You know that dream you have where you’re a bunny rabbit who mysteriously gets turned into a cute human girl? Eh? Oh, just us then? But imagine the fun you could have as a literal bunny girl with kick ass battle powers. Yeah, that’s Rabi-Ribi.
Packing one of the strangest plots to have hit the PlayStation 4 for a while backed up by some excellent bullet hell Metroidvania-style battling and fun 2D platforming action, Rabi-Ribi may look cutesy and odd but it brings a seriously hardcore and surprisingly fun gaming experience to the party.
You play as ex-rabbit Erina who along with magical fairy friend Ribbon must seek her Master. Along the journey you must free trapped friends and kill anything that gets in your way – be they cat girls, rival bunnies, or the host of strange critters that will try and end you.
You begin Erina’s quest with a humble melee weapon but before long your arsenal is expanded to include powerful ranged magical beams, bullets, and missiles. Every attack eats up precious SP, though, so button mashing isn’t the solution here and tactical switching between various attack options are the way forward. With more than 40 unique boss battles to take on there's a fair level of challenge, and in order to succeed you’ll need to find and utilise various power-up options. There's much satisfaction in trying out and mastering a new addition to your attack roster and after a while you’ll be a walking, swimsuit wearing death dealer of the highest order.
The retro graphical style is mostly basic looking, but it's blended with colourful low-res sprites mixed with slightly pervy anime-style dialogue. It does mean you might have to explain to any significant others in your life why you’re playing a game where every single character seems to be a skimpily clad young girl, but er, hey, it’s the gameplay, right? Fortunately, that end of the bargain is the best part.
The world of Rabi-Ribi is surprisingly extensive, with plenty of exploration and secrets for you to find. Your abilities upgrade over time so areas previously unreachable with your normal moveset will open up once you add double jumps, wall jumps, and slides to your repertoire. A handy teleport system allows you to pop back to levels that you might want to re-explore and a map guide shows a count of how many things you’ve yet to discover.
We were impressed with the tightness of the controls which map well to the DualShock 4, and are probably much more enjoyable than the masses of keyboard manoeuvres required in the original PC release. There is longevity to be had here, too, with new modes to unlock once you’ve battled to the end of the campaign which include a fun Boss Rush option and a mercifully dialogue-free Speedrun Mode
If you like the idea of battling a host of girls wearing bunny or cat ears with a variety of magical attacks and a huge hammer, then Rabi-Ribi is for you. This platforming and bullet hell fusion is worth a look – just make sure you close the curtains before booting it up on your new 50-inch 4K screen.