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Publisher: Ubisoft    Genre: Arcade
Min OS X: 10.4    CPU: Intel

Rayman Raving Rabbids
June 5, 2009 | Marcus Albers

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Back in 1995, French game studio Ubisoft introduced us to a new character. Devoid of arms or legs, and sporting a funky blond hairdo, Rayman was born and burst onto the scene as an addictive 2D platformer on the original Playstation and Sega Saturn systems. Since then, he has had a number of sequels, been converted to 3D, made educational games, and been involved in the craze that is party games. Then the rabbids showed up...

Rayman Raving Rabbids is the next evolution of the Rayman series, taking the game from a straight platform/adventure title and making it in to a mini-game collection with multiplayer elements. Comparable to other minigame collections such as Warioware and Mario Party, the Raving Rabbids concept was originally designed for the unique control scheme of the Nintendo Wii. The idea was formed around a number of small games with unique control styles that were easy to pick up. It was soon ported to other consoles and the PC, changing the Wii's motion controls out for more standard gamepad controls. Where the Wii version required pointing the Wii remote at the screen, there is now a crosshair that is moved around with one of the analog joysticks on the gamepad. Directional motion with the Wii remote is now assigned to the directional controller. Although not as active a game, it has translated reletively well.

Recently, GameTree Online brought the PC version of the game to the Macintosh, with the help of Transgaming Technology's Cider tools. We've talked about Cider here quite a bit in the past, but for those living under a rock for the past couple of years, simply put, Cider is a software technology that allows a developer to "wrap" a Windows title in code that allows it to be played on a Macintosh with an Intel processor (i.e. all currently shipping Macintosh models). This has the distinct advantage of significantly reducing the time it takes to bring these games to the Macintosh, even allowing for simultaneous releases. While the technology has vastly improved over the past couple of years, it is still not a perfect technology.

Regardless, this is how we come to have Rayman and a bunch of Raving Rabbids on our Mac screens now. You, of course, are Rayman. While on a picnic with some of the local Globoxs, you are attacked by rather psychotic looking bunnies. They capture the Globoxs and are off. You, on the other hand, are captured by a large character known as Sergue´. He hauls you off to a large arena. The stands are filled with angry rabbids, all brandishing weapons of various types. All looks lost, and then some doors open. Cautiously, you enter the first door...

After playing through a game, you return to the arena. You figure, "what the heck" and continue to the next door. After yet another game, you check out the third door. And another minigame. This time, when you re-enter the arena, a large gate opens. Is this the way home? You run for the gate, only to find yourself in yet another game. This one is different, though. You are running around, trusty plunger-gun in hand, taking out as many rabbids as possible before they get you. Barely escaping the round alive, you come back to the arena. In a spectacular ceremony, you are awarded... a plunger. The rabbids seem to be getting a good laugh at your expense.


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