The indie scene is jam packed with great and original games these days, but given the length of the typical indie experience, fans are always on the lookout for the next jaw-dropping title. Is action-platformer Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit the next must buy? Short answer? Hell No!
You play as Ash, the prince of hell. After a long day of soul harvesting, Ash decides to take a nice relaxing bath with his favorite rubber ducky. Unbeknownst to Ash, the paparazzi has snuck in and are snapping photos of the intimate scene, which they then upload to the hellnet for the viewing pleasure of exactly 100 monsters. To contain his embarrassment, Ash decides to go on a murderous rampage and kill all 100 monsters. The writing tries to be funny, but does it in such an obvious and dry way that it just ends up causing more smirks than any real laughter.
At the heart of Hell Yeah! lays a 2D action-platformer. You traverse most of the levels using a nifty saw-blade jetpack; equipped with a spinning attack and slight vertical boost. Throughout the game you’ll be switching the jetpack out for submarines, spaceships and other vehicles, along with the occasional on-foot segment. The controls for the jetpack and on-foot segments in particular feel floaty and unresponsive, which wouldn’t be so bad if this didn’t comprise 80% of the game. If you play the game on PC we recommend using the keyboard and mouse combo instead of a game pad, as this is definitely the superior option given that the game won’t allow you to use the d-pad for navigation.
Hell Yeah! regularly doles out new implements of destruction, either through simple handouts or through the item shop. Strangely most of the weapons are entirely too similar to each other, with over half the weapons being duplicates in all but look and sound. Disappointingly, we never came across any encounters where one weapon type was preferable to another, and once we obtained the slightly overpowered golden revolver, we stuck to it for the rest of the game.
The game is structured around hell gates, each one requiring a specific number of monsters slain before it will open. The monsters are usually scattered about the level and require one of three tactics to kill; shooting at them, make something fall on their head, or shoot the exploding barrel conveniently placed next to them. Once a monster is on its last legs the game will prompt a WarioWare style mini-game to deal the killing blow, none of which; gruesome as they are, provide particularly fun or interesting gameplay.
The levels are all painted with beautifully vibrant colors, and visual styles are swapped pretty quickly. Sometimes however, this works against the game, as distinguishing between the foreground and background objects and those of the actual playing field isn’t always easy, leading to many cheap deaths.
The music is also a double edged sword. It ranges from cool jazzy tracks to old school rock and roll. The music is quite loud compared to the sound effects and the game has absolutely no audio settings, which is, to say the least, problematic. On some levels where the music is particularly annoying and repetitive, this can be unbelievably infuriating.
At first glance Hell Yeah! seems like a really cool game with some good ideas and a striking visual style. Delve a little deeper under the hood, however, and you’ll discover that every good idea is squandered by underdevelopment and/or poor implementation. Floaty controls, terrible customization options, and the lack of any appealing gameplay hooks ruined the experience for us. The length of the game is only around 5-6 hours, but it feels considerably longer due to all the backtracking and cheap deaths. While we can’t say that any one part of the game was downright awful, none of our time in with Hell Yeah! was any fun, at all.
- Name: Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit
- Available on: PC, XBLA, PSN
- Developed by:Akredo Stuideos
- Published by: Sega
- Elder-Geek Score: 2 out of 5 / Don’t Bother