Hell Yeah! has been receiving a lot of hype since it first appeared. It’s unique cartoonish look and over-the-top gore made it an instant favorite. The finished product is now out on PSN and Xbox Live for $14.99 and 1200 MSP, respectively. Does Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit live up to the expectation or is it a Hell No?
Hell Yeah! has a story that is so much a video game story stereotype, you’ll swear this came out on the NES. The story follows Prince Ash, the Prince of Hell, an undead bunny. Ash is quite the powerhouse and rules over Hell with an iron fist. Unfortunately, Ash has one weakness, and that’s a love of rubber duckies. One day while taking a bath with one, a demon takes some pictures and posts them up on the internet. The post gets 100 hits (which considering it’s Hell, isn’t really that bad), so Ash takes the most logical course of action: kill everyone who saw it to save his rep. So right off the bat, it’s wise to go into this one with a sense of humor.
Ash is armed with every cool video game weapon ever in Hell Yeah! The bunny is armed with a machine gun, gattling gun, RPG, grenades, shotgun, a revolver, and even a Mario Sunshine-like squirt gun filled with holy water. All this while riding a giant buzz saw that can slice through all enemies. The weapons are cool, and it’s a lot of fun watching the gory aftermath. However, while there’s many guns, there’s only little differences between a lot of them. For instance, the only real difference between the machine gun and the gatling gun is the sight. Even the holy water gun and the flamethrower are similar. After multiple experiments, there doesn’t even appear to be many differences in damage either. In the end, the guns are just a way to customize your character.
The 100 Demons who saw the pictures are scattered throughout multiple worlds. Some are a challenge to kill, some require you to solve a puzzle, and others just stand there as you kill them. Just before you kill them, however, you’re thrown into a WarioWare-like mini-game. These games are varied, and can require you to do a number of zany tasks. Sometimes it’s as simple as squashing the foe by rapidly pressing X, or as challenging as finding a victim to snipe in under 5 seconds. There is a certain joy you get when you do kill one of the 100, as you can’t wait to see what the next mini-game will be. These mini-games are entertaining and add to the overall sense of humor in Hell Yeah!
Unfortunately, the mini-games (and the fatality animations that follow) start to repeat after the 30th kill. You still get some new ones here and there, but it kills the feeling of wanting to see what the next game is. On top of this, the mini-games can be frustrating. If you fail one, the enemy still lives and you take damage. This will suck, especially when you’re in an area with little health and the mini-game is tricky.
Combat would be great in Hell Yeah! if it weren’t for the controls. These are a little cumbersome, requiring button combinations to do the attack actions. For buzz saw attacks, you use the left stick in the direction you want to go plus L2/Left Trigger. For using a gun, you use the right stick to aim. Adding the jump button if you want to reach an enemy or try to evade while attacking, and you’re now pressing three buttons at once. Learning this layout is annoying and easy to mix up. Also annoying are the parts where you lose the buzz saw and gun. In this state, you’re defenseless. I understand this was done to change up the gameplay, but all it did was make me miss the parts where I had my weapons. Also, you have this annoying double jump that can also bounce you off walls. Sadly, this ends up meaning every time you use the double jump, you run the risk bouncing off a wall and into a group of enemies.
The level designs of Hell Yeah! are very colorful and various. You start off in the fiery beginnings of hell, and then head off to a high tech lab, followed by dark catacombs, a heavenly Casino Zone, a psychedelic hippie area, and even outer space. One most commend the artists of Hell Yeah! Take a look at this picture down here.
Look at how much is going on in that picture. It’s been a long time since a screen that colorful has been seen. Hell Yeah! deserves a lot of credit for being such a visually striking game. I haven’t seen colors used this well since Rayman Origins.
Also nice is the music for Hell Yeah! The music ranges from a mock rap for the shopping sections, a funny pop song in the cartoon world, and Hawaiian music for the island, and those are just the tip of the iceberg. All of them add once again to the theme, and it’s that direction that’s one of Hell Yeah!‘s biggest strengths.
Hell Yeah! tries a lot with customization. At various shops (where you can get guns and extend your life bar), you can get various objects to spruce up Ash. You can get various masks to choose from as well, that range from hats to making your face a butt. You can also spruce up your buzz saw with different skins too. It’s okay, but considering there is no multiplayer and it doesn’t affect your stats at all, it comes off as a little unnecessary.
While the levels are nice to look at, their construction is questionable, namely the save points. The points range from being placed an oddly long ways from each other to being too close. Worse yet, it saves your health too. Meaning if you’re close to death, save, and then die, you’ll still be at that point when you restart. It’s a frustrating addition, and it’s baffling that they decided to include it.
Hell Yeah! also has an interesting side game called The Island. Here, you use the characters you killed as slave labor to get you health, shop items, skins, and more. Its a neat idea; however, it can be cumbersome to use. You can’t access The Island from the game – you have to leave to the title screen and select it to use it. It would have been nice if I could just check in on it from the pause menu.
Despite my critiques, I can’t say I didn’t have fun playing Hell Yeah! The goofiness of it all is infectious, and it will bring you back to when video games weren’t so serious. That being said, I just don’t know if I’d say the fun was worth fifteen bucks. Do yourself a favor and wait for the price drop.
Like the game? Check out the Hell Yeah! website.
Like the phrase “Hell Yeah!”? Check out Turbo Bison’s article on “The Top 10 WWE RAW Superstars of All-Time” which has Steve Austin, who likes saying “Hell Yeah!“