Following on from our previous hands-on with the game, we recently had the opportunity to try out some more of Rayman's minigames. Rayman Raving Rabbids, which deviates quite some way from the franchise's arcade-platform roots, doesn't feature much in the way of an overall story arc, or even an adventure. Even so, the game does a good job of not getting tied down by any single set of controls, instead varying them from minigame to minigame.
The plot in the game is fairly simple--the rabbids have taken over, imprisoned Rayman's friends, and locked him in a gladiatorial cell. Every day for 15 days Rayman must face four challenges and entertain the crowd. Success will unlock various goodies, such as new clothing and music, and eventually your aim is to have Rayman hailed as a hero. But while we didn't get to see any more of the story mode in action other than those few details, we did get to play a few more of the 70-plus minigames that will form the challenges.
The first was a cow-tossing game in which Rayman must spin a cow around and try and throw it as far as possible. The basic principle is similar to the hammer throw in athletics, and this lasso motion is replicated by using the Wiimote. By whirling it around as quickly as possible you'll build up momentum, and when you're up to speed you need to release the cow at just the right time. This is accomplished by pressing the Wiimote's trigger, but timing is essential or else you'll end up sending the cow in the wrong direction. Which is funny, sure, but won't get you many points.
Another of the minigames we played was a variation of the playground game known in France as 'One Two Three Stop!', in which players must try to creep up on a person but remain perfectly still if that person turns around. In Rayman you need to pump both controllers up and down in a running motion, and then thrust the Wiimote out in front of you, aiming it at a circle that will move around the screen. You need to keep aiming within the circle as it moves, or else you'll be caught and it's game over. After about six rounds of this you should reach your target, but progress made in each round depends on how fast you can pump your arms to move.
A third minigame we tried out involved something like a cross between Indiana Jones and ski-jumping, and required us to jump a mine cart from a mineshaft track and off the edge of a small cliff, trying to get as much distance as possible before landing. The actions for this game were much simpler, with just enough pumping of the arms to get up to speed before the jump, and using a single boost button to give you some extra power. It's one of the simpler games in terms of controls, but it's also one of the most intensely active.
Finally, there were some more details on customisation, with a few of the possible costumes that Rayman can wear. Sunglasses, hairstyles, jumpers, and trousers can all be changed, with a number of styles available, including granny and gangsta. We'll have more details on how the other minigames play out, as well as how the game comes together as a whole, in the coming weeks.