Good if you're drunk, as it'll be over before you puke.
Story : I guess, it consists of a bunch of neurotic rabbits discovering the joy of television and living vicariously through their favorite brain-rotting programs. Most of the parodies are really clever, and everything from the channel logo-flourishes to the Happy Tree Friends-esque cutscenes involving the Rabbids breaking out of jail or whatnot provide plenty of beer-belly laughs. As for Rayman, if the once iconic mascot had any sort of important presence in these games in the past, it's long since been reduced to making a barely noticeable cameo here. Maybe he can return to making good adventure games.
If I can say one nice thing about Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party, it's that it's worlds better than Wii Sports or Wii Play. There's nothing quite as annoying as going to a party and being subjected to yet another remote-throwing Wii Bowling session hosted by someone who's trying too hard to justify their Wii Purchase. And being that the Wii lineup has been flooded with rushed out, low budget cash-in mini-game collections that makes one wonder what happened to the Nintendo Seal of Approval (and I totally predicted that the floodgates would open with these mini-game sets being that the Wii remote sensors are too inaccurate to support a fully grown game), a halfway decent party game to change up the flow is always welcome.
Which brings us back to TV Party. Up to four players sit in front of their real life television and watch the Rabbids watch their virtual television. Either the winner of the last round of competition or whomever was able to successfully guess the weather (the game has all kinds of unique quirks) chooses the next channel and thus the next game to play. Along the way, Flash cutscenes will depict the Rabbids in their assorted TV spoofs (including the occasional mid-game commercial sequence!) and, ideally, you and your friends will be taking shots as the action progresses.
Here's a bullet point listing of some of the mini-games one can expect to get inebriated to.
• A rail gun shooter where players must prevent the set of a zombie movie from being flooded by Rabbids in chicken suits.
• A snowboarding game where a Rabbid rides down the hill on the backside of a yak. The spirit of Ren and Stimpy lives on.
• A tractor hillbilly racing game with tighter controls than Mario Kart Wii.
• A fashion challenge where you must dress your Rabbid in clothes based on certain unspecific criteria. For example, the game may ask that your Rabbid be "sexy" and "cheap" without being "hairy".
• A bizarre game where each Rabbid is in a bouncy ball and must collect as many points as possible within a scrolling stage
• The asteroid field sequence from Star Wars, where you can destroy asteroids by drawing the Tetris shape that appears on them.
• A version of Rock Band with only two notes, one for each remote to waggle, and with much more inappropriate songs like Born to Be Wild to jam too. The syncing between notes and the song being played may actually be better here than in the past two Guitar Hero games.
• A dancing game where you recreate the motions of a dancer with a Wiimote. Don't be like us and all be sitting on the same sofa while playing this game.
Perhaps you're starting to see a recurring theme here in that you will be made to look a fool playing this. If you value dignity, you shouldn't be playing Raving Rabbids TV Party, or the Wii in general. This is definitely the ideal game to throw in once the liquor starts flowing like…errr…wine? At the end of the game, a Wheel of Fortune spoof appears and a random event will be thrown out, like a player will be made to change their name or clean their room. Such an end-game event is risky to throw in, as the odds are that said player will probably pass out if they're asked to clean their room.
Fortunately for us and unfortunately for the game, by the time we were politely asked to clean our mess, we were starting to get sick of the whole experience. There's about 10 or 15 actual different mini-games and you'll see almost everything the game has to offer in two hour-long sessions. By the time we approached our third play attempt, we were getting restless and moved on to dessert and more booze.
It also bears mention that the tractor and snowboarding games aren't played simultaneously by all players but one at a time, with the other three players occasionally being prompted to throw snowballs or dirt at the current player's screen. Certainly it's amusing the first time around, but it's still quite the flow breaker to have to sit by and not play. And while each race sessions is about one or two minutes long, that can feel like an eternity to those subjected to this game's pro-attention deficit disorder mentality.
I'll still stand that Mario Party 8 (provided you're not sick of the whole board game concept) and Warioware (provided you're not sick of…that!) make for the ideal Wii party games of choice. TV Party, on the other hand, definitely makes for a better drinking game than most of the Wii's lineup, but it lacks longevity. Whether or not you think it's worth your money will depend on whether or not you think a couple hours worth of wild entertainment is worth $50. That said, if for some reason, you're still not sick of Wii Sports after two years, here you go.
Pros : Because we're still in that year-long time frame between when Nintendo releases a new adaptor and thus forces as many developers as possible to shoehorn in uses for it before giving up and moving on to the next device they can profit of off, this game supports the Wii Fit Balance Board.
Cons : There's that whole calibration process that you have to go through before you can use it.
Why does this seem to be the most interesting Wii game of the holiday season?