Caution: Too much Blue Star tequila will make your eyes do that.
Wii owners craving a minigame compilation have a myriad of choices. Whether the environment is a circus, carnival, theater, or island resort, there is a collection of Wiimote-flailing diversions for every taste. While a majority of these titles seem to exist solely to capitalize on the success of Nintendo’s console, one series has continually captured our interest- the Rayman Raving Rabbid games.
With Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party, the developers have improved upon an already solid formula. The series has always offered the player a multitude of entertaining minigames fused together by an energetic delivery and wacky sense of humor. This game offers players 65 engaging minigames, support for the WiiFit Balance Board, and support for up to eight players.
When rowdy rabbids are involved, it’s called ‘rastling’
The title’s activities are both diversified and nearly universally interesting. Unlike many other titles with micro-sized diversions, each of the games in TV Party is well conceived and worthy of repeat play. Whereas most compilations may offer a halfhearted Rock Band imitator, this title offer a game with a bit more substance. The activity gives players a choice of four different instruments, each with a different level of difficulty. As icons drop from the top of the screen, the player must shake either the Wiimote or nunchuck accordingly. If the gamer misses a note, much like Rock Band, the sound of the instrument drops out of the sound mix. With simultaneous play for up to four gamers, this was one of our favorite events.
Another unique and remarkable minigame was entirely 2D based. Each player controlled a small rabid-sphere that jumped with a swing of the Wiimote and was guided on the horizontal axis by the analog stick of the nunchuck. As the screen would scroll from right to left, players would bounce off each other, and the platformed environment in an effort to collect to abundant supply of pellets. The game was delightfully simple, yet fiendishly competitive.
Dance your fuzzy tail off. Oops, the second from the right already did.
For the most part, the game’s use of simple Wiimote-based gestures is incredibly responsive. After seeing a number of DDR-influenced titles on the Wii flounder because of inaccurate movement sensing, we were initially cautious about the dance routines. Thankfully, TV Party operates with a bit more precision. When the title encounters an ambiguous movement, the game errs on the side of leniency, instead of penalizing the player. However, some other Rabbid minigames weren’t as compassionate, such as the one that looked for a very specific ear-cleaning movement during a hygiene drill. Once we found the specific gesture the game was looking for (in this case, a vigorous back and forth motion), frustration ceased.
For select minigames, TV Party conveniently offers the player a choice of using the Wiimote or Balance Board as a control method. While the WiiFit peripheral was an interesting novelty at first, we quickly reverted back to the more traditional control scheme for most of the racing games. Steering our rabbid by tilting the Wiimote or using the stick on the nunchuck proved much more accurate and responsive than the use of the board. For some of the games that parody WiiFit, no controls problems existed.
“Hey, buddy get a larger belt buckle, the kids are playing!”
Graphically, the game combines skillfully drawn 2D art with proficient 3D assets. The rabbids compensate for their limiting oral vocabulary with a wide range of exaggerated gestures and animations. Small touches like the sight of a character painfully brushing his teeth with an electric razor, add a dose of personality and humor absent from most minigame compilations. The only caveat we had with the title was the slightly sluggish framerate in some of the racing games; we would have preferred a snappier refresh rate over graphical luxury.
For the Wii owner who is not oversaturated with minigame collections, we can’t recommend Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party enough. While retail shelves have a number of cheaper game collections, we recommend players bypass those inferior games and pick up this title. With 65 quality diversions, a heap of unlockables, and some of the best multiplayer gameplay found on the Wii, the rabbids offer one of the best compilations found on Nintendo’s console. For Wii-owning households, we can think of no better video game that will engage the entire family.