After a lackluster Summer of Arcade, there have been some high caliber titles on XBLA lately. Chris takes a look at Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit. Get ready for some adorable ass-kicking.
It’s not often that a game causes me to actually laugh out loud, let alone exclaim “Fuck yeah!” in the middle of the action. I tend to stay pretty calm when playing, save for the few times where I’m playing a hopelessly broken game, like Prototype. Seriously, that game sucks. But that’s for another time. We’re here to talk about Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit, which was recently released on Xbox LIVE Arcade.
If you were to ask a kid back in the mid-1990s what he expected games to be like twenty years from then, he’d almost certainly come back with something very similar to Hell Yeah! This is a 2D side-scroller from, appropriately enough, hell. It’s been said that not only does this game have some great graphics, but also the MOST graphics. Every screen is jam-packed with crisp, colorful art, and character designs are straight out of the Jhonen Vasquez School of Creepy Cute Art.
Gameplay is fairly straightforward platforming, with the usual abundance of upgrades, which allow the player to drill through rock, grind up enemies, and jump further. In the time I spent with the game, the difficulty was fairly low, although it is easy to imagine how that would change later in the game. Most of the fun of killing enemies comes from the straight-up batshit insane ways they are disposed of.
After (quickly) wearing down an enemy’s lifebar, the killing blow is dealt via a pop-up minigame. Usually this boils down to hitting the A button in a designated window, or mashing it until a bar fills. Normally this type of thing would be extremely annoying and unwelcome, but the minigames go by so quickly here, that they didn’t overstay their welcome. The result of a successful minigame comes in many forms, from a barrage of thousands of carrot-tipped arrows, to a semi-truck bursting in from off screen to repeatedly run over the enemy.
Humor here is extremely lowbrow, but it is clever enough to get a few chuckles. I often got the feeling that I was playing a videogame based on early 90s comic books, produced by Williams Street. If that sounds like anything you’d be interested in, I can’t recommend Hell Yeah! enough. Why this was not included in a high-profile promotion like Summer of Arcade is beyond me. Hell Yeah! looks to be one of the best downloadable titles this year. Grab the demo, and go to Hell.
Christopher Linendoll is a silly goose. He can be reached via Twitter, or found in the hummus section of your local grocery store.