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
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,
Sep. 13, 2011