Game Review

Raving Rabbids Travel in Time Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Laurie Blake

An historic event for the Raving Rabbids, or time to put them down?

Whatever happened to poor old Rayman? The armless wonder was there to hold the Rabbids' hands on their Wii launch debut, Rayman Raving Rabbids, way back in 2006. Since then, Ubisoft’s onetime mascot has joined his arms and legs in just fading away, leaving the Rabbids to spread their brand of slapstick humour and madcap mini-games to Wii owners everywhere. Raving Rabbids Travel in Time brings the deranged bunnies back to Earth in a very special washing machine that allows them to zip back and forth between different periods of the planet’s history. The transport system is very reminiscent of Bill and Ted’s adventures in a phone booth, but is the Rabbids’ latest rave equally excellent?

After the shopping trolley antics of Rabbids Go Home, Travel in Time has the long-eared loonies back doing what they do best: starring in a load of mini-games – and harassing historical figures. After crash-landing in a museum you’re given control of a Rabbid who runs around smashing things, warbling and generally being noisy. Typically Rabbids are controlled from a third-person view in the museum hub; you use the Nunchuk analogue stick to move, the Remote's D-pad to belch/ scream/ whatever and a quick shake flails your Rabbid around.

Those who want to get straight into the mini-game action can teleport to the relevant area of the museum. These amusements are tied to paintings in rooms such as the Flyarium, Hookarium or Shootarium. Each –arium houses one specific type of game; for instance, all of the events in the Bouncearium involve jumping in some way, be it bounding around collecting baked beans or leaping from platform to platform to avoid the encroaching chill of the ice age. The mixture of activities on offer is quite varied despite each room having an overarching theme; mini-game collection connoisseurs will be familiar with many of game types, but Ubisoft and the Rabbids deliver it with such humour that they will keep you entertained nonetheless.

You’ve got shooting galleries in the Shootarium, fishing competitions in the Hookarium and even a Tetris knock-off where you guide bricks in by having your Rabbid clamber over the blocks. Mini-games are controlled with the Remote and Nunchuk in various arrangements, but to access the Hookarium you’ll have to have MotionPlus plugged in as well.

Arguably the most interesting games on offer can be found in the Flyarium, where a set of wings and rudder are strapped to your Rabbid and you take to the skies tilting both controllers to bank and dive, making hilarious fake propeller noise the entire time. These games range from collecting balloons above Benjamin Franklin's house to a power-up fuelled ride through a castle reminiscent of Diddy Kong Racing’s plane matches. Successfully completing a mini-game will offer you the chance to change history by making a seemingly arbitrary choice. How these choices affect the past is difficult to tell, but the game treats you to funny little animations like the Rabbids saving the Titanic with absolutely thunderous bottom-burps.

With so much going on in the mini-games, it could be easy for the Museum hub to feel completely lifeless by comparison. Fortunately, Ubisoft has clearly spent a lot of time packing it full of fun things to do. Almost every item into which you bump your Rabbid will spark off some form of spontaneous mini-game, be it bouncing on trampoline or shooting masks to keep them from falling to the floor. These simple high score competitions can prove surprisingly addictive, and you can easily lose ten minutes mucking around with them if you’re not paying attention.

Elsewhere you can spend time playing dress-up with all of the period costumes you unlock by trying each mini-game, or you can strut your stuff in a slightly hit-and-miss dance game that is only worth a go for its period twists on famous songs such as the Bollywood YMCA and the 40th Symphony as performed by a Persian Snake Charmer. There’s a history pop quiz as well – however, the questions are based on the Rabbids' twisted historical misadventures, so there’s not a whole lot of learning to be had. Most entertaining is the singing game in which your Rabbids warble their way through the Blue Danube and other pieces of music in four-part harmony. It plays like a miniature version of Rock Band where you belt out different notes as the scrolling blocks reach the bottom of the screen, and despite sounding like something dreamt up by someone who’s eaten too much cheesecake, it’s actually rather spectacular when done correctly.

Progressing through the mini-games alone, however, can be frustrating at times due to a lack of instruction and the AI being all over the place. It's clear that as with most games of this nature, single-player wasn’t really what the developers had in mind. Getting four people together really livens up the experience, though, and you’ll have a blast competing with your friends – although having four skilled players can cause some of the games to run on for a bit too long.

The only major issue is that in both local play and online, all players are tethered together by roll of toilet paper, easily risking disruption by those who would rather instantly run off in opposite directions, spam the belch button and leap about the place than settle down long enough to activate a game. Couple this with overlong load screens between areas, and by the time you eventually get to play an event you’ll be old enough to display in a museum.

Conclusion

Raving Rabbids Travel in Time is another solid mini-game compilation offering funny flights of four-player fancy. Single-player is lacking and multiplayer is hampered by unnecessary toilet roll tethering, but get some agreeable people in the same room and this game can be fun for all the family. The exploration of the past may aim low with its humour, but if slapstick was good enough for Chaplin, it’s good enough for the Rabbids, and you’ll certainly find yourself chuckling along with the fun – even if you're too embarrassed to do so very loudly.

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User Comments (27)

Aviator

#2

Aviator said:

That subtitle made me sad. These annoying creatures are too annoyingly cute to be put down.

V8_Ninja

#4

V8_Ninja said:

Maybe it's that I'm from America, but I'm pretty sure you don't put "an" in front of "history".

Zach

#5

Zach said:

@V8 Ninja No, you do. It's because "A historical" sounds like "ahistorical".

Terra

#6

Terra said:

My sister bought this yesterday (Alongside getting Rabbids Go Home as a gift from me at Christmas), and it does seem quite fun but it's not my sort of game.

theblackdragonAdmin

#7

theblackdragon said:

@Zach: actually, it has nothing to do with intended meaning, but everything to do with sound. it could go either way depending on how the speaker would personally voice the 'h' in 'history' (if voiced as a vowel, use 'an', if voiced as a consonant, use 'a'). Blakey is from the UK, which would probably explain what happened here.

Machu

#9

Machu said:

We play Rabbids every year at Christmas, it always provides the right amount of laughter and fun. :) This year, oh dear. :| Worst of the lot! :(

Zach

#10

Zach said:

@tbd You're right, it could go either way, but a lot of people in the U.S. use "an" as well even when pronouncing the "h" as a consonant. :-)

Edit: Now I get what you're saying. I think it's cultural - Europeans say "an historical" because of the silent "h," while Americans can either say "a historical" or "an historical," but those that use the latter do so because "a historical" sounds too much like "ahistorical." I think that this usage is becoming more popular, too, I've heard and read it a lot. Though now that I'm searching online I can't find much info on it, that's the way it was taught to me - to differentiate between "ahistorical" - though it was explained that there was a bit of a debate about it in linguistics going on.

HipsterDashie

#11

HipsterDashie said:

I enjoyed the first Rabbids game, and Rabbids Go Home, but I really didn't like this one (my brother got it for Christmas). It just seemed tedious and boring, not to mention whilst walking to an exit area I managed to walk straight through a wall, trapping myself and forcing me to restart the game. :(

/goes back to playing Sonic Colours

SuperMarioFan96

#13

SuperMarioFan96 said:

Never really had the others, played TV Party at a friends house a few times but that's about it. IMO this sounds great! I asked for it for Christmas and will probably get it whenever it is I get my present from my aunt.....

BulbasaurusRex

#14

BulbasaurusRex said:

@10 Not that I've ever heard among American speakers.

Still waiting for Rayman to pull a "Metroid 2" on these stupid creatures...

OrdonianLink

#15

OrdonianLink said:

funny how almost half of these comments are grammar-related, lol. Anyways, I read the first shut-them-down thing and it had me worried, but they held through, yeah!

rwq

#17

rwq said:

The graphics in the trailer look very nice I must say. But seeing the hilarious little rabbids in action makes me want to arrange SlapstickIn3dAnimationCon, attract as many would-be 3d-physical-humor-comedians as possible, then tactically nuke the place on the first day. Enough already!

LEGEND_MARIOID

#19

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Thanks for the good revw. My wife's nephews bought this game so we had a multi-player bas at it.

Compared to the previous four rabbids game this is a poor cash in and a step back for the series. Very boring and doesn't have the humour effect on me it did back when the trilogy was tickling my ribs. The hub is poor as well. There isn't enough content and the mini-games are actually quite samey.

This isn't in the same league as the most underrated game on the Wii, Wii Party. If you play all the modes, the majority of the mini-games and play it in multiplayer and co-op - Wii Party an outstanding piece of family gaming software (9/10)

HOWEVER, its still better than the vast majority of the mini-game comps on the wii and the controls work fine. There 6/10.

Ubisoft need to stop this and make another Rabbids Go Home style game.

manleycartoonist

#20

manleycartoonist said:

I want a new Rayman game instead. I recently had to throw out my Rayman 2 shirt that came free with my Dreamcast Disc... That shirt was not made for 8 years of wear and tear.

outrun2sp

#23

outrun2sp said:

Its games like this that put the Wii in the bracket that it is today. Japanese public (the core of the wii development etc) does not care one bit about games like this but in eu / america they are chart toppers.

And that isnt a good thing by the way.

Vinsanity

#24

Vinsanity said:

+10000 points for Nintendolife, since they referenced Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure in the intro. Everyone knows that series is the superior 80's/90's time travel movie...sorry Back to the Future:)

Anyway, I agree. Where is Rayman? And screw Rayman Origins. That looks stupid. Rayman literally looks like a moron, and his stupid friend what-his-face (Globox) is also an idiot. Rayman 2 is one of the greatest action-adventures/platformers/character action games (pick your poison) ever made. Ubi should really make another run at making a game like that again. Got nothing against the Raving Rabbids, but a successor to Rayman 2 would be preferable.

Natendo64

#25

Natendo64 said:

Honestly, this was my favorite game of the series. Especially because of the introduction of online play.
@Vinsanity: There is a Rayman 3, but it was released a while back, and a Rayman 4 would be great, I agree.

NESGuy1996

#27

NESGuy1996 said:

The only true flaw of this one is its price. There is a serious lack of content in this volume...there are only around 20 mini-games this time around, and they're pretty much hit-or-miss in my opinion. The only redeeming content in this installment is the online multiplayer...and although I didn't get to fully test it out (I rented the game from Blockbuster for a seven day period), I'd assume that the online community is swarming with the game's target audience- pre adolescents who wouldn't offer much of a challenge in terms of competition.

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