Posted 3 months ago By EastonAssass1n - Luke Brown
Spinning out of the Rayman series, the various games bearing the Rabbids characters have been built around a multiplayer atmosphere. The first Rabbids game to hit the Wii U, Rabbids Land, is no exception. Taking inspiration from the Mario Party franchise, Rabbids Land is a board game video game that pits players against one another in competitive games in an effort to win the overall game. Unfortunately, where the Mario Party series features an incredible amount of variation both in playing surfaces and the mini-games therein, Rabbids Land makes a feeble attempt to ape that model with half the effort. A dismal effort, Rabbids Land takes all the fun out of the formula, leaving players with a rather hollow experience.
In Rabbids Land, there is one game board. Consisting of two circular paths littered with various spaces, the lone level the game provides keeps things simple enough. Players must traverse the board attempting to gain a predetermined number of trophies, Rabbids Land’s measurement for success, in order to win. There are spots on the board for multiplayer events, quizzes, random awards, and the ominous death spaces. You don’t actually die, but you will lose a crucial trophy when you happen across one. Moving around the board is accomplished by rolling the virtual die by flicking the stylus across the GamePad, and circling about until you’ve collected enough trophies to return to the center of the board, where you’ll finally be crowned the winner. If you’ve ever played a board game before, the basic premise doesn’t shift all that much from the norm. There’s a lot of luck involved, and winning often comes down to messing up the least among the other players. Games can last as little as fifteen minutes, or as long as an hour. Either way, the amount of fun you’ll have is directly proportional to how much patience you have for the often boring mini-games.
"Rabbids Land had the chance to really be the first go-to party game on the Wii U. Sadly, Ubisoft doesn’t deliver a worthwhile experience, and the Rabbids brand, such as it is, suffers as a result. "
The interactive games in Rabbids Land aren’t terrible by any means. They’re also not very engaging. Perhaps the greatest fault the mini-games have is their reliance on one-on-one battles. Each of the events in Rabbids Land pits the player who landed on the game spot against one random opponent. One player will get to use the GamePad, while the other will be required to use a Wii controller and nunchuck. Rabbids Land is only playable by up to four people (if you don’t have enough friends over, computer players will fill the remaining spots), and a lot of time is spent waiting for something to happen. There could be whole turns where no one plays a mini-game. There could also be turns where the same two people play multiple games, while everyone else sits backs and watches the action unfold. For a multiplayer game, Rabbids Land feels very exclusionary, and that’s a big problem.
What made the Mario Party games so enjoyable was the way they made sure to include everyone playing the game. Whether it was in a competitive battle, or in team-based challenge, everyone was always involved. Rabbids Land forgoes this simple task, and suffers tremendously for it. There are seemingly plenty of opportunities for other players to get in on the action, yet for some reason, Ubisoft dedicated its focus on singular accomplishments. While it’s true only one person can be the winner, that doesn’t mean everyone else taking part should spend so much time on the sidelines, hoping for a chance to play.
Making matters even worse, the mini-games are unlocked at random, with early playthroughs seeing many of the same events played out over and over again. To be fair, some of the games provide mild entertainment, but that’s just not enough to compensate for the repetitive and bland experience. The occasional quizzes that show up are also pretty nonsensical. One player provides the answer, and others wager on whether or not the player responded correctly. These segments provide a bit of variety, but don’t really add much to the game. It’s easy to understand why Ubisoft would want to emulate similar methods used by actual board games, but here in Rabbids Land, the quizzes feel like a cop out. These moments are the only time everyone gets to be privy to the action at the same time, and it’s a little bit of a let down.
Graphically there isn’t much wrong with Rabbids Land, but there isn’t a whole lot to be captivated by either. It’s a very ho-hum affair, with little pomp and circumstance. The typically humorous Rabbids don’t really have a lot of room to work their trademark comedy stylings, and could easily be replaced by any other generic character. There’s a chance you might enjoy the soundtrack a bit for the first few games, but the monotony of the same cues repeating ad nauseum grows tired quickly. It’s a shame too, as there would have been plenty of opportunity for more variety had Ubisoft even added just one more playing space.
Rabbids Land had the chance to really be the first go-to party game on the Wii U. Sadly, Ubisoft doesn’t deliver a worthwhile experience, and the Rabbids brand, such as it is, suffers as a result. There’s certainly a foundation here for a more complete game, and if Ubisoft goes back to the drawing board with a better approach that involves more depth and the ability for more people to play, a future Rabbids Land title might be a success. However, the potential future of the franchise doesn’t do much to solve the problems as they exist right now, and ultimately you’re better off spending time playing a real board game.
+ Mini-games make good use of GamePad
+ Solid amount of mini-games included…
- Only one playing board
- Severe lack of innovation
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Release Date : 2012/11/18
System : WiiU
Publisher : Ubisoft
Developer : Ubisoft
Category : Party & Mini Games
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
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