c_rakestraw's Rabbids Go Home (Wii) review

The collect-athon done right

After having been featured in a few minigame-based titles, the Rabbids have grown tired of their old life and have decided to head home... to the moon. (I guess that means they're aliens?) How? In the most ridiculous way possible: by building a humongous pile of junk to get there.

The plan: Run down to the nearby city and steal whatever isn't nailed down and transport it back via shopping cart. The target: Anything. Bottles of soda, food, briefcases, tires -- you name it, they want it.

This leads the Rabbids to infiltrate the various business establishments across the city, with the goal of take anything that isn't nailed down in mind. Surprisingly, that applies to just about everything you see, as evident by the numerous white circles -- the things that dictate what items can be picked up -- all over. Seems the city's citizens don't care for their stuff much. Well, at least not until you start taking it. Then they start going nuts.
Seems seeing a bunch of rabbit-like things running about in a shopping cart makes them uneasy, as they start running away at the mere sight of them, and climb atop various things in the area. Can't say I blame them either. I mean, wouldn't you run if a bunch of animals were trying to strip you of your possessions and clothing? (Hey, I did say they'd take anything.)

They're attitudes betray their actions, though. Rather than screaming with fear, the humans tend to just think it's some odd game the Rabbids are playing, or kindly just kindly ask for their stuff back (yeah, like that's gonna happen). But even so, they're exclamations are usually hilarious. From they're empty threats (e.g. "I'm warning you! I warned you!") to their strange requests to "call them" (look, I don't know what you guys are into, but you don't want to get involved with those guys. Trust me), the citizens always have something funny to say.

The Rabbids also constantly add to the hilarity with they're crazy antics. While dashing about grabbin' stuff, you'll occasionally find an item that triggers a brief cut scene showing the Rabbids playing around with the item in question. From recording their own message on an answering machine to riding a toy car around in circles, the Rabbids get amusement from anything, as evident by their constant laughter during these sequences. They don't necessarily add anything of note to the game, but they're certainly great for some laughs regardless.

Of course, the humans being the victims here (and not having a sense of humor, apparently), they quickly deploy a group of exterminators called Verminators to dispatch the rabid rabbity-things. Their plan doesn't go to well, though, as these guys and gals are easily dispatched. All it takes is a couple screams from the Rabbids (which is done by shaking the Wii remote) thereby cause their suits to explode, rendering them harmless in the process. Why explode? Who knows. All the Rabbids care about is getting their clothes so they can add it to their pile of assorted junk. An easy feat thanks to how the Verminators are a bunch of cowards.

Just like the average pedestrians, these exterminators are downright frightened of the Rabbids. The second you score a hit on them, they starting running away crying for their mommies. The same also goes for their various attack dogs (except for the crying for their mothers part). As a result, combat (if you can call it that) is a cakewalk.

Not that that's a problem, by any means. In fact, it's better off for it, as I found the combat to be less fun than the rest of the game is. And that's because being stuck in a small arena fighting of sometime multiple waves of enemies slows the otherwise manic pace of the game. They're a nice change of pace, I'll admit, but I just didn't find myself enjoying it as much as, say, throwing Rabbids about the insides of the remote.

Speaking of which, did you know? Wii remotes are actually inhabited by Rabbids. Crazy, I know, but it's true. I've seen it for myself. They aren't just some house squatter, though, no sir, they're there for a reason: to abuse them. Before you start crying foul, you should know that they absolutely love being thrown about. They always sound like they're having the time of their lives, what with all the laughter and the goofy, totally psyched up look on their faces. So, really, you're doing them a favor.

If mindless acts of violence aren't your cup of tea (in which case there is something seriously wrong with you), then you can always just customize the appearance of your Rabbids instead. Thanks to the handy paint tool within the remote (man, that thing's got everything!), you can paint them in a variety of colors, stamp various symbols and patterns on them, among other things. You can also change the size and placement of their eyes and ears, as well as place various "hats" on them. So all you creative types out there should be able to keep yourselves entertained for months.

Before you can start dabbling in that area, however, you have to unlock that stuff first. How? Simple: just grab stuff and take it to a collector Rabbid. You'll know when you see one 'cause it's playing a tuba which it uses to store the items you give it. Yeah, I know -- this game is weird.

Prizes aren't the only thing those guys are good for, though. They also prevent all the junk you've collected from being lost to the void upon death. Something that will no doubt happen frequently due to, 1) the camera which makes lining up jumps and avoiding obstacles hard, 2) the cart's less than tight turning (just like a real one!), and 3) the less than optimal platforms you have to jump to and from.

As you can probably gleam from that paragraph, the platforming, and anything else requiring loads of precision, isn't too good. The problem is that the game simply isn't designed for such things. It's more about fast, out-of-control madness than slow, precise jumping puzzles. Such things have no place here.

Thankfully, the game's hilarity factor helps keep them from grating too heavily on the nerves. Aside from the aforementioned dialog, the game's audio and visual elements also add to the fun. The music does so by making it's trumpet and tuba-based tunes sped up to ridiculously high levels making for some fun and very befitting music to follow the action.

And the visuals do so by presenting a very cartoon-ish aesthetic that makes it feel as though you're living a cartoon. The best example of this are the short animated intros showing what the main target of the level is. The style used in these scenes is also used in-game, with characters having humongous heads and skinny bodies, and environments being rendered with plenty of vibrant colors. The style doesn't translate to the third-dimension perfectly, though -- environments look kinda flat, and characters faces, aside from the Rabbids, don't have any emotion -- which is disappointing.

But in grand scheme of things, the weak visuals don't really do much to drag down the experience. Heck, you'll probably be too busy laughing at the all the craziness to care much about it. Fun is really all that matters here, and on that part, Rabbids Go Home delivers.

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