It's hard to take a game that stars scantily clad anthropomorphic bunnies seriously. That being said, Rabi-Ribi is a solid Metroidvania title that provides some exciting 2D action so let's hop straight to the review.
Rabi-Ribi stars Erina: a female bunny who one day unexpectedly turned into a human being. She's joined by a fairy named Ribbon who helps her on her journey. Fun fact: Ribbon's nickname is "Ribi" so that's where the title "Rabi-Ribi" comes from. Anyway, you play as both characters simultaneously as Erina uses her trusty hammer to smash enemies while Ribbon casts magic. Each of these attacks is mapped to a different button and you only move as Erina and Ribbon follows her so it's very intuitive to control them both.
The gameplay is basically a mix of Metroidvania exploration and intense boss battles where you have to dodge clouds of projectiles and complex webs of lasers. Thankfully, you have a ton of abilities at your disposal that gradually unlock throughout the campaign. Double-jumping, sliding, and dropping bombs will help with uncovering the map while charged shots, boost attacks, and many more moves can give you the upper-hand in combat. It's tight and ultimately rewarding stuff.
The world of Rabi-Ribi is colourful, cute, and downright ridiculous. As you progress, you'll meet a wide assortment of kooky characters who will likely join your town. This not only makes the town livelier, you'll also gain extra stat boosts for each person you find. Of course, there are plenty of cheeky moments that will feel right at home for anyone who has ever played one of these kinds of Japanese indie games before (such as Touhou) but these moments here can be extra-weird if you're not accustomed to them.
When I first started playing Rabi-Ribi, I had no idea how big of a game it was. For the record, I completed the main campaign in four hours which is quite long for an indie Metroidvania but I still have a lot to see and do. I would guess that it would take well over 10 hours to explore the entirety of the game world and uncover every secret treasure within. It's such a satisfying world to explore that I'm tempted to keep playing Rabi-Ribi even though I currently have loads of other games to play through.
Although Rabi-Ribi eventually becomes a ton of fun, it sure doesn't start out that way. In fact, for the first hour or so of gameplay, I couldn't even attack with the hammer in mid-air. Also, Erina walks super-slow before you upgrade her speed. Therefore, gamers looking for an immediately gratifying experience may be put off by this so make sure you stick to it and it'll gradually start to shine.
Rabi-Ribi has a couple of other minor issues as well. The first is that the visuals can be ambiguous at times. For example, there are areas where both NPCs and enemies look the same so you don't know what's a threat unless you attack everything. Secondly, the boss fights are pretty cool but they don't really differ all that much from each other. The fact that they usually have large health meters makes fighting them feel even more tedious after a while. Don't get me wrong, they're fun but just a little repetitive.
Don't let its strange premise fool you; if you're a fan of Metroidvania games then Rabi-Ribi is a must-play game. The combination of fantastic 2D action, satisfying exploration, and lighthearted charm makes it a wholly enjoyable bunny-filled adventure.
- + Tight 2D action with plenty of rewarding abilities and special moves
- + Charming and cheeky presentation
- + Massive world that's rewarding to uncover
- - Gameplay takes a while to start getting fun
- - Visuals are occasionally ambiguous
- - Boss fights can get a bit tedious