November 21, 2011

Home Invasion

Lasting First Impressions of Rabbids Alive & Kicking from Ubisoft

Rabbids Boxart The Rabbids were first introduced with Rayman in Rayman Raving Rabbids in 2006 and was a collection of mini-games for the Wii.  It made wonderful use of the then-new Wii-mote style of motion controls and the Rabbits quickly became a household name on their own, spawning multiple sequels.  Now, Ubisoft brings us the Rabbids’ first foray on the Xbox Kinect, Rabbids Alive & Kickinga return to the mini-game style in the same vein as the original.  In fact, many of the games found in Rayman Raving Rabbids are found, updated, here.

Rabbids Alive and Kicking is a party game at its heart and is meant to be shared with more than just one person and can be played with up to 16 people.  Playing this game as a single player can and will get boring and a little tedious at best.  Each mini-game presented can last anywhere from several seconds, to several minutes.  Unfortunately, the smaller of these mini-game (i.e. the ones that last a few seconds) make the game more about waiting for the game to load than it is playing it.


The mini-games themselves, however, are fun to play and several will make you want to continue trying it until you get it just right. Ubisoft has done a fantastic job bringing together a collection of games that truly take every possible control scheme imaginable for Kinect into one title.  One particular activity is a fun take on the classic Archanoid game in which you control a fireman moving up an down a fireman’s pole to deflect the Rabbids’ fiery marshmallow before it sets the firehouse ablaze.  Another has you playing the role of a fish swimming up a river (which happens to be a flooded city street) collecting bonuses and dodging the Rabbids trying to catch you.  Several games even incorporate you and your living room right into the game for a wonderful take on augmented reality; dodging spotlights, dancing while the Rabbids aren’t watching then hiding when they look, playing a virtual guitar ala Rock Band, etc).  Interacting with virtual onscreen objects is hilarious and quite amusing and something no other game has brought to Kinect since its introduction.  This augmented reality, however, is only a small portion of the 40+ mini-games available.  More of this style games would have made the title much more unique.


Most games are fairly easy to play and the Kinect controls are solid.  That being said, however, many games are not very clear as to what you need to do.  I found several games took me a time to understand what I was supposed to do but once I did, I enjoyed the majority of them and there is certainly enough variety found here to keep you coming back for more.  And bringing your whole family along for the ride.

Kinect has been sorely lacking in the party game/mini-game genre and Rabbids Alive and Kicking fills that void.  It may not be the number one game to pick up this time of year and will certainly be overshadowed by the colossus titles that were just released, but it is still worth checking out if you’re looking for a fun and amusing party game for friends and family to enjoy together.  Like right around Christmas time, for example?

Ubisoft, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.  Let the party begin!

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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