With the PlayStation Store January sale upon us I thought it was time to mention one or two of the games on special offer. Today’s game is Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit which was €16.99 and is now €7.99 (€6.39 for PlayStation Plus subscribers) until 30th January. It is a 2D action-platformer game developed by Arkedo Studio and published by Sega.
You take control of Ash, a little rabbit skeleton who happens to be the Prince of Hell. A photo was taken of him in the bath with his rubber ducky and posted on Hell’s version of the Internet (probably involves dial-up). This scandalous photo was seen by one hundred demons, so really his only choice now is to kill each and every one of them while trying to find out who took the photo in the first place.
These one hundred unique demons are scattered across ten large worlds and hunting them down is where the fun lies. Each level is beautifully drawn with great colours and lots of activity going on on-screen. The music for each world really suits their themes and ranges from heavy rock to some sugary-sweet, feel good songs. When Ash meets each of the demons there is usually some humorous dialogue followed by you trying to bring down their health bar while avoiding death yourself. Once their health bar depletes you enter a ‘mini-game’ style final attack, this can be anything from putting your finger in a hive to steal honey without getting caught by a bee or playing an ocarina. Anyone familiar with Frobisher Says or Wario Ware will recognise the style.
To aid you in bringing down all these demons you are equipped with a giant drill which becomes more powerful over the course of the game. There is also an excellent selection of guns to buy and upgrade with money collected in the levels. Using these guns and the drill to buzz around the levels taking down enemies is the main draw of Hell Yeah! The game does a good job of trying to keep things fresh with the different level designs and sometimes mixes it up by having you travel in some kind of ship or taking all your weapons off you altogether for certain parts of levels. This helps keep Hell Yeah! from feeling too repetitive, which it is in danger of becoming the longer you spend gunning down enemies in the same fashion throughout the game.
It isn’t just new weapons you can buy; there is a massive amount of customisation for both Ash and his drill. The Prince of Hell starts off naked, which is something a lot of the demons you encounter will comment on. You can buy clothes and hats for him to wear and dress him up in all manner of styles as he travels around Hell. The drill can be customised too, ranging from large axes or making it look like a giant doughnut.
A side game to occupy your time is The Island, after you kill a demon it goes here to work for you in Hell. You can put them to work looking for money or other items and the more demons you have the more likely you are to receive rewards. The demons can become burnt out working on The Island so you need manage which ones are to be given a break from working and which ones are ready to be sent back to work. I found this section to be pretty mundane to be honest but I suppose it gives players time to relax from the hectic style of the main gameplay.
It’s not too difficult a game, though there are times where it can become frustrating trying to find out which part of the level you are meant to go to next or trying to get back to a health replenishing point before you face the next demon. The humour and style may not be for everyone, so if you know you don’t enjoy low brow humour and over the top cartoon violence then this isn’t the game for you but I think anyone else would get a good laugh out of it.
In terms of replayability there are lots of hidden items to find and side missions to do but I don’t see everyone going back to these. The main quest of killing 100 demons is where the attraction is in Hell Yeah! and once this is over none of the extra missions really compare to it.
When it comes down to it Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit offers some great mindless fun well presented in a colourful cartoony style with plenty of good humour. Even if at times it will challenge or frustrate you, hunting down these 100 demons will keep you happily occupied as you explore some of the most enjoyable regions of Hell.