Interview with Ubisoft about Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party

I’ve been a huge fan of the Raving Rabbids series since it first started. Maybe it’s because I own two rabbids that run around my house like cats. Maybe it’s because I was a huge Three Stooges fan as a child. Maybe I just like hearing them scream. Whatever the reason, the Rabbids have quickly become one of my favorite video game franchises alongside Terry Bogard, Pokemon, Persona, and Sakura Taisen. I’m not the only one either. The entire staff damn near unanimously gave the Rabbids the ” Character of the Year” in our 2007 Gaming Awards.

When the third game in the series was announced, I leapt at the opportunity to get an interview with the Rayman Ravings Rabbids TV Party dev team about the game. Thanks to Michael Beadle, Ubisoft’s Senior Public Relations Manager (and our own Bebito Jackson) for making it happen.

Interview with Adrian Lacey – Game manager, Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party

DHGF: The Rabbids have really taken a life of their own. They even won our “Best Character” award for 2007. At the same time there are some diehard Rayman fanboys that feel the original star of the game has been pushed into a background (at best) role. Although I’ve still got my Rayman cart for the Atari Jaguar, I strongly prefer the Rabbids to Rayman. Is there ever going to be a clean break between the two franchises so old school Rayman fans can have their characters back so that those that prefer the Rabbids don’t have to see message boards and even the official RR pages cluttered with whining and complaints?

Ubisoft: The Rabbids were originally created to be Rayman’s nemesis…But as soon as they sprang to life, they rampaged through the studio and have been trying to take over the world ever since!

In the meantime, Rayman has had an alarm system put on his bike in the studio’s backlot…And he’s practicing Pilates until he’s ready for his next solo adventure (we put a restraining order on the Rabbids!) Don’t worry, I’m sure he hears you…

DHGF: Raving Rabbids TV Party is going to make use of the Wii Balance Board that came with Wii Fit. We’ve already seen the clips of the racing game in which gamers will be making ample use of their buttocks. What other mini-games will feature the balance board, and what happens to those gamers who don’t have the balance board? How do they play these games?

Ubisoft: We’ll be unveiling the next batch of Balance Board mini-games at E3, so you’ll have to wait a few weeks to find out what’s in store. However, there are also a few games where you get to stand and rest your behind…

For people who don’t have the Balance board yet, the game allows you the option of using the two controllers at the start of each game. The wii mote and nunchuck are tremendously versatile, so the balance board games are still intuitive and fun and have been developed and tweaked to fit the controllers… But (no pun intended!), the board does add a uniquely fun dimension to the gameplay!

DHGF: It’s been mentioned that in both Party Mode and Co-Op that you can somehow sabotage your friends. How will this work?

Ubisoft: Basically if you are playing on the balance board, riding the Wildebeest in multiplayer, your adversaries can toss things to throw you off your butt-balancing. It means that you can still cause havoc, even when you’re not the one riding the board.

DHGF: We’ve seen a lot of parody rabid costumes including Spider-Man, Superman, Ken Masters from Street Fighter 2, and Darth Vader. Do we have any other famous pop culture characters getting the Rabbid treatment in TV Party? Maybe perhaps…Pikachu? After all, he IS a lagomorph.

Ubisoft: That’s hilarious! We were asking ourselves just yesterday if Rabbids are rodents and found out they’re lagomorphs, (lag = causing major lag and morphs = Cross-dressing fanatics). If I can catch a Rabbid and pin it down for 2 minutes, I’ll ask if they are into Pikachu…I’d love to know if they are related…maybe second cousins twice removed?

DHGF: The first Rayman Raving Rabbids was a multi-console title. With the sequel and now TV Party, we’ve seen the game going Nintendo exclusive, only appearing on the Wii and DS. What was the decision behind focusing only on Nintendo’s systems? Was it simply a gameplay decision or something else?

Ubisoft: RRR was designed to explore different controls and the way we prototyped them allowed us to showcase Nintendo’s new controllers. Movement off- and on-screen changed the development and the creative processes and the Wii became a perfect fit for Rabbid humor and gameplay style. This unique style benefits even further from the Balance Board, and we have tried to create weird and wonderful new movements using the board as well continuing to play with the Wii remote and Nunchuk in crazy ways!

DHGF: Will we see any previous Rabbid minigames return for another go-around? The rail shooters have been the one constant between the two previous games.

Ubisoft: This time you’ll have to keep the Rabbids from ripping apart the movie set where world renowned director Georges Rabbero is trying to shoot his latest Horror flick!

DHGF: What do you predict will be the most popular of the new mini games in TV Party?

Ubisoft: I personally laugh my “derrière” off playing the dancing games. It’s pretty hard not to look like your “dad-doing a-line dance-at-a wedding” at first, so the playing field is pretty even…until those of us with innate rhythm and soul start cleaning up the dance floor… :-)

DHGF: Possibly the most important question of them all, Since Daft Punk’s “Around the World” was used for the second game’s commercials, will we see any reference to Black Flag’s “TV Party?”

Ubisoft: There are loads of new tracks but we are keeping them a secret for now!

DHGF: Car vous êtes une compagnie française, souhaitez-vous journalistes américain et britanniques essayeraient de vous interviewer en français ?

Ubisoft: I don’t know about the others, but it’s my personal nightmare looking for all the different accents on my keyboard!!!

If you’re interested in our previous Raving Rabbids coverage, you can look at me squeal like a fanboy with my old review of Rayman Raving Rabbids 2. Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party currently has a scheduled release date of 11/11/2008, with a MSRP of $49.99.

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