Review: 3-2-1, Rattle Battle! (WiiWare)

Will this party game keep everyone entertained, or will it just tire you out?

Another minigame collection - as if the Wii isn't already overflowing with them! When done right, they can be quite entertaining, but Tecmo seems to have missed the whole point of the "minigame" concept by... well, by not offering a lot, really.

This game only includes twelve minigames, some of which are literally over in the blink of an eye, while a few can take up to about two minutes. Each of the minigames stars the game's main character, "Rattle Hero," and one or more other similar-looking characters. As you might be able to tell by the frequent use of the word "Rattle," every single minigame available is not controlled by delicate, precise Wii Remote gestures, but simply by shaking it like a madman, with a few minigames also requiring use of the A button.

Take the very first minigame for example - all you have to do is shake your Wii Remote as fast as possible in order to weigh down a scale. The minigame ends in just three seconds, after which you'll get your score. That's all! Another minigame is an even more tiring version of this: you start by shaking like crazy for three seconds, after which you will have to press the A button as many times as you can in about three more seconds.

Thankfully there's a few less hectic minigames on offer too. One simply requires you to shake the Wii Remote with just the right amount of speed in order to slide Rattle Hero over to his beloved Rattlette. Shaking too hard will make him crash right into her, while shaking too weakly will make him fall short. You have to get it almost exactly right to clear it.

Another minigame has you fighting away invaders from space. Shaking the Wii Remote makes you do a spin, defeating any enemies that attack you from the sides, while pressing A shoots a fireball straight up to defeat airborne attackers.

Initially, only ten minigames are available; we tried and tried, but have not been able to unlock the remaining two. We assume you just have to get super-high scores on everything, although we got enough on each minigame to earn a trophy, but apparently that wasn't enough. If they're anything like the previous ten though, the final minigames probably aren't worth unlocking.

Out of the initial ten minigames, two of them enable you to upload your top score to Nintendo WFC and compare them to people in your region, on your continent, or worldwide. The bad part about this? No names are displayed, so you won't even have any clue who you're beating!

The game's graphics are very simplistic, but at least have a somewhat charming aspect to them. Tecmo did a very poor job in the music department though - every single minigame has the same music, which, coupled with the main menu theme means there's only two (repetitive) songs in the whole game. Better have the mute button ready!

Rattle Battle seems to be advertised as a party game, but there's no sign of multiplayer. The idea is apparently to make the game available to play at a party and then have your friends try to beat each others' scores, but as you can't register names in the game, you'll have to use old-fashioned pen and paper to keep track of the scores. Even so, we don't think anyone would want to play this for more than fifteen minutes, except maybe if they're very, very drunk.

Conclusion

3-2-1, Rattle Battle! is a weird attempt at a party game by Tecmo. The game's cutesy graphics bely what the game is really like - shaking your Wii Remote until your arms are about ready to fall off. For 500 Wii Points, thankfully, the blow isn't too bad, but unless you'd really like to test which of your friends can shake the fastest, we'd recommend staying far away from this one.

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