The surprising thing isn’t that there’s a Raving Rabbids game coming out for Kinect this November, but that it took over a year for Ubisoft to herd the insane monsters onto a game that employs Microsoft’s body-controlled device. Their frantic minigames have been a hit on just about every platform, and the series’ many releases have found a way to incorporate nearly every controller and peripheral. Heck, they even made one that used the Wii Balance board. So when we had a chance to jiggle and gyrate to Raving Rabbids: Alive & Kicking, we took it – and prepared for the madcap mayhem Rabbids is known for.
Above: You can run, and you can, apparently, hide.
Alive & Kicking utilizes the Kinect’s cameras and microphones in a number of ways to allow for a wide variety of inane minigames. The first one we played featured a Rabbid who had, for whatever reason, put sock puppets on its hands. Naturally another Rabbid, donning a hunter’s outfit and carrying a shotgun, is gunning for them. Once the game began, its hands became our hands, and we had to move them around to dodge the hunter’s aiming reticule. It was surprisingly fun and difficult, made more complex as additional crosshairs came on the screen that needed to be avoided.
Above: It's snot what it looks like. Actually...it is.
But even though the hunter game took advantage of the sensor, it wasn’t until we played around with the augmented reality games that we really got a feel for what Kinect could bring to the Rabbids. Kinect warps the Rabbids into the real world with interesting (and disgusting) results. In one game, Ubisoft used the highly advanced Kinect camera, which has been utilized in medical and engineering fields with amazing results, to have a gigantic, green, gooey booger hang from our nose. By spinning our head around in circles we could catch a Rabbid on the gummy mucus, which we would then launch, shot-put style, into the distance with a hearty screamed. The Rabbid flipped and bounced into the ground, eventually coming to a halt – before being punted back by a football player. Tasteful? Not entirely. Hilarious? You betcha.
Above: Making air guitar 87% less cool.
Other games showed off players rocking out with augmented reality guitars and stomping on augmented reality Rabbids as they popped up out of the ground. The gimmick is obvious, but it uses the Kinect’s features without succumbing to its weaknesses, so we won’t complain. It doesn’t need to be tremendously inventive to be fun. Oh, and it also took pictures of us as we played, meaning we’ll have to remember to wear pants when we jump in it this November.
Our time with Alive & Kicking was brief, but it was enough to tell us what we already sort of knew: Raving Rabbids is silly fun no matter what platform it’s on. As long as the other games are as nonsensical as the ones we saw and played, we have little doubt it’s going to be a memorable, silly adventure.
Sep. 13, 2011