LEIPZIG, Germany--Rushing around a crowded convention center getting from appointment to appointment can be a tiring and occasionally sweaty business, but it's got nothing on Rayman Raving Rabbids 2--especially if you're playing the game inside a box room at said convention center. The version of Ubisoft's maniacal minigame collection that we played today featured a number of the same games that we saw at E3 last month, but we also got to see a handful of new ones.
Before we go into the specifics of some of the new minigames, we should point out that Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 will now feature 50 rather than the previously announced 60 of them, for reasons unknown. Each minigame will be loosely based on a certain area--the United States of America, Europe, Asia, South America, or the Tropics--representing the five campaigns that you'll need to play through in single-player mode in order to unlock them all. We can also reveal that there will be many more rabbid-customization options in the game than we previously thought--enough that you could play alongside around 72,000 other players without encountering anyone with the exact same look as you. We played as a rabbid dressed in the complete Assassin's Creed hooded outfit today, but only after considering wardrobe alternatives that included cowboy hats, metal "robot" skin, an Indiana Jones costume, and a Viking helmet. One of our opponents even opted to play as Rayman--in a rabbid costume.
The first of the new games that we played was simply titled Burp, and predictably, it tasked us with out-burping our opponents. The game had a funny Raving Rabbids twist, of course, in that said bodily functions caused damage to the surrounding area, almost as if a bomb had exploded. Trees were uprooted, cars were sent flying through the air, and dust clouds were thrown up into the sky. The controls for the game were great, and basically just had us interact with the Wii Remote as if it were a beer bottle. First we had to shake it in an upright position, then we had to hit the A button to pop the lid off it, and finally we had to hold it up to our mouth and move it up and down some more.
Next up was one of Rayman Raving Rabbids 2's few cooperative games, in which two teams of two face off in an amusing bike race. The first player on each team uses the Wii Remote as a pair of handlebars and can use the 2 button to throw bottles of water at the opposition, while the second player simply moves the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk like pedals to accelerate. Obstacles on the track ensured that there was no shortage of chaos during the proceedings--especially after it occurred to us that we could deliberately push our opponents into them.
Other, more simplistic games that we played during our 10-game campaign today included using the Wii Remote as the plunger on a detonator to blow up a bomb just milliseconds before it did so automatically, frantically shaking both controllers up and down to run away from a giant Indiana Jones-style boulder, and concentrating on a game of chess simply by holding the controllers on either side of our head. How does the Wii measure how hard you're concentrating to determine a winner? Easy. It doesn't.
Having seen Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 on a few different occasions now, we've yet to find a minigame that we didn't enjoy. That certainly bodes well for what is, lets face it, a minigame collection on a console that has more than enough of them already. Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 is currently scheduled for release in November, and the fights in the office over who gets to review it are expected to kick off any day now.