For many years our consoles have sat happily in our living rooms, with the guys behind them, whether that be Microsoft, Sony or to a lesser extent Nintendo, promising that whilst videogames are just the start, there would be much more to come.
Music was included, films were thrown in and now TV has been integrated beautifully, especially in the Xbox One. The next logical step therefore is surely to combine our love of gaming with our love of TV shows. Interactive TV shows perhaps?
And that’s exactly what Ubisoft have done with Rabbids Invasion: The Interactive TV Show.
But in combining the two, we have unfortunately lost both the joy of gaming and the immersion of TV, instead being left with a hybrid cross that does neither perfectly and only just gets by as an ‘entertainment’ option.
For those not already in the know, the raving Rabbids were originally a spin off from Ubisoft’s superb Rayman series. One thing lead to another and eventually a TV show featuring the loony little ones appeared on our sets back in 2013; that in turn has seen Ubi go full steam ahead with The Interactive TV Show.
Now, to enjoy the Rabbids fully, you really must be a bit of a fan of the show. Something which I can’t pretend to be. But I have children and children like strange things and playing videogames together is a great way of bonding. Isn’t it? Well normally yes, but on this occasion not really, because Rabbids Invasion didn’t go down particularly well with any age group.
The game itself caters for between one and four players and comes along in 20 ten minute long episodes. You’ll spend your time watching the show much like you would a normal TV programme, whilst at various junctures pointing at the screen (when you see the highlighted item appear), pulling off the same mad moves as the Rabbids or running, jumping and shouting in front of Kinect in order to achieve the highest score necessary. Starting off with just a couple of episodes, you’ll need to earn points by actioning any of the above in order to become episode Champion and therefore being able to unlock further episodes.
Many of the actions you need to pull off rely on Kinect doing its job well, and as is the way with the Xbox One version of the motion tracker, it works fine, picking up players easily….even if it does think that the odd leg or laptop sitting around is sometimes a player! However, the game/show/hybrid itself is fairly relaxed in giving points for near enough anything (I guess this is so it caters towards the younger crowd), and both silly poses and pointing don’t really need to be too precise. In the end then, as long as you can wave your arms around, you’ll pretty much pick up enough score in order to unlock everything available.
And that’s about all there is to Rabbids Invasion: The Interactive TV Show; sitting, watching, pointing, jumping. Rinse and repeat that a few times and you quickly get the jist.There is also a photo mode available in which you/the kids can have their picture taken with a number of the Rabbids dancing around in front of them, but this is just a worthless addition that brings nothing to the table. In fact, I’m struggling to understand why it has even been included.
Whilst the game works fine, I’ve had issues where Invasion will throw the player back to the Xbox One dashboard after EVERY SINGLE EPISODE and that is more than frustrating. For the most part, the show will be taken in by kids and the last thing a parent (or indeed the young child) wants is for constant hassle in having to load the game up over and over again. I’m not sure why it does it, but Ubisoft really do need to sort that out.
If you do find you like what is on offer or there is a mad raving Rabbids fan in the house, then you’ll be able to pick up an additional 15 episodes full of crazy challenges with the Rabbids Invasion Season Pass. Unfortunately you can’t watch the show without having to get interactively involved and so plonking the kids in the middle of the living room whilst it is running is not an option (that’s bad parenting though right?).
Rabbids Invasion doesn’t particularly do anything wrong, but then again, it doesn’t provide much entertainment either. It’s bright, it’s colourful and it’s loud, but it’s a struggle to concentrate on the show side of things because you’re constantly thinking about the next pose, whilst at the same time never getting fully engrossed in the ‘game’ as you want to take in the show. The Rabbids are caught in a vicious circle that neither a 5 year old, an 11 year old or indeed a couple of grown adults find to be an enjoyable experience. I’m afraid with that in mind, the whole thing is a bit of a fail.
Fans of the show should just about be happy though…as should achievement hunters as they come about in droves!