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REVIEW | Cartoony Gore Will Have You Shouting “Hell Yeah!”

By
Posted on September 28, 2012 AT 09:00am

Sometimes even demons need some downtime; it’s when they’re caught in the act when things go south. Arkedo Studio’s Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit shows exactly what happens when you screw with the leader of Hell and his alone time with his ducky.

Hell Yeah! follows the demon bunny Prince Ash as he sets off on a quest of vengeance. Scandalous pictures are posted of Ash in a time of vulnerability, and after the newspapers label him a “pussy” the leader of Hell decides to kill every demon who saw the pictures, including the person behind the lens. Ash travels through every depth of the underworld, leaving a trail of blood and carnage for some other guy to clean up after.

Players start off with Ash roaming around his kingdom, avoiding all the flying baddies that wish to keep your scandal going. Soon you come across your octopus butler, who gives you your main weapon: a buzzsaw jetpack, perfect for cutting down many of the enemies you’ll come across. Of course some of these demons will have ways to make it impossible to take them down with your saw, which is why it’s fortunate that you can also use firearms that range from machine guns to bazookas.

There are 100 main demons that you will have to eliminate in order to seek justice for the invasion of Ash’s privacy. Some of these demons can be simply cut down, whereas others need to be shot up or brought through a trap. In rare occasions you will have to simply show them they’re worthless and/or weak, without having to launch a single bullet at them. Almost all these demons will have their final blows in the form of a WarioWare-inspired quicktime mini-game, ranging from simply squeezing the little bastard to a pulp and pummeling them with wrestling move to weird crane games and dropping a spice in before you slice them into a demon meat sandwich.

As Hell Yeah! progresses you can earn cash to spend on upgrades, new weapons, and customize yourself and your ride. Your buzzsaw can become a massive donut or ducky floatation device, while you can look pimped out or as silly as possible. These customizations don’t do much to up the ante in your defense/offense, but they make the game more smile-inducing. You can even send the demons you kill to “The Island,” where they will work to give you new upgrades, health, and inventions that will give you the upper hand in the game.

Hell Yeah! has a sort of humor that can be described as both topical and a tad low brow. In one instance Ash makes reference to someone collecting seven chaos emeralds, while in another moment he has become Jules from Pulp Fiction just as he’s about to blow a demon’s head off. In another quicktime event Ash appears as a caveman, who simply clomps the demon into the ground as hard as he can until a fountain of blood sprays from its head. When you see your health bar, it can go as high as “bloood!” to low as “f**kl!” I’m actually surprised that the folks at Arkedo Studio got away with so much in a T-rated game, but then again this is no worse than what you’d see in a hard PG-13 film. I found myself chuckling throughout most of the game, though some jokes do tend to fall flat towards the end of the game.

At first the control scheme for Hell Yeah! can be quite confusing. Having to use both sticks on my Xbox controller to aim and evade had my hands playing a somewhat sadomasochistic version of Twister, whereas the rest of the controls found themselves in the left and right tab & trigger buttons. An hour into the game, though, I found myself having little-to-no difficulty controlling the game, with everything becoming second nature to one another.

Hell Yeah!‘s overall look is very cartoonish, thanks to its Flash-like graphics. Looking like a weird syndicated cartoon from the eighties (somewhat in vein to what Awesomenauts was like) the animation style fit well with its humor and violent style. The game even references some old-styled games in its quicktime events. (For example after you throw a quarter into an arcade game some rabbit-like Space Invaders fly down and zap the demon into obscurity, all in 8-bit glory.)

Hell Yeah! doesn’t go all the way without its flaws. For one thing its difficulty can increase without warning, especially during its second half. Some of the boss battles can be a major pain to go through, bringing back some of the pain into your fingertips once more. Usually you’ll find a sort of strategy to defeat them, but it might take you a while to execute it.

Perhaps the biggest complaint I have with Hell Yeah! is its sound. While I did find it humorous that the narrator in the beginning sounded like the Swedish Chef the rest of the game acted somewhat silent. I don’t know if there’s a glitch in the game’s coding or not, but I could barely hear the game’s soundtrack when there was no action happening on the screen; it amplifies only when you are cutting or shooting down demons left and right. Also, why no character voices? I would’ve loved to hear what Ash and the rest of the residents of Hell sounded like, but it was not meant to be.

Hell Yeah! will take you roughly 7-8 hours to beat, a fair amount of time for a $15/1200 MSP game. There are no multiplayer modes, nor is there much to back to after you beat it once. You will come across some mini-games that will test your skills on the buzzsaw jetpack, or will try your speed in some timed challenges. One other gripe is that you can’t have multiple saves, so if your friend wants to give Prince Ash’s adventure a try, you’ll have to lose the progress of your current game.

PROS:

  • Funny premise
  • Great selection of weapons, quicktime events
  • Nice cartoonish visuals

CONS:

  • What’s with the muted soundtrack?!
  • Game’s difficulty spikes unexpectedly
  • No multiple saves

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit may not be 100% perfect, but it achieves what it wanted to accomplish. It’s a very silly game with some cool-looking graphics and badass weaponry. If this is what we can expect from a SEGA/Arkedo Studio partnership, then I look forward to seeing what’s next for them both on the humorously gory horizon.

FINAL GRADE: 8.0 (out of ten)

Xbox Live Arcade review copy provided TriplePoint PR

Evan Bourgault is an accomplished music, anime, and video game critic. His passion for discovering new bands, developers and Japanese pop culture began in his college radio days and continues on today. Evan joined the ElectricSistaHood team in 2008 where he is a contributing editor and co-host of one of the network's weekly podcasts. Follow Evan on Twitter at twitter.com/King_Baby_Duck




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