Rayman Raving Rabbids
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|Rayman Raving Rabbids|
European Wii version cover of the game
|Release date(s)||Game Boy Advance
|Genre(s)||Party (2D Platformer on handheld version)|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, Multiplayer (up to four players)|
Rayman Raving Rabbids, known in French as Rayman contre les Lapins Crétins (literally meaning "Rayman against the Moronic Rabbits"), is a spinoff in the Rayman series released by the company Ubisoft as a Wii launch title. The game consists of 75 minigames. The game is primarily designed with the Wii Remote in mind, but is also available on Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, and Xbox 360.
Ubisoft released a sequel to the game, Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, in November 2007, and released the third game in the series, Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party, in November 2008. The fourth game in the series, Rabbids Go Home, was released in 2009, though only on the Wii and DS systems and a fifth game, Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time, was released in 2010. A sixth game, Raving Rabbids: Alive & Kicking, was released in 2011 only for Xbox 360 (which requires Kinect) and the seventh game, Rabbids Land, was released as a Wii U exclusive game on November 2012. As of April 2014, the series had sold over 14 million units worldwide.
The game features two different modes of play - 'Story mode' (or adventure mode) and 'Score mode'. In story mode the game follows fifteen days of Rayman's imprisonment by the Rabbids. Each day, Rayman (Raymondo) must complete at least three trials, followed by one special “boss trial”, such as a first-person rail shooter using plungers, or a racing game in which the player controls a warthog and uses a flyswatter as a riding crop. Completing trials earns Rayman various costumes and matching music, including Gangsta, Raymaninho (a portmanteau of the title character's name and football star Ronaldinho), Disco, Gothic, Caramba, Rock'n'Roll, Granny, DeeJay and Bunny. Trial completion also earns plungers and after accumulating enough, Rayman builds a ladder up the edge of his jail cell and escapes to freedom. In Score mode, the player can repeat past trials in an attempt to improve their score or as a multiplayer party game.
Minigames fall into one of four categories: Bunny Hunt, Sports, Challenges, and 'Shake your Booty!' dancing. Bunny Hunt comprises first-person rail shooter stages, all appearing in Story Mode as "boss" stages that the player may play for Score, Time, or Survival with the goal of obtaining the highest score possible with only one life. Two players can participate in Co-op Bunny Hunt, but Survival is not available for multiplayer. The Sports minigames can be played for Workout, which requires rapid movement of the Wii Remote, and Precision, which involves the controls of the remote. Sports minigames also include 'Get Going!' racing stages, including four warthog racing games and a skydiving race. Challenges are various games found in Score Mode which must be played one after the other with the goal of a high combined score in a Triathlon, Pentathlon, or Decathlon. The 'Shake your Booty!' category involves dance-themed minigames and are found in Story Mode each day. Also, there are "Skill" minigames that do not fall under any of the other categories. Variations of the mini-games are featured in the DS version. Games such as "Feed the bunnies", "Ghost hunt", "Bunny invasion", "Stop the mines" and "Super rabbid" are used. The stylus is used for all of the minigames, unlike the rest of the gameplay.
The Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS versions of the game are, unlike their console counterparts, traditional platformers. In the GBA version, the costumes that Rayman acquires give him special abilities, such as using the Granny oufit to sneak past cameras, or the DeeJay outfit to break open vents. The DS version allows players to use the stylus to perform certain actions, such as controlling wind or setting a bunny on fire.
The Rabbids are the common enemy in this game. Their technology varies from advanced giant robots to close combat tools such as plungers and feather dusters. Characters do not have the voice acting that was first used in Rayman 2: The Great Escape. Instead, the voices become regular gibberish, except for a few words like "Hey" and "Wow", or "Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" (in "Rayman Raving Rabbids Making of" they said "Action"). Besides the Rabbids, there are also warthogs, seen in the game's warthog races, and various other animals (such as sheep, cows and pigs). One of the minigames actually requires the player to point the members of the same species out.
The game begins with a cut-scene showing Rayman having a picnic with the local Globox kids. Their picnic is interrupted when an earthquake erupts and the Globox kids sink into the ground while 3 Rabbids appear in their place. Their commander Sergueï kidnaps Rayman and throws him in an arena with angry Rabbids, several of whom are armed. Rayman must complete his first trials now, and afterwards Sergueï takes him to his cell and gives him a plunger. Initially the Rabbids jeer him, but as Rayman completes more trials, they grow bored, and eventually he even becomes popular among the Rabbids and they cheer him on, in addition to making his jail cell more hospitable. Eventually, Rayman amasses a collection of plungers as rewards for completing the trials. By building a ladder out of all his plungers to reach the window (and settling with an annoying bird who keeps defecating on him), Rayman manages to escape and free himself. Once liberated, he remembers the Globox kids and attempts to return through one of the Rabbid holes to rescue them, but winds up getting stuck in the hole. After the credits, Rayman is still stuck in the hole through the night, and sheep come to eat the leftovers of his picnic.
The game began development in Ubisoft's Montpellier Studio, 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 team then began work on a traditional action game platformer, then tentatively called Rayman 4. However, upon receiving development kits from Nintendo, the team began focusing on implementing a wide range of gameplay types. When it became clear that these were not going to fit into a traditional platformer game, Rayman Raving Rabbids was altered to become a game consisting of separated trials. The changes meant that some of the trials and concepts revealed before the game's release did not appear in the final game, such as hawk and tarantula riding. While Ancel was seen as one of the main figures behind the project before E3, he left the project after the revamp, and is only credited with character design in the final game.The PC version is made in Ubisoft's studio in Sofia. Rayman Raving Rabbids is available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Wii, Game Boy Advance, PC, and Nintendo DS.
The game has received mixed to positive reviews. 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. A few critics claimed that other developers of Wii launch titles had simply ported their games and "tacked on" Wii controls. It is currently one of the highest-selling third party games for the Wii. The game was subsequently released on other platforms, including the PC, PS2, and Xbox 360. Reviewers in general found these versions to play at an inferior level to the Wii version due to the game's controls having been optimized with the Wii in mind.
Several shortcomings were cited. Some of the minigames were described as "duds", being unenjoyable or broken; the game could not run in progressive scan mode; 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 Wiire awarded this game with Family Friendly, Ease of Use, and Multiplayer Mayhem awards.
The reception of the Nintendo DS version was mixed. GameSpot gave the DS version a 5.9/10 and commented that the game had unsightly graphics and it was too short. IGN gave the DS version a 6.5/10, and wondered why Rayman Raving Rabbids played so well, but looked so awful.
Aid with Dyslexia
In a 2013 study of dyslexic children conducted by Sandro Franceschini et al. and published in the March edition of Current Biology, it was concluded that playing action sections of Rayman's Raving Rabbids increased dyslexic children's ability to read by improving their attentional skills. These findings were replicated, confirmed and expanded in another study by Simone Gori et al. Cerebral Cortex in which playing action sections of Rayman's Raving Rabbids increased dyslexic children's ability to read together with their magnocellular-dorsal pathway functionality.
- "Facts & Figures". Ubisoft. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- Casamassina, Matt (November 16, 2006). "Rayman Raving Rabbids Review: A collection of clever and engaging mini-games that will make you laugh.". IGN. News Corporation. p. 2. Retrieved 2010-08-26. Wii (8.3/10)
- Casamassina, Matt (2007-01-10). "Rayman Raving Rabbids Review: Lots of minis and good comedy, but the game was designed for the Wii remote and it shows.". IGN. News Corporation. p. 2. Retrieved 2010-08-26. PS2
- White, Shawn (2006-11-17). "Rayman Raving Rabbids - Game Profile". The Wiire. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
- March 30, 2007 5:35PM PDT (2007-03-06). "Rayman Raving Rabbids Review". GameSpot.com. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "Rayman Raving Rabbids Review - IGN". Ds.ign.com. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- Rayman Raving Rabbids (PlayStation 2, Windows, Wii) at MobyGames
- Rayman Raving Rabbids (J2ME) at MobyGames