As the rabbit prince of Hell, you are at the center of a scandal when the paparazzi – where else would those vultures wind up to spend eternity – snap photos of you in a bathtub with…a rather provocative rubber ducky. After finding out that exactly 100 different monsters saw the incriminating photos online – yes Hell is able to get a decent Internet connection – Ash ventures forth to eliminate each and every one of them.
Who knew that Hell, in all of its infinite torment and misery of lost souls, could be such a colorful whimsical place with constantly moving and pulsating objects? Even with the amount of things on screen you never lose sight of yourself, which is a feat in itself. The beautiful, intriguing hand-drawn 2D art that Arkedo Studio has crafted pops right off the screen and takes center stage. Filling out the nether world are nonsensical characters that seem to have been created with juvenile humor in mind.
You know what? The humor works.
What other game will you find a happy-go-lucky giant smiling turd with a chainsaw sticking out of it as well as a giant eye with various crab appendages attached to it?
Designed as an adventure platformer in the same vain as “Metroidvania” titles, backtracking comes with the territory allowing access to previously unreachable locations once new abilities are obtained. Platforming or rolling yourself around in your circular blades of death, you are able to easily cut through every normal enemy and most of the unique monsters – for those that require a little more oomph, you are armed to the teeth with assault rifles, chain guns, missile launchers and all sorts of heavy weaponry. See a ledge that is too high? No worries, your circular blades can also be used as a jetpack launching you even further into the air. Gates will be placed throughout the levels requiring a set amount of monsters to be killed in order to bypass and reach new areas. There isn’t much in the way of exploring however as the mini-map will point you exactly where you should be heading next. It keeps things moving, but does take away from the whole “exploring” aspect of the game.
Checkpoints however can be frustration due to the seemingly random nature of where they will appear; not to mention you restart with the same amount of health as when the checkpoint was created. As much as you may try to avoid it, you will be hit with a bad checkpoint that will place you in a terrible spot with little to no health sooner or later.
Once one of the 100 monsters is drained of their life force, you enter into WarioWare style mini-games to determine the fate of the monster. Completing the mini-game, you will see some of the craziest death animations in any game, but if you fail you will take some minor damage and have to do it once again. You may have to catch a bunny in a toy crane game or mash buttons to charge a battery. I would have liked to see 100 unique mini-games – one for each monster – but there are plenty that the novelty doesn’t wear off.
Once a monster explodes and covers the screen with blood and gore, it gets sent to “The Island.” – where it can be put to work for all eternity crafting items to assist you on your mission. You can also view the Monster Index to read about the different monsters, if you do so desire. You may only see a monster for less than a second before you kill it, so it is a great resource to take a look at everything that you have killed.
Hell Yeah! takes you on an adventure through different levels of Hell lasting about 8-10 hours. The platforming will turn off a bunch of people due to the floaty controls and no you can’t use the D-Pad – only the analog stick. There are plenty of references to previous Sega games as well as from other titles – I’m pretty sure I heard the Super Mario pipe sound. The game’s shop is without a doubt a homage to Saints Row 3. Speaking of the shop, you are able to purchase new weapons as well as wearable hats and even the option to change the design of your circular blades. Nothing screams style like rolling around in a frosted donut – with sprinkles of course. Besides platforming your way across the levels you will also be flying a spaceship as well as a submarine, which should help break up the gameplay.Note: Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit was reviewed on Xbox 360. A digital copy of the game provided by the publisher.