Name: Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party
Genre: Party Game
Platform: Wii, DS (Reviewed on Wii)
Believe it or not, there was once a time when limbless hero Rayman was known as a star of platforming games. He rose to fame in the PS1 generation, with the first Rayman title still fun to play today. However, a lot has changed in the last thirteen years, and in 2006, Rayman found his new home as a party game protagonist amongst the insane bunny-creatures in Rayman Raving Rabbids. Though at the time I was disappointed to see Rayman in a party game, the series has offered at least some entertainment in the past. With the latest entry in the franchise, Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party, though, the fun appears to be on its way out.
In TV Party, the Rabbids have gotten stuck in the TV and are torturing Rayman with Rabbid-based TV shows, which serve as the mini-games. In Story Mode, each block of programming represents one mini-game, and you must get enough points to clear each time before moving on to the next segment. Once all of the time slots from one day have been cleared, the game moves on to the following day, when it starts all over again. There is a decent variety of mini-games, including rhythm games, racing games, and platformer-esque waggle-fests, among others. Some of them can be entertaining or at least amusing, but others fall completely flat.
Like almost every party game, Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party is really meant to be played with friends, with the single-player mode existing mainly to unlock more games and familiarize the player with the controls. Unlocking new time slots, earning accessories, and trying to beat high scores is all fine and good, but the problem with TV Party is that some of the games feel more like a chore than anything else. For example, in one game you’re supposed to cook up some meat Cooking Mama-style by pushing the remote back and forth, and then swinging the controller up and down to throw it into the mouth of a starving animal. It’s easy enough, but not at all fun, and made me wonder why I would want to continue doing it.
As expected, the mini-games in TV Party use motion controls and other Wii peripherals, specifically the balance board and steering wheel. While this was a good idea in theory, in practice some of the games don’t work as well as they should. Dancing games in which you move your arms along with the figure onscreen are fun, and simple directions like shaking or rotating the Wii remote also work like they’re supposed to. Games in which you have to use the balance board, however, are generally not at all fun, and it’s usually preferable to turn off the balance board and use the remote instead. This makes TV Party the latest balance board-compatible game to be better off without it.
Despite all of these problems, there are still some things to like about TV Party. Like I said earlier, playing the story mode alone isn’t ideal, but if you have a few friends nearby, there are some laughs to be had. The presentation is funny, the Rabbids can be hilarious in their insanity, and while not graphically comparable to any 360 or PS3 game, the art style is distinct and enjoyable. If you find out which of the mini-games you really enjoy and stick to them, you’ll probably be a lot better off.
With an overwhelming number of party games already on the Wii, including the two previous Raving Rabbids titles, it’s hard to justify spending fifty bucks on this game. It’s not the worst one to be released on the system by a long shot, but it’s also not at the top of the pile, either. You will probably get your money’s worth out of a weekend or holiday vacation rental of TV Party, but the inconsistency and limited fun of the mini-games makes the title not worth buying.