Rabbids: Party of Legends REVIEW (PS5)
''Silly Rabbids, Trix are for kids''
Developed: Ubisoft Chengdu
Release Date: June 30th, 2022
Platforms: PS4/XBOX FAMILY/Switch/Stadia
*Review copy provided to me by Ubisoft*
''The less annoying Minions''
Rabbids Party Of Legends is the latest crazy installment into the Raving Rabbids series that is developed by Ubisoft Chengdu and published by Ubisoft. Being a once China exclusive by the name of Rabbids Adventure Party, Ubisoft decided it was time for the rest of the world to view its all out whacky and crazy glory for ourselves. But was this game worth being released outside of China? or is it too crazy for us too handle? Only one way to find out, so, Bum-Bum-Bum-Boom!
As the whacky Rabbids hang out inside their washing machine watching Tales of The Monkey King on their tablet, a strange phenomenon unfolds as the washing machine gets activated and all of the rabbids are swept away and time warped to the ancient time of the monkey king. Upon arriving, their hasty intrusion ruins the sacred texts, sending hundreds of Sacred Books flying away and scattered across the land. This enrages the monkey king, who seals away their washing machine and says they'll only be allowed to return home, should they retrieve and bring back all the sacred books intact. It is now up to you and three other rabbid companions to find the sacred books and get home safely.
These insane little guys have come a long way since their spinoff title Rayman Raving Rabbids in 2006. Getting multiple party games, teaming up with Mario and the gang in the awesome turned based strategy game Kingdom Battle and the soon to be released Spark Of Hope, TV show, being the ones to literally kill off Rayman because their popularity overshadowed his, etc. You get it. These little freaks as popular. If there's one thing the Rabbids have proven over the years, its that being whacky, crazy, and making lots of weird sounds, can get you a long way in this industry, just like the Minions have learned too over the many years. Sure not all their content has been successful, but with over 20 million units sold for the franchise, clearly they're doing SOMETHING right... and that main thing right has been party games. Rabbids have thrived on party games do to how weird and over the top they have been, and they keep you coming back for more, even if you aren't that big of a fan of the characters themselves. Personally, I can't say I'm a HUGE fan, but I do enjoy them to an extent. While I don't generally get excited every new game announcement, there was one title that got my attention back in 2011 that never came to fruition, that title being Killer Freaks From Outer Space. Touted as a launch title for Wii U, the game was set to put the Rabbids in a horror first person shooter genre that gave me vibes of the classic Killer Klowns From Outer Space. Only without killer popcorn and death cotton candy of course. Obviously this game never happened, much to my disappointment, and we were instead gifted Zombi U. Which.. wasn't bad.. but just not the title I truly wanted. But blah blah, enough of a history lesson. Let's dive into the actual game you're here for and kick things off.
When you're ready to hop into the action, you will be given multiple play options, one being Adventure Mode and the other being Party Mode. In party mode, you have two selections to play on, Quick Play and Customize. In Quick Play mode, you're able to select the amount of time you wish your gameplay to be, but with randomly selected mini games, both on solo or team based competition. Your time options you have here are 5 minutes, which gives you 3 mini games to play, 10 minutes with 5 mini games, 15 minutes with 7 mini games and 30 mins with 12 mini games. Of course these mini games are all randomized and differ depending on whether you choose to play the games solo by yourself or in Team Up mode, which involves you teaming up with other crazy Rabbids in a Team Dragon versus Team Tiger battle for the most sacred books. This is great mode if you have a group of 4 friends or even one other person to play with, but since I'm the dork sitting in the corner with the cone on my head with no life, no friends, and with my hand stuck in a can of Pringles... well.. I didn't play it that much. Forever alone. But self pity aside, while this mode is overall pretty fun, I do not recommend playing it or customized mode where you select any mini game at will, till after you've pushed your way through the games Adventure mode. Why? well because in Adventure Mode not only do you have your own little story to play through, but during it, you will level your characters Enlightenment level and with each level you upgrade to, you will unlock a new stage or character. Man, first Sonic Racing Transformed showing Mario Kart how its done with its unlockables and content and now Rabbids is showing Mario Party how to do it? what has the world come to? dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria!
As stated earlier, the main story goes as follows. The Rabbids were screwing around and goofing off like they're usually do, but they accidentally activate their washing machine which transports them to the ancient land of The Monkey King. Just like they were imagining and watching on their tablets just moments before. But because they're clumsy and screw everything up, their intrusion causes all the sacred books to be scattered across the land. This ticks off The Money King and Awoken one and he tells you, ''bro, you aren't leaving here till you get my dang books back''. He's basically an ancient librarian, he will NOT tolerate overdue books, so either you bring them all back or you'll be stuck here forever. Just like in Lambchop's endless madness of ''this is the song that doesn't end''. Story is basic, yes, with the objective being that you go level by level on an overworld map of ancient China, with each level equaling a mini game or boss fight, boss fights being mini games as well, and every time you beat one, you'll get a set amount of books depending on what place you come in. Confused? well, think of books as your Stars from Mario Party and you have the basic idea of what I'm talking about. Throughout the 4 Acts, which runs you roughly 3 hours, you will play through dozens of mini games, some great and others just.. ok I guess?. The thing that intrigued me most about the story mode though, besides this game looking REALLY good and having great animation, is the story. Huh? this basic story caught my interest? How?. Well other than it being hilarious with Rabbids flying at your screen or screaming at you, The Monkey King character is what catches my interest the most. No, its not because I like Monkey's or apes, which at this point I'm still debating on if I do because of my history of Kong in Call Of Duty, nope, it's because of specifics here in the game that have to do with certain histories. The Monkey King.
The Monkey King, originating in the novel Journey To The West in the 16th century during the Ming dynasty, which is largely attributed to and written by Wu Cheng'en, is one of the most popular and well known pieces of literary in all of East Asia. The novel itself even, is regarded as one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. Really awesome stuff. Even more amazing is a property that people may know more than this novel itself, at least stateside, and that is the franchise of Dragon Ball. Being heavily inspired initially by Journey To The West, Akira Toriyama took elements from not only the novel and The Monkey King for Son Goku and his initial adventures, but also mixing it up with the implementation of Hong Kong Martial Arts films for its fighting. I know I shouldn't be getting THIS deep about a freaking Rabbids game, but I just love the setting and The Monkey King in general, which is why I am currently hyped for the upcoming title Black Myth: Wu Kong that hopefully won't take ten years to release, but.. now were just getting off topic. Let's get back to our caffeine riddled lunatics.
As you push through your 4 main acts of story mode, leveling up your character to unlock all 50 mini games and 45 characters by boosting enlightenment level to 50, overall outside those, you will play through some stage's that are really fun, but others, ehhh.. get pretty boring or tend to repeat like the missions between every major scenery change where you must spin a stone tablet after picking an answer to a question for the story you're on or riddle. Each decision either gaining you books or losing them. Even though the questions are always different.. its the SAME game EVERY TIME and its a yawn fest. Well to be fair, it's kind of interesting sometimes when I fail at it and get down by 2 to 3 Sacred Books and rage - that's kind of funny. But for the more amusing and time worthy stages, you have mini games like being a fat rolling rabbid with your goal involving needing to push everyone off a ledge, lifting a plunger out of the ground closest to the time allotted to you, with whoever managing to get the lowest time, wins. Hmm.. maybe they need to call one of these Rabbids to go over to Mary Swansons house, especially after Harry came over. Not stopping there, you also have a D.D.R and Guitar Hero type of mini game that has you mash button inputs with your controller that you see on screen. This one is very basic, but its actually pretty fun due to the actual music of the mini game being pretty banging. Plus I'm actually pretty good at it too, getting like 96 straight perfects in a row.. unlike the ''remember the button prompt'' mini game that has you trying to memorize a specific amount of inputs that are shown on your screen. Pretty much like Simon says. I'm actually pretty horrible at it.. but to get around being terrible at it, I cheated.
How did I cheat? well.. as the game told me what button to press, I'd just pause it, use my phone to take a picture and then un-pause and quickly press the correct buttons. What? that's unfair? who cares! if you aint first you're last and I'm not about to let some kid game kick my butt. I had enough of that trauma as a kid playing Aladdin and The Lion King. However, the silliness doesn't stop there either, the fun keeps going with mini games like a Tetris themed level where you descend, falling into a volcano pit, and having to use your gamepad's left stick to create the proper shape for your Rabbid to fit through. Similar to the Wii title, Muscle March. This one starts off really easy, but the faster you go, the harder it gets to react, and man I messed my little Rabbid up pretty good with all my misses. The funniest part about this mini game though is the ending of it. Usually mini games in this title just end and its over, but here? you literally just crash into a pool of lava. The hell? are they dead? poor little guys. They got the Godzilla treatment. That's messed up. Finish? more like Fatality. These are just one of the games you'll encounter over the course of story mode, whether you play solo or in team based mode with another teammate.
Like any other title, there are are some downsides I personally had. One of these being the lack of online multiplayer. For a title that's extremely fun and aimed ONLY at multiplayer mini games, this seems like a total brain fart not to include online functionality and guarantees that long term, this game won't have much replay value for people without friends or spouses locally. My second gripe has to do with repeating stone block mini game that has you answering questions, which I just talked about. Some of the questions are funny, but overall I do not see the point in doing this like 4 to 5 times throughout your playthrough when overall they serve no purpose because the game is just gonna let you advance no matter what anyways. It's nearly as tedious as Knack's innovative button mashing mechanic. I'm sorry Knack, I still love you.
At the end of the day, Rabbids Party Of Legends is a really fun experience. It's got a great selection of 50 mini games that are really great, 45 unlockable characters that are vary in personality and style like my silly Shark Rabbid, amazing character animation and level design, especially for a party game, it doesn't feel like a cheap cash in. Its so all over the place with its humor, its randomness, jokes and insanity that I couldn't help but laugh on multiple occasions. Sadly though, while I thought the game, even as a solo player was great, there are smaller issues like some repeating mini games and even bigger ones like online multiplayer that irked me. I can't look past that. Look I'll say it right now to get it out of the way. If you have a loved one, family or friends to play this with locally, then I absolutely recommend it, even at $40 price tag, but if you're solo like myself, $40 is way too much and I'd have to say wait for a price drop to $20. I can't be biased here, sorry squishy crazy Rabbids, so I have to go with how the market is shaped here currently. So with all that having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says WAIT, if you're forever alone like me.