Arkedo Studios' recently released Xbox LIVE Arcade title, Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit Achievements, is a game filled with frustration, joy, platforming, outrageous humour and a skinny little bunny known as Ash, who hates to be referred to as "Naked". Well folks, even though we are dealing with the skeleton of a Prince, does this game provide some meat on those bones, or is he just a naked rabbit with a cape?
Kiss my Ash!
What's there to say about Ash? He is one little angry bunny who must look after Hell since the death of his father, but there is one problem: Ash has a fetish for ducks. No, not the lively quackers that you see at a pond, but rather the ones which you take into the tub and squeeze the quack out of.
Needless to say, poor little Ash was minding his business one day, taking a nice hot bath with his favourite rubber ducky when an unknown voyeur took some pictures of the two and leaked them to Hell Yeah! News. Once these pictures are released on HellNet, all of the monsters that usually work for the Royal Rabbits' business decide that they will not work for a "soft, floppy-eared Prince" anymore, and so the journey for our poor, little, naked protagonist to reclaim his dignity begins.
Weapons of Ash destruction
Once you enter the side-scolling world of Hell Yeah!, you are soon greeted with some of the most vibrant 2D environments and character animations I have witnessed in any recent XBLA game. Everything seems seamless and well thought out as the level design is incredibly solid. There are no visual hiccups, screen tearing or really any other technical jargon I can drum up; in essence it's a crazy and beautiful assortment of colours and graphical detail. Mind you that as a platformer it will bear resemblence to a lot of level design from older generation games, such as Super Mario World and Sonic the Hedgehog with a purpose.
Building from these classic platformers may seem over-used by some, but it is actually what makes the world in Hell Yeah! all the more appealing and enjoyable. The boss fights are outrageous, character design is unique in a very twisted and lovely way, and as you journey through the world everything pops. As you play, all the memories and little nuances the developers hid in plain sight begin to show and they generate some outbursts of laughter that I haven't experienced in a game for some time.
Even the map layout is done quite well and efficiently; it will easily guide you through to the next place in which you need to travel or find the boss you are looking for. It is very easy to adjust to the HUD too and it provides you wilth all of the details you will need to survive.
The sound design is a a very welcoming side of the game as well. From the little "pew-pew" sounds the laser AR makes to the churning of Ash's circular saw-like vehicle, you can easily enjoy all of the fine detail Arkedo has put into the game. Musically it is very adequate and during some points frustrating, only because you may be in the area for sometime, yet it is not irritatingly repetitive. Everything in the realm of sound in the game is almost utterly flawless, and will also supply a little humour to help you endure the adventure.
100 Enemies and a Sugar Coated Doughnut
During your travels you will meet Nestor, your humble, half-dead octopus butler. He will aid you along your journey helping you advance in both upgrades for your vehicle, tips on how to advance past an area, or help you with some new artillary to massacre the relentless 'bugs'.
At first the control scheme is something you will have to adjust to; it is not the best layout, yet surprsingly once you get the hang of it, it finds its way to work with a relevant fluidity. By no means is it perfect though, because when you reach later stages in the game and face-off against the numerous obstacles and ways you must dispose of things, the navigation can be somewhat unresponsive and quite frustrating.
Driving your "pimped-out" jetpack-enabled, circular-saw vehicle is not a chore, especially when it looks like Homer's favourite doughnut, or a rubber ducky — essentially you can choose as more items unlock. Navigating while driving and shooting can be a little tricky, but you will get used to jumping, aiming with the right joystick and shooting with RT. It will all come together with practice.
Quick-time events are also a main focus in the game when it comes to boss fights. After disposing of the bosses (which are actually quite easy) you must perform a little mini-game to essentially seal the deal of that enemy's demise. The mini-games range from button-mashing, timed-sequences of button-presses and QTE's. Surprisingly, there is an array of finishers and they don't ultimately overlap when put against the 100 bosses you must face during the game. The boss-fights are pretty short and not so arduous that it makes you want to toss your controller at the screen while screaming bloody murder. Mini-games such as Panzer Popcorn, Shark Bait, Weapons of Ash Destruction and Make it Spicy are sure to supply some well deserved laughs.
The game will present you with everything a platformer should be and more, from timed jumps to finding checkpoints and on to figuring out the best possible way to advance in a level; these are just some of the many gameplay mechanics that will ease the frustration of dying and having to repeat certain aspects over again.
You did it on purpose!
Another grand aspect of Hell Yeah! are the achievements. Over time you will unlock everything as the majority are story driven or can be accessed with a little bit of searching. Achievements such as Groundhog Day Lover will have you die and retry 100 times. This is not a grind by any means because, without a doubt, you will more than likely do this as you progress through the game. Ash does not respawn with a full health gauge, instead he spawns with the same health he died with, but if you use the map and don't mind possibly back-tracking a tiny bit, you will find the lovely Ms. Fountain raining the blood you need to rejuvenate.
Other achievements, like Fashion Victim and Island Master, don't require too much work. With the Fashion Victim achievement, all you have to do is purchase some of the skins from the store, which in-turn will grant you a new hat to wear or possibly a thong to grace your face while you pursue baddies. With Island Master, you need to receive a gift from the Island, which is a seperate portion of the game you can select from the menu. Here you will put all of those monsters you slayed to work in order to help you with money, special gifts and so forth. You will meet Mr. Tentacle, who resembles a one-eyed sea creature most will be familiar with during your travels, and he will introduce you to this luxurious haven of the undead.
Not all is well though for completionist; there is only one achievement that may seem to burden some people, not through hardwork or insane missions, but just time. The JACKPOT! achievement will require you to keep spinning the slot machine until you hit the $10K jackpot. This is entirely luck-based and will require ample amount of time in order to achieve.
Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit is one of the most diverse, well thought out, action-packed 2D platormers I have played in a long time. It will provide you with roughly seven hours of time to beat and complete, but every moment within this strange world is worth it. It's ripe with humour, excellent sound, graphical stability and a lot of frustrating fun. Is Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit worth it? It will provide a great time, a sense of accompishment, and some fun well-deserved laughs. To be honest, I wish there was still more of the game, because it was one hell of a solid gaming experience and I would stongly urge a lot of people to play this game, just for the sheer enjoyment.
The author played roughly 7-8 hours, completed the game 100%, laughed a lot, and enjoyed the constant stream of blood, mayhem, and utter chaos of colours!
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