Rayman Raving Rabbids review
When the Nintendo Wii first debuted, Ubisoft’s Rayman Raving Rabbids turned into something of a sleeper hit. The game featured the popular platform action game star Rayman in a sequence of mini-games that emphasized the Wii’s novel control system.
Now it’s available for the Mac. And I have to wonder why.
Rayman, hero of a series of games including at least one that’s available on the Mac, is an animated character featuring a cartoonish head with large nose, a big forelock of hair, hands, feet and torso, but no arms or legs.
He finds himself captured by the eponymous Raving Rabbids, nutty bunnies with a vicious mean streak.
Screaming at him in a coliseum, the Rabbids want Rayman to participate in an increasing series of activities that test his reaction time and skills, such as a hammer toss that uses an overweight cow on a chain instead of a hammer, or a Wild West-style gunfight with plungers instead of six-shooters.
I can’t say that there’s any consistent narrative or thread that really makes the games or the game story coherent or consistent, but the zany insanity is part of the fun, and you take it in stride as part of the game play.
The Rabbids themselves are adorable, in a bug-eyed, psychotic sort of way; they’re fond of chattering at you and screaming, and their pudgy bodies and big heads make them squishably adorable, even if they’re rather evil.
Playing the game on the Wii is revelatory, at least for a new Wii owner; it was a great launch title for the Wii, precisely because we were still understanding how the Wii’s remote controls worked.
The cow toss, for example, encouraged you to swing the Wii remote around in a circle until the cow took flight. The gunfight game had you pointing at the Rabbids and firing with your Wii remote.
Of course, there’s no Wii remote for the Mac. So instead of using a device that you’re pointing in the direction of the screen—or at least of the Wii sensor bar - you’re simply using your mouse to point and click.
It’s simple gameplay, but it’s not nearly as rewarding, fun, or revelatory as the Wii version. Basically, Rayman Raving Rabbids just doesn’t translate very well to the Mac.