It's strange. We actually quite enjoyed the original Rayman Raving Rabbids game and thought it was one of the stronger games to be found in the Wii's launch line-up. Our only quibble was that it was a bit easy and that the single-player mode could have done with a bit of beefing up. So quite why Ubisoft decided that the right course of action for the sequel was to do the exact opposite and completely eliminate any sort of single-player story mode really is beyond us.
The game starts brilliantly, with a hilarious FMV cut-scene showing the rabbids invading Earth and Rayman infiltrating their building. It's promising, because it suggests there are going to be loads of similarly entertaining japes along the way.
What's Up, Doc?
However, this opening cut-scene is the last you'll see of this sort of thing. Once you get to the main menu any semblance of a story is completely wiped away and you're just left with the option to play either multiplayer or single player mini-games and not much else. Sure, these games are grouped into different 'tours' based on their location (Europe, Asia etc) and as you play them you unlock various new costumes for Rayman or the rabbids but other than that, there's no real motivation to progress through the game. All you do is choose a continent and play through six mini-games from that region; that's it. You could probably play all the mini-games in just a couple of hours and after that there's not really much to hold your interest in single-player mode.
What's similarly frustrating is that, much as the game's named after Rayman, everyone knows the real stars of the show here are the rabbids. So the fact you have to play the single player tours as Rayman and can't choose a rabbid instead is a bit of a pain and rather takes away from the enjoyment (and by the way, developers: the fact Rayman's "taken helium" to sound exactly like the rabbids isn't fooling us; we know you were just too lazy to record voices for him).
A Mini Adventure
That said, the main point of the game is the mini-games themselves and thankfully the majority of them are enjoyable. Whether you're running around with an American football trying not to get hit by opponents, chasing a Spider-Man bunny through the streets or standing on a balcony and spitting into rabbids' cups of coffee, it's fair to say that you'll find yourself smiling regularly throughout the game. It's very obvious that this new game is all about the multiplayer and very little else.
It's A Shame About Ray
Let's face facts; Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 was primarily designed with multiplayer in mind and with four players taking part at the same time it's a genuinely great laugh, especially if none of you have played the game before. If you intend on playing the game regularly with three or four players then we strongly recommend it, but otherwise you'd be hard stretched to get the most out of your £40 here.
The mini-games are certainly very funny the first time around but, as with all games that try to rely on humour, they become less and less amusing the more that you play them. As it stands Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 is the best party game on the Wii and is ideal for a quick half-hour blast with mates and those all-important videogaming amatuers. If you're looking for anything other than that though, it'll leave you wanting more.