Some other memorable moments include slapping your teammates to keep them awake, kayaking in an alligator infested river, and heaping snow on people to hide them from a bear. I’d say you can’t make this stuff up, but Sonic Team already has. Front to back the solo story will take dedicated players only a few hours to complete, although it’s over twice as long as Feel The Magic
and the difficulty has been notched up a bit. There’s a remix of the bull stampede from the previous game, and it took me several tries to beat. One thing I appreciated was the lack of minigame repetition; there are only a few redone games as opposed to Magic’s irritating “nightmare” rehash sequence.
Of course, Rub Rabbits
wouldn’t be a true sequel without the racy “luvv” sequences that gave Magic so much undue attention. As before, you take the occasional break from inane stunts to get closer to your girlfriend, but Sega never really crosses the line and most of the content is harmless innuendo. One of the more entertaining scenes is a play on “Simon,” where the girl pokes you in different places, and you must poke her back the same way in the same pattern (she gets mad if you go for the naughty bits).
The only real blemishes in the main story mode are where the developers went a little too far with their creativity. In some minigames you must turn the DS sideways or upside down. This can be a refreshing change of pace, or, more often than not, just plain awkward. Thankfully these parts are short and few, and the solo mode remains mostly enjoyable.
As before there are multiple difficulties and a bevy of unlockables, notably the outfits for the girl. “Maniac” dress up mode has seen a huge facelift, and many of the new features just make sense on the DS. In addition to the bountiful top/skirt/pants combinations, there are also save slots for custom outfits that you create with the stylus and a paint program. You can also dye the girl’s hair from a rich color palette. Maniac mode probably isn’t going to hold your attention for very long unless you’re a fashion designer, but at least it’s a lot more complete this time.
Yet another feature that was absent from Magic due to time constraints was multiplayer, and they were able to throw it into the mix this time. Sonic Team has provided a sprinkling of different multi modes that fit the minigame genre quite well; they’re all something you’d play at a party. The standard mode pits you against three friends, as you all vie for the girl’s attention in a number of outrageous ways. Many of the games from the solo mode have been reworked for multiplayer, so there’s a freshness to playing them with friends.
The second multi mode is called “hullabaloo.” I’m still trying to understand the point of this feature, as the fun factor somehow eludes me. Basically, you and any number of friends hold down different button combinations on a single DS, and try to synchronize when you all press and release the different buttons, according to instructions on the screens. My brother and I tried it and only got frustrated, but perhaps with more people you get the “total embarrassed hilarity” effect that twister seems to create.
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