Posted 1 year ago By kingquagmire - David Collins
Those wacky, mailable bunnies have returned to home consoles yet again; this time arriving on the Xbox 360 via Microsoft’s motion sensor, Kinect. Beginning as a supporting player for Rayman (making their first appearance in Rayman: Raving Rabbids, a launch title for the Wii), the Rabbids have become so popular that they spun off entirely from Rayman, running away with their own franchise, and even leading into an upcoming animated television series. Given how essential motion controls have been to the success franchise, it’s only natural to see them branch out into the fertile Kinect territory. After my daughter and I spent some quality time with this latest entry in the franchise, we can confirm that the Rabbids are indeed Alive & Kicking...
Conforming with the previous titles in the series, Rabbids: Alive & Kicking is a party game. Utilizing the full-body motion sensing capabilities of Kinect, players are dropped into a set of mini-games - much of which fall into the realm of Augmented Reality. It’s you, your living room (or game room or however you have it set up), and the Rabbids themselves. Our first peek into what this game would hold was during a run through the different modes. We popped in to the free play area and a Rabbid was staring at us, face pressed flush with the screen. My little one kicked her leg out, not realizing that she was going to be giving the Rabbid the boot. As he went flying across our living room (literally, but virtually), she fell to the floor, laughing so hard, tears were streaming down her cheeks. Yes, this completely exemplifies the experience that Alive & Kicking offers.
The set-up follows the Rabbids’ plans to take over Earth. They have invaded our daily lives (hence the Augmented Reality) and we just weren’t aware of it. Until now. With the use of one of their PDA’s, you can track their attack plans and stop them. Ok, so that sounds a little more deep than it actually is. Once the game starts up, you’ll pick between Quickplay, Party Games, and My Raving Rabbid. Quickplay lets you select from the various mini-games, or run through a random set. Party Games presents the mini-games in a tournament style, where anywhere from three to sixteen players vie for score dominance. And My Raving Rabbid is the sort of free play mode that I mentioned earlier, where a Rabbid is trapped in your house and you can interact with him, dress him up, take his picture, kick him around (as my daughter inadvertently did) and more.
"...it is without a doubt one of the most entertaining experiences I’ve had with my 8 year old in a long time."
If all this sounds interesting, then the mini-games themselves are what seals the deal. One has Rabbids popping up out of the floor, tasking players with squishing them with their feet, a-la Whack-a-Mole. Another shuts off the lights, and spotlights are searching your living room for you (and your partner, if playing with another person). Players must avoid the spotlight, scoring points all the while. If caught, points are deducted. And this isn’t just a simple dodge or lean type of game. You will do that, but also jump, move left, move right, and even fall to the floor (planking?!). Others see you playing air guitar or dodging laser beams or sliding up the gullet of a Rabbid in an effort to escape his body via is mouth. All the games are frantic efforts of avoidance, stomping, flinging, punching, kicking, and jumping. You won’t coast on through. It’s a work out, magnified by the fact that while trying to not get out of breath, you are laughing every step of the way at how nutty the bunny-shaped balls of putty are.
THAT, is what sells this game. Sure, the mini-games are well varied and a lot of fun to play. And granted, the vibrant animations do a fine job conveying the kooky nature these creatures embody. There is the added social features, such as photo sharing, that Ubisoft lovingly has embraced over the last two years. And the motion controls are solid, with nary an issue during any of my play sessions. But above all that, it is without a doubt one of the most entertaining experiences I’ve had with my 8 year old in a long time. Regardless if you play for fifteen minutes or two hours, Alive & Kicking a a riot from beginning to end. The goofy insanity the Rabbids exude permeates the entire experience.
Rabbids: Alive & Kicking came out of nowhere for me. The series had gone stale, as far as I was concerned. Yet, Alive & Kicking manage to bring it back by rekindling the whole reason I fell in love with the little critters to begin with: off-the-wall slapstick comedy. It isn’t for everyone, mind you. This game is truly aimed at the young or the goofy...or those looking for something along those lines in their party games. If neither applies to you, then odds are, you won’t find much to love here. And as this is a party game, expectations of a engrossing story or deep mechanics will be quickly put to rest. With that said, Rabbids: Alive & Kicking does exactly what it was intended to do, and that is to mix up a large batch of zany fun for you and your family to enjoy.
+ Varied mini-games
+ Will keep your body moving
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Release Date : 2011/11/01
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : Ubisoft
Developer : Ubisoft Paris
Category : Party & Mini Games
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
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