Published on October 8th, 2012 | by Cameron Woolsey
Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit Review
Developer: Arkedo Studios
Platform: Xbox 360 via Xbox LIVE Arcade, PS3 via PlayStation Network [Reviewed], Windows PC
Release Date: Sept. 25, 2012 (PSN), Sept. 26, 2012 (XBLA), Oct. 3, 2012 (PC)
MSRP: $15 or 1200 MS Points
Review Notes: A copy of the game was received for review purposes
When Arkedo Studios set out to develop Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit, the goals was to make it one of the most insane games around. Well, let’s see what the final score is: we have an undead rabbit skeleton named Ash who is the prince of Hell and is currently using an armed “saw blade jetpack” to hunt down photos of him doing unsavory things to rubber ducks. I think we can count that box thoroughly checked.
The story is fairly simple to follow. The king of Hell has died, leaving Ash, the lagomorph prince, in command. His rule is threatened, however, when the paparazzi took some pictures of Ash as he “enjoyed” the good company of some rubber ducks whilst in a bath (I don’t feel we use the word “whilst” nearly enough these days). What the pictures betray isn’t exactly clear at first, but what we do know is that they certainly aren’t something that Ash wants passed around.
So Ash does what he feels is the right course and kills everything in his path to secure the revealing photographs.
We do get to see the shots during the final credits in a method mimicking “The Hangover 2,” but don’t worry, they aren’t nearly as bad.
Hell Yeah! succeeds as a game that gives players a full dose of crazy medicine, and features imaginative enemies, colorful and bright graphics, as well as a full range of kickass weaponry. However, Hell Yeah!‘s inventory of wild shenanigans plays a role in the game’s inevitable downturn. The game hits hard and fast right out the gate, and burns its fuel earlier than it should.
Hell Yeah! is a colorful 2D platformer, and features worlds that greatly vary from one another. This helps keep the game from getting too monotonous. Ash rides a twirling saw blade that doubles as a jet pack, which can only go up so high before running out of boost. It can be controlled in midair, so it makes for a great tool to jump from platform to platform, as well as dodge incoming fire. But the blade isn’t for looks; it can be revved up to kill weaker enemies and drill through certain rock, opening paths to new areas.
Some enemies won’t be taken down so easily. Luckily our dear rabbit prince is equipped with a whole arsenal of deadly weaponry. Such weapons include a machine gun, a rocket launcher, a Gatling gun, a shotgun and more. Every weapon has an infinite amount of ammo, but can only be fired for so long before needing to recharge.
Jewels scattered around each level are used as currency for the in-game store, which provides Ash with new weapons, upgrades and, of course, silly hats and masks for him to wear. Sure it’s fun just to roll around as an undead rabbit in a giant saw blade, but why not as a robot in a giant doughnut? Who will say anything against that? No one, that’s who, unless they want a face full of spinning, bladed pastry.
For the first few hours of Hell Yeah!, the game is nothing short of a shotgun blast of fun. The game plays smoothly and has some fairly funny moments throughout, mainly from the oddity that is the cast of characters Ash meets during the game. Ash’s attitude of “kill everyone because they’re annoying” is a philosophy I can stand by, and killing enemies in an explosive shower of blood and gore left a smile on my face. There were a few noticeable annoyances from several boss battles, but nothing too spectacular. It wasn’t until I hit around hour three when the initial high began to wear off.
The game uses over-the-top killing mini-games to keep the laughs coming in strong, but those sequences don’t stay interesting for long. When they begin to repeat, those laughs turned into yawns.
The killing mini-games pop up when an enemy or boss is near death. They vary in type and can consist of button mashing, puzzle solving, or they may even take the form of a quiz. Getting them wrong will give a small amount of damage to Ash, and you will have to attack the enemy one or two more times to get another shot at the mini-game.
Hell Yeah! was surprisingly longer than I initially thought it would be. The length varies depending on how much you explore the game’s 10 levels, but it should take you around 6-8 hours to get through. The levels themselves are not that interesting, however, and I felt very little urge to play through the game at the end.
Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit isn’t a bad game, and if you’re planning on picking it up you will be in for a bloody good time. The game has some shortcomings, but it’s still fun to play. Honestly, the biggest problem I had was that it began too strongly and it didn’t offer anything new or fresh as it progressed, and in the end all of its elements couldn’t mesh together.
If you’re interested in taking this saw blade for a spin, give the demo a try and decide for yourself if this hellish romp is for you.
+ Great use of color
+ Enemy finishing moves are great…
– …at least for the first few hours–then they get boring
– Levels are not that interesting