At some point you have to wonder why Ubisoft feels compelled to continue putting the Rayman name on its Raving Rabbids titles. As on other platforms, Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 for the DS barely even features that limbless French guy with the hair, instead focusing almost entirely on those adorably deranged rabbids. If only they had focused instead on providing lots and lots of fun minigames, we might be raving too. As much fun as it is to watch the rabbids twitch, whack one another with hammers, and scream incoherently at the absolute tops of their lungs, the game itself feels a little thin. There simply aren't enough minigames, and what's there is often so simple that it usually doesn't merit revisiting.
Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 operates under the premise that the rabbids, having run roughshod across Rayman's world, have now come to Earth. This means that minigames now occasionally get some regional window dressing, and the single-player adventure mode has you going all Carmen Sandiego, trotting across a world map to play different rabbid-filled minigames. While there's no shortage of rabbids, the game could definitely use a few more minigames. There are six different locations in the game, each with six minigames. Expect plenty of repetition, as the minigames aren't always unique from location to location, and the sixth minigame in every location is always a crude four-button rhythm game featuring rabbid karaoke versions of goofy songs like "Funkytown" and "Smoke on the Water," though instead of playing the songs you just tap buttons to trigger canned sound effects in a rhythmic fashion. The game is structured in such a way that you'll have to play minigames repeatedly in order to advance, as well as to unlock weird extras to dress your bunny up with.
That repetition wouldn't be so bad if the minigames were more consistent in quality and a little deeper, though to its credit, Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 fully embraces all of the DS touch-screen functionality, and the simple gameplay is used to prop up some pretty good gags. You'll spit in another rabbid's milk shake while he's not looking; you'll speed-eat sinister-looking chili peppers and use the ensuing flames to rocket yourself into the air; you'll toss another rabbid as far out of a wrestling ring as you can; you'll go inside your rabbid's stomach to help relieve gas; and more. Unfortunately, a lot of the minigames seem to involve a lot of scribbling really fast, or simply matching images as quickly as possible. There are a few minigames that use the mic, which can be fun if you can get past how alternately embarrassing and frustrating they are to play.
After you beat a minigame in the adventure mode, you can revisit it in the score mode, which generally just offers higher-score requirements. The multiplayer, which can be played locally and includes single- and multicart play, would be more enticing if there were more minigames worth revisiting. You can customize your bunny by mixing and matching costume pieces, as well as by drawing on the bunny itself. For what it's worth, the bunnies look pretty good, and the game's art style does a nice job of blending 2D and 3D elements. On the other hand, the sound consists largely of lo-fi shrieks and squeals that you'll hear over and over.
Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 is engaging enough for about an hour, but after you've played all of the minigames once or twice, you'll be done with it. The inclusion of four-player single-cart multiplayer is a nice touch, and it's got the right kind of slapstick attitude, but there's just not enough of a game here to get into.