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Hands-on: Rabbids Go Home


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Since their introduction in the minigame compilation, Rayman: Raving Rabbids, the title characters of Ubisoft's latest Rayman spin-off (a platformer!) have been among the least psychologically stable game characters ever. This is reflected in nearly every nuance of Rabbids Go Home, from the sadistic "inside the Wiimote" bonus mode to the piloting of a stolen jet engine through an airport terminal.

That first bit we mentioned is a detailed interior of a Wii Remote, which reacted to every twist and button press of the real one in our hands during a recent demo of the game. Inside the Wiimote: a Rabbid, subject to all manner of mishandling as we slammed it this way and that before inflating one of its eyes, deflating one of its ears, sticking a squid on its head and diving into the game proper.

Gallery: Rabbids Go Home (Wii) | 34 Photos

The first level we played got us accustomed to the game's own distinct kind of strange. The overall goal for the Rabbids is to build a tower of junk to the moon, which they believe is their home. Players control a pair of Rabbids pushing a shopping cart at breakneck speeds through everyday locations -- libraries, supermarkets, office buildings -- gathering up everything in their path and flushing it down a toilet before heading onto the next level.

Anyway, in this level, we had to scoop up all manner of miscellany as we raced a truck carrying a cow to the end of the level. We needed the cow for whatever reason. The level took us through a residential area, past people's homes and racing Jetski-style along a waterway complete with jumps. A timer kicked in once we'd nabbed the cow and we had to hightail it to the finish ... toilet. Running into objects cost us a heart every time we did it, and we were only given three. Some areas of the "run" -- such as sand -- slowed us down, while others moved unpredictably. Thankfully, the shopping cart handled like a dream, and pressing A made it go fast.

Not as fast as it did in the next level, though. No, for this one the cart was affixed to a jet engine we'd separated from a taxiing airplane by making a hammering motion with the Wiimote. Before we knew it, we were hurtling through an airport terminal, sucking up everything -- and everyone -- in our path before some anti-Rabbid forces arrived and set up deadly obstacles. These made the mad race through the baggage chutes a little trickier, but again, the control was dreamy.

What we played was very fun -- it looks and feels like it could be a lot of fun, and it's definitely not your run-of-the-mill platformer. We're just eager to see what variations on the core concept (and locations for the madness to unfold in) get cooked up for the finished game.

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