Here at Nintendo Life Towers we are quite partial to those Raving Rabbids: those mindless jabbering critters remind us of ourselves. Seeing the release of a scaled-down version of Rabbids Go Home’s In Ze Remote feature, however, gave us cause for concern: could this dress-up game justify the 500 Point price tag?
For those of you unaware, Rabbids Lab is actually a part of the Wii game Rabbids Go Home, so if you already own the retail disc there’s no point in downloading this game. In fact, as it has already been mentioned, this is a scaled-down version of what you get in the Wii game, so your 500 Points don't even get you the full package.
The concept of the lab is simple enough: you have a Rabbid in need of a makeover. At your hands are a series of tools with which to paint, decorate and transform that most unfortunate Rabbid who dwells in your Wii Remote into a work of art. There’s only one Rabbid to play around with here and when you power down it reverts back to its original state, so if you wanted to create and keep several designs, you’re out of luck – the best you can do is take pictures of your Rabbid before going back to the drawing board.
There are three basic decorating sections in the lab: Tools, Accessories and Paint. The Tools section just consists of a head vice where you can alter the dimensions of your Rabbid’s head: shake the Remote horizontally to squash its head, or vertically to elongate it. Once you’re happy with the head shape, that’s the tools section exhausted for you. It’s almost the same situation with Accessories: you have one of two to choose from: a Santa hat or a turkey (both to wear on your Rabbid’s head). It makes you wonder why they even bothered to keep the section just to do this.
Paint, therefore, is the area in which you’ll spend your most time (and maybe, just maybe, get some value from the title). In this mode you have access to a pretty comprehensive colour palette and a small variety of drawing tools and stamps. First you must select the tool you wish to use with , then you can use up and down on the to increase or decrease the range of the tool, using to apply it to the Rabbid. The lets you turn the Rabbid around, while lets you access the colour palette quickly and zooms in and out.
Along with a spray can, there are several different types of brush at hand, so the artistic of you out there should be able to doodle away without too many limitations. The stamps available at hand are all Christmassy and there are only 24 of them, which is a decline from what you get in Rabbids Go Home. Like all good painting tools, you have a fill bucket, colour pick, erase and undo tools, which are exceptionally straightforward to use. In terms of decorating your Rabbid, that’s it!
Now that you have a custom-spec Rabbid, the next thing you’d want to do is capture the memory in the photo mode (well, what we’d really want to do is save the Rabbid, but that’s not an option here). The photo is taken inside your Remote so to speak, which means if you shake it about our little raving friend is in for some turbulent times – making for ideal snapshot material. At any point you can press to pause the action and get a picture of the Rabbid that you can either save to your Wii or send in a message to a friend (be warned, they don’t like you sending too many). Once this has been done, you’ve pretty much seen it all, so you can decide to make another Rabbid or turn it off and leave it for another day.
Rabbids Lab is a novel idea that works really well as part of Rabbids Go Home – it provides a nice distraction to the main game and compliments its zaniness. Releasing it on its own, however, just leaves you with an underwhelming application that will be very short lived. Visually, the production values are lovely and the audible bwargs of the Rabbid are equally amusing, but the Rabbids Lab just doesn’t meet the cut as a standalone download. If you love the Rabbids that much, you should already have the game. Purchase this knowing that all you’ll be getting is a glorified dress-up game without the ability to save or share your creations in any real sense.