I have to admit, I have not really sunk my teeth into many Kinect games since its launch last year. Sure I have hopped into a game here and there, but I have yet to play a Kinect game which manages to keep my interest for more than an hour or two. So when Rabbids: Alive & Kicking for the Kinect arrived I was very curious to see if this could be the one Kinect game that will keep me coming back for more. Not to mention, I was curious to see if playing the game without a controller would be as fun as playing with a hand-held controller? Being someone that continually speaks with her hands I figured an interactive like Rabbids game would be just up my alley or would this be yet another Kinect game that starts to collect dust by the end of the week.
For those of you who have no idea what a “Kinect” is, the Kinect for the Xbox 360 is a motion control peripheral system that has you being the controller. Your movements move your character and you use your hand movements to guide yourself through the menu, maps and games. In Rabbids: Alive & Kicking you are able to use the Xbox 360 controller if you find yourself running out of steam while playing the motion sensor system. I found this to be a nice option considering many Kinect games simply do not give you that option.
At its core, Rabbids: Alive and Kicking is a bunch of mini-games rolled into one game. There are over 30-game in total and is a game that is meant to be played only in short spurts. It is game geared for families who are looking to fill a void over the holidays. So if you are looking for a Rabbids game with a deep storyline or a game rich in options, then you have come to the wrong place.
Before you jump into a game, you are greeted with an opening scene that has the Rabbids in their laboratory getting ready to conquer Earth. They start their journey creating havoc and chaos in the city of San Francisco. It was a nicely presented opening scene, which not only looked good but also set out the objective of the game and provides us with the overall objective of the game and that is take down those pesky Rabbids before they take over the Earth.
The menu, although finicky at times, is easy to navigate and provides many options. The first option is Quickplay. Quickplay provides you with two different game modes; “random” and “games list”. “Random” allows you to launch into random games that are picked for you. You must set out how many players there are at the beginning of the set so that the correct games will come up. The “games list” allows you to choose which games you would like to play and it also sets out how many players at one time can play each game.
Party Games is the second option available. This option is a free for all tournament style games in which each player competes against others. This is for 3-16 players and a great time for everyone.
The third option is “My Raving Rabbids”. In this augmented reality game area you interact with the Rabbids in your own house. You can dress them up, take photos of you and your Rabbid together and interact with him in many crazy and wild ways. These games are a hoot but it won’t be long until you become tired with this mode and you start looking for more.
After I played a game or two and became acquainted with the games menus and offerings, I jumped into the single player mode. The first single player game had me trying to recreate a shape that was silhouetted in the shower curtain before the Rabbids got to me. I have to say, it was a lot easier said than done. I found myself failing quite a few of the objectives as the Kinect would not completely detect my motions. It made for a frustrating experience yet it was also entertaining at the same time. When I jumped into other mini-games I found similar experiences. While the games had all the potential to be highly enjoyable, the Kinect did not detect my motions as accurate as they should have. I just found the overall experience frustrating and only a handful of the mini-games were precisely responsive and enjoyable at the same time.
Rabbids does offer up some replay value, albeit slightly. When completing a game you earn TP DollarZ. This enables you to buy items to use on the Rabbid that is in your home in the Raving Rabbid section. After each game you also receive a star depending on how well you did. Objective of the game is to achieve three stars in all the games. For someone who is OCD like myself, this is always my objective. I find it difficult to continue past a game if I don’t get top score. Some games never seem to end when doing it this way. Rabbids was tough but not so tough I couldn’t advance within a reasonable amount of time.
The multi-player games were fun, though word to the wise, make sure you have enough room in the area for at least two players. After the hubby and I kicked each other a few times I realized that having plenty of space is critical. Also, working together as a team with many of the mini-games can go along ways towards your success and at the end of the day can go along ways towards having fun.
In terms of some of the other negatives, I was a little taken back with some of the games long load times. The loading times between the different games and when accessing the menus seem to take an eternity. Another issue I had was when I attempted to exit a game while in progress the game would not allow me to leave before it finished. So if you are stuck in a crappy mini-game, you are stuck until the end.
Overall, the graphics for this motion sensor game were good and appropriate. Sure it barely pushes the hardware’s capabilities but it suited the game and genre. Your character’s movements flow as long as you can move gracefully and not like a recently trained ape which is what I resembled during several of these games. The Rabbids animation was fun and definitely not to be taken seriously. The backgrounds for the different games were colourful and larger than life.
The sound in the game is also decent. The Rabbid dialogue and babbling is what you would expect from a group of rabbits that have run amok and gone bad. There is a lot of grunting and cheering from the Rabbids when they best you in a level. There is not much in way of a soundtrack but the music there is goes well with what is occurring in the game.
Overall, Rabbids Alive & Kicking for the Kinect had all the potential to be a great holiday game for kids and families. Unfortunately, the Kinect does not detect your movements as accurately as they should and many of the mini-games are not as enjoyable as they could be. Much of the games issues rest with the finicky motion controls. While those crazy Rabbids are entertaining and playing the game with a friend does offer up some funny moments, at the end of the day this is one Rabbid game you may just want to rent.