Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
Rabi-Ribi Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . While not especially original, Rabi-Ribi mixes the Metroidvania formula with cutesy anime. While the gameplay is sound, the story is a bit too wordy and it feels derivative of too many other action games. Fun, but not essential. Rating: 71%
Rabi-Ribi Rabi-Ribi Rabi-Ribi Rabi-Ribi
  • Review Score:

  • B
Despite being cute and cuddly, rabbits are poorly represented when it comes to video games. With the exception of Jazz Jackrabbit, Ninja Rabbits and Jumping Flash, most rabbits are treated like a joke. Instead of being taken seriously, we see them as the mischievous Raving Rabbids or as mentally unhinged psychopaths in Whiplash. Rabi-Ribi may not treat its rabbit hero as a crazed lunatic, but those looking for better bunny representation in video games might not like the direction this 2D action game takes.

This is the story of Erina, a simple bunny rabbit who wakes up one day to discover that she has been transformed into a slender young woman dressed like she just stumbled out of the Playboy Mansion. She's understandably confused and sets out on an adventure to find her master and figure out what's going on.

It won't take long for our bunny hero to meet up with a scantily clad fairy named Ribbon, who finds herself intrigued by Erina's journey. The two unlikely friends traverse the large connected map, picking up extra abilities and battling fierce bosses to track down the answers. It's an anime-inspired Metroidvania-style action game with an emphasis on story and cute girls.

I think it's safe to say that Rabi Rabi Island has an unusual demographic breakdown. It's an island made-up entirely of attractive women, none appearing to be older than 18. Each girl has their own unique style, usually involving dresses that would surely get them kicked out of any high school in the remote region. The game's sole male character is little more than a slobbering TMZ employee.

Goofy anime tropes aside, Rabi-Ribi delivers where it counts. While certainly not very original, the tried-but-true formula allows for a bright and colorful world that is reminiscent of what Sega was doing with Wonder Boy a couple decades ago. It's fun to explore the diverse landscape and poke around for hidden areas. Each new ability gives Erina access to new areas, opening up the map in important ways.

For a girl who was a bunny rabbit as recently as a few hours ago, Erina is handy with her giant mallet. And while small, Ribbon also finds a way to be helpful. The fairy can switch between a number of weapons, each firing long-range projectiles at the enemies. She is also able to charge-up her blast while Erina uses her short-range attacks to clobber all comers. It's a simple set-up that makes combat easy, if not a bit shallow.

Rabi-Ribi (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Beyond the different weapons and items hidden throughout the large world, Erina will also discover the usual set of abilities and upgrades. She'll be able to leap off walls, slide through tight openings, double jump to high up ledges and eventually breathe underwater. There's nothing you haven't seen countless times before, but at least the action is done well.

One new wrinkle on the formula involves the badge system, which gives the player the ability to customize their character in some fun ways. Here you'll be able to mix and match the different badges, each with a helpful perk. For example, one badge will poison the enemies, while another will increase Erina's invincibility time. Unfortunately, you only have so many Pack Points to use, so you can't equip everything.

Don't let the cutesy visuals fool you, there's a lot to do in Rabi-Ribi. Even if you aren't trying to uncover 100% of the island, the main adventure will still take around six hours to complete. And even then, completing the story unlocks even more to find and uncover on Rabi Rabi Island. That's on top of that, there are the Boss Rush and Speed Run modes.

Much of the time will be spent reading the long and drawn-out conversations between Erina and the rest of the girls on Rabi Rabi Island. They are a chatty bunch, choosing to get into lengthy discussions before, after and even during life and death fights. This won't come as much of a surprise to those familiar with Sekai Project, a company best known for releasing visual novels. I found the story to be interesting and a few of the characters are fleshed out, but it never felt essential for these conversations to be so wordy.

Rabi-Ribi (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

For a game with this much talking, I wish Rabi-Ribi would have offered more twists and turns. Given the intriguing premise, the game sets up a world where just about anything can happen. But what actually happens will be familiar to anybody who has played an action game before. The developers get all the basics right, but there's nothing fresh or original about this adventure. Just about every element has been taken from other, better games.

But even if Rabi-Ribi feels painfully familiar, it still delivers a fun and exciting action game. I dig the retro look and the wide variety of locations to visit. I like how much there is to uncover both before and after the game ends. I even enjoyed the story, as long-winded as it tends to be. You've seen and done it all before, but that doesn't keep this Rabi-Ribi from being a good time.
comments powered by Disqus