The Rub Rabbits!


posted 4/12/2006 by Sean Colleli
other articles by Sean Colleli
One Page Platforms: DS
The final multiplayer element is called, I kid you not, “baby making.” The Japanese title for Rub Rabbits was “Where Do Babies Come From?” so it makes just a tiny bit of sense, but those hoping for an accurate simulation of human reproduction should take a cold shower. It’s really just Rub Rabbits’ scaled down version of Nintendogs. To make a baby (in the game), two people, specifically a boyfriend and girlfriend, use both sides of the DS to answer a few questions such as age and blood type. Then they cut a virtual wedding cake by jimmying the D-pad and face buttons in as close harmony as possible. Once the cake is cut, a digital baby is revealed. Babies can play in a small park area over DS wireless, and there’s a sleep mode scan function similar to “Bark Mode” in Nintendogs. It’s a cute little distraction, but it’s nowhere near as engrossing or deep as the ingenious puppy simulator.

My only big complaint with this game is that there was so little progress made in regards to audio. It’s still good appropriate music, with the same 50’s doo-wop sound, but there’s hardly anything new to speak of. Most of the music is exactly the same stuff from Feel the Magic, and the main title theme isn’t even translated into English. There are a few new tunes and sound effects, but they’re used to death. In a story mode that is thirty-seven levels long, I don’t want to hear the same three tracks over and over again.

After all is said and done, The Rub Rabbits is everything Feel the Magic should have been. It has the gameplay length so lacking in Magic, a healthy supply of unlockable extras, and replay value in the form of multiplayer. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that Sonic Team stretched themselves a little thin with this game. There are a lot of things to do and some of them are fun, but others feel half-baked and unfinished. To make up for this, a good bit of material was borrowed from the previous game and placed in areas where new content should have been. No doubt, fans of Feel the Magic will get a lot more enjoyment out of Rub Rabbits, they just won’t be very surprised this time. The weirdness can only go so far until something fresh is needed.

Sonic Team sinks honest time and development into their zany minigame sequel, and the extra love shines through in most places. There’s a lot more to do, but much of it is lacking depth. The new ideas need some more work, and more original content in the sound department couldn’t hurt. The Feel the Magic series needs to be a little less shallow before I’ll consider a third date, but I wouldn’t turn it down completely.

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