A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a party game featuring a group of androgynous, slightly off-kilter bunnies wholly lacking in common sense. They enjoy whacking each other, releasing bodily gasses, riding cows down ski slopes, and generally making goofs of themselves. Only the goof is really the player, since he or she is the one controlling the rabbids. That said, it's all in good fun. The game is immature without being particularly offensive -- there's no sexuality, language, or extreme violence, though its TV theme does create a rather commercial mood. It offers a local multiplayer mode that makes for great social gaming experiences.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Those rascally rabbids are back in RAYMAN RAVING RABBIDS: TV PARTY, a collection of minigames with a boob tube theme. The game begins with a group of the bug-eyed, bunny-like creatures being struck by a lightning bolt that simultaneously makes contact with the TV antenna of Rayman's house, transporting them inside his television set. Now they star in his programs all day long, seven days a week, taking on the roles of athletes in sports programming, pop stars on the music channel, and characters in old horror and sci-fi movies.
Predictably, these programs are actually minigames. Solo mode has players surfing channels from dawn till dusk, selecting the games they want to play as they're broadcast, while Party mode lets up to eight players take turns or go head-to-head in series of seven or more minigames. If you do well enough in each game, you'll unlock new costume pieces and accessories, which can be used in TV Party's final mode: World Contest, a challenge that sees players dressing up their rabbids to fit a particular theme (such as \"in the wild\"), then voting on which costumes are the best.
Is it any good?
The first game in the Raving Rabbids series was a hot seller for the Wii because it let players experiment with the unique capabilities of Nintendo's remote and nunchuk controllers. It's been two years, and there are now plenty of games that offer fun, unexpected things to do with these peripherals, but TV Party keeps the Raving Rabbids franchise on the leading edge of innovative motion sensitive interface with minigames that see players using Nintendo's controllers as everything from a motorcycle's handlebars to a flashlight. What's more, TV Party makes use of the Mario Kart Wii steering wheel peripheral as well as the Wii Fit Balance Board (which players can sit on and then lean from side to side to steer a cow down a mountain).
That said, there are also a few too many rehashes. TV Party's music rhythm games, which involve shaking the remote and nunchuk in accordance with on-screen cues, have been seen before in both previous entries in the series. Ditto for the plunger shooting episodes, which place players behind a camera on rails and have them point the remote at the screen to target stray rabbids wandering about movie sets. It's fun stuff, just not quite as compelling as it once was.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the sort of slapstick comedy exhibited by the game's rabbids. Why do we often find humor in people who hurt themselves while involved in inadvisable activities? Is it ethical to laugh at this sort of misbehavior? Assuming it can be funny under appropriate circumstances, do you laugh at yourself when you get a bruise or a scrape while doing something you know you probably shouldn't have?