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February 27, 2015

RABBIDS MONTH: Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party

This is the last time you see it. I promise.
Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party - Bottom 12 / Top 13 Minigames

This is it, the (not really) chilling conclusion! The (far from) epic finale! The game to end all games (that have already ended)! The last part for Rabbids Month! When you start playing RRRTVParty, you create a profile (with an avatar, a name, and whether you're left or right-handed), and then you're brought to the main menu. There are 4 options: Solo Mode (Story Mode, actually), Party Mode, Training and World Contest. There's also two VHS cassettes on the top-right corner of the screen. The first, which gets unlocked when you beat Solo Mode, is Credits, the second sends you back to profile selection. Let's look at the Solo Mode.

I knew some TV shows had many characters, but in this case,
the TV itself has too many characters!
It's a dark and stormy.... uh... day. Rayman is being chased by Rabbids. Thunder strikes. Rayman manages to hide in an abandoned house (now, whether or not that house was abandoned because of the Rabbids is never mentioned – I'll pretend they died of H1N1, because that makes even less sense than being attacked by Rabbids). The Rabbids chased by Rayman are zapped by thunder, and somehow wind up converted into electric signals. Rayman thought he was safe in the house.... but then the electricity goes into the TV, re-converting into images of Rabbids. And uh oh, it looks like they've entered TV Land. Don't ask how, you'd probably go insane trying to figure it out. Rayman keeps changing the channel, but the Rabbids are everywhere... and they annoy him to no end! How long until he goes crazy? Place your bets, everyone! I'm betting on two days. Rayman turns off the TV, but then he sees that the Rabbids are still there. One goes from 3D to 2D, and then the channels start switching by themselves...

This is where you pick the minigame for each block.
In 3 seconds, the Rabbid will mess it up.
How does the “Story Mode” work? Each day is cut into seven TV programming blocks. You have to select one minigame among 7 that are presented to you. Yep, the Rabbids invaded 7 different TV channels. I'm just glad they didn't invade anything important yet. I seriously hope one of those channels used to be FOX News. So, every day you have to play through 7 minigames. Every day has different minigames on each programming block, but you can only pick one minigame per block. Once you've gone through a day (seven minigames), you get a cutscene. Also, each time you play a minigame, you unlock it in Party Mode. Also, forget Easy Mode and Normal Mode; you can play to get the high score anytime, even in Story Mode, or in Party Mode! Now that I explained that, how about we see how long Rayman lasts?

It's the first time a Rabbid is happy to see a crack.
They've been mooned in the past.
After Day 1, which Rayman spent cleaning around the house (the inhabitants, who died because of radioactive hamsters, will be so happy!), the Rabbids are still annoying, so Rayman unplugs the TV... to no avail. The Rabbids are still noisy. Rayman punches the TV, causing cracks to appear on the screen... On Day 2, the Rabbids found out they could toy with the TV settings from inside the TV. They're making the screen super bright, then bringing it back to normal, the super bright again, all to stop Rayman from sleeping. Angry, Rayman tosses something at the screen, and more cracks appear. On Day 3 (Damn, I lost my bet!), the Rabbids are raising the volume to the maximum, preventing Rayman from enjoying a good night of sleep. Angry, Rayman tries to duct tape the television... to no avail, as somehow the duct tape gets blown off. Angered, Rayman throws the TV out the window. When the TV hits the ground, the screen cracks a little more... On Day 4, the TV (still outside and still working) annoys a local community of moles. Rayman is finally enjoying some calm, but then there's a knock on the door. He goes to open, and he sees a 2D Rabbid! The moles literally brought the TV back to him! They toss the TV on Rayman and leave. The screen cracks even more. Boy, when is this torture going to END??

Leaking gutter? Duck it. You destroyed a chair? Duck it.
Broken leg? Duck it. Annoying Rabbid? DUCK IT!

It's true, though; it does look calm.
Inside, however, it's another story entirely. Poor Rayman.
Day 5: The Rabbids had stayed calm in the TV for a good part of the day, but soon they're going back to their ways, annoying Rayman greatly... so he puts the TV on the toilet and slams the cabinet's door on them. Day 6: The Rabbids found a way to flush the toilet even though they're still in the TV screen, so Rayman grabs the TV again and puts it in the kitchen sink, which causes the interior of the TV to fill with water. The Rabbids scream, causing the shack's plumbing to go all kinds of wrong (because of.... sound waves, I guess????) and making the place even worse than before. Night 7: Rayman has managed to get the TV to work, kinda, and is enjoying the SuperBowl (Even if it might actually be rugby – hey, don't look at me like that, when it comes to sports I know almost nothing!), but the Rabbids keep popping up to halt his viewing. Rayman finally snaps, grabs his own foot and tosses it at the television, which falls off the little table. This time, the screen breaks completely, and the Rabbids inside the television return to normal. BWAAAAAAAAH! They go after Rayman, who can't do anything but escape. They chase him out of the house, but one Rabbid comes back after noticing he turned the vacuum cleaner on by stepping on it. Credits roll. What follows is a series of Rabbid antics in the shack, ending with a gag of him hearing the phone ring and then yelling when the phone stops. That joke lasts WAY too long. He yells, the phone rings, he yells, the phone rings, he yells the phone rings he yells the phone rings heyellsthephoneringsheyellsthephoneringsheyellsthephonerings SHUTTHEHELLUP!

I told you to duck it! Will you shut up, you annoying
piece of... Just shut yer yap, dumbass bunny!

So, after this (ahem) plot, we can look at the options! First off, Party Mode. You select the number of players (Minimum 2, maximum 8) and then the profile each player will use. After which you can select either a number of “days” (maximum 3 days, for a total of 21 minigames) or “minutes” (Once the time limit ends, so does the party; it ranges from 20 to 90 minutes). After which you select a scoring method: Normal, where only the first 4 players will get points; Raving, where the player in second place gets nothing (that was also in RRR2Wii); or Yard Sale, where everyone gets points according to their rank in each minigame. The winner of the last minigame picks the next one. At the end, whoever has the most points is declared the winner of the entire party. Between the minigames, there are also some extra minigames that can be played to decide who plays next.

There's also Training Mode, in which you can practice every minigame. You can even practice with friends, if you want. Just one problem: For some reason, you unlock a minigame in Training Mode by getting 10,000 points on it in Story Mode... I can understand how Training Mode can be used by people who don't want a competition and just want to have fun, but even then, you need to get a good score in every minigame first. This mode can also be used with newbie players who are playing RRRTVP with you. Finally, this mode can be used to play minigames at your leisure, with scores not being important... even though you can still do that in Story Mode. Well, uh.... at least it separates all the minigames in their respective categories (the seven TV channels invaded by Rabbids).

The last option was World Contest. In it, you had to play Pimp My Rabbid (a RRTVP minigame in which you dress up your Rabbid based on some indicators), and then your “pimped” Rabbid would take part in a world competition. People could go vote on the official Rabbids website for their favorite Rabbid. Kinda sad, then, that the Wi-Fi Connection was terminated...

Now that I'm talking about it, there is something that really bugs me about TV Party. Remember, in RRR1Wii, you could dress Rayman up in 9 different attires. In RRR2DS, you could dress your Rabbid with over 60 items (hats/wigs, clothes and objects). In that same game, but for the Wii, you had such a large selection of hats/wigs, clothes or clothing ensembles, that the possibilities were nearly endless. Here? Well, yeah, the possibilities are still relatively endless (after all, there are, in fact, about 60 different items you can put on your Rabbid, including hats/wigs, clothes, and even full body disguise)... there's just one downside. All that stuff? You can only use it for the minigame Pimp My Rabbid. You can't dress up one Rabbid in particular and use that Rabbid in all the minigames. That's pretty sad, since that's part of what made RRR2 so impressive! You could use a custom Rabbid everywhere! It was great! Here? It's limited to one minigame, and a horrible one at that. There is a part of challenge, however:
-If you beat 15,000 in a minigame, you get an item for Pimp My Rabbid.
-Also, a few minigames here and there have one additional gift hidden somewhere. The hard part is to find it, since it's usually hidden in minigames that take place around a large field (such as racing minigames).

Beestie Boarding. 4 of them.
Oh, and while I've still got some venom to spew, let's talk about the minigames, shall we? I'm not usually one to complain too much about minigames, because the good stuff usually overshadows the bad stuff and I find myself perfectly happy playing the minigames I like and leaving aside the ones I don't. And here, the minigames are, for the most part, fun. They also work very well (a few here and there have defects, but I'll get over it in next Monday's post). No, the problem resides... somewhere else. I keep on praising the creativity in the Raving Rabbids series. So many minigames, so many different options, so much stuff to try! Most of the time, the selection of minigames is very diverse, showing the development team at Ubisoft Paris racked their brains and tried to think of many ways to use our little screaming bunnies in the context of TV shows. Sadly, here, the selection is a lot less diverse. There's a whole channel dedicated to the music minigames, a whole channel dedicated to the dance minigames, and then every other channel has a recurring minigame. Trash TV has the farm tractor races (3 of them), X-TRM SPORTS has the downhill deer riding (5 of them), Cult Movies has the Bunny Hunt minigames (which work differently from the Bunny Hunt minigames of the other two Wii games I reviewed this month; there's still 4 of them), The Raving Channel has the Lotto minigame (4 of them)... See what I mean? About half the minigames are just repeats. This greatly decreases the level of creativity for the minigames in TV Party, when compared to the other games in the series (then again, for buying – and playing – Rabbids Rumble recently, I can assure you: Rumble is even WORSE on that aspect). Heck, I don't even know if there are enough minigames so that I can make a Bottom 12 and a Top 12 list next Monday!

Jackpot. 4 of them. And this one sucks

Here, let me calculate. … … … … … Oh hey, we do have 25 “different” minigames! I'm cheating a little, but I guess it's gonna work if I make one of the lists a Top 13. That means I'm going to be looking at every minigame in RRRTVP this Monday... I never thought I'd find myself doing that, but it seems like I don't have anther choice...

Bunnies aren't Billy Mays. They are energetic, happy,
annoying, but they have no idea how to advertise stuff.
A final thing about the minigames: Sometimes you'll see an “Advert” pop up on the screen. If you press 1 on the Wii remote, you'll be brought to a TV ad featuring a Rabbid – and their usual stupidity. Those only last a few seconds, so you could call them “microgames” (Wario, you are allowed to sue). There's about two things that you'll have to do: Either swing the remote quickly, or shake it for a few seconds. If you did that in the allotted time limit, you get a funny scene, thus ending the microgame, and then you'll be back to the actual minigame. If you won, you get a bonus that will either give you more points or better chances at scoring. That's a pretty neat feature, and I think its a rather clever idea, but that makes me wonder if the Rabbids should actually get their own microgame collection, à la WarioWare. Hey, it could work. Also, those microgames are in 2D, a pretty cool art shift from the CG Rabbids. Oh, also, the very last minigame in Story Mode is Megaclicker, where you play a rapid succession of those microgames and you have to go faster with every microgame. A great way to end the plot, in my opinion.

Here, you can see someone else scoring high on Megaclicker.
P.S. You don't even have to click on anything in this game!
Why "Megaclicker", then?

There are also some cute or funny cutscenes before every
minigame. I guess that's good.
So... I guess that covers everything there was to say about this game... final thoughts? Um... I'm kinda split about this one. It's not bad, Heck, it's probably better than RRR1Wii, if only because it doesn't contain glitches hat prevent 100% completion, insane score requirements and stuff like that. But on the other hand, it's lesser than RRR2Wii: No Rabbid customization (outside of ONE minigame), Rayman is not playable in the minigames, there is less creativity... And yet, TV Party has fully-animated cutscenes through all of Story Mode (unlike RRR2), those “microgame” adverts, a literal Party Mode... Though, I must say the Party Mode certainly makes it better than RRR1, since players don't just have to wait for their turns; when it's not their turn, they can play tricks on the one currently playing. It's also pretty neat that you can use the Wii Balance Board with some minigames (after all, that damn thing's so expensive, you have to have more uses for it). Thankfully, it's never obligatory.

I might have a few lesser points of criticism about this game. The CG model for the Rabbids has changed, the proportions aren't quite the same, often giving them a slightly less cute appearance. It's not very apparent, but it can be perceived. For the music minigames, in the other three games I reviewed this month, you could tell the Rabbids were singing with their high-pitched voices, but it felt different enough from, say, the Chipmunks. It was a special kind of high-pitch. In TV Party, it just sounds like they did the Chipmunk voices on seven famous songs. What makes it worse is that in this game, the Rabbids had male and female singers reprising the songs with the "Rabbid voice", so not only does it manage to not sound like Rabbids, it is a complete failure at re-creating the unique Rabbid voice. Also, you have to beat 15,000 points in each minigame to unlock new costumes for your Rabbid. Some could make the argument that this game is even easier than the other three, and I can prove it: It is the only Rabbids game in which I've managed to score over 15,000 points on every single minigame, having really big problems doing so in only one minigame. I have beaten this game!

The second one sounds like a teenaged Eric Cartman!

Oh, and as a final thing, it feels like the game's plot goes to great lengths to show us how annoyingly stupid the Rabbids are. Hell, after a while it becomes difficult to like them. Oh, and of course, there's that final joke with the phone... *facepalm*

So yeah, I have a lot of negative to say about this one, but in all honesty, if you set aside its numerous small problems, it's still a lot more fun than the enraging scoring system in the first Rabbids game. It has a more fleshed-out Party mode than the other games, it accepts up to 8 players at once... Those are definitely upgrades, but its defects don't help it.

I can thus announce that the final order, from best to worst, is: RRR2Wii → RRRTVP → RRR2DS → RRR1Wii. Yep, finally, the first game ends up in last place. Kinda sad, isn't it? TV Party still manages to be better than two Rabbid games, so I guess that's cool...


Anyway, tune in Monday for the conclusion of Rabbids Month – A Bottom 12 list of the minigames I don't like in Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party, followed by a Top 12 list! See ya then!