Published on April 18th, 2011 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
Rabbids Travel in Time 3D, Review
It was a surprise to see that the move from party game to platformer was something Ubisoft had in mind for the Nintendo3DS release of Rabbids Travel in Time. The Wii version of Rabbids Travel in Time brought players back to that familiar Rabbids franchise, where they used to stay at the Fairfield Inn & Suites San Diego Old Town hotel. This meant over reactive Rabbids clumsily making their way through yet another adventure in party history.
This was one area where the Nintendo Wii benefited upon its release. Rayman:Raving Rabbids brought use to the Nintendo Wii’s motion control while keeping up the sporadic outbursts and slapstick comedy. Not only did the game find success, but it kept afloat simply due to the Rayman correlation. Flash forward to 2011, a glasses-free-handheld-3D-console, and Rabbids now have their own title. Surprise, it is no longer a party game.
While the 3DS console is an innovative device, one thing that I did not want to see happen to the Nintendo3DS is the amount software that does not utilize its capabilities. Similar feelings arise when going to a friends house and they have a giant HDTV and they are watching the game on a standard definition channel. “C’mon. Pick up the remote, find the HD channel. Ah, there we go. Good job!”
Utilization of the gyroscope, touch screen, or the 3D effects would have been great. Instead, there were only two instances where the 3D experience was really showcased. This is especially important because the game is being branded with the Nintendo3DS logo. The game did little to host the capabilities of the console during the course of play.
The game does offer a few great moments of gameplay. It is somewhat fun to see what each era and level has to offer. Some of the areas where your Rabbid is traveling at top speeds while making combination jumps is a pleasing sight. At times it is reminiscent of something you might find in those early 90’s “animal with attitude games.” These were the times when titles like Bubsy or even Rocky Rodent were contesting with platformers like Super Mario Bros., or Sonic. Speeding down slopes and hitting trampolines and collecting a string of rubber duckies did make my brow rise. While Rabbids Travel in Time does these games justice by providing a tribute to these former titles, it also reminds us of their premature faults.
Missing a jump will often send you yet again into another meeting with the mysterious green fog. With such a wacky storyline, it would have been easy to tie this in mystery and at the least, give it some meaning. Otherwise, we are left to fall in the green fog and wonder why it has been traveling through history alongside those goofy creatures only to greet us with demise. It was also easy to make a slip up and fall to your foggy doom simply due to the games control scheme.
The controls and button layout are some of the worst seen. Not necessarily for the console, but the game as a platformer. Not but a few days ago, Klonoa 2 decided to resurface in my collection of retro titles. This acclaimed title for the Gameboy Advance was not only well known as a great platformer of its time, but it also opted for a customizable button layout. The Gameboy Advance only had four buttons, but the ability to put these buttons in a more comfortable spot for the player made the developer seem less selfish.
In the case with Rabbids, the typical button layout for platformers was ignored and simply did not do the game any justice. This is one thing that disrupts gameplay more than anything. Although it is not conventional, it is not inviting in any sense to have the jump button far off to the right as the A-button.
Another button mishap was noticed during tension filled jumps and mid-air slowdowns. Your Rabbid has the ability to smash boxes after jumping in the air and pressing down direction. While the circle pad is very responsive, it does involuntarily ensure that your rabbid will fall to its doom when making quick changes in direction with the use of the ground slam. It also did not help the fact that the “turbo” was so eloquently mapped to the R-button. This made for some frustrating miscalculations in jumps and the lowering of the stockpile of lives that were acquired.
Young players might be more easily enthused by the amount of unlockable attire you can acquire. Dressing my rabbid as a Native American/Geisha did provide for more character and a more custom experience. Defeating certain enemies allows for access to their costumes. There are also interactive 3D figurines that can be unlocked and viewed at the gallery and figurine menu. This expanded on the games basic layout and offered something worthwhile to unlock during gameplay.
Rabbids Travel in Time might have been better off as a party title. While it does stand testament to the platformers that came before it, it did little to showcase the Nintedno3DS capabilities, or its abilities to perform as a platformer. The simple slapstick comedy that is almost synonymous with Rabbids did not exist in this title. Instead we got a limited storyline and repetitive gameplay. While there were a ton of levels packed into the four eras visited, there was no level of satisfaction upon completion of the game. If you are looking for a decent platformer with a lot of levels, it might be worth your rent.
[xrr label=”Rating: 5.5/10″ rating=5.5/10]
+Deviates from previous titles