Rayman Raving Rabbids 2

The last Rayman title, Raving Rabbids, was such a success that Ubisoft quickly cloned a second. In the first game, the Rabbids and their absurd ways infested and conquered Rayman’s world. They captured him and his friends and made them participate in obscene and bizarre games. This time the Rabbids have returned, and they’ve invaded our world.

The Fourth Wall Crumbles

The most clever aspect of this game is the notion of the Rabbids in our world. The opening sequence shows them descend from their flying yellow submarines and attack people– including a news reporter woman. Their goal seems to be the same as it was in Rayman’s world– to conquer. In Rayman’s imaginary world, the Rabbids emulated a lot of make believe things that exist in media. They mimicked Tom Clancy game characters, Superman, and many specific styles that have left cultural normativity and entered historical discourse– like disco. In this new game, however, the Rabbids emulate more everyday things. Some play football, some go to movie theatres, some ride mechanical bulls. The activities are off the wall, bizarre, and absurd, just as they were in the first game.

One of the most interesting violations of the fourth wall is the game designers inclusion of full motion video. Like the first game, this one features on-rails shooting portions in which Rayman traverses a set path and attempts to blast Rabbids with his plunger gun a la shooting galleries. In this version, however, the set paths are full motion recordings of New York and Paris, with Rabbids and their insane vehicles interspersed throughout. The effect adds a quirky twist on this theme, making it seem like the cartoonish Rabbids have truly stepped into our mundane world.

Absurdity Continues

The “plot” for this game is fairly simple, but implied. As the Rabbids invade Earth, Rayman follows them, infiltrates their ranks, and defeats them at their own insane game. The plot in this title is little more than a pretext for mini games, so as with games like Mario Party, there isn’t that much to get out of it. It is your standard issue hero quest with little in the way of frills or variation. This allows more focus to be placed on the cultural artifacts and game play aspects.

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