Hell Yeah! – Wrath of the Dead Rabbit (PC)

Let it Rip

Imagine being the Prince of Hell. What happens when your father dies? You become the king. Still with me? Good. Now imagine you’re the King of Hell, and one day, while doing something really embarrassing and unfitting of a King, one of them stupid paparazzi manages to snatch some pictures of you! And of course, thanks to the Hellternet, the pictures spread through all of Hell in an instant, so the solution becomes obvious: everyone must die. Everyone.

So here goes Ash, the heir to the throne, in search of the one who took his photographs so he can obliterate him, while, making smart use of his time (and new gadgets), obliterating everyone else as well. Over the course of this adventure you will kill one hundred different hellish fiends (some more hellish than others), while unlocking and buying new weapons, upgrades, and more importantly of course, stylish hats.

For once, the main character actually has a pretty straightforward attitude.
Helluva place

Going through hell to kill creatures might not sound as the funniest of tasks, but, in this case, that’s exactly what it is: the game is filled with simple, quick and clever jokes in what is a pretty good parody to other games, itself and pretty much everything else. This, aided by the fact that the main character often reacts just like the player itself adds even more humour to the experience. For example, after Nestor, your butler, shows up for the third or so time, you are already expecting him to explain another game mechanic, so you might think something along the lines of “not the tutorial guy again”. Surprisingly, the character you’re controlling reacts with “any more boring tutorial stuff to say?” .
It doesn’t stop there, of course. Ash (your character), will react in funny and/or clever ways to most enemies, at some point calling an enemy “one of those low level monsters that tell you how to beat them”, after the enemy in question reveals that he will use his hidden flamethrowers to kill Ash. Another funny example is a wizard enemy that goes around yelling that he will perform magic tricks for food, and that gets reminded by Ash that he can just as easily use his magic to make food appear.
Nestor, on the other hand seems like a pretty intelligent character, guiding you and giving out what are surprisingly useful tips at more or less the right times. He will also upgrade your main weapon, your rotary saw, at several points through the game, allowing you to visit previously inaccessible places. He will also give you something that came from “your father’s love for pimpin’ jetpacks” and a couple of other additional weapons.

May god have mercy on you, because I wont.
“I’d say this was a nightmare, but since I’m already in hell that seems a moot point.”

The gameplay is simple; it’s a 2D sidescroller where you jump around in 7 big levels. The levels are not exactly sequential however, each one has zones you can only access later so, from some point on you will start revisiting every level you already went through in more or less random order. Every level has doors scattered around, and each door requires you to kill a certain number of enemies. The enemies of course, are scattered throughout the levels, and can be easily found using the map and the radar. There are shops where you can burn your hard-earned cash on new weapons, upgrades or cosmetic accessories, checkpoints that restore your health and some side missions hidden in certain levels.

As for the one hundred big monsters, most of them can be killed by cutting them up with your saw, but later, creatures have shields and protections you have to go through. Some require you to do air combos, and others even require you to do other simple actions. One monster for example, promises you that he will kill himself if only he can see his loved one again. His loved one is just off-screen, so all you have to do to help him is to press the zoom-out button to allow him to see her. He will then promptly kill himself.
Also, almost every single one of the big monsters you kill has its own mini-game you have to clear to be able to “FINISH HIM!”. There are rhythm games, funny quizzes and other simple, funny and short challenges.

Now to the bullet points:
This place is Hell. No really, the whole game happens in Hell.

  •        The humour in the game feels fresh, as it doesn’t try to be complicated or pretentious. Everything consists of simple punch-lines, and crude (as in “easy to understand”) jokes. I got many laughs out of this game. There are also a couple of references here and there.
  •         The amount of different existing minigames for the bosses is great. It’s true that from some point on they start to repeat, but there are still at least 15 different ones. I swear they must have spent half of the dev time doing those.
  •          The game is pretty colourful, and all the assets are in HD. Everything looks pretty smooth and pleasant to the eyes. Good visuals.
  •          The attention to detail doesn’t stop there. Every monster has its own nickname and its real name, the one they had before they died, complete with a little backstory and all. Most of those are very funny too.
  •          Speaking of monsters, it’s really hard not to feel pity for most of them. The reason why is because only a couple of them are actually aggressive towards you. The others are just going on with their lives, chilling, and some of them are pretty funny and friendly to you. Of the top of my head I can think of a dinosaur skeleton walking around in a museum with a huge shield to protect him from other fossils, because it thinks they are all really old and look gross. “Stay away from me, you nude weirdos!”
  •          The control scheme is probably this game’s weak point. Trying to use you jetpack to drill a wall upwards feels weird, and trying to manoeuvre while airborne while trying to aim and shoot your ranged weapons at the same time is ridiculously difficult. And since enemies can’t be killed while they’re off-screen (another major issue, since they can kill YOU from off-screen) you often need to kill enemies while keeping yourself above the ground.
  •          Ledges work in a weird way, and this really gets in the way of precision jumping. If you land too close to the edge of one you will weirdly grind around the edge and fall down automatically, often causing your death.
  •          Checkpoints tend to be either too close or too far away, and if you die in certain sections, you have to collect all the scattered money again which is bothersome.

Despite its few but annoying flaws, the game got a healthy amount of laughs from me, and I had a good time playing it. Characters are funny, levels are bright and vivid and look good. If you like platforming games and feel like something a little bit different and really random, go for it.

Everything is visually pleasing.
The virtual rabbit missions DLC

This DLC adds a new mode to the game’s main menu, where you are teleported to a simple hub where you can try to clear a whole bunch of missions available there. They are divided into 3 difficulties, and they’re in fact pretty difficult. It’s that simple. It’s not expensive and adds more content to the game, which can take hours to clear depending on your skill level (or patience). There’s also the “pimp my rabbit” DLC, but that’s purely cosmetic, so if your’re into that sort of thing, I guess…go ahead.

And since no one likes to read reviews done by people who barely played the games, here are my gameplay stats:

  • 14 Hours played;
  • 12 / 12 achievements unlocked;
  • All virtual rabbit missions clear;

Genre: 2D action-platformer
Dev: Arkedo Studio
Released on: October 3rd, 2012 (PC)
Other platforms: Xbox360 (XBLA), PS3 (PSN)
Price: 12,99€ (Steam)