IGN Review of Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time
Rabbids are without a doubt the most dangerous creatures to ever exist. According to the latest mini-game compilation, Travel in Time, these creepy-yet-cute bunnies are both destructive and inspirational -- their time traveling antics caused the Titanic to sink, an Egyptian pyramid to crumble, and the Mona Lisa to don her signature smile.
In case you're confused, the latest game features those pesky Rabbids making mischief throughout the history of the world. Hopping from timeline to timeline in a washing machine (you couldn't have found a cooler ride, like a DeLorean?), the bunnies don't follow a storyline of any consequence; unlike the last endeavor, Rabbids Go Home. Instead, Travel in Time returns to its mini-game focused roots and you're dumped in a museum comprised of several hub worlds to explore. Each houses a specific type of mini-game, so the Flyarium is where you'll race around in planes, the Shootarium is where you'll use the Wii remote as a gun, etc. and you select the game you want to play by making your Rabbid belch. Or sing. Or whatever that noise is they make.
WiiMotionPlus is supported and makes motion tracking much more accurate, and it's a necessity in order to play games in the Hookarium, so keep that in mind if you haven't purchased the upgrade, yet.
Because Travel in Time is a simple collection there's not a whole lot of progression. Once you complete a super long tutorial that walks you through every area, you're free to run around the museum and do whatever you please. Instructions are dictated in a reverse psychology manner, telling you to not do something when really they want you to do it, which seems appropriate given the younger audience.
It's not about whether you win or lose in Travel in Time, it only matters that you try out the games. While losing certainly won't earn you bragging rights, you will still unlock costumes for your Rabbid to wear. If you do win you're treated with the ability to "change the course of history," but it's never really clear how your decision is supposed to alter the past. Perhaps that's by design, but I found it irritating.
The most important part of a package like this is obviously the mini-games themselves. A lot of the ones here borrow formulas from other popular titles like Mario Kart, Tetris, Just Dance, and Guitar Hero, but none of them really master what made the original fun. The Tetris wannabe is really clunky, the Mario Kart knockoff fails to convey a sense of speed, and the Just Dance and Guitar Hero portions are so simple that they present little challenge. Yes, there are other mini-games that don't blatantly copy another game's design and they aren't terrible but I found them to be mediocre.
In fact, some of the most fun I had with this game was constantly holding down the "belch/sing/whateveritistheydo" button or shaking the Wii remote, which causes your Rabbid to slam into the television screen. Hey, it's the little things in life, right?
What is cool about Travel in Time is that every hub world is set up differently to reflect its theme. You'll fly a plane around the Flyarium to choose your next game, while in Shootarium you'll pick up your Rabbid and fling him around. At times it can get confusing if you forget where you are, because you'll wonder why your Rabbid isn't responding to your Nunchuck commands, but it's still a cute idea.
Another neat touch is that almost everything around the museum is a mini-game. While wandering around one of the hub worlds I noticed a case holding a giant jewel, so naturally I smashed it. Without warning a buzzer went off and another jewel popped up in a different location -- all of a sudden I was in a game of Whack-A-Mole that I had no idea I was initiating. There are lots of little mini-mini games like that scattered around and it's fun to find them all, but not all of them are actually fun to play.
As with any party game, you'll clearly want to play this with other people. Travel in Time supports up to four players locally, but there's one obnoxious feature that might turn you off -- all players are tethered together via a roll of toilet paper. Adorable, right? Well, that's only until one person decides they want to go right and the other wants to go left...you get the picture.
Should you find yourself jonesing to play some of these games when nobody else is around you can use the AI bots or meet up with other people online. You aren't tethered together here, but you do have to wait for the other person to get on board with a mini-game you want to play and that can be difficult. I tried to play with a stranger in the Bouncearium, but the other person just kept hopping around the hub world and refused to settle on a specific game for several minutes. That was more than a little annoying.
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