Hell Yeah: Wrath of the Dead Rabbit Review
When you think of ultra violent video games, with strange senses of humor, you probably think of Suda51 and games like Lollipop Chainsaw, or Shadows of the Damned but the folks at Arkedo are hoping you’ll now think of them. If you do play Hell Yeah: Wrath of the Dead Rabbit, you may have some fun but it isn’t likely that you’ll find it to be the new authority when it comes to this type of game. This action platformer tries to be darkly funny but falls flat most of the time and, on top of that, isn’t all that much fun to play.
The baddest dead rabbit in all of Hell has just been exposed as a man who enjoys the company of rubber duckies while in the bath. That’s right, the local paparazzi have photographic evidence that has been viewed by upwards of one hundred monsters, on the internet. Of course, all of the monsters who have seen these photos must now die, and so begins Hell Yeah: Wrath of the Dead Rabbit.
The premise is funny in a silly sort of way but the rest of the game doesn’t manage to be very funny. The characters will often go for jokes that are supposed to be funny because of their dry tone, and deadpan delivery, but they come across as predictable and contrived. It really feels like Arkedo thought that the game could stand largely on the fact that people would think it was funny that a cute little rabbit is in Hell, and charming that he’s on a murderous rampage. The problem with this approach is that to stand on humor and charm, you have to actually be funny and charming.
Hell Yeah often seems like it’s trying to confuse you, starting with the way you move around. After a brief tutorial you’ll move around using your Jetpack. At least, the characters in the game call it a jetpack, and even talk at length about how your family is known for souping up jetpacks but it in reality you’re really riding inside the middle of a spinning saw blade. Go ahead and read that last sentence again, I’ll wait.
Moving this thing around is also very confusing, and possibly broken. I say possibly because I’m not entirely sure how it’s supposed to perform as the guy who runs the tutorial seems to indicate that it will just go up as high as you want it to, because it’s a jetpack, but since it isn’t really a jetpack it’s more like you can jump and it will unpredictably stick to surfaces and then run along them. You can also melee attack, or later in the game upgrade to different projectile weapons.
The levels are non-linear maps that will have you searching for the monsters you plan to murder, with doors unlocking and opening up as you kill more monsters. When you get a hold of one of these despicable voyeurs you’ll have to get its health low, then finish it off with one of a series of different mini games. These usually involve mashing one or more buttons, last a few seconds and can be quite amusing even if the rest of the game isn’t.
Bosses are often frustrating as you’ll have to employ ranged attacks on most, with your shots only being able to hit the boss when he is on screen. On the other hand, the boss is free to fly off of the screen and still be able to hit you. Combine this with the unpredictable movement system and things can become very tiresome, very quickly.
There are no multiplayer modes in Hell Yeah: Wrath of the Dead Rabbit.
Hell Yeah’s humor can’t save it from its gameplay, and its gameplay can’t save it from its humor. Some people will have will have some fun with this violent, action platformer but I found it frustrating to control and lacking in laughs. There are just too many great games out there lately to spend your money on this one.
Available On: XBLA, Playstation Network, Steam