Published on June 12th, 2012 | by Cameron Woolsey
E3: Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit Impressions
Developer: Arkedo Studios
Platform: Xbox 360 (Xbox LIVE Arcade), PlayStation 3 (PSN), Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2012
What would a hellish underworld prince do if he learned that a group of his closest enemies had some unsavory pictures of him enjoying his favorite pastime? Why, he would kill all those bastards of course!
This odd scenario is the plot that drives Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit, a 2D platformer by Arkedo Studios. In Hell Yeah!, the slimy paparazzi of Hell managed to nab over 100 pictures of the skeletal rabbit prince as he soaked in a bath while “playing” with his rubber duckies. With his pride on the line, the prince begins his journey to retrieve the embarrassing photos while leaving piles of bodies in his wake.
If you didn’t figure it out from the previous paragraph, Hell Yeah! is a silly game filled with twisted juvenile humor that you can’t help but enjoy. There are poop-shaped enemies, bleeped swearing and plenty of thinly-veiled jabs at other game franchises such as Sonic the Hedgehog, The Legend of Zelda and Mortal Kombat (Toasted!). The prince’s sarcastic and uncaring nature ties the humor together in a way that kept me laughing most of the way through the demo.
Starting off, the rabbit prince is fairly vulnerable against his demonic foes. That time is ended when he gets equipped with what is hilariously called a “jetpack”, which, in reality, is a gigantic saw blade in which the prince sits his royal ass inside. Holding jump causes the prince and blade combo to fly upward for some hard-to-reach platforming. Regular enemies will fall quickly to the giant blade, but larger ones and bosses require a little extra force.
Revving the blade against a larger foe sends you into a mini-game that, when completed, destroys the enemy in a satisfying explosion of blood that coats the screen for a few seconds. These mini-games are varied from simple button mashing to timed button presses. Each kill offered a completely different game so turning each bad guy into a shower of gooey innards never got boring–not that it really could, mind.
Later it becomes apparent that the saw blade alone won’t do. Gathering gems embedded in pink stone increases your cash, called “Loot,” which can be used for upgrades or costumes. Requiring long-range firepower, the game asked me to pick up a shiny new rocket launcher attachment at one of the in-game stores. Once there I spent some loot on the upgrade and a badass black cowboy hat just for good measure.
Weapons have unlimited ammo but require a recharge when used. The rocket launcher can fire up to three rockets before needing to reload. However, the rockets charge up one at a time so you can wait for the first to reload before firing again. The machine gun gained in level two is the same, but has a much larger clip so more rounds can be burned before you need to charge it up again.
The environments in Hell Yeah! are highly detailed, with themes that changed dramatically from level to level. The opening act I fought through waves of enemies in the depths of Hell, while the next level changed dramatically to a factory filled with robots and shifting gears. The game also features bright, colorful cartoony graphics and great animation throughout.
The controls behind Hell Yeah! are tight and responsive. I found it easy to jump across platforms and engage in heavy fights without any issues marring the gameplay. The game itself is paced well, featuring traps, boosters, moving platforms and more.
Before E3 I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit and I’m sorry I didn’t because it ended up as one of my favorites of the show. The platforming, fighting and especially the less-than-classy sense of humor made it hard to put the controller down. I didn’t even take as many notes as I had wanted simply because I didn’t want to stop playing. In my mind, Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit is a hit in the making and I can’t wait to put the saw blade to the faces of my enemies when the game ships later this year.