly and Teensies all appear.

Mini-Games

The minigames are divided into 4 categories:

  • Bunny Hunt: First-person shooter stages. All of these show up in Story Mode as "boss" stages. You can play them in 3 different ways:
    • Score: Go for as high a score as possible.
    • Time: Clear the stage as fast as possible.
    • Survival: Get as high a score as possible, with only one heart.
  • Sports: The other games played in Story Mode, divided further into 4 categories:
    • Workout: Games that require rapid movement of the Wii remote and nunchuk.
    • Precision: Games that involve the Wii remote's pointer.
    • Get Going!: Racing stages. There are 4 warthog racing games, and a skydiving race.
    • Skill: All the other games. They don't really have anything in common.
  • Challenges: Various games, one after another. There are 3 different Challenges:
    • Triathlon: 3 games in a row
    • Pentathlon: 5 games in a row
    • Decathlon: 10 games in a row
  • Shake your Booty!: Dancing games. One can be found in Story Mode on each day, always in the door furthest to the right from where you start.

You can also play Co-op Bunny Hunt. Survival is not available in this mode.

Reception

The game has generally been received positively. IGN and GameSpot complimented the game's "sick sense of humor" and a heavy emphasis on fun, as well as the design of the bunnies and the game in general. Reviews highlighted the story, music and sound, and said that gameplay is addictive and optimized for the Wii.

Despite these praises, many reviewers also had some issues. Some of the minigames were said to be "duds", being unenjoyable or broken; the game could not run in progressive scan mode (see below); and not all of the trials had multiplayer opportunities, "reducing the game's potential as a party game". Nintendo Power stated that a lot of promised features had been cut out.

The following ratings were delivered for the game:

Progressive scan support

One common criticism of the Wii version among US reviewers was that the game was unable to run in 480p mode, which is one of the features in the games manual. Ubisoft acknowledges this error in a support article on its website:

Unfortunately, there is a misprint in the game manual. The video option was removed from the game, but was not removed from the manual. The reason it was removed from the game itself is that you have to use the Wii console Menu to switch video options such as the 16:9 aspect ratio.[1]

Regardless of the Wii video settings, the North American release is limited to 480i running in standard 4:3 proportions. The PAL (European/Australian) release of the game features support for 480p progressive scan, but still does not support the 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.

Software bugs

According to a FAQ writer at Gamefaqs [2], there are a few bugged dancing minigames, in which you cannot get the maximum amount of points, even if you get a perfect score. The songs in question are Bunnies Are Fantastic Dancers Part 3 and Bunninos Dansa La Bamba. Also, the minigame Bunnies Have Natural Rhythm stops responding to movements after a while if the framerate is set to 50 Hz.

Additionally the PC-Version of the game suffers from serious bugs, some most likely related to its flawed copy protection mechanism [3]. On numerous systems the copy protection will cause the games' main executable to crash and the game cannot be started. The copy protection also seems to frequently identify genuine installations of the game as illegal copies which cause the game to subtract 20% of the score of each part of the game rendering these significantly harder or unbeatable. The games' JADE engine is incompatible to current CPU power saving technologies like AMD's Cool'n'Quiet and Intel's SpeedStep.

The developers of the PC-Version reused the installer of Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie without changing the Globally Unique Identifier. This causes failure to install Rayman Raving Rabbids on systems where Peter Jackson's King Kong is also installed while corrupting the previously installed game in the process.


Trivia

  • There are many hints to a sequel during the game.
  • Characters do not have the voice acting that was first used in Rayman (the magican). Instead, voices becomes regular gibberish, except for a few words like "Hey" or "Wow".
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