Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 - hands-on

Love them or loathe them, if you were even remotely interested in Wii this time last year there was no way you could have ignored Rayman and his terrifying Rabbid chums. The original game was probably the most high profile Wii launch title except for Wii Sports and Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and although we weren't all that taken with it at the time, it proved to be a big success for Ubisoft.

The sequel, we're happy to report, fixes practically everything we found annoying about the first version and looks set to stand head and shoulders above every other minigame compilation we've played. We visited Ubisoft's Paris studio for some extended hands-on time with Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 and came away suitably impressed by the amount of party-loving fun the developers have managed to pack into it.

The biggest change is that it's now an exclusively multiplayer experience. We tested it with a full complement of four players, which is the way almost all of its new minigames are designed to be played. A handful are hot-seat games, in which players take turns, but if there are ever less than four people playing in the rest of them then AI characters will fill in.

Also, instead of having to play as Rayman himself, you normally play as a customised Rabbid. There are thousands of possible combinations, including spoofs of famous videogame and comic book characters that may or may not make the final cut. Your personal Rabbid avatar will appear on the online leaderboards, which are updated directly via the Wii rather than through the clumsy website code system of the original.