Hosing down rabbits with carrot juice isn’t most people’s idea of a good time, but when Raving Rabbids hit the Wii as a launch title last year, a lot of folks changed their mind. All of a sudden it didn’t seem too weird to swing a cow or shoot plungers at UFOs, as long as you were using the Wii remote.
A year later, minigames have been done to death on the Wii, but the crazy rabbids still remain. With an additional year to refine and polish the formula from the first game, Rabbids 2 looks like it will be a lot more fun.
The dancing sequences, which weren’t the best part of the original, are back with a few adjustments. You’re still shaking the left or right controllers at the right time, but the camera edits and different backgrounds (one we saw was a 50′s diner) these scenes look a lot busier. Plus, there are times when you can shake both controllers to cause your Rabbids to wiggle and boogie, which is just that perfect balance of cute and weird.
More successful, however, are the new minigames. One of them, called Singing in the Rain, had a tuxedo-wearing bunny belting out tunes while swinging from a street lamp. To play, you had to repeat shakes of the controller in order, sort of like the electronic board game Simon. Again, nothing ground-breaking, but amusing for a few minutes at least.
The best of the minigames we played, however, was a quick action game called “Dial R for Rabbids” where you play as a bunny sitting in a movie theater. When the manager turns off the lights, you’re supposed to hold the phone upright to your ear while a garbled voice comes yammering out of the remote speaker. When the light comes on, you have to put down the phone and hit A repeatedly to send a text message to the other bunnies. The bunnies that are too slow get punished by having their phones ring just before stage light or giant bag of popcorn squishes them in their seats.
The first Rabbids game was simple fun and a good showcase for the Wii’s motion controls, but the sequel seems like it has more of the stuff that works while the rest has been changed for the better. With a lot of variety and a perfectly family-friendly attitude, this is one series worth going crazy over.