Michael Leparc On November 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Rabbids Alive and Kicking ScreenshotThe Raving Rabbids are Ubisoft’s go to bunch when it comes to motion controlled titles, so the only surprise is that it’s taken this long for them to bring their antics over from the Wii onto Microsoft’s Kinect platform. Alive and Kicking is the latest attempt at cashing in on the peripheral’s family appeal, a party game that ditches all pretense of realism unlike Microsoft’s own first party titles, which tend to follow Nintendo’s lead in trying to relate to real life sports and adventures. While this allows one to be a bit more forgiving of the gameplay mechanics, the game still falls well short of what it promises in several ways.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, rabbids are basically rambunctious, foul mannered, and kind of ugly looking rabbits. The opening cutscene spells out the scenario into which you’re inserted. A science experiment performed by the rabbids themselves goes horribly wrong. Somehow mixing cows and rabbids leads to ridiculous multiplication of the rabbids, to the point where they explode out of the lab and completely infest the real world, causing you to deal with them in various silly and ultimately ineffectual ways, some more humorous than others.

To start playing, you can either tell the game to throw random minigames at you or pick them out from a list. The number of players determines what kind of games you can play, and there’s a full blown party mode that supports up to 16 people (split into teams of course). As in most party games, the events are all hit or miss.

In my play time I found the augmented reality games the most interesting. There’s a whack-a-mole type game where you have to stomp on rabbids as they poke out of holes around your feet that quickly becomes quite challenging as you have to coordinate your depth on the screen and figure out how to stomp multiple rabbids at the same time. Another highlight was the air guitar game, which plays a lot like Guitar Hero or Rock Band, with the Kinect reading your hand placement to read which of the three frets you’re playing as notes rain down. A clever though ultimately simple to win game involved dancing around on a security camera and then hiding behind the furniture in your room whenever the rabbids were watching. If you have enough people, it can be hilarious to try the silhouette matching game, where you work together to create a designated shape with your shadows, then see the photograph of your contorted bodies afterwards. Another hit was mini game that worked much like lemmings, with rabbids mindlessly walking forward while you guide them to safety by activating ramps and bridges at the right time with your hands and tongue. This game actually has multiple levels and is single player only. It could have made a decent XBLA title on its own, in my opinion.

Other fun action games involve slapping rabbids as they poke their heads out of oncoming trains and throwing cars and other debris back at a giant rabbid mecha, playing an awful lot like Kinect Adventure’s Blitzball. There’s a pong game that was controlled by bending down or jumping up, but was ultimately aggravating. Most of the other misses involved the flailing type of games where you pretend to run and swim. Finally, there’s the complete duds that most of the “underground laboratory” games turn out to be. Most of them involve multiple choice mind teasers or utterly boring “pretend to lick up the mess” nonsense that take longer to load than they do to play. All of the games are undermined by poor explanations and sometimes glitchy controls, so it’s usually more frustrating than not, at least the first time through.

There’s one final mode that is really just an augmented reality playground, with a rabbid taking over your living room and randomly wandering around. In this mode you can spend the money you earn in game on little trinkets to dress up your rabbid or give him something to play with. Unfortunately the “interactive” items either aren’t that interactive or don’t work properly in my testing. This was a cute concept that really needed to be fleshed out more.

The graphics and sound are nothing worth writing home about, and would be equally at home on the Nintendo Wii. The rabbids don’t really say much of anything except “WAAAAHH!” and the music is very understated.
Rabbids: Alive and Kicking is worth a rent or a severely discounted buy if you actually enjoyed Microsoft’s mini game titles and are looking for something different (and have enough people to party with), but if you’re looking for a game that actually makes innovative use of the Kinect and is.. well.. an actual game, you’re out of luck here, outside of a few of the mini games I mentioned above.


It’s all hit or miss, and out of the 40 or so games, it’s mostly miss unfortunately.


The rabbids look great in the augmented reality stuff, but other than that, nothing special.


WAAAAHH!! Get used to hearing that a lot.


Just your average motion controlled party game really. What else is there to say?

Click here to buy Raving Rabbids Alive & Kicking for the Xbox 360 Kinect from EBgames.com

Click here to buy Raving Rabbids Alive & Kicking for the Xbox 360 Kinect new or used for a great price!


2 Responses

  1. loomer says:

    Sigh, CASH COW. They think they can put these cute funny rabbids in a crap game and then expect us to buy it blindly.

  2. Baton says:

    Now not that I am complaining, but Ubisoft needs to hire some new creative directors, most of the mini games are crap!