GAME NAME: Raving Rabbids: Alive and Kicking
PLATFORM(S): Xbox Kinect
RELEASE DATE(S): 4 November 2011
IT’S ALLIIIIVE! Well, the Rabbids are alive, and a plural, so that doesn’t really work. The premise of the latest title to feature the disgusting critters, Raving Rabbids: Alive and Kicking on the Kinect, is that the Rabbids have spilled over into the real world. And then attempt to take it over in a variety of ways.
Alive and Kicking is a minigame title. Before you clutch your head in dismay, this one is actually predominately good. There are over 35 games available that will see players headbanging, being a superhero or… waving their butts around? Players access these activities either through the Quick Play option, which is split into a list or a random choice, or through the Party Games menu. The Party Games support anything from three to sixteen players and has three sub-sections. Forfeit drops the poorest performing player until only one remains, The Kitty awards players in-game cash until one person takes the entire wad and Carrot Juice is basically a drinking game variant. The loser downs their ‘carrot juice’.
Some of the minigames are conventional in the sense that there is a pre-rendered background that Rabbids is asking you to interact with. Others make use of whatever the Kinect can see (your gaming area, namely), putting players into a frame and turning the depth and width of whichever room you use into a Rabbid-infested playground. The Whack A Rabbid game does this particularly well, popping up cheeky critters all over your floor. Players may however find themselves knocking over furniture while trying to tromp on a Rabbid.
Then there is the goofing-around mode, as if the rest of Alive and Kicking wasn’t goofy enough. My Raving Rabbid puts players onscreen in their gaming area with an interactive Rabbit. The object is to play with the little guy and this is done by beating the snot out of him, kicking him at the screen or using the in-game currency to buy objects for him/her/it to play with. And then kicking it at the screen. There is actually an Achievement called Pacifist, earned by leaving the Rabbid alone for two minutes. This is tougher than it sounds.
Whatever strange activity you wind up doing (and there are many), all make fine use of the Kinect sensor and body tracking – be it head or opposite end – has almost no problems. There are some timing issues with some of the games and the sensor seems to pick up too much at times, making you zig when you should zag. It doesn’t help that A&K does its level best to make players look like a bit of a twit and insists on snapping pictures at random moments while you are playing. These are supposed to be uploaded for others to view but it is thankfully possible to edit out the more compromising images first.
If you are looking for some often-disgusting, silly and amusing fun with your Kinect, Alive and Kicking is for you. A couple of the standout minigames include Guitar Zero, a simplified and totally Kinect-controlled version of Guitar Hero with a rather rocking unlockable soundtrack, and Snot Funny, which asks players to whirl their heads fast enough to lob a giant virtual greenie – and the Rabbid clinging to it – off into the distance. The My Raving Rabbid section alone is worth the price of admission and also functions as a great stress reliever. Unless one of your shoes fly off into your screen while booting the hapless Rabbid for the umpteenth time.