Review – Rabbids: Party of Legends
The Rabbids were one of humanity’s worst creations. I have no idea who was responsible for the original concept of such hideous and charmless creatures, but somehow, they became a hit among the younger crowd. I would have never expected to start liking them at any point in my life, until the release of Mario + Rabbids, a game that should have never existed, and should have never been as good as it ended up being. Ubisoft toned down the Rabbids’ idiocy, and made them somewhat tolerable. To the point that we now have a brand new, Mario-free Rabbids game, Rabbids: Party of Legends. One that’s also surprisingly decent, all things considered.
Before talking about the game in question, I have to say something positive about it actually existing. We’ve talked a lot about Ubisoft in the recent past, and they certainly deserve a good amount of the flak they’ve received, but I think that the background story behind Rabbids: Party of Legends is a positive mark on the company’s recent form. Ubisoft allowed one of their smaller and less experienced studios, their Chengdu branch, to develop a game of their own, with one of their biggest mascots. A game devoid of corporate influence, which also features nods to China’s history. I need to give credit where credit’s due, so kudos on the higher-ups for allowing their smaller teams to come up with smaller games every now and then.
So, Rabbids: Party of Legends. As the title implies, it’s a game with a ton of Rabbids. It’s also a party game. Not exactly one in the “board game” kind of way, but the more traditional “bunch of minigames in one package” sense. One devoid of online multiplayer, but that ended up being a non-issue. The closest modern equivalent I can think of is the awful Mario Party: The Top 100, which was also just a bunch of minigames in one package, with no solo appeal, no unlockables, and little to no content besides the minuscule games at your disposal.
Rabbids: Party of Legends one-ups The Top 100 by having all of the above. It only has fifty minigames, but they are, for the most part, very fun. A ton of them are carbon copies of the best minigames from the Mario Party franchise, so that’s also a plus. It has a ton of characters you can choose from, with half of the roster being unlocked behind a simple progression system: keep playing the game, and you’ll naturally unlock more characters… and minigames as well. There is also solo appeal, as this game includes a simple, but interesting story mode. And oh boy, the plot behind this nonsense…
To put it mildly, Rabbids: Party of Legends is “Rabbids meets Journey to the West“. As in, the Rabbids literally invade the plot and setting of the Chinese epic tale, and are forced to recover books and scrolls in order to get home, as the maximum entity in the tale will only free their time-traveling and dimension-warping washing machine if the Rabbids do what they were told. Yes, you read that right, this is a game where a god holds a magic washing machine hostage until you give it some magic scrolls scattered throughout China. And they say creativity is dead.
So you’re getting a lot of Rabbids dressed like Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie, and other characters from the tale. Oddly enough, they didn’t infuriate me like they used to. Ubisoft has toned their mascots’ idiocy down, making them scream less and act less stupid onscreen… and when they do, it’s usually in a cutscene featuring well-drawn still images. The visuals are decent, with the exception of a few glaring framerate hiccups in some minigames, and the sound design is a great blend of “comedic and cute music mixed with traditional Chinese instrumentation”. Exactly what a game like this needed, no complaints in this regard.
To be fair, there’s not a lot that Rabbids: Party of Legends does wrong. There aren’t many glaring issues. It’s not very ambitious, but it succeeds in what it set out to do. The only big problem I have with it is that, despite featuring a sizeable amount of content, and even being fun on your own, it’s a bit pricey. Were this about ten bucks cheaper, I’d call it a must-have on your console’s party game catalog. I fully recommend Rabbids: Party of Legends, as it ended up being a lot more entertaining than I could have ever imagined, but just wait for a slight price drop. And Ubisoft, please greenlight more of these smaller games crafted by your smaller studios. If this game is any indication, there’s a lot of untapped potential within your lesser known subsidiaries.
With the exception of some harsh framerate issues depending on the minigame, the visuals are pretty decent. The Rabbids look hideous, but that’s already to be expected. They are well-animated, though, and the environments look pretty nice.
It’s a bunch of minigames that are really easy and quick to learn, as expected from a party game. Nothing out of the ordinary in here, but it gets the job done.
A neat mix between traditional Chinese instrumentation, comedic tones, and not a lot of Rabbid grunts, making this game’s sound department a lot more bearable than initially expected.
Fun Factor: 7.0
It has enough content to result in an entertaining party experience every now and then. It has enough unlockables and a sizeable story mode to ensure it’s also fun by yourself. It’s also oddly charming, something I’d never expect to say from another Rabbids game. Its biggest issue is its price tag.
Final Verdict: 7.5
Rabbids: Party of Legends is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
Reviewed on Xbox One.
A copy of Rabbids: Party of Legends was provided by the publisher.